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Plugging the Leak

At Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong reports on a new study in PLoS Biology on how microbes evolve. A team of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers studied the Sulfolobus islandicus archaeon — a species living in the Mutnovsky volcano in eastern Russia. They found that the species had split into two lineages. But while they do trade genes, the lineages are growing increasingly distant, Yong says. "[Researcher Rachel] Whitaker collected 12 strains of S. islandicus from one of the Mutnovsky springs, sequenced their complete genomes and charted their evolutionary relationships," he adds. "They were remarkably similar. At most, any two strains differed in just 0.35 percent of their genome — far less than the distance between your DNA and a chimp's."

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.