Corruption in Science News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on corruption in science
Scientists have discovered a way of manipulating a gene that turns animals into drones that do not become bored with repetitive tasks. The experiments, conducted on monkeys, are the first to demonstrate that animal behaviour can be permanently changed, turning the subjects from aggressive to "compliant" creatures. The genes are identical in humans and although the discovery could help to treat depression and other types of mental illness, it will raise images of the Epsilon caste from Aldous Huxley's futuristic novel Brave New World. The experiments... involved blocking the effect of a gene called D2 in a particular part of the brain. This cut off the link between the rhesus monkeys' motivation and reward. Instead of speeding up with the approach of a deadline or the prospect of a "treat," the monkeys in the experiment could be made to work just as enthusiastically for long periods. The scientists say the identical technique would apply to humans. [They] found that they could make the monkeys work their hardest and fastest all the time, without any complaint or sign of slacking, just by manipulating D2 so that they forgot about the expectation of reward. Methods of manipulating human physical and psychological traits are just around the corner, and the technology will emerge first as a lucrative add-on available from in vitro fertilization clinics. "There's no doubt we will be able to influence behaviour," said Julian Savulescu, a professor of ethics at Oxford University.
Note: For lots more reliable information on how human behavior is already being manipulated, click here.
Starting in the early 1900s, hundreds of thousands of American children were warehoused in institutions by state governments. And the federal government did nothing to stop it. The justification? The kids had been labeled feeble-minded, and were put away in conditions that can only be described as unspeakable. A large proportion of the kids who were locked up were not retarded at all. They were simply poor, uneducated kids with no place to go, who ended up in institutions like the Fernald School in Waltham, Mass. The Fernald School, and others like it, was part of a popular American movement in the early 20th century called the Eugenics movement. The idea was to separate people considered to be genetically inferior from the rest of society, to prevent them from reproducing. Eugenics is usually associated with Nazi Germany, but in fact, it started in America. Not only that, it continued here long after Hitler's Germany was in ruins. Few of the attendants [at Fernald] showed any kindness. And ... there was sexual abuse. The place was tailor made for it. The school [also] allowed them to be used as human guinea pigs. In 1994 Senate hearings, it came out that scientists from MIT had been giving radioactive oatmeal to the boys ... in a nutrition study for Quaker Oats. All they knew is that they'd been asked to join a science club. The boys were recruited with special treats [like] extra milk. “But they forgot to mention the milk was radioactive,” says David White-Lief, an attorney who worked on the state task force investigating the science club. “These experiments, because of the lack of informed consent, violated the Nuremburg Code established just 10 years earlier,” says White-Lief.
Note: The extreme racism of the Nazis was quite popular among certain groups in the U.S. For lots more on how these ideas came to pervade some groups in U.S. intelligence services, click here. For a powerful list of military and government sponsored experiments on human guinea pigs with links for verification, click here.
One of the more controversial topics involving Nikola Tesla is what became of many of his technical and scientific papers after he died in 1943. Just before his death at the height of World War II, he claimed that he had perfected his so-called "death beam." So it was natural that the FBI and other U.S. Government agencies would be interested in any scientific ideas involving weaponry. The morning after the inventor's death, his nephew Sava Kosanovic hurried to his uncle's room at the Hotel New Yorker. By the time he arrived, Tesla's body had already been removed, and Kosanovic suspected that someone had already gone through his uncle's effects. Technical papers were missing as well as a black notebook he knew Tesla kept — a notebook with several hundred pages, some of which were marked "Government." Just after World War II, there was a renewed interest in beam weapons. Copies of Tesla's papers on particle beam weaponry were sent to Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. An operation code-named "Project Nick" was heavily funded and placed under the command of Brigadier General L. C. Craigie to test the feasibility of Tesla's concept. Details of the experiments were never published, and the project was apparently discontinued. But something peculiar happened. The copies of Tesla's papers disappeared and nobody knows what happened to them.
Between 1999 and 2001, unbeknownst to the others, each [of four scientists] made a simple but dramatic discovery that challenged the catechism of the same powerful industry -- biotechnology -- that by then had become the handmaiden of industrial agriculture and the darling of venture capitalists. When he was the principal scientific officer of the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, Hungarian citizen Arpad Pusztai fed transgenically modified [GMO] potatoes to rodents in one of the few experiments that have ever tested the safety of genetically modified food. Almost immediately, the rats displayed tissue and immunological damage. After he reported his findings, which eventually underwent peer review and were published in the United Kingdom's leading medical journal, Lancet, Pusztai's home was burglarized and his research files taken. Soon thereafter, he was fired from his job at Rowett, and he has since suffered an orchestrated international campaign of discreditation. [Read full article for the other three distrubing stories of scientific suppression] These four men were not attacked because of flawed or imperfect experiments but because the findings of their work have a potential economic effect. The sad part is that the academies and other allegedly independent institutions that once defended scientific freedom and protected employees like Hayes, Chapela, Losey and Pusztai are abandoning them to the wolves of commerce, the brands of which are being engraved over the entrances to a disturbing number of university labs.
Note: Big money is clearly stifling good science and keeping the public in the dark about genetic modifications in the food we eat. To educate yourself on this most important topic, click here.
Edward McSweegan ... has an office in Bethesda, a job title -- health scientist administrator -- and an annual salary of about $100,000. What McSweegan says he does not have -- and has not had for the last seven years -- is any real work. He was hired by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1988, but says his bosses transferred the research grants he administered to other workers eight years later, leaving him with occasional tasks more suitable for a typist or "gofer." McSweegan used to be NIH's program officer for Lyme disease but was removed from the post in June 1995 after a dispute over his repeated criticism of a politically influential support group for sufferers and his allegations that NIH had been too accommodating of the group. He had publicly described the Lyme Disease Foundation as "wacko" because he disagreed with its theories about the disease. The dispute led to his suspension without pay for two weeks for insubordination. According to NIH, McSweegan is director of the U.S.-Indo Vaccine Action Program, and has traveled to countries such as Russia representing the agency. He has also "produced reports and other work products." But McSweegan said he has never been told he was director of the program. McSweegan said he struggles to fill his eight-hour workdays by reading, exercising and writing fiction. He has self-published a bioterrorism thriller and a science fiction novel. But he says his six-page job description is the ultimate work of creative writing and describes his position as "a bizarre, surreal situation -- part Orwell, part Kafka and part Dilbert."
Dewayne Johnson tries not to think about dying. Doctors have said the 46-year-old cancer patient could have months to live. The father of three and former school groundskeeper has been learning to live with the gift and burden of being in the spotlight in the month since a California jury ruled that Monsanto caused his terminal cancer. The historic verdict against the agrochemical corporation, which included an award of $289m, has ignited widespread health concerns about the world’s most popular weedkiller. Johnson ... was the first person to take Monsanto to trial on allegations that the global seed and chemical company spent decades hiding the cancer risks of its herbicide. He is also the first to win. The groundbreaking verdict further stated that Monsanto “acted with malice” and knew or should have known that its chemicals were “dangerous”. The chemical that changed Johnson’s life is glyphosate, which Monsanto began marketing as Roundup in 1974. The corporation presented the herbicide as a technological breakthrough that could kill nearly every weed without posing dangers to humans or the environment. Roundup products are now registered in 130 countries. Glyphosate can be found in food, water sources and agricultural workers’ urine. Research ... has repeatedly raised concerns about potential harms linked to the herbicide. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s international agency for research on cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
Note: The EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. A recent independent study published in a scientific journal also found a link between glyphosate and gluten intolerance. Internal FDA emails suggest that the food supply contains far more glyphosate than government reports indicate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.
Fifteen years after he helped devise the brutal interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects in secret C.I.A. prisons, John Bruce Jessen, a former military psychologist, expressed ambivalence about the program. He described himself and a fellow military psychologist, James Mitchell, as reluctant participants in using the techniques, some of which are widely viewed as torture. The two psychologists ... are defendants in the only lawsuit that may hold participants accountable for causing harm. Revelations about the C.I.A. practices ... led to an eventual ban on the techniques and a prohibition by the American Psychological Association against members’ participation in national security interrogations. The two psychologists argue that the C.I.A., for which they were contractors, controlled the program. But it is difficult to successfully sue agency officials because of government immunity. Under the agency’s direction, the two men ... proposed [and applied] the “enhanced interrogation” techniques. Their business received $81 million. When [the psychologists] wanted to end the waterboarding sessions as no longer useful, C.I.A. supervisors ... ordered them to continue. Dr. Mitchell said that the C.I.A. officials told them: “‘You guys have lost your spine.’ I think the word that was actually used is that you guys are pussies. There was going to be another attack in America and the blood of dead civilians are going to be on your hands.”
Note: Prior to condemning torture, some of the American Psychological Association’s top officials sought to curry favor with Pentagon officials by supporting the CIA's brutal interrogation methods. For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
The reputation of Roundup, whose active ingredient is the world’s most widely used weed killer, took a hit on Tuesday when a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, the chemical giant Monsanto. Monsanto’s internal emails and email traffic between the company and federal regulators ... suggested that Monsanto had ghostwritten research that was later attributed to academics and indicated that a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency had worked to quash a review of Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, that was to have been conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The files were unsealed by Judge Vince Chhabria, who is presiding over litigation brought by people who claim to have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of exposure to glyphosate. The litigation was touched off by a determination made nearly two years ago by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen. Court records show that Monsanto was tipped off to the determination by a deputy division director at the E.P.A., Jess Rowland, months beforehand. That led the company to prepare a public relations assault on the finding well in advance of its publication. Last year, a review by The New York Times showed how the [chemical] industry can manipulate academic research or misstate findings.
Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
The Trump administration is putting a gag on the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its 2,000 scientists, with an order that forbids the public sharing of information and scientific papers produced by the USDA's main research arm. "Starting immediately and until further notice, the Agricultural Research Service will not release any public-facing documents," Sharon Drumm, chief of staff at ARS, wrote in a department-wide email. "This includes but is not limited to news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds and social media content," Drumm wrote. The Department of Agriculture gag comes at the same time as an administration-imposed media blackout at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Department of Agriculture is not in the vortex of environmental controversy, although ... its research does include genetically modified foods - subject to a nationwide labeling battle - as well as the impact of pesticides.
Next month, Dr. Iris Pear will present her groundbreaking new study at the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics. Or at least she would, if she were a real person. Iris Pear ... is the invention of Christophe Bartneck, an associate professor ... at New Zealand's University of Canterbury. The study in question is completely nonsensical, procedurally generated by iOS’s autocomplete function. Why, then, did a conference for “leading academic scientists” select it for presentation? Dr. Bartneck received an invitation to submit research for an upcoming conference on nuclear physics. With virtually no background in the subject, he decided to use autocomplete to help write his facetious submission. “I started a sentence with ‘atomic’ or ‘nuclear’ and then randomly hit the autocomplete suggestions,” Bartneck wrote. “The text really does not make any sense.” Bartneck’s abstract is both off-topic and unreadable. And yet, Bartneck received a follow-up email just three hours later – his abstract had been accepted. From there, he could pay $1,099 to register as an academic speaker at the Atlanta, Ga. convention. Many journals are slacking on peer review. In a kind of meta-study, Harvard biologist and science journalist John Bohannon submitted false studies to 304 open-access journals. More than half accepted his paper, which featured fake names and several basic chemistry errors. But the acceptance of Bartneck’s fake study may be less surprising. The conference smacks of a scam.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A new study of male honeybees shows that two insecticides, banned in some European nations but still used in the United States, can significantly reduce the bees’ ability to reproduce. The study ... found that thiamethoxam and clothianidin, two chemicals from the neonicotinoid family of insecticides, reduce living sperm in male honeybees, called drones, by almost 40 percent. The effects of pesticides on honeybee populations are considered one culprit among several factors causing periodic declines. Neonicotinoids have been shown by other studies to harm the health of individual bees and the reproductive ability of female insects. The new study expanded on the dangers of the pesticides for males. The two neonicotinoids used in the study were banned in the European Union in 2013, but are used on an industrial scale in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency ... will release risk assessments for the two chemicals, as well as another neonicotinoid, dinotefuran, in December. A significant amount of the global food supply is made up of plants that require pollinators like bees to survive. Any widespread threat to bees also constitutes a greater ecological threat. Beekeepers in the United States lost 44 percent of their honeybee colonies from April 2015 to April 2016, according to an annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership. The loss was 3.5 percent greater than that found from 2014 to 2015, when beekeepers lost 40.6 percent of colonies.
Government researchers in Brazil are set to explore the country's peculiar distribution of Zika-linked microcephaly - babies born with abnormally small heads. Zika virus has spread throughout Brazil, but extremely high rates of microcephaly have been reported only in the country's northeast. Although evidence suggests that Zika can cause microcephaly, the clustering pattern hints that other environmental, socio-economic or biological factors could be at play. “We suspect that something more than Zika virus is causing the high intensity and severity of cases,” says Fatima Marinho, director of information and health analysis at Brazil’s ministry of health. If that turns out to be true, it could change researchers' assessment of the risk that Zika poses. Zika was discovered in 1947 and hadn’t been implicated in birth defects until now. The northeast was where the first reported surge in microcephaly cases in Brazil began a year ago. Health officials had expected that they would later see the same high rates in other parts of the country. But as of 20 July, almost 90% of the 1,709 confirmed cases of congenital microcephaly or birth defects of the central nervous system reported in Brazil since last November were in a relatively small area ... about the size of the United Kingdom, whereas Brazil is almost as large as the United States. There are many hypotheses about what might be going on. Marinho says that her team's data, submitted for publication, hint that socio-economic factors might be involved.
Note: The cluster of microcephaly cases in Brazil was reported in February to predate the latest Zika outbreak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Zika virus news articles from reliable major media sources.
The war on drugs has failed, fuelling higher rates of infection and harming public health and human rights to such a degree that it's time to decriminalize non-violent minor drug offences, according to a new global report. The authors of the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy call for minor use, possession and petty use to be decriminalized following measurably worsened human health. "We've had three decades of the war on drugs, we've had decades of zero-tolerance policy," said Dr. Chris Beyrer, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and the senior author of the report published Thursday in The Lancet. "It has had no measurable impact on supply or use, and so as a policy to control substance use it has arguably failed. It has evidently failed." Given that the goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production and trafficking of illicit drugs was to protect societies, the researchers evaluated the health effects and found they were overwhelmingly negative. For a role model, the authors point to Portugal, which decriminalized not only cannabis but also possession of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. HIV transmission, hepatitis C and incarcerations all decreased, Beyrer said, and there was about a 15 per cent decline in substance use by young people in Portugal.
Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly, there remains powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.
Every summer we are inundated with news media reports warning that ... otherwise healthy adults and children are walking around dehydrated, even that dehydration has reached epidemic proportions. Let’s put these claims under scrutiny. I was a co-author of a paper back in 2007 in the BMJ on medical myths. The first myth was that people should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. The source of this myth [may be] a 1945 Food and Nutrition Board recommendation that said people need about 2.5 liters of water a day. The sentence that followed closely behind ... read, “Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.” Water is present in fruits and vegetables. It’s in juice, it’s in beer, it’s even in tea and coffee. Before anyone writes me to tell me that coffee is going to dehydrate you, research shows that’s not true either. A significant number of advertisers and news media reports are trying to convince you otherwise. Bottled water sales continue to increase. More recent studies [continue] to declare huge numbers of children to be dehydrated. A 2012 study in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism [claimed] that almost two-thirds of French children weren’t getting enough water. Another in the journal Public Health Nutrition [declared] that almost two-thirds of children in Los Angeles and New York City weren’t getting enough water. The first study was funded by Nestlé Waters; the second by Nestec, a Nestlé subsidiary. There is no formal recommendation for a daily amount of water people need.
Note: The complete article above details how normal water consumption has been redefined by dubious science to appear insufficient. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Many Oklahomans can still vividly recall the day they experienced their first earthquake. Ever since 2009/2010, earthquakes in the state have increased exponentially – leading to what are called “seismic swarms”. In 2000 there was not a single earthquake, but in 2014 we experienced 585 quakes of magnitude three or larger. For some time now, scientists have wondered whether fracking-related activities, such as wastewater injection, might be the source of increased seismic activity in Oklahoma. In May of last year, the Oklahoma Geological Survey, an affiliate entity of the University of Oklahoma, released a statement in conjunction with the United States Geological Survey, saying that wastewater injection was a “likely contributing factor the increase in earthquakes”. Not long after this statement, David Boren, president of the university, summoned the Oklahoma Geological Survey’s lead seismologist Austin Holland, who was also one of the authors of the statement, to a meeting with Harold Hamm, CEO of ... one of Oklahoma’s largest oil and gas exploration and production companies. Boren facilitated the meeting despite the fact that he also serves as a member of the Continental Resources board of directors. In July 2014, Continental Resources released a presentation positing an alternative theory for the seismic swarms and downplaying the influence of induced seismicity. One can only imagine the pressure this meeting must have brought upon Holland and his team of scientists.
Note: Jason W Murphey, an Oklahoma State Representative, wrote the above. For more on this, read this informative New York Times article titled "As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.
Joni Mitchell, 71, was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles on Tuesday after she was found unconscious at her Los Angeles home. In recent years, the singer has complained of a number of health problems, including one particularly unusual ailment: Morgellons disease. People who believe they have the condition report lesions that don’t heal, “fibers” extruding from their skin and uncomfortable sensations like pins-and-needles tingling or stinging. Sufferers may also report fatigue and problems with short-term memory and concentration. But Morgellons is not a medically accepted diagnosis. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied 115 people who said they had the condition. In a report published in 2012, they said they were unable to identify an infectious source for the patients’ “unexplained dermopathy.” The investigators cast doubt on Morgellons as a distinct condition and said that it might be something doctors were already familiar with: delusional infestation, a psychiatric condition characterized by an unshakable but erroneous belief that one’s skin is infested with bugs or parasites. These patients have a reduced quality of life, the researchers concluded, but the cause is not clear. Science one day may find that Morgellons has a physical basis, but at the moment most experts treat it as a psychiatric disorder — to the great frustration of people, like Ms. Mitchell, who ... are afflicted with it.
Pat Guillet is a food addict. She has finally wrestled her addiction under control and now she counsels other food addicts to avoid processed food. "Yeah, just the sight of the packages will trigger cravings," she said. Craving. It doesn't just happen to food addicts. "These companies rely on deep science and pure science to understand how we're attracted to food and how they can make their foods attractive to us," Michael Moss said. The New York Times investigative reporter spent four years prying open the secrets of the food industry’s scientists. "This was like a detective story for me, getting inside the companies with thousands of pages of inside documents and getting their scientists and executives to reveal to me the secrets of how they go at this," he said. What he found became the title of his new book, Salt, Sugar Fat: How the food giants hooked us. "I spent time with the top scientists at the largest companies in this country and it's amazing how much math and science and regression analysis and energy they put into finding the very perfect amount of salt, sugar and fat in their products that will send ... their products flying off the shelves and have us buy more, eat more and …make more money for them."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Fraud in scientific research, while still rare, is growing at a troubling pace, a new study finds. A review of retractions in medical and biological peer-reviewed journals finds the percentage of studies withdrawn because of fraud or suspected fraud has jumped substantially since the mid-1970s. In 1976, there were fewer than 10 fraud retractions for every 1 million studies published, compared with 96 retractions per million in 2007. The study authors aren't quite sure why this is happening. But they and outside experts point to pressure to hit it big in science, both for funding and attention, and to what seems to be a subtle increase in deception in overall society that science may simply be mirroring. Fraud in life sciences research is still minuscule and committed by only a few dozen scientific scofflaws. However, it causes big problems, said Arturo Casadevall, a professor of microbiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Casadevall is the lead author of the study which looked at the reasons for 2,047 retractions among many millions of studies published in journals and kept in a government database. Fraud was the No. 1 cause of retractions, accounting for 43 percent of them. When fraud was combined with other areas of misconduct, such as plagiarism, it explained about 2 out of 3 retractions, the study found. "Very few people are doing it, but when they do it, they are doing it in areas that are very important," Casadevall said. "And when these things come out, society loses faith in science."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in science, click here.
Last year, Stanford banned its physicians from giving paid promotional talks for pharmaceutical companies. One thing it didn't do was make sure its faculty followed that rule. A ProPublica investigation ["Dollars for Docs"] found that more than a dozen of the school's doctors were paid speakers in apparent violation of Stanford policy - two of them were paid six figures since last year. Conflict-of-interest policies have become increasingly important as academic medical centers worry that promotional talks undermine the credibility not only of the physicians giving them, but also of the institutions they represent. Yet when it comes to enforcing the policies, universities have allowed permissive interpretations and relied on the honor system. That approach isn't working. Many physicians are in apparent violation, and ignorance or confusion about the rules is widespread. As a result, some faculty physicians stay on the industry lecture circuit, where they can net tens of thousands of dollars in additional income. Critics of the practice say delivering talks for drug companies is incompatible with teaching future generations of physicians. That's because drug firms typically pick the topic of the lecture, train the speakers and require them to use company-provided presentation slides.
Note: "Dollars for Docs" is an ongoing investigation into the influence of drug company marketing payments on medical providers. To search for a doctor in the database, click here.
Many drug trials involve a placebo, a sham drug whose results are compared with the results of the real medication. A placebo is supposed to contain a harmless substance, such as sugar or vegetable oil, which has no significant effect on the body. In [a new] study, researchers delved into 176 studies published in reputable medical journals ... from January 2008 to December 2009 to see if placebo contents were disclosed and if so, what they were. The study authors argue that placebo ingredients may not always be as inconsequential as some may think. They write: "For instance, olive oil and corn oil have been used as the placebo in trials of cholesterol-lowering drugs. This may lead to an understatement of drug benefit: The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids of these 'placebos,' and their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, can reduce lipid levels and heart disease." Certain placebos, they add, may skew results in favor of the active drug. The researchers referenced a trial for a drug used to treat anorexia linked with cancer in which a lactose placebo was used. Since lactose intolerance is common among cancer patients, the fact that some suffered stomach problems from the placebo may have made the actual drug look more beneficial. "Perfect placebo is not the aim," they write, "rather, we seek to ensure that its composition is disclosed."
Note: For key reports from major media sources on important issues related to health and medicine, click here.
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