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So Much for That: Jun 22, 2011

After much criticism from the scientific community, the UK Border Agency has abandoned its plan to use DNA and isotope testing of human tissue to verify the national origins of asylum seekers, reports ScienceInsider's John Travis. The UKBA reportedly spent £190,000 on the project which, Travis says, was "widely scorned." When the project was conceived in 2009, geneticists pointed out that a person's DNA might reveal their ancestry but could never prove nationality. UKBA suspended the pilot project not long after it was announced, but said it would continue taking tissue samples from asylum seekers on a voluntary basis "in order to test the usefulness of DNA testing and isotope analysis," Travis says. Now that the study has been abandoned, the agency said it doesn't plan to publish any of the data it collected or any evaluation of the project itself, he adds.

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.