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Prototype or Boondoggle? Too Close to Call

The Gene Sherpa follows up on news that Kaiser Permanente and the University of California, San Francisco, won a $24.8 million NIH grant to use data and biospecimens from 100,000 Kaiser members in a large-scale study of the health implications of genetic and environmental interactions. Blogger Steve Murphy posits that this could "serve as a prototype" for the kind of biobank Francis Collins has advocated, but cautions that "this will be a huge boondoggle unless done very, very carefully."

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.