What’s wrong with this experiment?

Teddy bears with three legs.  Mock scientific poster.

[ Note: the image is copyright http://jerryabuan.zenfolio.com/.  I’m grateful for it.]

Actually, it looks pretty good: it proves its point fairly clearly.   Ordinarily, I’d say that there ought to be a bigger control group, but I think it’s reasonable to believe that the domestic teddy bear reproduces reliably under laboratory conditions.   So having one control bear is a bit weak, but probably OK, especially given the magnitude of the effects we see when Pure Evil is introduced.

  • There’s plenty of room for a brief mention of some of the other literature on Pure Evil.
  • The data at 1000ppm should be supported by some evidence other than a note.    Perhaps a photo of the cage bars after the teddy bear chewed through them?
  • There is nothing presented to make the reader believe that the purple stuff in the 700 ppm offspring is from a different species.   Quite possibly, it is merely mutated teddy bear tissue.
  • There should be notes that the experiment and the treatment of the experimental subjects was approved by an ethics committee.
  • Normally, one would expect to see an acknowledgement for the source of the experimental funding.
  • If the two postdocs who were killed in the experiment contributed to the research, then they should be co-authors.   Of course, if they had just been standing there, authorship would not be appropriate (and I’m not sure whether an acknowledgement would be in good taste or not…).
  • It would have been good to have taken tissue samples of the 1000 ppm parent after it was euthanized.  Possibly some light could have been thrown on the biochemical mechanisms of ocular luminescence.   But, perhaps that’s the subject of a separate paper.
  • It would be good to have a laboratory analysis of the Pure Evil.    What if it weren’t pure?   After all, materials recovered from exploded toasters are often contaminated with bread crumbs, melted plastic, or plaster dust.