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No Genes for Voting

In a recent American Political Science Review paper, Duke University's Evan Charney and Harvard University's William English refute the idea that "two genes predict voter turnout," as reported by the University of California, San Diego's James Fowler and Christopher Dawes in The Journal of Politics in 2008.

In a Duke press release, Charney says that "the study of Fowler and Dawes is wrong. … Two genes do not predict turnout." Charney adds that he and English "reran the study using all of their assumptions, equations, and data and found that their results were based upon errors they made. When we corrected the errors, there was no longer any association between these two genes and voter turnout."

In their paper, Charney and English also "consider a number of difficulties, both methodological and genetic, that beset the use of gene association studies, both candidate and genome-wide, in the social and behavioral sciences," they write.

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.