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'What the Heck Is Genomics?'

'What the heck is genomics?' and 'Why should I care?' are just two questions that the Ontario Genomics Institute aims to address with its newly launched Web site, which it developed in an attempt to "demystify genetics and genomics and help the general public understand more about the study of genes and why research in this area is important." The site, www.whygenomics.ca, presents a digestible rationale for genomics research that explains how advances in the field could benefit human health, promote environmental sustainability, and improve agricultural production. "It also has an education section that … provides various resources for teachers, as well as the opportunity to request a visit from a genomics expert to speak to school classes," the institute says.

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.