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Developmental Delays and DNA Deletions

A DNA deletion can lead to cognitive problems, including autism, developmental delays, and mental retardation, reports MIT's Technology Review. A team led by Evan Eichler screened 5,218 people with autism, congenital abnormalities, or mental retardation and found that 25 of them had similar 1.35 megabase deletions; within a similarly-sized screen of healthy people, no one had that deletion. The deletion includes seven genes, one of which is involved in heart development and another in the development of the eye's lens. The results are reported online at the New England Journal of Medicine.


The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.