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Research Issues

US study dispels men and women's body temperature differences

Women’s body temperatures are no more variable than men’s, despite menstrual cycles and hormonal variability, a recent monitoring study suggests, casting doubt on a...

Why obese people should not be excluded from drug trials

Although more than 40% of American adults are considered obese, the medications many take are rarely tested in bigger bodies, because they are not...

Unpacking new FDA guidance for psychedelic medicine

Drug companies are spending millions to incorporate psychedelic agents into healthcare, working with research institutions and patient organisations, and gaining support in Congress, while...

The power of the placebo effect  

An advisory committee for the US Food and Drug Administration recently concluded that a popular over-the-counter oral decongestant (containing the ingredient phenylephrine) was no...

Researcher demoted by university wins Nobel Prize

Katalin Karikó, who is sharing with Drew Weissman the Nobel Prize in medicine for her work with mRNA vaccines, was previously demoted by the...

Ethics challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa big data research

A recent study highlights the need for the training of research ethics committees tasked with reviewing data-intense research protocols where data protection and sharing...

Why some cancer drugs have unexpected side effects

Researchers have revealed one reason why certain anti-cancer compounds can cause unexpected side effects, which could help guide an understanding of why some drugs...

New drugs a boost for Alzheimer's treatment but finding cause must be a priority

While the world finally has a disease-modifying drug for Alzheimer’s – and by the end of this year, likely to have another – and...

Shady clinical trials, faked, flawed studies abound, experts warn

Investigations suggest that, in some fields, at least one-quarter of clinical trials might be problematic or even entirely made up, warn some researchers, who...

Disgraced Stanford president resigns after falsified data

The president of America’s prestigious Stanford University has resigned after the board of trustees concluded several academic reports he had authored on brain development...

Century-old cancer chromosome puzzle solved by CRISPR 



Biologists using modern gene-editing tools have discovered that the intuition of scientists from more than 100 years ago was right: cells with unusual numbers...

Chinese gene-editing scientist aims to cure Alzheimer’s

The Chinese scientist who shocked the world in 2018 with the announcement of gene-edited babies has now claimed to have a similar solution for curing Alzheimer’s,...

Vaping paper retracted after Big Tobacco funding discovery

The journal BMJ Open has retracted a paper – describing a study in which people with diabetes switched from cigarettes to vaping – after...

Scientists at ‘turning point’ with cancer vaccines

Scientists say their cancer research has reached a turning point, with many predicting more vaccines will be out in five years – specifically those...

New R1.2bn biomedical unit a weapon against future epidemics

Technology is the best weapon against future pandemics, believes renowned scientist Tulio de Oliveira, a professor of bioinformatics at the School for Data Science...

Sloppy standards at Chinese labs pose risk of deadly pathogen leaks

Inadequate, unsafe practices and equipment, and sub-optimal standards, characterise a number of Chinese research institutions, with scant regard, in many cases, paid to bio-safety...

US plans $300m database for Alzheimer’s research

The US National Institute on Aging (NIA) is funding a six-year, up to $300m project, to build a massive Alzheimer’s research database that can...

Merck, Eisai skin cancer drug trial fails to achieve goals

Drug companies Merck and Eisai are discontinuing a late-stage study of Keytruda plus Lenvima for people with unresectable or metastatic melanoma, as they showed no...

Scientists to send cancer cells to space in UK research quest

Cancer cells are heading to space in British scientific experiments to understand more about an incurable, deadly childhood tumour, which led to the death...

More than 100 labs studying deadly viruses, mapping project finds

The growing number of high-containment labs studying deadly animal and human viruses raises the risks of an accidental release or misuse of germs, like...

Alzheimer’s treatment trial fails

In another blow to Alzheimer’s treatment efforts in people in the very early stage of the disease, Eli Lilly has halted development of its...

Sports industry may have helped downplay dangers of concussions and head injuries

Fresh doubt has been cast over the sports industry’s influence on concussion and head injury research, and stirred up old allegations that sporting bodies...

Lab-grown mice created from two male cells

In a development that opens up radical new possibilities for reproduction and for treating infertility, Japanese scientists have created mice with two biological fathers...

More allegations against Stanford president’s Alzheimer’s study

Stanford University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a senior author of a study published in the journal Nature in 2008, has been accused by former scientists...

Most baby formula health claims not science-backed – global analysis

Researchers have urged manufacturers to market baby formula in plain packaging, saying that after their survey into health claims made for 608 products on...

SA researchers find limitations in Discovery’s mortality rates study model

The design of Discovery Health's 2019 risk adjustment model to determine standardised mortality rates across South African private hospital systems, with the aim of...

J&J claims fraud in paper linking talc to mesothelioma

A key paper linking talc-based baby powder to cancer allegedly contains fraudulent information, according to a new complaint against an author of the article...

US law change allows for end of animal testing for new medicines

In a move welcomed by animal welfare organisations, new medicines no longer need to be tested on animals to receive US Food and Drug...

Top 10 global retractions of 2022

From typo-laden code in a psychedelics research to paper mills and plagiarism, The Scientist looks back on some of the most notable retractions in...

Research into popular blood thinner drug under scrutiny

Revelations from US documents show research into a popular blood thinner, used by millions of people around the world after being approved for stroke...

Young scientists warned about predatory, damaging journals

Authors of a two-year study exposing various dodgy publishing practices urged delegates at the World Science Forum in Cape Town last week to help...

Probe into possible data manipulation in Stanford president’s research

One of America’s most prestigious institutions, Stanford University, has launched an investigation of possible research misconduct in several papers co-authored many years ago by...

Step forward in human studies for Neuralink brain implants

Elon Musk’s brain-machine interface company Neuralink intends to put its first implant in a human subject in the next six months, he said last week,...

Search for a new class of antibiotics

A study on the surge of new antimicrobial research has shown that despite almost a quarter of a million research papers (227 808) being...

SA’s first chronic pain clinical trial to explore cannabis as alternative to opioids

The first clinical trial of its kind in South Africa, probing cannabis’ effectiveness as an alternative to opioids for chronic pain management, aims to...

Hopes dashed as Roche’s potential Alzheimer’s drug fails trials

Expectations of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease have been dealt another blow by the failure of an experimental drug to slow the progression of...

Patient’s death in Alzheimer’s trial raises concern about risk

A month after drugmaker Eisai reported positive, topline phase three data of its Alzheimer’s treatment lecanemab, it has been reported that one of the...

Scientists suggest SARS-CoV-2 has signs of genetic engineering

A trio of scientists has come up with a controversial theory about the origins of the COVID-19 virus, suggesting it was genetically engineered –...

Cancer jab might be ready by 2030, say Pfizer/BioNTech scientists

A vaccine against cancer could be ready by 2030, says the team behind the successful Pfizer/BioNTech COVID jab, who have worked to pioneer cancer...

Retractions, plagiarism concerns over dozens of articles by concussion expert

Nine articles from internationally renowned Australian concussion expert Dr Paul McCrory have been retracted from a prestigious medical journal and dozens more have had...