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No One's Perfect. Really

At Genetic Future, Daniel MacArthur follows up on a Nature article from yesterday that looked at what experts think will happen in reproductive medicine over the next 30 years. He agrees with Susannah Baruch, in saying that the genetics behind complex traits will never allow us to pick a perfect embryo simply because the chances of getting one are "once in every 10²² attempts (that's a 1 followed by 22 zeroes, a stupidly large number)," writes MacArthur. Instead, we'll know everything about the genetic makeup and will have to pick from among these. "That's not to say that embryo selection is unworkable -- in fact, I think it's inevitable -- but rather that this process is likely to require a degree of agonising trade-offs on the part of parents-to-be that is seldom fully appreciated."

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.