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Impact Factor 'Surprises'

Bob Grant at The Scientist says that a "shuffling in the top few spots" in Thomson Reuters' 2009 Journal Citation Report has "some analysts scratching their heads." For instance, Grant writes, "the publication with second highest impact factor in the 'science' category is Acta Crystallographica — Section A, knocking none other than the New England Journal of Medicine from the runner's up position," because a 2008 review article in the specialized journal — written by University of Göttingen crystallographer George Sheldrick — has been cited more than 6,600 times, raising the publication's impact factor more than 20-fold. Grant reports that PLoS One "debuted in the Journal Citation Report for the first time with a respectable impact factor of 4.351," and that Nature Genetics appeared in the top ten (IF: 34.284). Also surprising? "More than 4,700 titles showed an increase over their 2008 impact factors," according to The Scientist, though it comes as less of a surprise that CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians nabbed the top spot, just as it did last year.

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.