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Among the Butterflies

DNA barcoding has enabled researchers to uncover new species that had previously been clumped together with other, similar species, suggesting the Earth has greater biological diversity than thought, the Guardian reports.

For instance, it notes that University of Pennsylvania's Daniel Janzen had long been baffled by the diversity he observed among the two-barred flasher caterpillar Astraptes fulgerator. With the development of DNA barcoding by University of Guelph's Paul Hebert, Janzen found that there were in fact 10 different species among his samples. As the Guardian add, genetically distinct species have likewise since been found among aloe, bats, chameleons, and more, many of which may be endangered.

"DNA barcoding is a tool that allows us to detect differences among species at a finer scale than before, like a microscope allows us to see fine details of surface structure that are invisible to the naked eye," Brian Brown from the LA Natural History Museum tells the Guardian. He adds that the approach "is showing that the world is even more wonderfully biodiverse than we suspected."

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.