Wendy M. Grossman
3 May at 09:16 ·
This week's net.wars, "Reopening the source" returns to open access, in light of yesterday's @gasteinforum discussion on research futures: https://www.pelicancrossing.net/…/05/reopening_the_source.h…
Robert Neuschul It's a hugely complex set of issues and it's good to see you covering them.
Regardless of outcomes one of the things I do think it's important to stress is that the bigger peer-review publishers such as NEJM, Elsevier, Springer et al do an awful lot more than "just" publish - in other words it's not a vanity publishing scheme in which research papers are submitted and go straight to print unedited; fact checking, editing, finding and engaging peers to do reviews etc etc are all time consuming and costly.
For genuine peer review to be successful and meaningful in science [and other academic disciplines] it's essential that those supporting roles [and their costs] are recognised and built in to any future model of publication.
Having said that; there is another and entirely different discussion which needs to happen about how standards for submission are created and managed. Editors of peered journals do currently exercise a sometimes entirely unhealthy control over the shape tone and direction of papers, as a result of which the final product does not always properly or effectively reflect the author(s) intent or work. This is not always good. Being successful at getting papers published can come to seem rather like learning how to pass exams, an advanced quasi-academic skill, rather than being a reflection of quality work being done.
Richard Sexton Well sure, but that's a) when they know enough and b) aren't bribed.
After Einstein got his Nobel prize he was asked 11 years later to help the Nobel committee decide when they could not if they should give the Nobel to Linus Pauling for cracking the hydrogen bond (which begat molecular biology, biochemistry and quantum chemistry).
Einstein read all the works and told them "Give it to Pauling, it's the only one I don't understand".
As for bribery, it's 9 out of 10 cases. Most peer reviewed should be shot frankly.
It's pretty easy to put a price tank in dollars and souls for these mistakes. One might look at the 60 yeaes between Cathcarts observation about Klenners protocol for Polio and Marki's 2017 discovery and see more poeple who died that didn't need to than one can bear to think about. There are many such examples.
The net result is staggering. 9 out of 10 medical papers are not true. All because of this:
Ioannidis JPA (2005) Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLoS Med 2(8): e124.
What is medicine's 5 sigma? - Richard Hortonemail - DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60696-1
Pharmaceutical companies write their own "clinical reports", then bribe doctors to put their names on them.
Such "ghostwriting" is not uncommon at all.
Lacasse JR, Leo J (2010) Ghostwriting at Elite Academic Medical Centers in the United States. PLoS Med 7(2): e1000230. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000230
"This theme issue of JAMA is devoted to presenting new information on the evolving nature of conflict of interest"
May 2, 2017; Conflict of Interest and Medical Journals
US Health Care System rated worst in the developed world - Time Magazine, June 17, 2014
The medical system is the third-leading cause of death in the United States (Ref: Starfield B (July 2000): "Is US health really the best in the world?" - JAMA 284 (4): 483–5. doi:10.1001/jama.284.4.483. PMID 10904513) and was named in 2018 by Time Magazine as the worst in the developed world. (Ref:
These are not mistakes.
This is dishonesty in the medical industry.
Even TV got this right. John Oliver on the marketing side of medical; he ignores the research side you'll note.
Beware the medical industrial complex. It is unprecedented in th human experience. The nazis killed less people by far.
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Wendy M. Grossman I was at a meeting once where I heard Jonathan Miller say that better sanitation and nutrition had done more for public health than all of the medical establishment. While that's probably true, I think most of us value what medicine can do to help us. I read about the John Ioannidis stuff when it hit the Atlantic (I think, or the New Yorker...) and was duly appalled. The ghostwriting stuff is awful. I think of this stuff a lot when people start going on about disinformation on the Internet - corporate PR is legalized lying, too.
Richard Sexton The universe of pdf files is sometimes orthogonal to those that end in .html
Look at this odd sequence of events:
We've known since it first erupted that some people were immune to Ebola, the worlds most pathogenic virus with a kill rate of 99% for the Zaure variant. This immunity has been recorded many times throughout history:
'Some of the “true negatives” used for the validation of our ELISA assays could have been infected with EBOV'
"The phenomenon of previously undetected, minimally symptomatic EBOV infection was evident around the discovery of the virus in 1976."
"The findings provide further evidence that Ebola, like many other viral infections, presents with a spectrum of clinical manifestations, including minimally symptomatic infection.
Minimally Symptomatic Infection in an Ebola ‘Hotspot’: A Cross-Sectional Serosurvey
The Pasteur institute did an immunoassay of every tenth person in Gabon in 2010 and found in the coastal villages there were clusters of poeple range from 18% to 33% that has ZBOV antibodies but had never gotten sick. The NYT picked it up, the only mention of this phenomenon ever.
These reference Becquarts 2010 paper:
The US Army aerosolized Ebola to spray into monkey faces in masks. Their tests show some animals wold not get sick. The "mysterious immunity" strikes again.
Also with flu:
"An eighth conundrum – one not addressed by Hope-Simpson – is the surprising percentage of seronegative volunteers who either escape infection or develop only minor illness after being experimentally inoculated with a novel influenza virus."
"he percentage of subjects sickened by iatrogenic aerosol inoculation of influenza virus is less than 50% , although such experiments depend on the dose of virus used. Only three of eight subjects without pre-existing antibodies developed illness after aerosol inhalation of A2/Bethesda/10/63 . Intranasal administration of various wild viruses to sero-negative volunteers only resulted in constitutional symptoms 60% of the time; inoculation with Fort Dix Swine virus (H1N1) – a virus thought to be similar to the 1918 virus – in six sero-negative volunteers failed to produce any serious illness, with one volunteer suffering moderate illness, three mild, one very mild, and one no illness at all . Similar studies by Beare et al on other H1N1 viruses found 46 of 55 directly inoculated volunteers failed to develop constitutional symptoms . If influenza is highly infectious, why doesn't direct inoculation of a novel virus cause universal illness in seronegative volunteers? "
On the epidemiology of influenza
Here it is again:
"29 January 2015 Last updated at 00:55 - We've now seen several cases that don't have any symptoms at all, asymptomatic cases," said Anavaj Sakuntabhai who suggested the virus might be mutating.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - Ebola Not Mutating, Scientists Say
Minimally Symptomatic Infection in an Ebola ‘Hotspot’: A Cross-Sectional Serosurvey
Richard Sexton With all these mysterious immunities why do we never hear about it and why isn't it investigated?
In 1995 Taylor wrote a paper that hypothesized the Ebola virus could sequester selenium via some used UGG codons (think "plug-ins" for viral RNA).
In 2015, Lipinski at Harvard showed that the chemical bond the virus needs to make first with the host cell to infect it can not happen in the presence of the right amount of Selenium.Too little and they can not live (neither can you) too much and they die.
The kicker it this is not true just of Ebola, it's all enveloped viruses which is pretty much all of them. Plant viruses are the non enveloped ones and there's at least one that Selenium works on and it's known to work for plague an chagas disease among others. Wikipedia has a good page on Keshan disease, another one.
This should change the face of medicine right here. We're talking two brazil nuts a day. Then no more measles, no more HIV, no more flu. Resistance to bacterial disease would go up (in a world of decreasing antibiotic efficacy)
This sort of game changing event happened 70 years ago or rather didn't happen and I wonder - since it's been three years already if this will take 80 years to start saving lives. One wold hope not but frankly the prospects are grim:
"Klenner's paper (Klenner FR. The treatment of poliomyelitis and other virus diseases with vitamin C. J. South. Med. and Surg., 111:210-214, 1949.) on curing 60 cases of polio in the epidemic of 1948 should have changed the way infectious diseases were treated but it did not." - Robert Cathcart
And in fact it took until 3 years ago for this to be tried again in Industry - and where it was it wiped out death from sepsis in every hospital thats tried it. It's not even being tried for polio or measles and keep in mind what can cure a disease can prevent.a disease. Where this is a substance already in the body there can be no harmful side effects, they can only occur with synthetics the body has never seen before and has no mechanism to flush excess (hence the overdose potential)
"29 Jan 2015 - Liberia: Harvard Scientist Claims Selenium Can Treat Ebola"
In this communication evidence is discussed showing that the chain of disulfide exchange events can be inhibited by a small redox molecule – sodium selenite.
It is suggested that this inexpensive and readily available food supplement can be an ultimate inhibitor of Ebola and other enveloped viral infections.
"Medicine, as we are practising it, is a luxury trade. We are selling bread at the price of jewels. ... Let us take the profit, the private economic profit, out of medicine, and purify our profession of rapacious individualism ... Let us say to the people not 'How much have you got?' but 'How best can we serve you?" - Norman Bethune
Robert Neuschul Richard Sexton if you're not already familiar with it then I commend to you, and to Wendy, "The Engines of Hippocrates: From the Dawn of Medicine to Medical and Pharmaceutical Informatics". Barry Robson and O. K. Baek