What We’re Reading: Research Data Manipulation; Maternal Deaths from Lack of Abortion Care


Research Scandal Leads to Resignation of Stanford President

Last year, then Stanford freshman Theo Baker wrote a story for the student paper about how he uncovered data manipulation in research papers where University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne was the lead author. A follow up story looked at key research about the proteins involved in Alzheimer’s that was published in April 2009 while Tessier-Lavigne was an executive at Genentech. A Stanford review found significant flaws in studies over many years. This eventually led to the resignation of Tessier-Lavigne. He will leave the president post at the end of August but will continue to be a tenured professor in biology, according to a New York Times article.

In a recent guest essay in the New York Times, Baker suggests the lab-culture with the focus on winners creates an environment where mistakes and manipulation of data are common. He cites data that about 3.8% of published studies have problematic figures, but only 0.04% of papers are retracted.

Maternal Deaths Expected to Rise Under Abortion Bans

Several recent articles in the media are highlighting the confusion about states’ efforts to limit access to abortion — as well as the medical crises that can happen because of this. KFF Health News highlights Florida’s ban and how one hospital gave a patient antibiotics when she was miscarrying at 16 weeks and then sent her home. She ended up in the hospital for five days as doctors tried to stop her bleeding and save her uterus. ProPublica highlights a patient in Missouri, where doctors determined her fetus was not viable at less than 18 weeks and doctors would not treat her until her condition worsened. She traveled to Illinois for care.

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