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Journal Published Flawed Stem Cell Papers Despite Serious Misgivings About Work

madboson Re:peer review is a low bar (35 comments)

Peer review filters out the stuff that is obvious crap, stuff that doesn't even fit the form of a proper scientific article. The purpose is not to say that articles are true, but rather to get rid of articles that are obviously wrong. If the scientists are lying about their data, it's hard for peer review to catch that. That's why reproducibility is important. If it's a result you care about, you can reproduce it.

However in this case, the reviewers at science did indeed complain about aspects of the paper that ended up being part of the faked results

For the Cell submission, there were concerns about methodology and the lack of supporting evidence for the extraordinary claims, says [stem cell scientist Hans] Schöler, who reviewed the paper and, as is standard practice at Cell, saw the comments of other reviewers for the journal. At Science, according to the 8 May RIKEN investigative committee’s report, one reviewer spotted the problem with lanes being improperly spliced into gel images. “This figure has been reconstructed,” the RIKEN report quotes from the feedback provided by a Science reviewer. The committee writes that the “lane 3” mentioned by the Science reviewer is probably the lane 3 shown in Figure 1i in the Nature article. The investigative committee report says [co-author Haruko] Obokata told the committee that she did not carefully consider the comments of the Science reviewer.

and even the nature reviewers complained

All three Nature reviewers concluded that the data presented in the submitted manuscripts were not enough to support such radical claims. “I would recommend the authors to be extremely cautious in their claims . The authors should look into the actual effect that the treatment elicits in the genome and they should assess genomic instability,” one writes. “There are several issues that I consider should be clarified beyond doubt because of the potential revolutionary nature of the observations,” writes another.

So in the end the editors seemed to just want the sensational paper published and let the community sort it out later. Retraction watch has a nice compilation about it all

about a month ago

Mathematicians Solve the Topological Mystery Behind the "Brazuca" Soccer Ball

madboson Re:Chemcially feasible? (144 comments)

The flat conformer is a simple transition state so I would imagine a catalysis kind of approach where you shift the energetics around as you stitch things would be one way. Then again I am not a bench chemist so there are probably many strategies for that which I know nothing about.

about 3 months ago

Mathematicians Solve the Topological Mystery Behind the "Brazuca" Soccer Ball

madboson Re:Chemcially feasible? (144 comments)

The rings themselves are perfectly reasonable (Cyclooctatetraene) non-aromatic hydrocarbons. Stitching together the mosaic the mathematicians propose is some serious work to be sure though.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Distros Have You Used, In What Order?

madboson Re:I left Linux for OS X... (867 comments)

Less morality and more ethics, and a pretty unimportant ethic in the grand scheme of things.

about 2 years ago

New Type of Chemical Bond Predicted To Exist In White Dwarfs

madboson Re:Some comments beyond the 10 teslas correction.. (97 comments)

Don't forget disperson dominated van der Waals bonding.
The application to quantum computing is probably there to attract attention from slashdotters.

more than 2 years ago

Does Grammar Matter Anymore?

madboson Re:It's like this. (878 comments)

So to you the perception of competency out weights actual ability? There are plenty of people who can dot every i and perform various feats of grammatical gymnastics but would be unable to perform any task requiring skill. While others who are skilled and able to perform might miss a few syntax errors.

more than 2 years ago

UK Universities Launch Cloud Supercomputer For Hire

madboson Similar work exists (25 comments)

This sounds just like the former teragrid and open science grid projects. Both of which saw reasonable useage from the scientific community. These things worked well for two reasons, one it is easy to get time on them for small research groups. Second, they allowed cluster owners to offer up idle cpu time to the project. A net win for every one.

more than 2 years ago

Boycott of Elsevier Exceeds 8000 Researchers

madboson Re:Open Access and Old Business Models (220 comments)

The problem here is not all research groups are equivalent. In theoretical physics, $1500 is allot of money, half a summer salary for a graduate student in fact in many places. It would bring the publication count down quickly if this was indeed the norm, and bring the length of articles up as people would shoe horn two or three letters into a full article. One could argue one way or another on this fact.

more than 2 years ago

How Common Is Scientific Misconduct?

madboson Re:Data retention policies (253 comments)

That law sounds like a real waist of government resources to me. Any reasonable scientist will keep records of his data and how he analyized the data for as long as possible anyway. The point of that being, if your asked for more information or wish to further that idea in later work, then you will need it available! Also I fail to see how (a law) keeping data forever helps in the prevention of dishonest science? You have a question of an author, you send an email asking it. The making public part would perhapse be helpful when the author in question is obstinant, but think about it. Having just the raw data is not going to be that helpful if your trying to see if someone fabricated the data to start with!

more than 5 years ago

BIND Still Susceptible To DNS Cache Poisoning

madboson Re:Oh no terminology (146 comments)

Actualy by /. language standards physicists are hackers. By the rest of the worlds standards, not really. Just read their code and its obvious :)

more than 6 years ago


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