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Big Pharma runs drug trials in China, is accused of faking data

Remember this. The next time you hear about a drug trial out of China know that it's likely very bad science. Drug Research in China Falls Under a Cloud - NYTimes.com
Since 2006, 13 of the top 20 global drug makers have set up research and development centers in China, according to a report by McKinsey & Company. “It’s cheaper to do research there,” said Eric G. Campbell, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. However, “I have absolutely no doubt that with cheaper research comes greater risk.” Auditors found that researchers did not report the results of animal studies in a drug that was already being tested in humans, a breach that one medical ethicist described as a “mortal sin” in the world of drug research. They also concluded that workers at the research center did not properly monitor clinical trials and paid hospitals in ways that could be seen as bribery. Last year, Glaxo said, a more favorable audit found the concerns had been addressed. But several outside experts said the problems outlined in the initial audit were grave and painted a picture of an organization that failed to keep tabs on a crucial research center as it expanded both in size and scope. And it indicates that the problems there were more extensive than were reported in June, when the company fired the head of research and development in China after discovering that an article he helped write in the journal Nature Medicine contained misrepresented data. . . .

Linguist figures out how to spot a fake negative review

Fascinating. collision detection: How to spot a faked negative review: They're vague, long, and use lots of exclamation points!!!
When the researchers analyzed the language traits of these faked negative reviews, several trends things emerged. The differences between faked and non-faked bad reviews aren’t huge, but they’re consistent. Here’s my redaction of the big ones the researchers found: They’re long. “Perhaps the strongest cue associated with deception is the number of words: deceptive messages tend to be longer” — about 36%, on average. Fake ones were on average 70.13 words long; authentic negative reviews were only 52 words. Why is this? Because, as psychologists have long documented, it’s harder to craft a lie than to tell the truth. They’re vague. Since the reviewers here are assessing goods they haven’t actually touched or felt, “these reviews are significantly less likely to include descriptions of the fit or feel of the garments, which can generally only be evaluated through physical inspection.” They contain irrelevant details. Fake reviewers were more likely to fill up their prose with seemingly off-point discussions of stuff not germane to the product — such as mentions of their family. “They are also more likely to contain details unrelated to the product (‘I also remember when everything was made in America’) and these details often mention the reviewer’s family (‘My dad used to take me when we were young to the original store down the hill’).” And my personal favorite mark of inauthenticity: “multiple exclamation points.”

July 22, 2013

Yet more scientists claim sex addiction isn't really a thing

People who claim to be sex addicts aren't addicts in the same way say a heroin addict is. The brain chemistry is not alike. Instead, they are just people who make poor life decisions and blame sex. Sex Addiction Does Not Appear To Be A Disorder, UCLA Study Says (VIDEO)
Celebrities Tiger Woods, Russell Brand and David Duchovny all blamed their copious amounts of sex on a disorder: sex addiction. But UCLA researchers say sex addiction does not appear to be a disorder, according to their study, which appears in the current online edition of the journal Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology. The study involved 39 men and 13 women who reported having problems controlling their viewing of sexual images. UCLA scientist Nicole Prause and her colleagues monitored the volunteers' brains while showing them erotic images. "If they indeed suffer from hypersexuality, or sexual addiction, their brain response to visual sexual stimuli could be expected to be higher, in much the same way that the brains of cocaine addicts have been shown to react to images of the drug in other studies," a UC press release on the study explained. And yet, that did not happen. Instead of being caused by an actual disorder, hypersexuality may be a result of having a high libido, Prause said. "Potentially, this is an important finding," she said in the press release. "It is the first time scientists have studied the brain responses specifically of people who identify as having hypersexual problems."