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This Week in Science: Jun 15, 2007

In Science this week there is a news story describing a website aimed at discrediting people who deny that HIV causes AIDS. This site, aidstruth.org, was launched by activists, clinicians, and researchers to change the previous policy of ignoring the denialists, says the piece. The site links to scientific reports and publishes critiques.

Another news story explores a new project to bring medical and veterinary medicine closer together. This "one medicine" movement is being fueled, in part, by the emergence of zoonoses such as West Nile virus, SARS, and avian influenza, says the article, adding that collaboration between med and vet schools may prove difficult, given their respective urban and rural settings.

Science has a pair of articles covering the finished sequence, mapping, and annotation of the heterochromatin of the popular fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Coming out of Susan Celniker's lab at Lawrence Berkeley, the first article describes how 15Mb of fruit fly heterochromatin sequence was finished or improved upon and mapped. The other article describes a computational and manual annotation of the heterochromatin, highlighting that it contains at least 230 protein-coding genes.

There is also a review of anthropologist Hannah Landecker's new book, Culturing Life. Landecker explores the role of cells outside of the body, and how that role changes as new technologies are developed. The reviewer, M. Susan Lindee says, "Her work also provides a thoughtful perspective on the contemporary public and scientific spectacle of 'Stuart Little' mice, stem cell legislation, farmaceuticals, and other chimeras."

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.