Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

The Gene Advantage

Performance differences between male and female athletes "raise interesting questions about athletes who are genetically rather than pharmacologically enhanced," writes Chris Cooper in an excerpt from his new book, Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat: The Science Behind Drugs in Sport, at The Observer. If female athletes can be disqualified from competitions because they have certain genetic mutations that make them more masculine — here, the author points to the Santhi Soundarajan and Caster Semenya cases — Cooper wonders whether other genetic differences could render an athlete ineligible to compete. "After all, elite athletes are all genetic anomalies — it is just a question of how extreme the anomaly. Will there soon be DNA testing to accompany drug testing?" he asks.

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.