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From the Rare to the Ordinary

As sequencing becomes ever cheaper, genome profiling will move from being used in the clinic in cases of rare diseases to more everyday health issues, says Amy Dockser Marcus in The Wall Street Journal. "Whole-genome sequencing will not stay confined to extremely rare cases of obscure diseases," says Robert Green from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "If there is a way to use sequencing in day-to-day medicine, we need to find out." However, as Marcus notes, some experts say that sequencing patients will be of little use, especially for diseases like diabetes, where many genes may contribute to the condition, and some patients might not want to know if they are at higher risk for disease.

In a related blog post, Marcus discusses incidental findings from such genetic screens. Some geneticists advise to only return results that are medically actionable, while others say a broader range of results should be returned. Marcus adds that the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics is working on drawing up a list of conditions about which labs should return results.

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.