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Getting Personal: Sep 14, 2009

At Science Progress, Michael Rugnetta and Whitney Kramer say that changes need to be made to the American health care system so that personalized medicine can be incorporated. They highlight some government-based programs working to overcome some of the stumbling blocks. In particular, FDA created the Senior Genomics Advisor position in the Office of the Chief Scientist; HHS has its Personalized Healthcare that has studied privacy, integrity, and accuracy of genetic information as well as access protocols of genomics databases; and the Secretary's Advisory Committee for Genetics, Health, and Society which provide ethical analyses. "For personalized medicine to fully come to fruition with the fewest number of bumps in the road, we must learn valuable lessons from the current piece-by-piece process as we ramp up our efforts to build upon it," Rugnetta and Kramer conclude.

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.