In an anonymous survey taken by scientists at a prestigious cancer center, more than half of the respondents said they'd failed to reproduce published scientific findings at least one time.
Any one study may come to an interesting conclusion—"this chemical causes cancer" or "this drug works" or "penis size matters"—but the way scientists check if those studies are true is by doing them over again. When study after study gets the same results, you can be reasonably sure the conclusion is true. On the other hand, large numbers of irreproducible studies in the scientific literature indicate that something's wrong, reported Retraction Watch, a watchdog blog that first pointed us to the new survey.
The researchers involved in the irreproducible studies didn't always seem eager to make things right. Sixty-two percent of the survey respondents who tried to contact the original researchers found the study authors responded negatively, indifferently or not at all. Only one in three researchers in the survey, which a team of MD Anderson Cancer Center physicians sent to all scientists at the center, ever resolved the discrepancy they found.
The survey's lead author, Leonard Zwelling, told Retraction Watch he blamed academics for not policing each other adequately. His survey also found that many junior scientists felt pressured to prove senior scientists' hypotheses correct, even if they couldn't find the supporting data.
You do expect that once in a while, scientific studies will come to incorrect conclusions just by chance. And you've probably seen in many media reports on studies done in rats or a small number of people that say something about how far such studies are from clinical trials in humans. This is interesting, but don't get too attached, is the message.
So what's the problem? Those who run clinical trials themselves don't have the luxury of ignoring studies done in animals or just a few dozen people, Zwelling and his colleagues argued in their own paper, published in the journal PLOS ONE. That's all they have to help them choose what to test in major human clinical trials. Irreproducible studies performed all the way down the line, from the most basic experiments in Petri dishes to later animal studies, may be a major reason so many clinical trials fail. The failures waste time and money and slow the development of working therapies.
Given enough time of being exposed to something chemically cancer causing or deficient in something to defend us from cancer and the amount of yeast in the environment we are exposed to in our life time (yeast being considered a high contributor to cancer and yeast is virtually everywhere), finalize by our genetics with a countdown to eventual death, yea everything we are exposed to causes cancer. Even at the time of death should cancer had not have killed us, most likely is still established somewhere in our bodies at the time of death.
The number of cancer study findings that cannot be reproduced by other scientists is nowhere close to the number of global warming study findings that fail to be validated by other scientific research.
Scientists are not gods. They are just people. When you shove massive amounts of money at a problem, you're going to get people who do the research just for the money. A large portion of the 'just for the money' crowd aren't going to care about the quality of the research, and some are going to just make up data outright.
We need to stop revering these people as super-humans whose integrity is above question. Science is a business now. Welcome to Enron.
I'm sorry, there seems to be more smoke than fire here.
There doesn't seem to be enough data to indicate that there are consistent failures. Out of n replications , some percentage will fail. This survey only asks if researchers ever had one fail.
I'm not stating that there is not a problem, I'm stating that this article doesn't seem to prove that there's a problem.
"...Half of cancer scientists have failed to reproduce the findings of other researchers, according to an anonymous survey..."
This article reads or begins so damaging to the medical science community, based upon the words of ANONYMOUS.
Really, to write an article with the source being anonymous about validating medical research and the article could not find a SOLID source to back up the article, but only anonymous.
What –ever….. lol
This article is equal to gossip and random whining by a few.
@D37 "No dude with a 2 inch penis is getting all the ladies."
You should know.