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Zhen-Yi Wang and Zhu Chen Win 2012 Szent-Györgyi Prize

The National Foundation for Cancer Research held its annual dinner last night to award the Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research to Zhen-Yi Wang and Zhu Chen. Both Wang and Chen are professors at the School of Medicine Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Chen also serves as China's health minister. Wang and Chen, who was Wang's student, found that the combination of all-trans retinoic acid — a modern medicine — and arsenic trioxide — a traditional Chinese medicine — could treat acute promyelocytic leukemia. Five-year, disease-free survival improved to about 95 percent for the patients treated with this therapy. It's a "story of East meets West," Chen said at the dinner, referring to the two parts of the treatment. The keynote speaker, OriGene's Wei-Wu, added that cancer is neither a Western disease nor a Chinese disease; it affects everyone.

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.