ACN - 101321555 Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)
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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(US) JetBlue’s Founder Helped Fund A Stanford Study That Said The Coronavirus Wasn’t That Deadly – Buzzfeed News (Stephanie M. Lee | May 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 22, 2020
 

A Stanford whistleblower complaint alleges that the controversial John Ioannidis study failed to disclose important financial ties and ignored scientists’ concerns that their antibody test was inaccurate.

A highly influential coronavirus antibody study was funded in part by David Neeleman, the JetBlue Airways founder and a vocal proponent of the idea that the pandemic isn’t deadly enough to justify continued lockdowns.

That’s according to a complaint from an anonymous whistleblower, filed with Stanford University last week and obtained by BuzzFeed News, about the study conducted by the famous scientist John Ioannidis and others. The complaint cites dozens of emails, including exchanges with the airline executive while the study was being conducted.

The study — released as a non-peer-reviewed paper, or preprint, on April 17 — made headlines around the world with a dramatic finding: Based on antibodies in thousands of Silicon Valley residents’ blood samples, the number of coronavirus infections was up to 85 times higher than believed. This true infection count was so high that it would drive down the virus’s local fatality rate to 0.12%–0.2% — far closer to the known death rate for the flu.

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(Australia) Calls for Australian Defence Force chloroquine COVID-19 drug trial to be halted – ABC News (Grace Tobin | May 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 18, 2020
 

An East Timor veteran suffering long term health issues after taking part in a controversial drug trial is horrified that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is once again trialling on its personnel, this time for COVID-19.

Wayne Karakyriacos said he feels betrayed by Defence for pushing ahead with a new clinical trial when he and other veterans are still struggling mentally and physically from past trials.

“Twenty years I’ve been suffering with an acquired brain injury,” he told 7.30.

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(UK) Dishonesty and research misconduct within the medical profession (Papers: Habib Rahman & Stephen Ankier | March 2020)0

Posted by Admin in on May 17, 2020
 

Abstract
While there has been much discussion of how the scientific establishment’s culture can engender research misconduct and scientific irreproducibility, this has been discussed much less frequently with respect to the medical profession. Here the authors posit that a lack of self-criticism, an encouragement of novel scientific research generated by the recruitment policies of the UK Royal Training Colleges along with insufficient training in the sciences are core reasons as to why research misconduct and dishonesty prevail within the medical community. Furthermore, the UK General Medical Council’s own data demonstrates a historic inattentiveness to the ease with which doctors can engage in research misconduct. Suggestions are made as to how these issues can be investigated and alternative incentives for career advancement are adumbrated.

Keywords
Scientific reproducibility, Medical ethics, History of medicine, Royal College of Physicians, Sociology of the medical profession

Rahman, H., Ankier, S. Dishonesty and research misconduct within the medical profession. BMC Medical Ethics 21, 22 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12910-020-0461-z
Publisher (Open Access): https://bmcmedethics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12910-020-0461-z

(UK) Questionable activities of UK company Celixir, by Patricia Murray – ForBetterScience (Leonid Schneider | July 2019)0

Posted by Admin in on May 15, 2020
 

Patricia Murray uncovers the business secrets of the Nobelist Martin Evans and his partner Ajan Reginald. It seems the magic iMP cells used to treat patients in Greece were drawn from the blood of patients in Swansea, for the purpose of a secret PhD thesis. There is no serious science behind it, only serious investor money and a fraudulent patent.

Troubling story from the UK highlights that academic superstars can sometimes are not above seriously questionable activity.  An institution’s governance arrangements must never exclude someone just because of what benefits their reputation/performance confers to the host institution.

This guest post by Dr Patricia Murray, Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the University of Liverpool, UK, follows a previous article on my site regarding the business activities of the regenerative medicine company Celixir, owned by Sir Martin Evans, winner of the Nobel Prize of 2007 and former President of the University of Cardiff, and the struck-off dentist Ajan Reginald. Much of the contents in that story must be credited to Dr Murray, who is also an activist for medical ethics and research integrity in regenerative medicine and played a key role in uncovering the extent of the trachea transplant scandal in the UK in the aftermath of the Paolo Macchiarini affair, which recently made main news in the UK (here and here).
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Murray’s activities led to a parliamentary investigations into the role of UCL and their professors, primarily Martin Birchall, in two deadly trachea transplants (here and here) and into the attitude of the journal The Lancet. Three clinical trials were permanently suspended or terminated following Murray’s advocacy for patient safety, it is likely that related trials at UCL and elsewhere in UK were also postponed indefinitely because of that. There were retaliations: UCL’s business partners, the trachea transplant company Videregen, deployed lawyers against Murray and her colleague (read here and here), without any success though.
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In my view, Professor Murray is a true hero and the bravest scientist I ever had the honour to know. And yet she doesn’t even have a Twitter account.
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