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Piloting Health Records and Drug Reaction Reporting

In conjunction with Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Pfizer is determining whether having physicians use computerized patient health records will increase the number of adverse drug side effects reported to FDA, according to the Wall Street Journal. In this three-month pilot program, when physicians enter information into the chart that says they dropped a drug due to a side effect, a pop-up box asks for more information and sends it along through an outside agency to the FDA. "The public-health impact is much quicker recognition of problems with medicines," Brigham and Women's internist Jeffrey Linder says. Eli Lilly has a similar pilot underway at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

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.