A Neuroscientist Just Tricked 4 Dodgy Journals Into Accepting a Fake Paper on ‘Midi-Chlorians’
If we ever needed a timely reminder that in the world of academic publishing not all scientific journals are created equal, we now have it.
To test just how low the quality bar is for exploitative predatory journals, a prominent neuroscientist has tricked four publications into accepting a totally fake paper about midi-chlorians – the entirely fictional life forms in Star Wars that make ‘the force’ possible.
Neuroskeptic, a working neuroscientist who anonymously blogs about science for Discover, set up the sting, submitting the nonsensical study to nine scientific journals – only to have four of them accept it.
The journals approached are among those sometimes described as predatory in science circles because they exploit researchers into paying fees to have their papers published in them.
But in this case, three of the publications just went ahead and published the fake paper straight up – clearly not having read or checked it first – even without requiring payment of a fee.
Another, the American Journal of Medical and Biological Research, also accepted the paper, but demanded a $360 fee before publishing it.
The absurd thing, as Neuroskeptic explains, is the average human being would only need about five minutes (or less) with the paper to see that it’s entirely bogus and riddled with inexplicable Star Wars references.
For a start, it’s written by none other than the decidedly fishy-looking Dr Lucas McGeorge and Dr Annette Kin, and while at a very quick scan it might pass for a chemistry discussion, that’s only because Neuroskeptic scraped the content of the Wikipedia page on mitochondrion (real) and reworded it, changing references to midi-chlorian/midichlorian (not so real).
To further make things obvious – just in case any ‘peer-reviewers’ working for the publications were actually paying attention – Neuroskeptic dropped in entire passages ripped off wholesale from Star Wars, inserting them not-so-subtly into the text.
“Midichlorians-mediated oxidative stress causes cardio-myopathy in Type 2 diabetics. As more fatty acids are delivered to the heart, and into cardiomyocytes, the oxidation of fatty acids in these cells increases,” the paper reads, sounding kind of legit and science-y, but then suddenly:
“Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? I thought not. It is not a story the Jedi would tell you. It was a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midichloria to create life.”
Elon Musk’s Vision of Self-Sustaining Martian City, Manned Flights to Mars, Other Planets
Exploration in Extreme Environments: Under Water and in Outer Space
Living in the depths of the sea…to prepare for travel in deep space.
Sounds strange, but that’s what our NEEMO expedition aims to do.
This 10-day NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 22 expedition is slated to begin on June 18. NEEMO 22 will focus on both exploration spacewalks (or in this case waterwalks?) and objectives related to the International Space Station and deep space missions.
Analog (noun): is a situation on Earth that produces effects on the body similar to those experienced in space, both physical and mental/emotional. These studies help us prepare for long duration missions.
As an analog for future planetary science concepts and strategies, marine science also will be performed under the guidance of Florida International University’s marine science department.
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren will command the NEEMO 22 mission aboard the Aquarius laboratory, 62 feet below the ocean surface near Key Largo Florida. Lindgren was part of the space station Expeditions 44 and 45 in 2015, where he spent 141 days living and working in the extreme environment of space. He also conducted two spacewalks.
Fun Fact: These underwater explorers are referred to as “aquanauts”
Lindgren will be joined by ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Pedro Duque, Trevor Graff, a Jacobs Engineering employee working as a planetary scientist at our Johnson Space Center; and research scientists Dom D’Agostino from the University of South Florida and the Florida Institute of Human and Machine Cognition.
While living underwater for 10 days, the crew will:
- Test spaceflight countermeasure equipment
- Validate technology for precisely tracking equipment in a habitat
- Complete studies of body composition and sleep
- Assess hardware sponsored by ESA that will help crew members evacuate someone who has been injured on a lunar spacewalk
Why do we use Analog Missions?
Analog missions prepare us for near-future exploration to asteroids, Mars and the moon. Analogs play a significant role in problem solving for spaceflight research.
- Not all experiments can be done in space – there is not enough time, money, equipment and manpower
- Countermeasures can be tested in analogs before trying them in space. Those that do not work in analogs will not be flown in space
- Ground-based analog studies are completed more quickly and less expensively
For more information about the NEEMO mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/NEEMO/index.html
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com
The Cybermen on trampolines | requested by anon
without context, this seems like a bunch of cybermen having fun on trampoline, only to get blown up :v
THEY JUST WANTED TO ENJOY THE TRAMPOLINES
tag when you joined the internet and how accurate this is
- 2016: probably enjoys old memes unironically, no idea how anything works
- 2012-15: uses "XD" unironically, has a basic understanding of the internet
- 2010-11: is a fairly average person, advanced understanding of the internet, might be nostalgic
- 2006-09: wayyy too nostalgic, remembers the old days of youtube, wants things to be simpler, has a nostalgiagasm when remembering old internet, probably has old youtube amvs on their channel from when they were 12 or remembers watching youtube videos when they were 6, age varies from preteen to 20s
- 2000-05: remembers internet pre-facebook, pre-twitter and pre-youtube, youtube poop expert
- the 90s: demigod of the internet, possesses unknown knowledge, reblogs 90s internet posts
- the 80s: remembers when eternal september began, probably still uses usenet, possibly doesn't exist, possibly god
- 60s-70s: is literally actually god, is a human myth, rest is unknown