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People in the News: Oct 12, 2011

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John Opitz, a medical geneticist at the University of Utah, has been awarded the William Allan Award by the American Society of Human Genetics for his work in identifying and understanding genetic syndromes.

Opitz has defined a number of genetic syndromes including Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, a developmental disorder caused by a defect in the way cholesterol is synthesized, and Opitz G/BBB syndrome, a condition that causes physical malformations.

He holds a BS in zoology and an MD from the University of Iowa. He completed a fellowship in pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin, where he studied medical genetics.


Verinata Health has named Holly Puritz to its clinical advisory board. Puritz is currently president and a managing partner of the Group for Women, serves as medical director of OB/Gyn Services for Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, Va., and is on the clinical faculty in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Puritz is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as a member of the Commonwealth of Virginia Task Force for Infant Mortality. She holds a BS and an MD from Tufts University.

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.