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Dual Purpose

There are technologies that may provide solutions to many problems the world faces, Craig Venter said at The Wall Street Journal's ECO:nomics conference this week. The conference, which is being held in Santa Barbara, Calif., focuses on issues of business and the environment. According to a Digits blog post at the Journal, Venter said reducing industrial inefficiencies and waste is important, particularly in light of a growing global population. In his talk, Venter said he has developed a microbial-based technology that both desalinates water and generates electricity. "We don't need one solution," he said. "We need to change how we produce food, find new ways to clean up water ... or we're going to be facing some tough challenges as we keep adding a billion people every few years."

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.