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Regulate? Don't Regulate? Let's Do Both!

Will regulation of the direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry kill the personal genomics initiative, or will it protect consumers from companies with products of questionable value? To regulate or not to regulate has been the question on everyone's minds. Genomes Unzipped's Jeff Barrett and Katherine Morley say the solution should fall somewhere in the middle. While government regulation sometimes imposes a cost on innovation, it also enhances public safety, they write. The solution could be "light- or self-regulation on providing people with readouts of their genomes, but heavier regulation on selling a medical interpretation of those data." If consumers want to know what their genome is, and can pay for it, they should be able to get it. But if the companies are also selling a medical interpretation of the raw data, Morley and Barrett say, then they should be more heavily regulated.

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.