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One Is All It Takes

For all the advances in genomic sequencing, an individual's haplotype is sometimes difficult for researchers to study, says the Technology Review's Emily Singer. But two new papers in Nature Biotechnology from the labs of Jay Shendure at the University of Washington and Stephen Quake at Stanford show the inroads researchers are making into the problem — Shendure by sequencing DNA from single chromosomes in specially-selected pools and Quake by physically separating the chromosome pairs and sequencing each strand of DNA individually. Shendure's team amplified 40,000-letter stretches of DNA randomly sampled from individual chromosomes. And Quake's team used microfluidic technology, which they've developed for separating and analyzing single cells, Singer says. They've both said that having haplotype information will have "an enormous impact on human genetics, helping not only to diagnose and understand the genetic basis of some diseases but also to track the evolution of our species from primate ancestors," Singer 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.