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Evolution, 1; High Achievers, 0

Science writer Carl Zimmer takes us on an interesting journey as he probes what good, if any, striving to achieve greatness has in the evolutionary long run. As a contribution to a series of articles on achievement run recently in Forbes, Zimmer’s article highlights findings that Genghis Khan and his descendants passed on his Y chromosome to about half a percent of the world’s male population, or about 16 million men.

While the DNA marker indicating whether men have Khan as an ancestor may be easy to find, there's no indication that being a descendant gives any predisposition to empire-building ability. Sorry, guys.


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.