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A Standard Approach, But Custom Output

Over at Adaptive Complexity, Michael White blogs about what many perceive as a major goal of synthetic biology: that is, establishing a set of standard biochemical parts that can be used to build systems. "I'm skeptical that any single standardized biological device will hold up well under very different cellular contexts, without a lot of trial-and error modifications," he writes. "Instead of one-size-fits-all parts that probably won't work in many contexts, let's have standardized part-making kits."

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.