Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011's Top Science Scandals

The Scientist Magazine via Boing Boing has compiled a list of some of 2011's most deliberate fumbles in the realm of science.

How about the "link" between a mouse leukemia virus and chronic fatigue syndrome. This paper was cited in over 200 other scientific papers that was before other labs failed to recreate the findings. The paper was retracted but  when they were demanded, the author refused to hand over key lab notebooks. An assistant allegedly was ordered to take the notebooks. The author then relocated to California, only to be arrested on counts of felony theft,  jailed overnight, and is now awaiting trial.

or how about this.... A Boston University scientist's  paper identifying 19 genes associated  longevity.  Soon after publication, however critics discover that the correlation was due to an error in the sequencing chip the team used. After accounting for the error, the researchers found  that the results were ummm less impressive, and Science ultimately retracted the paper, which was cited 25 times in just a year.

Or the well cited paper on changes in the climate that was retracted when it was discovered that many passages were lifted from other sources, including Wikipedia.

And the horrific breast cancer study that was administered by Duke University that is now being sued by families of breast cancer patients who died during the study - saying that Duke fraudulently and negligently allowed a flawed cancer trial to continue. The patients were enrolled in a trial led by oncologist Anil Potti, who in 2010 admitted to pretending to be a Rhodes Scholar and to fabricating a statistical analysis of chemotherapy response in breast cancer.   

There are others equally disturbing at The Scientist web article here

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