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Patents and Tests and Genes, Oh My!

My, my. It seems we can't get away from two distinct topics -- genetic testing and gene patenting -- that have gone hand in hand lately.

Our sister site, GenomeWeb Daily News, reported last week on a bill in the US House of Representatives designed to "eliminate the practice of gene patenting."

If that didn't cause enough of a stir among readers, try this: an article from the New York Times this weekend contends that genetic tests, while promising, are not as accurate or reliable as one would hope. Author Denise Caruso says there should be government oversight of these kinds of diagnostic tools.

For more analysis on the gene patenting and genetic testing issues, check out the new post from blogger John Hawks. An assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Hawks provides a thoughtful and in-depth analysis of the many articles coming out lately in these realms.


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.