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What is it about stem cell research that generates so much fraud? There were those Korean dudes, of course (the country even issued a stamp touting their work – which it then disappeared); but there have been quite a few others. Including – reportedly – Bodo-Eckehard Strauer, a massively prolific German scientist who seems to have fudged things like crazy. A group of investigators looked at

48 of the papers from his group and expose[d] a series of problems, including arithmetic errors in the presentation of statistics and identical results in papers presenting different numbers of patients. The authors also searched systematically in all of the papers for discrepant information – pairs of statements that could not both be true.

They document hundreds of errors. For example, in some papers patient groups are said to be randomised, while in others patients with identical outcomes are reported as being non-randomised to treatment and control groups. “And when we ran the statistical tests on the control groups, we found many amazing p values of up to 10-60 and 10-108,” cardiologist Darrel Francis from Imperial College London, one of the study’s co-authors, told Nature.

In a press release, Francis says: “Looking deeper, the seemingly comprehensive and decisive proof of efficacy gradually unravelled … the more we thought about it, the less we could understand.”

Strauer is already under investigation by the University of Düsseldorf.

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One Response to “Bodacious Bodo walks into a buzz saw.”

  1. david foster Says:

    “What is it about stem cell research that generates so much fraud?”

    Any field that becomes HOT, in the sense of lots of publicity and lots of money floating around, will attract a disproportionate share of slimy people.

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