A focus on implications over findings in a ScienceDaily article on a recent major stem cell discovery
This article focuses on a new approach has allowed scientists to produce stem cells from early pig embryos. These stem cells have great implications in treating human disease, especially due to anatomic and genetic similarities between pigs and humans. Expanded Potential Stem Cell (EPSC) technology indicated a way to derive stem cells from porcine preimplantation embryos. The article claims these porcine EPSCs are the first well-characterized pig cell line worldwide and is based off of a Nature Cell Biology research article.
The ScienceDaily article seems to be in line with the Nature article, though biased as they only chose to interview authors of the paper for opinions. The article does not focus so much on the results of the research paper, but more so on the implications of the research results. As well, while there is good use of information added to provide context for the research results, none of the definitions given on stem cells and such are cited.
The news article does not delve into specifics on the findings from the research article but seems accurate in the conclusion of the paper when discussing its implications, especially with the inclusion of quotes from head researchers and primary authors of the paper. No extreme language is used, but there is bias in favour of the research article since there is no outside perspective included in the news article. That said, this could be justified under the consideration that this news article is simply aiming to present an interesting, new research finding in lay language, rather than trying to prove a point with the research.
While the research article is linked, it is not presented within the article, but rather in a citations section that you must scroll to find. As well, the research article is not openly accessible, which creates a barrier to the ordinary person who may want to learn more about the research or even compare the original research to the claims made in the news article. The author of the news article is not mentioned, which is also a downside. On a positive note, the presentation of the news article is clean with very little advertisements or sponsored content.
This ScienceDaily news article highlights an innovative approach that allows researchers to derive expanded potential stem cells (EPSCs) from human and pig embryonic cells. This is the “first time scientists have been able to derive stem cells from early pig embryos”, which the article morphs into a well-written narrative. The author also includes the history of EPSC research and anecdotes of scientists from institutions involved in the study.
Structurally, the article does not contain bias, false claims, or emotional language. While the narrative surely draws readers in, the article is inaccessible. ScienceDaily does not properly indicate the author of the story, nor do they provide contact information. Only the main article is properly cited, quotes and other studies are not linked or given a proper citation in the reference section. This may be due to the format of ScienceDaily.
In the referenced Nature Cell Biology paper, Gao and colleagues describe their novel method in deriving porcine EPSCs. Since being published four months ago, the paper has been accessed 6273 times, with an altmetric score ranking the paper in the 97th percentile of ~250000 tracked articles published around the same time (retrieved from nature.com), suggesting that this is an important discovery in the world of cell biology. Beyond this, the journal is quite reputable, thus we can trust that the paper is heavily reviewed, and the research is sound. Overall, the news article adequately represents the research and receives a perfect score out of five.
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