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A Microbial Version of the Audubon Society?

Some people use field guides to identify birds, butterflies, or other wildlife. University of California, Davis, biologist Jonathan Eisen wants to give microbe hunters a similar aid, reports Wired Science's Daniela Hernandez. As a kid, as Eisen recounted at a talk during the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual conference, he used to go around with binoculars and a guide book to find as many animals as he could. Now, he added, "I dream of having the equivalent for microbes."

Eisen wants the guide to be a collaboration between researchers and interested lay people, Hernandez says. Such a guide would contain information on major lineages and taxonomy, different species, global distribution patterns of microbes, descriptions of each organism's biology, and probably a genetic signature to help microbe hunters identify their specimens, she adds.

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.