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Increased Sales of Keyboard Covers in 3… 2… 1…

A guest post at the Intersection by Alice Popejoy argues that universal health care would remove any incentives for genetic discrimination, even more so than the current US health care overhaul does as "health costs remain the responsibility of insurance companies and employers." Popejoy adds that DNA can be legally, and easily, obtained from a person's cup or keyboard and that "employers and insurance companies have an incentive to find out the 'flaws' in your genetic code, and use that knowledge to try to save money." A few people note in the comments that the US Genetic Nondiscrimination Act outlaws some gene-based discrimination related to employment and health insurance. Lovejoy says that GINA "was a great first step" and while it forbids employers and insurance companies to ask for the results of a genetic test, "it does not prevent those same entities from obtaining DNA off a coffee cup or a piece of hair." Universal health care, she says, would remove those incentives to save money.

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.