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You Always Knew You Kept Your Legos for a Reason

Johns Hopkins engineers used Legos to model microfluidic arrays at more easily observable scale, reports Scientific Blogging. Researchers led by Joelle Frechette and German Drazer used small beads, a glycerol-filled tank, and Legos to see what happens on the micro- or nano-scale of a microfluidic array. "Our experiment shows that if you know one single parameter—a measure of the asymmetry in the motion of a particle around a single obstacle—you can predict the path that particles will follow in a microfluidic array at any forcing angle, simply by doing geometry," Drazer says. They report their results in Physical Review Letters.

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.