40% of Scientists Admit Fraud “Always or Often” Contributes to Irreproducible Research

TruthFact
Source: Nature.com
Monya Baker
May 25, 2016

More than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments. Those are some of the telling figures that emerged from Nature‘s survey of 1,576 researchers who took a brief online questionnaire on reproducibility in research.

The data reveal sometimes-contradictory attitudes towards reproducibility. Although 52% of those surveyed agree that there is a significant ‘crisis’ of reproducibility, less than 31% think that failure to reproduce published results means that the result is probably wrong, and most say that they still trust the published literature.

Data on how much of the scientific literature is reproducible are rare and generally bleak. The best-known analyses, from psychology1 and cancer biology2, found rates of around 40% and 10%, respectively. Our survey respondents were more optimistic: 73% said that they think that at least half of the papers in their field can be trusted, with physicists and chemists generally showing the most confidence.

The results capture a confusing snapshot of attitudes around these issues, says Arturo Casadevall, a microbiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. “At the current time there is no consensus on what reproducibility is or should be.” But just recognizing that is a step forward, he says. “The next step may be identifying what is the problem and to get a consensus.”

Failing to reproduce results is a rite of passage, says Marcus Munafo, a biological psychologist at the University of Bristol, UK, who has a long-standing interest in scientific reproducibility. When he was a student, he says, “I tried to replicate what looked simple from the literature, and wasn’t able to. Then I had a crisis of confidence, and then I learned that my experience wasn’t uncommon.”

The challenge is not to eliminate problems with reproducibility in published work. Being at the cutting edge of science means that sometimes results will not be robust, says Munafo. “We want to be discovering new things but not generating too many false leads.”

The scale of reproducibility

But sorting discoveries from false leads can be discomfiting. Although the vast majority of researchers in our survey had failed to reproduce an experiment, less than 20% of respondents said that they had ever been contacted by another researcher unable to reproduce their work. Our results are strikingly similar to another online survey of nearly 900 members of the American Society for Cell Biology (see go.nature.com/kbzs2b). That may be because such conversations are difficult. If experimenters reach out to the original researchers for help, they risk appearing incompetent or accusatory, or revealing too much about their own projects.

A minority of respondents reported ever having tried to publish a replication study. When work does not reproduce, researchers often assume there is a perfectly valid (and probably boring) reason. What’s more, incentives to publish positive replications are low and journals can be reluctant to publish negative findings. In fact, several respondents who had published a failed replication said that editors and reviewers demanded that they play down comparisons with the original study.

Nevertheless, 24% said that they had been able to publish a successful replication and 13% had published a failed replication. Acceptance was more common than persistent rejection: only 12% reported being unable to publish successful attempts to reproduce others’ work; 10% reported being unable to publish unsuccessful attempts.

Survey respondent Abraham Al-Ahmad at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo expected a “cold and dry rejection” when he submitted a manuscript explaining why a stem-cell technique had stopped working in his hands. He was pleasantly surprised when the paper was accepted3. The reason, he thinks, is because it offered a workaround for the problem.

Others place the ability to publish replication attempts down to a combination of luck, persistence and editors’ inclinations. Survey respondent Michael Adams, a drug-development consultant, says that work showing severe flaws in an animal model of diabetes has been rejected six times, in part because it does not reveal a new drug target. By contrast, he says, work refuting the efficacy of a compound to treat Chagas disease was quickly accepted4.

The corrective measures

One-third of respondents said that their labs had taken concrete steps to improve reproducibility within the past five years. Rates ranged from a high of 41% in medicine to a low of 24% in physics and engineering. Free-text responses suggested that redoing the work or asking someone else within a lab to repeat the work is the most common practice. Also common are efforts to beef up the documentation and standardization of experimental methods.

Any of these can be a major undertaking. A biochemistry graduate student in the United Kingdom, who asked not to be named, says that efforts to reproduce work for her lab’s projects doubles the time and materials used — in addition to the time taken to troubleshoot when some things invariably don’t work. Although replication does boost confidence in results, she says, the costs mean that she performs checks only for innovative projects or unexpected results.

Consolidating methods is a project unto itself, says Laura Shankman, a postdoc studying smooth muscle cells at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. After several postdocs and graduate students left her lab within a short time, remaining members had trouble getting consistent results in their experiments. The lab decided to take some time off from new questions to repeat published work, and this revealed that lab protocols had gradually diverged. She thinks that the lab saved money overall by getting synchronized instead of troubleshooting failed experiments piecemeal, but that it was a long-term investment.

Irakli Loladze, a mathematical biologist at Bryan College of Health Sciences in Lincoln, Nebraska, estimates that efforts to ensure reproducibility can increase the time spent on a project by 30%, even for his theoretical work. He checks that all steps from raw data to the final figure can be retraced. But those tasks quickly become just part of the job. “Reproducibility is like brushing your teeth,” he says. “It is good for you, but it takes time and effort. Once you learn it, it becomes a habit.”

One of the best-publicized approaches to boosting reproducibility is pre-registration, where scientists submit hypotheses and plans for data analysis to a third party before performing experiments, to prevent cherry-picking statistically significant results later. Fewer than a dozen people mentioned this strategy. One who did was Hanne Watkins, a graduate student studying moral decision-making at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Going back to her original questions after collecting data, she says, kept her from going down a rabbit hole. And the process, although time consuming, was no more arduous than getting ethical approval or formatting survey questions. “If it’s built in right from the start,” she says, “it’s just part of the routine of doing a study.”

The cause

The survey asked scientists what led to problems in reproducibility. More than 60% of respondents said that each of two factors — pressure to publish and selective reporting — always or often contributed. More than half pointed to insufficient replication in the lab, poor oversight or low statistical power. A smaller proportion pointed to obstacles such as variability in reagents or the use of specialized techniques that are difficult to repeat.

But all these factors are exacerbated by common forces, says Judith Kimble, a developmental biologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison: competition for grants and positions, and a growing burden of bureaucracy that takes away from time spent doing and designing research. “Everyone is stretched thinner these days,” she says. And the cost extends beyond any particular research project. If graduate students train in labs where senior members have little time for their juniors, they may go on to establish their own labs without having a model of how training and mentoring should work. “They will go off and make it worse,” Kimble says.

What can be done?

Respondents were asked to rate 11 different approaches to improving reproducibility in science, and all got ringing endorsements. Nearly 90% — more than 1,000 people — ticked “More robust experimental design” “better statistics” and “better mentorship”. Those ranked higher than the option of providing incentives (such as funding or credit towards tenure) for reproducibility-enhancing practices. But even the lowest-ranked item — journal checklists — won a whopping 69% endorsement.

The survey — which was e-mailed to Nature readers and advertised on affiliated websites and social-media outlets as being ‘about reproducibility’ — probably selected for respondents who are more receptive to and aware of concerns about reproducibility. Nevertheless, the results suggest that journals, funders and research institutions that advance policies to address the issue would probably find cooperation, says John Ioannidis, who studies scientific robustness at Stanford University in California. “People would probably welcome such initiatives.” About 80% of respondents thought that funders and publishers should do more to improve reproducibility.

“It’s healthy that people are aware of the issues and open to a range of straightforward ways to improve them,” says Munafo. And given that these ideas are being widely discussed, even in mainstream media, tackling the initiative now may be crucial. “If we don’t act on this, then the moment will pass, and people will get tired of being told that they need to do something.”

Read More At: Nature.com

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That Metallic Hydrogen Has Disappeared: Catastrophic Failure Of…

cosmic war
Source: GizaDeathStar.com
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.
March 8, 2017

A few days ago I blogged about an important story involving the creation of the metallic form of hydrogen by scientists at Harvard for the first time in human history. It is, as the following article shared by Ms. C. states, a goal that scientists have been pursuing for over 80 years. But now, as the following article also states, the sample – just a few microns in size, has now disappeared. But what caught my eye was the manner of its disappearance, which as you might imagine, has fueled today’s high orbital speculation:

Scientific breakthrough lost? Unique metallic hydrogen sample disappears

Here’s the exact description of the catastrophic failure that led to the depressurization of the “diamond vice” that created the pressures to produce the metallic form of hydrogen:

However, Science Alert reports that the sample has disappeared, much to the dismay of experts. The sample was stored at temperatures around -316 degrees Fahrenheit, the report said, noting that the metallic hydrogen was kept at high pressure between two diamonds in a vice-like device.

Isaac Silvera, Harvard’s Thomas D. Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences, who led the research, told Fox News that scientists were preparing to transport the sample to Argonne National Laboratory to determine its structure by X-ray analysis. “Before transporting we decided to use our apparatus and remeasure the pressure to see if it had changed,” he explained, via email, adding that a very low power laser beam was shone onto the sample through the diamonds. “We heard a noise and the diamonds had catastrophically failed.”

When the scientists opened the diamond anvil cell they discovered that one diamond was badly cracked and the other was pulverized into a fine powder. “The gasket confining the sample of metallic hydrogen was damaged and we could not find any residual of the sample (which was very small, about 10 microns in diameter),” explained Silvera. “We did not determine if it is metastable; it might have survived the shock or it might have transformed to molecular hydrogen.”  (Emphasis added)

So we have:

1) Very cold temperatures (necessary, one can imagine, to maintain the conditions to create and sustain the metallic form of hydrogen);

2) the sample was stored between two diamonds which were in “a vice-like device”, i.e., under extreme pressure, and therefore, under extreme stress;

3) the diamonds were then further stressed by a low-power laser beam, resulting in

4) one diamond being cracked and

5) the other being reduced to a fine powder.

And, with the failure of the high-pressure “vice grip” on the hydrogen, it disappeared, and we may assume, as the article indicates, it may have transformed or resumed its molecular gaseous form (which in my view is likely, though it is just remotely conceivable that under these conditions it might have fused, in which case there would be minor trace elements from that reaction that could have been detected. Why? Because the hydrogen is already under high pressure stress in order to create its metallic form, which, under the further stress of the laser, might have initiated that reaction, releasing enormous amounts of energy from its tiny micron-sized sample, enough, in fact, to crack one, and pulverize another, diamond. In short, we could be looking at one of three possible things: (1) a reaction coming from the diamonds themselves under immense pressure stress and electromagnetic pulsing from the laser (perhaps thus a resonance effect), or (2) a possible fusion reaction from the metallic hydrogen itself under the laser pulse, or (3) some combination of both.

Of course, all of this is high octane speculation based on what information the article gives. But if any one of these three things is even remotely suspected, I suspect that scientists will be giving close – and highly classified – attention, and not simply for the importance of creating metallic hydrogen, but rather, because of this propitious accident (if accident it really was).

Why?

Recall that the former Naval Observatory Astronomer and Astrophysicist Dr. Tom van Flandern revived the 19th century theory that the asteroid belt was an exploded planet. In his book, which I reviewed in my book The Cosmic War, he proposed a number of methods that could account for the spontaneous explosion of a planet. One of them was a “containment mechanism” at the core of the planet that contained anti-matter. But now, shift the focus a bit and imagine enough metallic hydrogen contained under the immense pressures in the core of a planet, which, incidentally, is the same process scientists believe transforms ordinary carbon into diamonds. All one would have to do to explode the planet would, perhaps, be a sudden “catastrophic failure” of the containment mechanism. Simply stress the core containment mechanism to the point it cannot damp the stress, it fails, and… well… ka-boom.

It would be akin to pricking the surface of a balloon filled with air to maximum extent with a needle.

See you on the flip side…

Read More At: GizaDeathStar.com
________________________________________________

About Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

Academic Research May Not Be Accurate 85 Percent of the Time

academicresearch
Source: TheDailyBell.com
February 27, 2017

Universities in America have typically been dominated by a liberal
bias. … The mindset of employees at such institutions is quite different than one might think. We’re not going to name any names in this essay; this isn’t about a person or individual University. It’s about the intellectual class, really the only public intellectual class in America with any respect; the Ivory Tower. If you haven’t heard this expression before, it refers to the high brow raised lip attitude class of University Professors and their associates. They have influence on every aspect of society. -ZeroHedge

This article states that academia is changing for the better after so many years of getting worse. It also makes the point that academia doesn’t really have any power, certainly not the way business does.

The intellectual class, the article says, is like Adam Smith’s hidden hand. They are subtle advisers who don’t control things “like the Illuminati does.”

They have influence rather than out-right power but they know how to wield that influence. They’ve influenced “literally every aspect of human life in America.”

More:

…  Have you been hearing recently “Studies show that … Obamacare is more popular after the election” or some such nonsense. Who are they polling? They claim their polls aren’t biased, they are scientific. But these are the polls and methods that had Trump losing by a landslide!

What does this mean? The article states we’re experiencing a major paradigm shift in which the influence exercised by academia is gradually waning.

“Many published research findings are false or exaggerated, and an estimated 85 percent of research resources are wasted.” It’s likely that some researchers are consciously cherry-picking data to get their work published … The problems of false findings often begin with researchers unwittingly fooling themselves: they fall prey to cognitive biases, common modes of thinking that lure us toward wrong but convenient or attractive conclusions.

This is a good deal of falsity, a massive amount actually, enough to render the entire academic infrastructure unworkable. But it feels right to us. We’ve wondered ourselves about the polls that show such a visceral and deep dislike for Donald Trump.

The article states that “We interpret observations to fit a particular idea. Psychologists have shown that “most of our reasoning is in fact rationalization.” Within this context academic “studies” can certainly have a large amount of rationalization. Scientists may ask “How am I right?” instead of asking, “How am I wrong,” which is what should be asked.

Partially as a result of the Trump election, the Ivory Tower Psychosis is happening in an obvious way now, at a class level, as a group.  Reality is crashing down, as it doesn’t fit with a given “reality.”

Their “Reality Based Community” is coming apart. The reality generated by empire is not working properly at a time when the current administration is anti-empire in many ways.

This is a very important point, though we would tend to think that the crashing of this reality is ultimately related to the Illuminati itself. We don’t think any of these realities are entirely de-linked.

In fact to take it a step further, we’ve often observed that, at this point in time, a chief goal is to spread chaos. There’s no reason why at the very top, chaos is being disseminated in academia as well as elsewhere.

Conclusion: In that case, the current chaos will probably grow a good deal worse along with many other kinds of disruption. The ultimate goal is to take down existing society and academia is part of that larger structure. It will therefore be part of the larger chaos and the disruption will continue.

Read More At: TheDailyBell.com

Pharma Companies Spend 19x more on Marketing than Research, and Returns are Dropping

Drug prices are going up while R&D spending is going down

money-pills-pharma-spend-735-295
Source: NaturalSociety.com
Christina Sarich
December 21, 2016

The pharmaceutical industry swears the high cost of drugs is due to research and development costs, conveniently omitting the actual amount of money spent on the marketing of these drugs, which is exorbitantly more. A recent Deloitte report suggests that pharmaceutical companies are taking a hit because investments made in R&D on new drugs simply are not paying off anymore. [1]

image-pharma-money-marketing

As we previously reported, pharmaceutical companies spend more money on marketing drugs than research and development. Johnson & Johnson for example recently spent $17.5 billion on marketing and only $8.2 billion on research and development. Similarly Pfizer spent $11.4 billion on marketing and only $6.6 billion on research and development. [2]

Deloitte’s research into a total of 12 pharmaceutical companies’ R&D expenditures for the previous year is telling, even though the comparatively small amount of money spent on R&D isn’t paying off for Big Pharma like it used to.

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, more than $27 billion was spent on marketing to physicians by the pharmaceutical industry in the year 2012. You can do a search to find out if your doctor has been taking money from Big Pharma.

Read: Composing Only 5% of the World Population, Americans Take 50% of All Pharmaceutical Drugs

As reported by BusinessInsider:

“In 2010 Deloitte began following the top 12 pharmaceutical companies by R&D (or research and development) spending recorded the previous year. This 12-company cohort has since launched 186 products with estimated total revenue of $1.258 trillion, and it has collectively advanced 306 drug candidates with total forecast lifetime revenue of $1.414 trillion into late-stage development.” [1]

Though these figures are eye-popping, returns on R&D are a tiny 4.2% compared to the baseline of 10.1% observed in more recent years.

Returns have also been lower every year with the exception of 2014. There could be multiple factors causing the drop in returns, but sales forecasts have fallen by 50% to $416 million per year while development costs per drug have increased by 33%.

According to a report in BMJ, prescription drug companies aren’t putting a lot of resources toward new, groundbreaking medications, because it simply isn’t paying off. As outlined by the study authors, it seems that it is more profitable for the company to create variations of products that are already on the market.

“[P]harmaceutical research and development turns out mostly minor variations on existing drugs,” the authors write. “Sales from these drugs generate steady profits throughout the ups and downs of blockbusters coming off patents.”

The authors say that for every $1 pharmaceutical companies spend on “basic research,” $19 goes toward marketing and promotion.

What’s more, drug makers are also facing more stringent reviews of their drugs once they go to market. For example, GlaxoSmithKline was recently hit with analysis from the U.S. budget watchdog, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, which found Glaxo’s new severe asthma therapy Nucala is overpriced by 63% or more.

The loss of billions in R&D returns in a trillion dollar industry is likely also the reason many companies promote off-label drug use and push clinical trials through the FDA using what is likely their own biased research.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Source:

[1] Business Insider

[2] The Huffington Post


Common Sense Health: Do This And Start Living Healthier Lives

Source: iHealthTube.com
August 23, 2016

What can you start doing right now to help yourself and your family get healthier? Dr. Edward Group discusses some things that you can do right now that can make a big difference. He also discusses the shift in healthcare and how you can help make a difference there as well. Do this and start living healthier lives.

7 Actions Individuals Can Take To Navigate Through The Media Minefield

QuestionEverything2

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
Edward Bernays, Propaganda

“Much of what is reported as ‘news’ is little more than the uncritical transmission of official opinions to an unsuspecting public,” wrote Parenti.  Fox news commentator Brit Hume stated, “What [the mass media] pass off as objectivity, is just a mindless kind of neutrality.” 
– Jim Marrs, Rise Of The Fourth Reich – The Secret Societies That Threaten To Take Over America

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
July 16, 2016

As of late, have had quite a few friends and acquaintances online and in person ask me how is it possible to figure out what information passes muster in our information overload reality of ours.  This got me thinking about the simple things that experience has taught me over time

Below follow some of the tenets that have helped me greatly for nigh a decade in being able to discern more and more what’s what within media.

#1: Don’t believe anything anyone says, including me.

Just because the media states something, doesn’t make it true.  As the Walter Lippman once said, “News and the truth are not the same thing…”.

If we take a cautious approach, we make sure we are not being mislead into opinions being passed off as facts, or a belief-system [i.e. the current race war propaganda nigh everywhere] at the outset that might work against us.  If in the end, the information is still true, nothing is lost.  But when news ‘happens’ to be incomplete, or if its disinformation, misinformation, or downright deception, we as individuals stand to pay a heavy price by believing news without verifying what’s being said.  Be wary.

#2: Remain open-minded, but skeptical, about everything.

Open-mindedness seems to be quite rare these days.  True open mindedness is open to all, and keen discernment will help to gravitate to what’s sensible.  But we need to remain skeptical as well, because there’s many agendas in play with certain information, and many motives behind the scenes.  These can help drive information in numerous directions, which is why it’s hard to ascertain the truth at times these days.

#3: Vet the information with relentless research.

As individuals, it is imperative that we proceed in our search for facts with a devoted approach that’s as flexible as it is trenchant.  Asking shrewd questions is practically mandatory to get to the bottom of things, or at least to follow certain leads.

What are the sources/references of the article, researcher, and people quoted there in?  Is the information presented ironclad?  Has any information been presented by others that repudiates that very information?  Have any of the data points been eviscerated?  Is there a conflict of interest [especially monetarily] involved?  Etc etc.

Only by plotting a course will we get to where we wish to get, which is the truth.  Incisive questions facilitate this task.

#4: Always remain flexible to the information presented.

For instance, when information about the Zika virus came out, at first there were several people within my life that were really concerned.  At the outset, they showed great fear at such possibilities.

However, it was suggested for them to keep an open mind and not be fearful, because it could be that the information was not being presented in a complete manner.

Soon thereafter, it was not only found out that Zika was nothing new since it had been around for decades with no issues whatsoever, but that the issues that stemmed from the Zika allegedly causing microcephaly was hogwash.

Jon Rappoport of NoMoreFakeNews.com & JonRappoport.wordpress.com covers this is at length:

The Zika-microcephaly connection is scientific nonsense. Let me run it down for you.

My analysis is beyond, “But Expert A says…” I am not dealing in appeals to authority, but instead the standards of evidence anyone can see if he opens his eyes.

First of all, the latest figures out of Brazil, the so-called epicenter of the microcephaly tragedy, reveal the following: 854 confirmed cases of microcephaly; and of those, 97 cases show the presence of the Zika virus.

Inference? Zika is not the cause of microcephaly. If it were, researchers would be able to detect it in all, or the overwhelming percentage of, microcephaly cases.“[1][Emphasis Added]

There article provides many important data points to ponder regarding this abstruse subject.

The whole point is, when initially examining an issue, don’t get married to an opinion/statement,  regardless who it’s done by.   Many times evidence surfaces that blows holes in the official story large enough to ferry the titanic through.

#5: Analyze how the information is presented.

Is the information infused with fear, or is it self-empowering? 

Within a lot of the media, be it mainstream or alternative, there is an noticeable undercurrent of fear taking place.  This causes individuals to not only live very limiting lives believing that the end is nigh [in some cases, literally] but also leaves individuals feeling powerless.  That’s unacceptable.

Information can be presented in a manner that is concerning, but still self empowering.  Be mindful of this.

#6: Always ask yourself who benefits from this.

Those who may benefit from certain events might be organizations or they might be specific people [i.e. George Soros].  However, always keep in mind almost always there are large factors at play that couple to institutions, organizations, or secretive groups who benefit from certain events taking place, or certain news being disseminated.

By following that rabbit hole, it will be easier to ascertain what kind of agendas these individuals might have given the discipline involved, the institutions involved, and any other poignant data that would be useful.

#7: Always remain calm.

No matter the issue at hand, a state of total awareness is vastly more beneficial than a state of panic.

When people panic, mistakes are made – big ones.  Mistakes can have great cost.  Don’t set yourself up for failure.

We are all different individuals, so what helps one person might not help another.  For me though, what’s helped me the most to remain calm is meditating, yoga, reading, working out, and mindful breathing.  These five tools help zap nigh all the stress out of my life.

One of my friends loves swimming, a lot.  This helps her stay centered.  Other friends gravitate towards writing and whatnot. Do whatever helps you best.  Either way, be proactive about remaining calm and collected.

To finalize, the basic seven tenets above will help guide individuals towards an incisive discernment in various types of information provided.

As long as we remain self aware and cognizant, we will be able to see clearly when an attempt is made to manipulate information.  Once an individual has practiced this enough, it becomes an automatic tool in one’s repertoire to that nets great results.

Ample benefits await.  All an individual has to do is be inquisitive and discerning.

Your ability to see through the veil of lies if you so choose is boundless  Don’t ever let anybody else tell you otherwise.

__________________________________________________________________
Source & Reference:

[1] Jon Rappoport, NoMoreFakeNews.com, Zika: Message To Purveyors Of Medical Fraud