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Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

"The rat used in the experiment you cite all die from cancer at the age they died at, due to known genetic limitations of the breed. Their death rate was no different than the control, thus there was no effect"

The experiment was fine, and has been republished. The only reason it was retracted according to the publisher was because it could be hard to understand by the general public. The GMF fed rats did develop significantly more tumors, and the species of rats they used is the industry standard for toxicity.

What the paper really shows is that a better funded experiment with more subjects is needed because the first experiment was too small to draw solid conclusions.

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

"Moreover, the scientists in question probably got their funding from some element of the Italian food industry, which is death on GMOs partly because they'd lose market-share to the dreaded Americans if Nebraskan GM corn were legal in Italy. They certainly hope to get future funding due to the notoriety they gained by fighting the good fight for the non-GM Italian agricultural sector."

Possibly, though it's companies like Monsanto that have by far the most funds at their disposal to promoted their interests.

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

"I'm not gonna gonna bother dancing around it for ten pages in case it turns out to be bullshit"

I feel it most likely already has, because:

1) Nature doesn't spell out what information was leaked to the press.

2) Italian is not one of my languages but La Rebublica seems to be saying that the leaked results from the university committee are that after evaluation there's no evidence of any problems with the images, but I could easily be misreading it.

3) As the popsci link said Bucci's image software flags 25% of papers as suspicious, that's much too wide of a net, so you then need humans to look at the images.

4) After Bucci posted some of Infascelli's gel slides his software considered suspicious, the concerned journals were advise in September 2015. And so far, after human analysis of the images, only one paper has been found problematic because of an honest error that doesn't affect the validity of the papers results.

But for now I'm just going to wait and see how all this turns out, I'm not even sure we're going to hear anything more about it, and between you and me my personal impression at this point is that if any more of the papers haven't been retracted by now it's unlikely any more will.

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

"I'm not gonna gonna bother dancing around it for ten pages in case it turns out to be bullshit"

No problem. I think it most likely already has.

"Read the links at the bottom of the article"

I did, and agreed on that, Bucci's software is useful but not accurate, it spots intentional manipulation, simple mistakes, and lots of false positives:

http://www.popsci.com/article/...
(Software Scans Journal Papers, Finds 1 In 4 Have Suspicious Images)

"Maybe the University also hired the same guy"

You lost me there. I must be misunderstanding you. Could you be more precise?

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

"My definition of evidence is any data-point that indicates indicates you better have a good explanation"

Ok, but for me that definition leaves too much room for mischief.

"the consultant [nature.com] who ran the software has used it to get a a previous researcher from the same University for faking evidence with copied images in the past"

Yes, and it found this too: "the 2013 Food and Nutrition Sciences paper was retracted, with a citation of “self-plagiarism”. However, the journal noted that the results were still valid and that it considered the issues an “honest error” -- Nature.com

But even with those results it doesn't change the fact that the software isn't enough to go on by itself because it produces way too many false positives to be able to rely on its results alone.

"A good explanation should be fairly trivial for the article's authors to come up with (you aren't supposed to trash all the data you use to write a paper just because it's been published), if they are actually innocent"

If you read the link to La Rebublica in Nature: "according to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Infascelli said that there is no substance to these allegations, and that an expert that he consulted about the papers had ruled out the possibility of data manipulation" (Nature.com), it appears the rector's investigating committee has consulted an expert on images and the expert said there was no evidence of any problems. Nature seems to have confused things a bit and its in fact the committee that's consulted the expert.

What I'd like to know, and what Nature doesn't tell us, is the content of the leak to the press: "details of the confidential findings of the investigation committee — composed of scientists in and outside of Naples — were leaked to the Italian press" (Nature.com).

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

"There is evidence. There's the analysis of the images. It may be evidence you dislike. It may be total bullshit. But it a) exists in the physical world in which we reside, and b) implies that these the data papers are based on shit the authors made up. That is (by definition) evidence that the authors committed both scientific misconduct and fraud."

What is your definition of evidence? I think the guys software hasn't been proven to produce reliable 'evidence' (the quote marks indicate I'm not sure how you expect the word evidence to be defined).

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

According to Nature the report "suggests" the images "may have been intentionally altered". Notice the wording, 'suggests' and 'may have been', so according to Nature the report does not 'say' there is evidence. I don't know why the organizer is misrepresenting the report, or why he organized the thing in the first place.

On the second point, maybe it'll take more to convince me than a personal internet post from someone who claims he found evidence. Notice Nature is being careful to not say they think the images have or not been manipulated.

The double quote marks are to specify that the word is the actual word that Nature used.

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

I think I'm reading pretty well

"Tommaso Russo, a molecular biologist at the University of Naples who is responsible for coordinating the investigation, told Nature that the committee has found that the papers contain intentional data manipulation."

He's commenting on leaked allegations of a confidential investigation that "suggest that images in the papers may have been intentionally altered" -- this isn't evidence of anything.

"On 14 January, Bucci posted online his analysis of the papers under investigation, as well as of four more papers on GM feed co-authored by Infascelli, and a PhD thesis from Infascelli’s lab. The analysis claims evidence for image manipulation in all eight papers. Bucci has informed the rector and Infascelli of his findings"

He "commissioned" a lab to give him a report on the papers, and then posted his "analysis"/"claims" on the Internet -- again this isn't anywhere near evidence of something.

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

"and someone paid them some money to do **it** too, most likely"

but there is no evidence of fraud or even misconduct, this is it:

"one of the three papers under investigation has been retracted [...] with a citation of “self-plagiarism”. However, the journal noted that the results were still valid and that it considered the issues an “honest error” -Nature.com

Comment Re: Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

"one of the three papers under investigation has been retracted [...] with a citation of “self-plagiarism”. However, the journal noted that the results were still valid and that it considered the issues an “honest error” -Nature.com

Beyond that there is little evidence of anything

Comment Re:Fraud Detected In Headline? (Score 1) 357

"All the evidence points to this being a pretty serious case of academic fraud."

There are allusions to fraud but no evidence: "sections of images of electrophoresis gels appeared to have been obliterated, and some of the images in different papers appeared to be identical but with captions describing different experiments" -Nature.com

And the seriousness is very low "one of the three papers under investigation has been retracted [...] with a citation of “self-plagiarism”. However, the journal noted that the results were still valid and that it considered the issues an “honest error” -Nature.com

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