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(US) FDA revokes emergency use ruling for hydroxychloroquine, the drug touted by Trump as a Covid-19 therapy – STAT (Lev Facher | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 17, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Monday said it had withdrawn an emergency approval for use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment.

The latest development in the hydroxychloroquine saga.  We have included links to seven related items.

Almost since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Trump and other world leaders have touted hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment based on scattered anecdotes, not reliable scientific studies. But the FDA said Monday that the drug, along with chloroquine, is “unlikely to be effective in treating Covid-19,” and highlighted “serious side effects.”

The FDA’s withdrawal of the emergency use order, which Politico first reported, appears to formally close the door on U.S. officials’ willingness to use the drug to prevent or treat Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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The Lancet has made one of the biggest retractions in modern history. How could this happen? – The Guardian (James Heathers | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 8, 2020

The now retracted paper halted hydroxychloroquine trials. Studies like this determine how people live or die tomorrow

The Lancet is one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world. Recently, they published an article on Covid patients receiving hydroxychloroquine with a dire conclusion: the drug increases heartbeat irregularities and decreases hospital survival rates. This result was treated as authoritative, and major drug trials were immediately halted – because why treat anyone with an unsafe drug?

Now, that Lancet study has been retracted, withdrawn from the literature entirely, at the request of three of its authors who “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources”. Given the seriousness of the topic and the consequences of the paper, this is one of the most consequential retractions in modern history.

It is natural to ask how this is possible. How did a paper of such consequence get discarded like a used tissue by some of its authors only days after publication? If the authors don’t trust it now, how did it get published in the first place?

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When Your Supervisor Is Accused of Research Misconduct – The Scientist (Katarina Zimmer | June 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 7, 2020

Early career researchers face unique challenges when a senior collaborator becomes embroiled in allegations of scientific malpractice.

Evolutionary ecologist Kate Laskowski didn’t have a good start to her new faculty position at the University of California, Davis. She was just a few months in when, late last year, she received an email from a researcher who had some concerns about a study she had coauthored in 2016 with the prolific McMaster University spider biologist Jonathan Pruitt.

To avoid costly consequences, researchers should always carefully scrutinise data provided by collaborators – even if they are more experienced researchers.  We included links to 13 other useful reads.

As a graduate student at the University of Illinois, and later a postdoc at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Germany, Laskowski had collaborated with Pruitt on a study of spider social behavior. The email noted that the raw data collected in Pruitt’s lab, then at the University of California, Santa Barbara, contained odd duplicate values in the columns of a spreadsheet that documented behavioral differences among individual spiders. After combing through the data herself, Laskowski ultimately came to the conclusion that the data, and the study based on them, weren’t trustworthy, and requested earlier this year that the American Naturalist retract the paper. She’d go on to retract another two, both of which she’d coauthored with Pruitt.

These studies—which supported the hypothesis that the behaviors of individual spiders are influenced by social interactions—would be the first of several of Pruitt’s papers to come under scrutiny from scientific journals, in a series of retractions and expressions of concern that has rattled the animal behavior research community and affected numerous collaborators, including many students and early-career researchers. “I’m in my first year of . . . my dream job,” Laskowski tells The Scientist. “I’ve been so excited to set up new projects, and then I’ve had to spend the past four months dealing with all of these old papers that I thought I was over and done with.”

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(US) Authors questioning papers at nearly two dozen journals in wake of spider paper retraction – Retraction Watch (Adam Marcus | January 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on June 5, 2020

This case provides us with an opportunity to share two reflections: 1) Be careful when it comes to the reuse of data without explanation; and 2 the need for junior academics to check data provided by more experienced colleagues.  In this reported case, the colleague who is suspected of data manipulation has moved on to collecting data on spiders in Northern Australia.

The retraction earlier this month of a 2016 paper in the American Naturalist by Kate Laskowski and Jonathan Pruitt turns out to be the tip of what is potentially a very large iceberg.

This week, the researchers have retracted a second paper, this one in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, for the same reasons — duplicated data without a reasonable explanation.

Dan Bolnick, the editor of the American Naturalist, tells us:

After learning about the problems in the [2016] data set, I asked an associate editor to look at data sets in other publications in the American Naturalist [on which Pruitt was a co-author] and we have indeed found what appears to be repeated data that don’t seem to have a biological explanation.

He isn’t alone. Bolnick added:

I am aware that there are concerns affecting a large number of papers at multiple other journals, and at this point I’m aware of co-authors of his who have contacted editors at 23 journals as of January 26. 


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