Paper Analyzing Voyager’s “Threshold” Accepted By Science Journal + More Star Trek Great Links

Star Trek is helping science again. A biologist who was concerned about the practice of “predatory journals” willing to publish fake science submitted a test case to 10 open-access journals suspected of charging authors without going through the appropriate peer review and vetting they’ve paid for. The paper, titled “Rapid Genetic and Developmental Morphological Change Following Extreme Celerity” and written by “Lewis Zimmerman,” was actually based on the fictionalized effects of traveling at warp 10, as seen in the much-panned Star Trek: Voyager episode “Threshold.”

The effects of warp 10 travel on Captain Janeway and Tom Paris as seen in the episode were described in detail as an experiment.  Here is how the paper described how the de-evolved Paris and Janeway mated:

Because of the high mutation rate, we sought to examine if fertility was impaired. Two subjects were allowed to breed, and a litter of three viable, motile progeny were produced with no obvious external physical deformity relative to the parents.

Star Trek: Voyager’s “Threshold” was used to dupe suspect scientific journals

The paper is full of obvious clues to being both fictional and having its origins in Star Trek, even down to the acknowledgements:

We thank the UFP for financial support. The authors also thank B. Braga for helpful insights.

According to who talked to the biologist who wrote the paper, it went to 10 suspect journals with four accepting it and one (the American Research Journal of Biosciences) publishing it. It has since been removed from their site, but can still be seen using the magic of the Internet Wayback Machine.

Vulcans are getting new jackets

In local news, it was reported this week by the Vulcan Advocate that the Vulcan, Alberta city council members are getting new Star Trek-themed jackets. They approved over $4,000 in funds for a local resident to custom make new jackets as their old Trek jackets are getting too worn out. The price works out to about $620 per jacket, which was considered “on the high end,” but councilors were happy that the work was being done locally. The city council members wear their Star Trek jackets at various Trek-themed events, notably their annual “Spock Days” celebration.

Vulcan city councilors with their Trek jackets in 2010 when Leonard Nimoy visited

Video of the week: Kirk’s away mission where no man should go

A new mini cartoon from popular webcomic Cyanide & Happiness spoofed Star Trek and in particular the trope about Captain Kirk’s love life. In just a few days this cartoon has picked up almost 800k views. Warning, cartoon contains adult themes.

More great links: cataloging Trek’s AV losses, Star Wars copying and more DS9

Here are some more bits from across the internet that have caught our eye in the last week.

Signal Loss: Collected examples from each of the Star Trek series where audiovisual signal loss is conveyed.

Forbes: ‘Solo’ Trailer Sells ‘Star Wars Story’ Like ‘Star Trek’ Reboot.

Screen Rant: Star Wars is copying Star Trek now.

Nerdist: The 12 Most Essential Episodes of STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE .

Syfy: A binge-watching guide to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Jadzia Dax.

Syfy: Star Trek Apocrypha: Major canon facts that were silently ignored.

That’s it for this week’s update. Keep up with all the fun Star Trek from around the web with our Great Links category.

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That is some scary crap w/ the science journals!

Well, for anyone working in science it’s not really surprising. We get bombarded with emails from so-called scientific journals asking us to publish with them. Most reputable scientists will also use reputable journals to publish their findings. Sometimes, people may get tricked (there are just too many journals to keep track of, and some journals may look legitimate at first glance when they aren’t), or people may be desperate to get stuff published that wouldn’t stand a chance elsewhere.

Sounds like one heck of a rip-off scheme on scientists [even honest ones] who may not yet have a solid reputation among their peers and are desperate to be published to get more respect for their research.

Rip-off artists seem to exist everywhere! Dang.

There’s a saying in science: Publish or perish. Depending on the discipline your work in it is expected that you publish X amount of research articles per year. However, if your research gets rejected by the good journals or if you can’t afford to pay the author fees some people may be tempted to go with a less reputable publisher that promises easy acceptance and/or lower prices. Sometimes, they also promise to publish your stuff within a week whereas the regular process usually takes months (sometimes more than a year).
You probably won’t be able to build a career in science if you only publish in shady journals but because there are so many people trying to work in science and they all have to publish even shady publishers can make money.

An article on Aaron Harberts stated he had never gotten around to watching “1990s era” Star Trek. That Nerdist list of DS9 episodes could be a good starting place for him to catch up.

“It’s a faaake!”



Yeah, DS9 was the closest in flavor to DISCO, and, to me, probably the best Trek series, at least of the ’90s series … probably why I like DISCO, more human [and alien] frailties and a little less perfection.

Hope DISCO doesn’t go the perfect human route in Season 2, that, I think, would be a mistake.

Have the light episode here and there [I never tire of Harry Mudd vs. Captain Lorca, Lieutenants Stamets and Tyler and the ever-reliable Michael Burnham], and keep the flavor of frailty, foibles, and error that make for good drama.

That cartoon was stupid.

But funny

We have fully entered the age of visual, audio and print fakery. There is now an application that allows people to photoshop for video [as covered in the TM article featuring Nic Cage], there is audio sampling that can be applied to video, audio sampling so sophisticated that you can make Donald Trump sound smart, speak Mandarin, and so on.

Have a listen:

I got the shivers, thinking about all those talented Russian and North Korean hackers and the 2018 election, let me tell ya. Because there are people out there who don’t question what they see and hear. We humans rely on these things, and must teach ourselves to question them more closely. There are some who’ll be able to do that, and some who’ll be fooled and go with it, to wit, 2016 and the Russians.