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.
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 Space.com 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.
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.
Screen Rant: Star Wars is copying Star Trek now.
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.