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Would that Be Doping, or Just Perfect Genetics?

It's a good time to sit down with your kids, turn on the Olympics, and explain that you and your research buddies have ruined sports forever.

OK, that may be a little harsh, but it's the theme of this Discover article about how advances in gene therapy and genetic manipulation may ultimately change the concept of athletes. The story profiles H. Lee Sweeney, a scientist at U Penn who gets a continual stream of emails from coaches and athletes begging for a genetic boost. The story quotes Sweeney as saying, "It’s the natural evolution of medicine, and it’s inevitable that people will use it for athletics."

 

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.