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Students' Sequence Won't Face Peer Review

Nature News discusses the controversy surrounding India's Open Source Drug Discovery project's April 11 announcement that its researchers have "comprehensively mapped, compiled, and verified the genome of Myobacterium tuberculosis," and was the first to make it publicly available. Criticism of the project is widespread, Nature reports, and is subject to three main arguments: both the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK and the Broad Institute in the US have made M. tuberculosis genomes publicly available, the OSDD has no plans to subject their annotations to peer-review, and an undisclosed amount of the project was completed in about four months by about 400 college students. "Annotation is a challenging job requiring specialists, and I doubt if students with little experience can do this," John Quackenbush at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute tells Nature. "It is unfortunate the Indian group made these claims before outsiders had a chance to review the students' data. The worst thing you can do to your country is to oversell your science." Some researchers, however, have expressed their support for the initiative. Stanford's Gary Schoolnik tells Nature that his group supports the Indian approach, including having student annotate the genome.

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.