It’s written in the scars

A post illustrating how some companies choose to publish in low-impact journals that do not appear to apply rigorous peer review. The general audience cannot easily distinguish properly peer-reviewed papers from those that are accepted without much scrutiny. A paper that appears in one of these “easy” journals will not be seen by a large scientific audience, but can be used by a company to show that their product has been “peer reviewed”. This blog post is not intended to be an allegation of misconduct.

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External Qi

This blog posts starts with a 2018 paper that shows us that “External Qi” can kill lung cancer cells, but that lacks an explanation on what it exactly is. Going back in time trying to detangle a hairball of references, we end up in 2004 with a paper in Brain Research that explains how a Chinese Qigong master famous in the 1980’s and 1990’s can kill cancer cells and make other cells grow by using a special Qigong technique.

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A new Science Integrity Blog

Thanks for joining me!

I am Elisabeth Bik, microbiome and science integrity consultant, and this blog will be my new place to talk about science integrity. There might be posts about how to report scientific papers of concern, image issues in biomedical papers, plagiarism, data detectives, conflict of interests, “predatory publishers” (not my term), and many other issues.

I got a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, and was a staff scientist at Stanford University, Scientific and Editorial Director at uBiome, and a Director of Science at Astarte Medical, all in California, USA.

In addition, I have been actively searching for image duplications in biomedical science papers, and I wrote several publications on this topic:

My work also has been featured in major science and news outlets:

Also check out my other blog,, which is currently run by a fantastic team of volunteers. Here, you will find (nearly) daily posts with the latests scientific papers on host-associated or environmental microbial communities.

Science builds upon science. Science should be open for self-correction.

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