Tall el-Hammam was a Bronze-Age city in current Jordan that is a site of archaeological interest. It is believed by some to be the biblical city of Sodom. According to the Bible, Sodom and Gomorrah were cities full of sinners, which were destroyed by “sulfur and fire” sent by God.
A paper published last week in Scientific Reports now claims that Tall el-Hammam was destroyed by a “cosmic airburst”, perhaps by the impact of a meteorite or comet. The article provides evidence of melted pottery and plaster, shocked quartz, and diamond-like carbon, all suggesting the city was exposed to a sudden high-temperature event.
The paper got a lot of media attention. However, several images presented in the paper appear to contain repetitive elements, suggestive of cloning.
This is part 2 of a series describing papers from the IHUMI/AMU institutions in Marseille, France, with potential problems. In Part 1, I listed papers with image concerns. In this follow-up I’ll focus on a set of papers that might have problems with human subjects research not having received proper ethical approval. The articles span a decade of research on homeless people in Marseille, and involve different studies and specimens — but all were run under just one IRB approval number.
A group of anonymous persons filed a Statement of Concern with the FDA regarding the integrity of research papers about Simufilam, an Alzheimer’s Disease treatment drug candidate developed by Cassava Sciences (Nasdaq: $SAVA). The petition raises concerns about Western blots and methodology. I took a look at the problematic photos included in the report, and agree with most of those concerns. I also found some additional problems.
Other papers by this group of researchers led by Professor Didier Raoult and/or his right-hand man Professor Eric Chabrière, also appear to contain problems, ranging from potentially duplicated images to ethical concerns.
In this blog post I have gathered the papers by the Raoult and Chabrière group that have image concerns. This post is not an accusation of misconduct, but a compilation of the potential problems found in 22 different papers by this group. I welcome the authors removing any concerns by providing the original figures.
A chemistry professor at Northeastern University in Boston, MA who has almost 70 papers flagged on PubPeer resigned yesterday, May 4, 2021.
On his blog For Better Science (Update May 5, at the bottom), Leonid Schneider shared an email from the Chair of the Department of Engineering, which states that Thomas J Webster has resigned from the university.
Webster has 69 papers flagged on PubPeer, mostly for concerns about image irregularities. I reported 59 to the journals and institution in March 2020.
This morning a professor at a US university warned me that they had gotten an email from a person pretending to be me. The email came from email@example.com, and was signed with my name. But that is not my email address!
The email sent to the professor flagged a scientific paper as “The following article is fake. The impact on society is very bad”.
Maybe I should feel flattered, but it is quite disturbing that people pretend to be me.
So here is a quick warning that there are Elisabeth Bik impersonators using fake email addresses. My correct email address is eliesbik at gmail dot com and if an email comes from any other address that is not me!
Lots of buzz yesterday on Twitter about a paper already published online a year ago, but assigned to the February 2021 issue of Personality and Individual Differences, an Elsevier/Science Direct journal. The paper builds upon a popular — but not scientific — YouTube video in which men are advised to only date women who are “hot and not too crazy”, and women are believed to only want to marry rich guys.
Figures 1 and 2 of the paper — taken from this video but without giving credit — are presented in this paper as scientific data. Of course, I have concerns.
A quick post after stumbling upon a paper that got retracted years ago, but the publisher isn’t going to tell you. Springer still charges $40 (plus tax) to read the retracted paper itself — then will happily charge you another $40 for selling you the retraction notice.