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Yes, But Does It Also Explain the Penchant for Setting Ships on Fire?

British researchers led by Mark Jobling studied the Y chromosome haplotypes of modern men living in northwest Britain, an area that had a large Viking influx about 1,000 years ago. Based upon patrilineally inherited surnames, that genetic data was split in two groups by "modern" and "medieval" last names. (Last names dating back to the Vikings were found through historical records, such are surveys and ale-house licensing.) People with Viking-era names showed greater Scandinavian admixture than people with modern names, the scientists report in Molecular Biology and Evolution. Blogger Simon at Henry adds, "One of the most important questions in evolutionary biology today is how closely are genes and cultures linked."

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.