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Getting a Handle on Microbial Diversity

Work out of Jonathan Eisen's lab describes a tool they created to automatically compare gene sequences of small-subunit ribosomal RNA (ss-rRNA). Called ss-rRNA taxonomy and alignment pipeline (STAP), it can generate both high-quality multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees, and can be used to study microbial species diversity in environmental samples. The paper was published in PLoS ONE.

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.