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Personalized Medicine's Starts and Fits

Personalized medicine, says this article in The Scientist, could breathe new life into failed drug candidates. "If Merck could have known in advance who would have cardiovascular problems from Vioxx, they may not have had to withdraw it from the market," Personalized Medicine Coalition's Edward Abrahams says. "'Failed' just means it failed in a percent of the population." And as Francis Collins settles in as the head of NIH, the article adds, many expect that personalized medicine will move to the top of the to-do list

In an accompanying editorial, Richard Gallagher writes that "we've stumbled forward a little on the road to personalized medicine, but it looks like the pace towards Nirvana is about to pick up."

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.