By Professor Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D. / 2 Comments / February 28, 2019 February 1, 2021 / Chiffon margarine, do not mess via mom nature, it"s not nice to fool mommy nature, Musage cells, Nature, nature magazine, Nature sponsored content, scientific research blogging, STAP cells, very tiny embryonic stem cell-like cells, VSEL, VSELs / Blog, Nature

When I was a son tright here was this commercial on TV for Chiffon margarine (fake butter) with the slogan, “It’s not nice to fool mother nature!”

As a son I assumed it was dumb but type of funny.

You watching: Dont mess with mother nature

A modified version of that mother nature proclaiming slogan has end up being a social tagline. Don’t mess via mommy nature!  Who knows, probably “don’t mess with mommy nature” predated Chiffon margarine.

Some scientists can have their own variation of such a slogan “Don’t mess through (mother) Nature, the journal!” After all, Nature is a powerhouse and carry out you really desire to piss off effective people there? It’s a historic scientific research institution of a kind.

Its first issue (you have the right to check out the table of contents here) was publimelted 150 years earlier. Several of the many essential clinical advancements during that century and also a fifty percent have actually come out in Nature. It is not just a journal but also a whole publishing team and also currently the huge agency Nature Springer.

Still, even Nature screws up occasionally. All journals do at times, but once Nature screws up, often times the stakes are means greater. Remember STAP cells? I bet Nature wishes you didn’t. At some point the two Nature STAP documents were retracted after the clinical area raised comes to. That was one more time I spoke up about a difficulty at the journal.

Getting ago to proclaiming, yet for science not margarine, a few days ago I publimelted a piece on what I saw as a major, stem cell-connected screwup at Nature. They publimelted what seemed to be a study post, yet what was actually an advertisement. This ad had actually a title, authors, different sections, numbers, references…all the usual “paper” stuff. It also looked just like a paper, but it wasn’t peer or editorially reregarded. It also appeared to contain already published data and the authors probably had to pay substantial bucks to gain it right into “Nature.” I referred to as it an “ad-article.”

This ad-short article was fostering a controversial type of stem cell dubbed Musage cells. To me it felt like an ad for the questionable principle of Muse cells. Who advertises a type of cell?

I deserve to only imagine that the Nature decision equipments that chose to publish this ad-article were not researchers. At least I hope they weren’t. Perhaps they assumed the $20,000 (or $50,000 or whatever the price…possibly it is much reduced than I imagine?) was a great revenue source for Nature the company.

I’m betting tbelow are scientists at the journal who think this ad-post was a damaging concept. The Nature brand also is worth too much to jeopardize it by running ad-short articles.

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More extensively, paid, unreperceived research content seems favor a potential babsence hole for otherwise rigorous scientific research journals. For these reasons, I felt it was worth the hazard myself to publicly raise involves around this thing in Nature that seemed problematic to me.

Was it wise of me to speak up?

I don’t know.

I hope it’ll make a positive distinction. Nature did reasonably conveniently pull the ad-short article off its webwebsite so that’s something.

I tried to make my original blog article right here on The Niche about this difficulty exceptionally balanced and responsible in tone. The goal was not to strike the journal, but rather speak to attention to what I experienced as a significant concern.

I didn’t recognize just how other scientists would react, however the solid consensus from colleagues roughly the human being has actually been that this ad-article was not a good move for scientific research or Nature itself. Also, world valued the effort to raise awareness around it in a constructive manner.

Maybe this discussion will discourage journals in general from wading right into the paid research content human being too.

Getting earlier to that Chiffon margarine ad, tright here is some sad irony that margarine or basically “fake butter” has came to be proven to be far more unhealthy and balanced than real butter, which in moderation is most likely not a major wellness concern. I wonder if Musage cells (and the associated VSELs) will one day be prrange to be “fake” adult pluripotent stem cells and “unhealthy” for the stem cell field?

More extensively, I really hope we don’t watch even more sponsored content in journals.