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Testing the System

Britain's National Health Service aims to "test whether an entire health-care system is ready" for the personalized selection of cancer treatments via broad genetic testing, Nature News reports. "In its first phase, the program will be rolled out to as many as 12,000 NHS cancer patients over two years, beginning in early 2011," according to Nature. Breast, colorectal, prostate, and ovarian cancer patients being treated at six NHS hospitals will be screened for "several dozen mutations in about a dozen" cancer-related genes, the report adds. Fabrice André of the Gustave Roussy Institute in Villejuif, France, tells Nature that the NHS program could "really change the landscape of how molecular testing is being done for cancer. ... If they succeed, then it's going to be a major step forward."

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.