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Yes, You Can Blame that on Your Mother

ThinkGene's Josh writes about a paper recently published in The American Journal of Human Genetics that looked at the number of potentially harmful mitochondrial DNA mutations in the general population. Researchers at the University of Newcastle and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute used a combination of high-throughput genotyping and sequencing to find that a large number of people have mitochondrial DNA mutations that may lead to disease. Author David Samuels says, "This study gives us, for the first time, a measurement of the number of these carriers of pathogenic mitochondrial DNA mutations in the general population. One in every 200 individuals is a lot of people -- around 1.5 million people in the United States alone."

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.