BIOL398-04/S15:Class Journal Week 9

From OpenWetWare

Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

Lucia I. Ramirez

Were you aware of this case of research fraud before viewing this video?

  • I was not aware this case in regards to the cure for cancer. The youtube video was uploaded in 2012, but I'm not sure if that's when the defaults of the case were unveiled. In my high school years, I can simply remember hearing that the cure for cancer was found, but really didn't read into it.

What are your initial reactions to hearing about this case?

  • Surprised and startled. I couldn't believe that so many errors were overlooked. I understand that there has been an endless effort for cancer cure, but this instance was clearly unacceptable. It was mentioned that these findings would have brought wealth and great acknowledgement to the university, which can be a great motivation for many. The need for correct data was also seen as a priority when the lab manager said that they didn't want to find any errors. But clearly, the data was manipulated, or as stated, the amount of data was equivalent to an astroid crashing on earth. I am not sure f these actions were done purposefully, but there is a great lesson to take home: peer review is crucial.

What role did data sharing play in uncovering this fraud?

  • Findings in scientific work is crucial, which was noted after this case. Allowing other scientific scholars to critique and question your data is a big part in confirming how ligament the findings are. Data sharing allowed my journals to and other publishing work to spread the new research being done on cancer.

What additional information would you like to know about this case? (We will be visiting it again in subsequent weeks in the course.)

  • I was surprised that they let this false information be out in public for so long. What is the process to have your research to be published? How long is it? How much approval is needed from the lab manager? Why did the lab manager not feel the need to check his lab student's work thoroughly?

Lucia I. Ramirez 01:48, 17 March 2015 (EDT)

Lauren M. Magee

  • Were you aware of this case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • I was aware of this fraud, because I had been exposed to it in one of my previous courses, Biological Databases at LMU. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known about the deception of these study results.
  • What are your initial reactions to hearing about this case?
    • I want to believe that there is a possibility that Potti didn't know his methods were inaccurate. Potti could have believed in his research so much that he felt he needed to modify it, so it had the chance to prove itself in the patients. If his methods did work, he would be saving millions of lives, so maybe he felt using 112 patients to prove it works, was working for the greater good. Of course, this doesn't justify his desicion by any means, because he was putting 112 lives at risk, even if the treatment was successful. If Potti was purely motivated by money, then I think he is a disgusting and desipicable human being, but personally I think he purer reasoning for continuing his research.
  • What role did data sharing play in uncovering this fraud?
    • Originally, Potti was only sharing the data sets that had been modified to fit his predictions so collegues didn't notice anything strange about his conclusions. There was, however, two men from a seperate group involved in cancer research, who found numerous flaws in Potti's data. When they brought these issues up with Potti, he explained that they had been accounted for in more updated studies and were no longer relivant. The two men, however, continued to find problems with the conclusions Potti was making and eventually brought it up to Duke, who asked someone to investigate the findings. The investigation supported Potti and Duke continued their cancer trails. It wasn;t until much later, when a reporter found that Potti had lied about his credentials, that his advisor finally took a look at Potti's original data. It become abundantly clear that the data did not support Potti's conclusions and that someone must have manually changed the dataset to produce significant results.
  • What additional information would you like to know about this case?
    • I want to know how Dr. Potti thinks the data became modified to fit his desired results? He claims that when he started the cancer trials he didn't know that the data had been modified, but if he wasn't the one who changed the data, how did it become so warped? I would also like to ask why his laboratory advisor allowed him to be the only one to view the exact output of his study? The reason cross checking Potti's data didn't bring up errors was because Potti was the only one who had his hands on the original data sets. Why was this allowed? I think his advisor should have been much more suspicious of Potti's behavior, because this was such a revolutionary finding. I would also like to ask Duke why they allowed the cancer trials to continue when there had been numerous signs, brought to their attention, about the possible flaws in the research!

Lauren M. Magee 20:46, 16 March 2015 (EDT)

William A. C. Gendron

  • Were you aware of this case of research fraud before viewing this video?

This is the first time I have heard of this case of fraud. I have heard of other cases where scientists had created false papers to check if journals are peer reviewed. The scientists would then repeal the paper after the joke has occurred. I am not surprised that this has occurred. When a lot of money is involved with these projects, it leads people to lie to get ahead.

  • What are your initial reactions to hearing about this case?

This sickened me. Biomedical science should have one goal above all others: give the patients the best treatment possible. Money or prestige should have no part in this work and actions like this hurt the credibility of all scientists. If you fail to create whatever great invention or new cure, it is our duty to state our failure and accept it.

  • What role did data sharing play in uncovering this fraud?

Data sharing allowed people to look at his data and see that he was forging his results. I was surprised that the review committee hired by Duke let it pass. I believe the fact that they were hired by Duke may have influenced their review. I also think that should be a requirement with every paper. At the end of it, they should have a complete list of all data that they used.

  • What additional information would you like to know about this case?

Were new review measures installed after this incident? I would like to see CV reviews as well as data reviews. If someone lies on their CV, they can be expected to forge data to get ahead as well.

Kristen M. Horstmann

  • Were you aware of this case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • No, I had never heard about Duke’s claimed medical breakthrough nor its scandal before watching this video.
  • What are your initial reactions to hearing about this case?
    • My reaction, probably like any other person’s reaction, is immediate sadness over the desperation to seek fame, fortune, and respect by taking advantage of anyone else, especially those desperate for a solution to a fatal situation. It’s easy to immediately assume that the data errors were just small, innocent mistakes done during the experiment, which I’m sure is the assumption Dr. Potti was hoping for if anyone questioned him. However, when nearly every single result which disproved his hypothesis was changed, and when his own colleagues have described the likelihood as astronomical, it becomes very clear that this was no innocent error. Maybe I’m naïve, but it’s horrifying to think someone could be this dishonest all for some money and respect, and can only hope that this will be used as a lesson to future medical researchers on the values of just telling the truth, even if it’s not what the world wants to hear.
  • What role did data sharing play in uncovering this fraud?
    • Data sharing was luckily what brought light to the issues in the research as analysts were able to look over his data to see where the real results were. Without data sharing, this experiment could have carried on for a lot longer, although I am curious as to what Dr. Potti’s excuse would be when nearly all- if not all- of his patients were dying regardless of his claims. I don’t think Duke is faultless here, as they likely chose analysts who they trusted and who they’ve given a lot of business to before. Without data sharing, many more people could’ve fatally put their trust in Dr. Potti.
  • What additional information would you like to know about this case? (We will be visiting it again in subsequent weeks in the course.)
    • Duke is claiming in the lawsuit that they are not to blame because they provided the service they promised. Did this hold up in court or did Duke have to change their stance?
    • How in the world does this man still have his medical license? It seems to me like someone would have to be very twisted psychologically to mislead innocent families who were desperate for hope in a dire situation. And again, what would he have done 5 years later when no one was responding positively to his treatment?

Kristen M. Horstmann 23:32, 15 March 2015 (EDT)

Natalie Williams

Deception at Duke

  • Were you aware of this case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • I was not aware about this research fraud at all.
  • What are your initial reactions to hearing about this case?
    • I was shocked to discover that the research and fraud pertained to cancer treatment. It is sad that someone would initially bend the truth to get a position at a prestigious institution. It is also devastating that someone would manipulate data and lie about their results. It is valiant that he wanted his results to help cancer patients, but it is horrible that he acted without fully grasping how many lives he was going to negatively affect and harm.
  • What role did data sharing play in uncovering this fraud?
    • Sharing data is the only reason why this fraud was uncovered. By sharing his data, this doctor was hoping that people would agree with his findings, but he caused his own demise. Sharing data allowed doctors and other researchers to read over what was concluded and understand the process in how the results were reached.
  • What additional information would you like to know about this case? (We will be visiting it again in subsequent weeks in the course.)
    • I would like to know how many tumor sites he had identified with his findings. I also want to know how and in what ways they were going to carry out attacking these specific tumors and their genes. I also want to know how his background was not checked as thoroughly as it should have been and why testing continued for as long as it did.
Natalie Williams 01:34, 16 March 2015 (EDT)

Kara M Dismuke

Deception at Duke

  • Were you aware of this case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • No, I had not heard of this research case prior to this video. I am actually a little bit ashamed that I am just now learning about this, as it seems as though this is significant and something I ought to have been aware of before today.
  • What are your initial reactions to hearing about this case?
    • It is hard to believe that this intelligent man with a professed goal to provide personal treatment to cancer patients would instead take advantage of these patients. While he stood to gain financially, it is in my opinion worse that he actually took advantage of his patients by giving them false hope. It is hard to believe there are people like this in the world. And, to make it worse, he still practices medicine and still makes reference to his "contribution" to cancer research on his company's website.
  • What role did data sharing play in uncovering this fraud?
    • Data sharing played a significant role in that other researchers were able to identify discrepancies and errors in the research and its data, and thus, begin probing Dr. Potti and his research with questions. Interestingly enough, though, data sharing was not the main factor in uncovering this fraud. While it certainly began to call Dr. Potti's findings into question, what actually tipped the scales was uncovering Dr. Potti's "Rhodes Scholar" description on his resume to be fabrication. Once this happened, then further analysis of the shared data resulted in the uncovering of this research fraud.
  • What additional information would you like to know about this case? (We will be visiting it again in subsequent weeks in the course.)
    • How can it be (from the legal perspective as well as from the perspective of who would choose to be treated by such an unethical doctor) that he is still practicing medicine?
    • Have there been other cases like this in recent history?
    • What compensation did the victims (the patients and/or their families) receive? And, was this compensation received from Dr. Potti or from Duke or from both? It seems to me that while Dr. Potti owes those patients and their families a lot (though no amount of money will right the injustice that occurred), it is only fair for Duke to take responsibility as Dr. Potti was employed by and thus represented the university. Not only so, but Duke's hiring of a private investigating committee, which came to verify the "results," further speaks to the university's responsibility to give the patients and families who were deceived some sort of financial compensation/apology.

--Kara M Dismuke 02:56, 16 March 2015 (EDT)

Alyssa Gomes

  • Were you aware of this case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • No, I had not heard of this case, or other cases of research fraud before viewing this.
  • What are your initial reactions to hearing about this case?
    • My initial reaction to hearing about this case was shock, because this man is working toward something that could be life-changing for many cancer patients, and for it to have been proven false, makes many of those in the health field or those who have been served in hospitals question the science done behind their procedures and knowledge. In a more scientific sense of things, it seems a bit shocking that Dr. Potti assumed that he would get away with it, knowing that science builds off of science. Most research serves as a source for the next research, leading to a somewhat domino effect. Eventually someone would've discovered this. The process of science is repetition, no matter the failure. In this field, we use failure to our benefit, learning why a certain experiment did not work and using that to give us more motivation.
  • What role did data sharing play in uncovering this fraud?
    • Data sharing allowed others to uncover Dr. Potti's lies in this. It seems a bit intimidating to have your research and experimental procedures on the internet for all those to see, but it also allows others to analyze and critique methods applied here.

I don't know what would've happened eventually, had there not been data sharing, but eventually someone would have questioned why Dr. Potti's methods weren't working and yet Dr.Potti was still profiting from the fame and fortune.

  • What additional information would you like to know about this case? (We will be visiting it again in subsequent weeks in the course.)
    • Because we are in the age of putting everything on the internet or into some form of collected scientific research, looking back to scientific experiments from long before our time, is it possible any other experiments have been slightly altered to a falsified truth?
    • Did any students possibly helping him know about any form of falsification? Or was Potti fooling everyone?
    • What happened with the cancer patients Potti was studying? Both in terms of health, and their reactions to Potti's scandal?
    • How was Duke able to argue that they were not at fault although Potti worked directly under them? How did Duke regain their notable reputation?

Alyssa N Gomes 17:47, 16 March 2015 (EDT)

Tessa A. Morris

  • Were you aware of this case of research fraud before viewing this video?
    • No, I was not aware of this case of research fraud before viewing the video.
  • What are your initial reactions to hearing about this case?
    • My initial reaction to learning about this case is disgust. Dr. Potti gave false hope to dying patients and their families, and purposefully deceived the scientific community. The scientific community relies on trust between professionals. He took advantage of the trust that is necessary in scientific research, in order to make money.
  • What role did data sharing play in uncovering this fraud?
    • Data sharing was essential in uncovering the truth. Other doctors began to realize that Potti's techniques were giving harmful treatments to patients, so they began an investigation into these errors. A review committee then said that Potti's research was correct however, the editor of a newspaper received a tip from an anonymous source that he should look into the Rhodes Scholarship (his credentials), which Potti had lied about. After this, other professionals realized Potti changed his data to fit his idea.
  • What additional information would you like to know about this case?
    • I would like to know why Potti did not receive any legal ramifications. (How did he not get fined or jailed?)
    • Did anyone knowingly help Potti with his fraud?

Tessa A. Morris 18:19, 16 March 2015 (EDT)

Jeffrey Crosson

Were you aware of this case of research fraud before viewing this video?

  • No I wasn't.

What are your initial reactions to hearing about this case?

  • Frustrated that someone would do something that would directly negatively affect many people's lives.

What role did data sharing play in uncovering this fraud?

  • The culture of science that encourages the critique and replication of results.

What additional information would you like to know about this case? (We will be visiting it again in subsequent weeks in the course.)

  • I'm wondering exactly what the proposed methodology of using people's DNA to cure people's cancer was.

Jeffrey Crosson 2:59, 17 March 2015 (EDT)

Personal tools