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This Week in Science: Jul 6, 2007

A team of psychologists found no sex difference in the number of words people speak per day. After tallying up and then extrapolating the number of words spoken by their subjects, James Pennebaker and his colleagues found that men and women both speak about 16,000 words a day.

Nicholas Putnam, Daniel Rokhsar, and their colleagues report a draft genome sequence of the Cnidarian starlet sea anemone. The anemone genome, they found, looks like a vertebrate's genome – it contains exons and introns. In comparing the anemone genome to fruit flies, nematodes, and people, the researchers discovered that the anemone genome has blocks of DNA that contain the same sets of genes as the human genome, points out the related news story.

Eske Willerslev and a team of researchers recovered ancient DNA from ice cores of southern Greenland. Using PCR they amplified chloroplast DNA to reveal that Greenland once had a northern boreal forest with alder, pine, and yew trees. The news section also contains a profile of Eske Willerslev.

Also check out Science's continued focus on science education.

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.