Do you do your Science like your literature review?


Is there is a nasty little fact that we ignore as it doesn’t suit our case? We are desperate to be first to publish stuff. But if you don’t come first. Is it OK to ignore other peoples work to make it look like yours is more important? Because if you are willing to do this, what else do you ignore?

This is relevant to MS because we see this and that paper on animal studies in Nature, Science and Cell but ask, does this reflect the clinical data? It seems that it may be based on a fantasy world that has little similarlity with the real world. This may mean that you look in the wrong place to get the answer.

Prior to to the Internet, it seemed that if the data was not published in an American Journal, it didn’t exist and was often ignored by American Scientists. It seems to be a learned response in the publication first or pretend to be first. Is this good science practise?

Because if you can’t assimilate information and act on it, things don’t move forward. If every one ignores other people’s work, how many times do you do the same thing?

There are currently loads of the same trials being doing in COVID-19. Problem is they are running out of people as the infection rate drops. Therefor, we never get the answer. Now I would say independent replication is a key part of the valdation process, but at some point you say Schtop and move on to the next challenge, rather than repeting the same stuff. So it is important to acknowledge that other data exists.

It shows a failing in the refereeing process.

The publication process can be tedious. Trust me I know. Paper submitted in March still doing the rounds. I put it on a preprint site in January, go for a muscle journal and the process is even more tedious.

This is where preprint sites are good in that the idea is out there in 3 days. The down side they don’t get picked up by the indexing sites. So you could miss them. But if you are doing a good literature review you read what others have done.

In the covid ira, the preprint sites are where the interesting papers are surfacing. About 50 a day compared to 500 papers on pubmed a day. It has become diminishing returns to not to be selective.

However the preprints may not have been reviewed. So is it a public record?

We have heard that people with COVID2 may get re-infected with SARS-CoV-2, but is this fact or artefact. It seems to be fact that you can test SARS-Cov2 positive then negative then positive again a few days to weeks later. This suggests that you can get re-infected.However the tests pick up fragments of the virus so you seem to find virus when there is none. Saying that re-infection is not that likely. What should we believe? The first report is in the peer-reviewed literature. The next is a web based report. What should we believe?. It seems in South Korea they have tracked the people reporting re-expression of virus and none have infected anyone else .


So supports the idea that immunity form infection occurs.

This week we learned that you can be immune to re-infection so that means vaccines may work. So maybe you need to think about being vaccine ready

SARS-CoV-2 infection protects against rechallenge in rhesus macaques.Chandrashekar A, Liu J, Martinot AJ, McMahan K, Mercado NB, Peter L, Tostanoski LH, Yu J, Maliga Z, Nekorchuk M, Busman-Sahay K, Terry M, Wrijil LM, Ducat S, Martinez DR, Atyeo C, Fischinger S, Burke JS, Slein MD, Pessaint L, Van Ry A, Greenhouse J, Taylor T, Blade K, Cook A, Finneyfrock B, Brown R, Teow E, Velasco J, Zahn R, Wegmann F, Abbink P, Bondzie EA, Dagotto G, Gebre MS, He X, Jacob-Dolan C, Kordana N, Li Z, Lifton MA, Mahrokhian SH, Maxfield LF, Nityanandam R, Nkolola JP, Schmidt AG, Miller AD, Baric RS, Alter G, Sorger PK, Estes JD, Andersen H, Lewis MG, Barouch DH. Science. 2020 May 20:eabc4776. doi: 10.1126/science.abc4776

So this gets currently about 7,000 largely the same inane tweet ” Two new studies in macaques offer hope that humans could develop protective immunity” and a Science paper. But I have to slap myself in the face and say hey don’t I think I know this already. Haven’t I known this for months?..What’s so new here? Did these guys know it?. The paper was submitted on April 26 2020

So now I ask does the preprint and its content exist? In which case, it is time to say the covid review we did, doesn’t exist because many of the ideas came from the pre-print sites. The details were all part of my imagination running away with me.

I thought I knew this as I put it in our review submitted on April 21 ….Accepted 30 April….and still not on pubmed.

David Baker, Sandra Amor, Angray S. Kang, Klaus Schmierer, Gavin Giovannoni The underpinning biology relating to multiple sclerosis disease modifying treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic. DOI:

I had seen this paper posted 14 March 2014, over 5 weeks before the Science paper was submitted

Bao L, Deng W, Gao H et al. Reinfection could not occur in SARS-CoV-2 infected rhesus macaques. BioRχiv. 2020; (.03.13)990226

It seems nearly 11,000 tweeters had seen it, 232 news outlets has seen it, BBC, ABC, Scientic American.It seems even Science magazine had seen it, but not menitoned in Chandrashekar et al.

Cohen J. Science 2020 May 1;368(6490):456-457. doi: 10.1126/science.368.6490.456. COVID-19 Shot Protects Monkeys DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6490.456

Maybe time to stop infecting more non-human primates to do the same experiment, probably too late, European version no doubt in the pipeline.

However, I guess you would expect it because when they give the re-infection they give it when the highest levels of anti-COVID-19 antibodies were around and these antibodies are known to neutralize the virus to stop it infecting

Potently neutralizing human antibodies that block SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding and protect animals Zost SJ et al. BioEXiv .doi:

A human monoclonal antibody blocking SARS-CoV-2 infectionChunyan Wang, Wentao Li, Dubravka Drabek, Nisreen M.A. Okba, Rien van Haperen, Albert D.M.E. Osterhaus, Frank J.M. van Kuppeveld, Bart L. Haagmans, Frank Grosveld, Berend-Jan BoschbioRxiv 2020.03.11.987958; doi: Oh its in it doesn’t exisit. but not its in Nature Communications doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16256-y

The key will be to see what happens when the neutralizing antibodies wane, because in some people this is what happens quite quickly (see below). Then can ask the question. Are the monkeys still immune? What about all those asymptomatic humans are they immune..I expect so

Broch et al. Anti-Spike, anti-Nucleocapsid and neutralizing antibodies in SARS-CoV-2 hospitalized patients and asymptomatic carriers

This is important to know, because if the antibody response is key and it doesn”t last, will re-infection occur or are the CD8 T cells key. However, as this is on MedRXIv and non-American may be this does not exist either:-), Let’s look forward to the next Science paper and the super refereeing that ensures science rigor in the experiments, but not the literaure review:-)

I am sure Boa et al. will be now be thinking “If only we had chosen a different Journal, or had not got that troublesome referee making us do more stuff, we would not have been pipped to the first. Snooze you lose:-)

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