My deadly genetic disease was just a bug

Earlier today, the FDA sent a warning letter to gene-testing company 23andme. And then Spacedeck co-founder Lukas Hartmann, aka @mntmn, decided to publish the following story about the pitfalls of genetic testing — the time 23andme claimed to have diagnosed him with a deadly disease. » 11/25/13 2:26pm 11/25/13 2:26pm

Academic fraud in China is getting out of hand

In a few short years, China has metamorphosed from a middling contributor to scientific knowledge into one of the most prolific research entities on the planet. But the country's meteoric ascent to scientific prominence – widely attributed to a flawed incentive system – has given unintentional rise to a lucrative… » 9/30/13 12:24pm 9/30/13 12:24pm

This is my favorite new bizarro science scandal on the internet

Last year, a psychology researcher named Stephan Lewandowsky published an article based on an internet survey of climate change deniers. In it, he argued that his evidence strongly suggested that people who don't believe in climate change also believe NASA faked the Moon landing, and that the US government created… » 3/29/13 6:07pm 3/29/13 6:07pm

Nope, these birds are not lesbians

Female Laysan albatrosses have a habit of building nests together and sharing child care responsibilities. Does this make them lesbians? Scientists say no. Still, there have been dozens of news headlines trumpeting the discovery of gay marriage among albatrosses. Now, to fight back, two scientists have done a study on … » 8/08/12 12:31pm 8/08/12 12:31pm

The best scientific smackdown about evolution you'll read this week

Over at fantastic blog Tetrapod Zoology, paleontologist Darren Naish tells one of the most bizarre, fascinating stories about the debate over evolution you're likely to read. It's the tale of David Peters, a web designer and amateur paleontologist who made a name for himself in the 1980s and 90s by illustrating a set… » 8/03/12 4:28pm 8/03/12 4:28pm

Scientific journals publish 20,000 fraudulent papers every year

Writing in Nature, science journalist Colin Macilwain exposes a little-known fact about articles published in reputable scientific journals. Every year, 20,000 of them are fraudulent. Scientists fudge their work in these papers about 1% of the time, and it adds up. But now, science institutions are starting to be more … » 8/01/12 1:28pm 8/01/12 1:28pm

New report reveals how corporations undermine science with fake…

You've probably heard about how the tobacco industry tried to suppress scientific evidence that smoking causes cancer by publishing shady research, bribing politicians, and pressuring researchers. But you may not have realized that tabacco's dirty tricks are just the tip of the iceberg. In a disturbing new report… » 3/09/12 2:22pm 3/09/12 2:22pm

Science retracts controversial Chronic Fatigue Syndrome study without…

A scientific controversy of operatic proportions has reached a significant turning point today. The drama kicked off in 2009, with a publication in Science that reported a startling link between chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and a virus called XMRV. But today, following a partial retraction issued back in September, » 12/22/11 11:05am 12/22/11 11:05am

Psychologist admits to faking dozens of scientific studies

Every branch of science has its share of "sexy" studies—so called for their supposed tendency to provoke media attention, even in the absence of strong or conclusive findings—but investigations in the field of social psychology are often especially popular targets of the "sexy" label. » 11/02/11 3:13pm 11/02/11 3:13pm

The NIH will not offer public access to information about its…

Scientists have long been required to list any and all conflicts of interest that could unduly influence the objectivity of their research — for example, they would need to reveal if a tobacco company funded research showing that smoking doesn't cause cancer. However, this kind of information is not always readily… » 8/03/11 3:47pm 8/03/11 3:47pm

Scientific article showing that transcendental meditation can prevent…

This week we were all set to report on an interesting but possibly biased study that pointed to some incredible health benefits through transcendental meditation. Funded by the Maharishi University of Management, the paper claimed an almost 50% drop in heart problems (including those leading to heart attacks and… » 6/29/11 10:42am 6/29/11 10:42am

The biggest roadblock to getting good information about scientific…

What's blocking your access to accurate scientific information? Often, it's the representatives of research institutions themselves. Today on Embargo Watch, science journalism watchdog Ivan Oransky reports on just one example of how universities try to prevent reporters from getting information about scientific… » 2/14/11 4:15pm 2/14/11 4:15pm

Was the arsenic life form announcement just a NASA publicity stunt?

After the Earth-shaking announcement last week that they'd discovered an arsenic-based life form, NASA researchers are under attack from many in the scientific community. Experts are calling the research shoddy, and wondering if NASA is just desperate for publicity. » 12/07/10 12:04pm 12/07/10 12:04pm