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How to Solve a Problem Like Plagiarism

A short while ago, a scientific journal in China found that 31 percent of its submissions since October 2008 contained plagiarized material. Now, says In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe, the Chinese government has stepped in to drain the "swamp" that is journal publishing in China. By January 2011, the government says, new regulations will be in place to "terminate weak journals," adds David Cyranoski at Nature. How the reform will be accomplished has yet to be determined, as will the consequences for any journals found to be "weak." Strong journals will receive support from the government, such as tax breaks, Cyranoski says. The news "startled" many publishers, he says, but the government says the reforms are necessary to turn China into "a powerful science and technology publisher." Lowe adds that while reforms are certainly necessary, he worries about the way they're being accomplished. "This sit-still-while-we-fix-you approach may work in the short term, but if there's a demand for the Journal of Our Results (from authors, if not readers), then won't such titles just spring back up again under different names?" he asks.

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.