Category: Medical Academia

Study laundering: IPAK, antivax “scientists,” and the return of living dead antivax studies

Antivaxxers don't like it when one of their crappy studies that they somehow managed to sneak into a decent peer-reviewed journal is deservedly retracted, as happened to Mark Skidmore's paper that estimated that 278K people might have died from COVID-19 vaccines. Fortunately for Skidmore and others, there exist fake journals that will launder their study by republishing it so that antivaxxers can...

/ October 30, 2023

Has MSU economics professor Mark Skidmore been “exonerated” over his retracted paper claiming that COVID vaccines killed 278,000?

Tech bro turned antivax influencer Steve Kirsch is claiming that Michigan State University economist Mark Skidmore has been "exonerated" after having had a paper retracted claiming 278K deaths from COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 alone. In reality, Skidmore just republished a revised version of his retracted paper in an antivax journal after the MSU IRB failed miserably in its oversight duties.

/ October 23, 2023
The NIH grant process is not The Godfather.

Improving how the NIH decides which grants to fund: Reality vs. conspiracy

Last week, the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a plan to decrease the problem of reputational bias in grant funding. I couldn't help but contrast how hard the NIH tries to use the most rigorous scientific criteria to decide whose grants to fund with the conspiracy theory that Anthony Fauci personally doles out NIH dollars like a mob boss...

/ December 12, 2022

AI Medical Tutoring Systems

Using AI powered virtual training systems can be a boon to medical education and practice.

/ February 23, 2022

Nepotistic Journals

Research identifies another potential bias in scientific publishing - nepotistic journals.

/ November 24, 2021

Quackademic medicine update: UC Irvine reneges on promise of scientific rigor

In 2017, UC Irvine promised that the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute would be "rigorously evidence-based". A recent review discovers plenty of pseudoscience.

/ February 27, 2020

Scientific Fraud in China

There is a systemic problem with fraud in Chinese medical science. The problem goes all the way to the top.

/ November 27, 2019

The Cleveland Clinic publishes a study claiming to show benefits from functional medicine. It doesn’t.

Last week, the Cleveland Clinic published a study purporting to show that functional medicine improves health-related quality of life. Not surprisingly, on closer examination, there's a lot less to the study than meets the eye, and its results are quite underwhelming.

/ October 28, 2019

Woo versus Wikipedia

Love it or hate it, Wikipedia is a main go-to rough and ready source of information for millions of people. Although I've had my problems with Wikipedia and used to ask whether it could provide reliable information on medicine and, in particular, alternative medicine and vaccines, given that anyone can edit it, I now conclude that Wikipedia must be doing OK, at...

/ October 14, 2019

For-profit stem cell clinics, universities, and “pay-to-play” clinical trials for autism

Stem cell therapies show great promise, but as yet the vast majority of that promise has not been validated in rigorous clinical trials. Unfortunately, for-profit stem cell clinics are running clinical trials that require patients to pay to be part of it. These trials are not rigorous. Even more unfortunately, it appears that some universities are also running "pay-to-play" clinical trials that...

/ July 29, 2019