Thursday, December 25, 2014

Ebola, STAP, and disgraceful others

Science, a world famous academic journal published an article introduced some topics which were disgracing in the scientific industry.

Science counted Ebola outbreak as the top of the news. Ebola have flared every few years so far, but in this year the immature public health and uncoordinated international response allowed the virus to spread across borders, led to kill approximately 7,000 people. This outbreak was hardly predicted. The worst thing is that this incident has not been terminated yet.

Science: Breakdown + Breakdown runners-up Breakdown of the year: Ebola

Subsequently, a few issues were mentioned. STAP cells fabricating case is also dishonorable. Haruko Obokata, the team leader was found to have misconducted the research. In the maelstrom of the blaming to the researchers, Yoshiki Sasai, belonging to Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, or Riken, killed himself.

My past entry: Cheating case in science (1)

My past entry: Suicide in Japan, is it a culture?

Recently, a series of experiments attempting to replicate the result of the paper written by Obokata was conducted in Riken. The result was negative as expected. Obokata failed to create STAP cells, to retire from Riken.

The other two topics mentioned, I am not familiar with. There is an argument around an astronomical discovery. A telescope at the South Pole focused a signal, suggesting the newborn universe. However, following observers denied the finding. The last topic is concerned to the battle between US House of Representatives and National Science Foundation.

In Japan, scandal regarding Valsartan is still fresh. This anti-hypertension drug was strongly admired for the effect to reduce cardiac incidents in the research by several universities. Being revealed of many misidentified data and concerning of employees of Novartis, a drug provider of Valsartan, the reliability of the result was lost.

My past entry: Issue about fabrication of research

Human make errors. Each case has many point of view to be discussed. It is important for us what to learn from these failures.

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