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Posts tagged with "The Dark Side"

  • Analytical Chemistry

    Sequenom: Strike Up the Music, Bring On the Cream Pies

    Now here’s a weird one. The San Diego diagnostics company Sequenom came up with a non-invasive test for Down’s Syndrome, and sold it to another outfit, Xenomics, for development. Update: I’ve got this transfer backwards – Xenomics licensed some of its nucleic acid technology to Sequenom, and has now regretted it. But late la… Read More
  • Biological News

    Extortion, Retractions, And More

    Now here’s a strange tale, courtesy of Science magazine, about some retracted work from Peter Schultz’s group at Scripps. Two papers from 2004 detailed how to incorporate glycoslylated amino acids (glucosamine-serine and galactosamine-threonine) directly into proteins. These featured a lot of work from postdoc Zhiwen Zhang (who later wa… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    GE Healthcare’s Idiotic Libel Suit

    Courtesy of Pharmalot (and my mail!), I note this alarming story from London. GE Healthcare makes a medical NMR contrast agent, a gadolinium complex marketed under the name of Omniscan. (They picked it up when they bought Amersham a few years ago). Henrik Thomsen, a Danish physician had noted what may be an association with… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Faking X-Ray Structures. . .For Fun? Or Profit? Or What?

    Well, this isn’t good: an ex-researcher at the University of Alabama-Birmingham has been accused of faking several X-ray structures of useful proteins – dengue virus protease, taq polymerase, complement proteins from immunology, etc. There have been questions surrounding H. M. Krishna Murthy’s work for at least a couple of years n… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Pfizer’s Pearl River Layoffs

    Pfizer’s rounds of layoffs after the Wyeth merger are continuing, and look to go on for some time. A reader in New York state sends along word that there’s been some controversy over the cuts at the Pearl River site. New York law requires a company to give both the state (and employees) 90 days… Read More
  • Current Events

    Climategate and Scientific Conduct

    Everyone has heard about the “Climategate” scandal by now. Someone leaked hundreds of megabytes of information from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, and the material (which appears to be authentic) is most interesting. I’m not actually going to comment on the climate-change aspect of all this, though.… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Massaging the Data for Neurontin?

    There’s a disturbing article out at the New England Journal of Medicine on studies conducted on Neurontin (gabapentin) for various unapproved indications. Parke-Davis (and later Pfizer) looked at a wide range of possible indications for the drug – migraine, neuropathic pain, bipolar disorder, and more. That in itself isn’t unusual… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Selling It, And Selling It Hard

    There’s a long, detailed article up over at Bloomberg on the recent run of huge fines for off-label promotion of drugs. Pfizer, Lilly, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and Schering-Plough all get mentioned in great detail. And there’s a key point from the whole depressing thing: the reason that marketing departments do this kind of thing is that… Read More
  • Academia (vs. Industry)

    I’ll See Your Conflicts, and Raise You?

    There seems to be some finger-pointing going on about conflicts of interest in the scientific and medical literature. According to this piece in Nature Medicine, a recent conference in Vancouver on peer review featured statements such as this: “We absolutely should not let up on our scrutiny of industry,” says Karen Woolley, a co-author… Read More
  • The Dark Side

    Faked Data at the ETH

    A data-fabrication scandal has erupted at a place that doesn’t see many of those: the ETH in Zürich. Peter Chen, a physical organic chemist there, has been dealing with problems with some earlier publications (from 2000) on the spectra and ionization energies of carbon radicals. Here’s one of the papers, which has now been retracted. Read More