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Life, Liberty, and...Personal Genomics?

Seems many are speaking up about the attempt of New York and California to restrict personal genetic testing. Over at The Personal Genome, Jason Bobe calls the cease-and-desist letters a form of "biocensorship," while an editorial in Nature Biotechnology wonders how personalized medicine is to advance if the current state of medicine isn't changed. Companies like 23andMe and Navigenics are allowing people to take personal responsibility for their health, a move that obviously doesn't sit well with today's "medical gatekeepers," the article says. And Tim O'Reilly makes a good point: 23andMe isn't just providing a service to consumers; the company is gathering the data needed for future studies. "23andme (and presumably other similar services) have come up with a very clever hack that will vastly increase the available store of genetic information that can be used to cross check various medical studies," he writes.

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.