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The New and the Old

The Plant and Animal Genome conference is underway in San Diego (GTO is certainly glad for the change of scenery). Yesterday morning’s plenary talks were given by the Institute for Systems Biology’s Leroy Hood and the Gates Foundations’ Rob Horsch. Hood focused on the impact that systems biology will have on medicine, calling the result P4 medicine: predictive, personalized, preventative, and participatory medicine. He adds that he wrote a summary of P4 medicine for the Obama transition team. Hood also says that he thinks the digitalization of biology will bring healthcare costs down and change the “fundamental business plan of the healthcare industry.” In contrast, Horsch focused on “very old problems and very old tools” so that “every person [has] the opportunity to lead a healthy and productive life.” In particular, the Gates foundation is focusing on increasing the productivity of maize and rice in Africa and Asia through plant breeding projects. Horsch adds that this is a chronic crisis.

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.