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Ivory Poachers vs Genetic Analysis


Though trading in ivory was officially banned in 1989, contraband sales have been increasing since.  In order to find better ways to target culprit nations, researchers have utilized DNA analysis to help pinpoint likely origins of illegal ivory.  A paper published yesterday in PNAS traces the genetic similarities across tusks, and infers that ivory from the largest contraband seizure since the tradeban came from Zambia.

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.