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No Patent for hESCs in Europe

The UK's Guardian reports that "the European Patent Office has refused a patent covering the use of human embryonic stem cells on the grounds that it would be contrary to 'public order or morality.'" Referring to it as a "landmark ruling," the article goes on to say that if the patent had been granted, observers feared it would thwart companies engaged in developing hESC-based technologies. Robin Lovell-Badge, head of stem cell biology at the National Institute for Medical Research, is paraphrased in the article as saying that "the ruling would make it easier for biotech companies to operate in the EU compared with the US, where similar patents on the use of human embryonic stem cells have been granted."

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.