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This Week in Nature: Nov 15, 2007

The Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is meeting this week to summarize its report on global warming. Nature rounds up a host of articles tackling the subject, including a column that wonders whether Congress is ready to take action to limit global climate change and several news features that look at climate politics in Australia and the US.

In the early online edition, researchers at Oregon Health and Science University report the successful cloning of embryonic stem cells in monkeys. They used somatic cell nuclear transfer to isolate two embryonic stem cells lines from the cloned embryos. "Not only is this the first time such cells have been produced in any animal other than a mouse, but the method, the researchers say, should also work in humans," an article in the New York Times says.

In other studies, collaborating groups describe the crystal structure of the human ß2-adrenergic receptor, the "archetypal member" of the family of G-protein-coupled receptors. The ß2AR structure is different from rhodopsin in that it has weaker interactions between the cytoplasmic ends of transmembrane segments 3 and 6, writes the abstract.

Research out of UCSD concludes that SMRT protein, part of the retinoic acid signaling pathway, is involved in epigenetic silencing. Using mice, they showed that SMRT represses expression of JMJD3, a histone H3 trimethyl K27 demethylase which is capable of activating specific components of the neurogenic program.


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.