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Snake Oil Genomics

The Economist has an article about the rise of consumer genomics and the corresponding likelihood for consumers getting hoodwinked by genetic testing services. According to the article, the US Government Accountability Office last year "said that genetic tests it had bought from four websites misled consumers into thinking they were at risk of ailments such as heart disease, osteoporosis and type 2 (late onset) diabetes." Of course, there are plenty of genetic testing services with commendable practices, but they -- and the newer consumer genomics firms too -- are going to take a beating if the fraudulent companies aren't weeded out early.


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.