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What Do They Do, Anyway?

For those of you just getting into translational or clinical applications, the New York Times has a good overview of just what it is that FDA does. While FDA is charged with the oversight of safety issues for cosmetics, drugs, food, medical devices, and other products, it does not give each group the same level of scrutiny. For example, it does not test dietary supplements or homeopathic medicines, though it will take action if they are proven unsafe. For drugs, both over-the-counter and prescription, FDA requires that companies prove they are safe and effective.

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.