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Genetic Researcher Dies

Yury Verlinsky, a genetic researcher, died of colon cancer at the age of 65. According to the Los Angeles Times, Verlinsky immigrated to the US from the Soviet Union in 1979 and was the first in the US to perform chorionic villus sampling — which was already done in the Soviet Union and Europe — to detect birth defects. Verlinsky then developed pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, inspired by a Joan Miro painting. Later, he was criticized when he helped the parents of a girl with Fanconi anemia have a son whose umbilical cord cells treated his sister's anemia and again when he helped a woman with the early-onset Alzheimer's disease gene conceive a daughter without the gene. Verlinsky also started the Reproductive Genetics Institute in Chicago. A colleague, Norman Ginsberg, tells the Chicago Tribune that Verlinsky was "the first in the lab in the morning and the last out at night."

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.