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How Reliable Is Published Biomedical Research?

By October 31, 2012

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Lately, there have been several high profile cases of scientific fraud.  Japanese stem cell researcher Hisashi Moriguchi lying about treating six heart patients at Harvard Medical School using stem cells is just one recent example. Given the number of life science laboratories, these extreme cases of outright fraud are few and far between. However, are they symptomatic of a bigger problem?

Recent feedback from researchers at pharmaceutical companies Bayer and Amgen show that the majority of published findings are not reproducible. While this certainly doesn't mean they are falsified, it does suggest a real problem with the credibility of the science. Add to this the finding that most retractions are not due to inadvertent errors, and, well, it's natural to wonder if you can trust anything you read.

I just posted an article exploring this issue of irreproducible results in more detail. See Has Biomedical Research Become Less Reliable? Irreproducibility and Misconduct in Life Science Research


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