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Forever Young?

A new study in PLoS Genetics has linked epigenetic changes to the aging process, says New Scientist. King's College London researchers studied the DNA of 86 sets of twins, and found signs of methylation in 490 genes linked to aging. "These genes were more likely to be methylated in the older than the younger [sets of] twins," study author Jordana Bell tells New Scientist. This suggested to the researchers that those epigenetic changes may contribute to aging, and that they might be reversible. "The next challenge is to establish when gene methylation occurs. It can be triggered through lifestyle factors such as smoking, and environmental stresses," New Scientist adds. "It may one day be possible to develop enzymes that can remove the offending molecules from DNA and reverse methylation — and some aspects of aging."

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.