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In Your Head

Two articles published in Nature Genetics found new gene variants associated with high body mass index and that appear to be active in the brain. The Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits consortium did a meta-analysis of 15 genome-wide association studies to find six loci associated with obesity, many of which act in the central nervous system. Researchers led by Decode Genetics' Kari Stefansson performed a genome-wide association study of weight and body mass index, identifying 29 variants, seven of which had not been linked to obesity before. The British Heart Foundation's Peter Weissberg told the BBC, "It suggests that some people may be less able than others to resist the temptation to overeat because of their genetic background and it might start to explain why some people have no problem keeping their weight down whilst others struggle."

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.