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No, No, You Have it All Wrong

In light of the ACLU versus Myriad Genetics case, David Ewing Duncan at Tech Review asks the age-old question: "Should human DNA be owned?" In the US, Duncan says that an individual's BRCA1 gene cannot be patented, but that Myriad could patent a mutated gene sequence associated with breast cancer. Then, patients' genes could be compared to the patented sequence -- that is what the ACLU and other plaintiffs say is a mistake. Duncan says the complaint is beside the point. "The dustup about to unfold in the ACLU vs. Myriad case misses the real issue, which is how to best push forward and clinically validate the thousands of biomarkers now languishing in databases," 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.