Why you should never "believe the science" - Episode 3 of infinity...
Shocked, I tell thee.
The key theory of what causes Alzheimer’s disease may be based on ‘manipulated’ data which has misdirected dementia research for 16 years – potentially wasting billions of pounds – a major investigation suggests.
A six-month probe by the journal Science reported “shockingly blatant” evidence of result tampering in a seminal research paper which proposed Alzheimer’s is triggered by a build-up of amyloid beta plaques in the brain.
In the 2006 article from the University of Minnesota, published in the journal Nature, scientists claimed to have discovered a type of amyloid beta which brought on dementia when injected into young rats.
It was the first substance ever identified in brain tissue which could cause memory impairment, and seemed like a smoking gun.
The Nature paper became one of the most-cited scientific articles on Alzheimer’s ever published, sparking a huge jump in global funding for research into drugs to clear away the plaques.
But the Science investigation claims to have found evidence that images of amyloid beta in mice had been doctored, in allegations branded “extremely serious” by the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Elizabeth Bik, a forensic image consultant, brought in to assess the images, told Science that the authors appeared to have pieced together parts of photos from different experiments.
“The obtained experimental results might not have been the desired results and that data might have been changed to … better fit a hypothesis,” she said.
The article that unearthed the problem: https://www.science.org/content/article/potential-fabrication-research-images-threatens-key-theory-alzheimers-disease
In August 2021, Matthew Schrag, a neuroscientist and physician at Vanderbilt University, got a call that would plunge him into a maelstrom of possible scientific misconduct. A colleague wanted to connect him with an attorney investigating an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease called Simufilam. The drug’s developer, Cassava Sciences, claimed it improved cognition, partly by repairing a protein that can block sticky brain deposits of the protein amyloid beta (Aβ), a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. The attorney’s clients—two prominent neuroscientists who are also short sellers who profit if the company’s stock falls—believed some research related to Simufilam may have been “fraudulent,” according to a petition later filed on their behalf with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
So, it’s not a done deal, but it’s whiffy, isn’t it.
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