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Inventing the Future with Synthetic Biology

Forbes features Ginkgo BioWorks, a synthetic biology company started by MIT's Tom Knight and three of his PhD students, including Reshma Shetty. She's part of their Eight People Inventing the Future, on the list due to her "DIY genetic engineering" approach to using genetic parts to make new living systems. Shetty's claim to fame is making banana-scented bacteria, and Ginkgo's aim is to sell standardized genetic parts dried onto sheets of paper to big companies that want to make new drugs, plastics, and petroleum replacements, says the story.

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.