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Marking Mad Cow

Researchers led by Lee Hood have found proteins that seem to signal the onslaught of mad cow disease, reports Technology Review. The scientists took a global approach: they infected mice with prions and followed the resulting gene expression changes in the mice brains, resulting in 30 million data points. They narrowed the implicated genes down to 300, noting that the proteins can be seen in the mouse bloodstream about eight to 10 weeks before the onset of symptoms. Tech Review adds that Hood and his colleagues hope to commercialize a test for the human and bovine forms of the disease based on these biomarkers.

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.