SciCombinator

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634

A reproducibility crisis is a situation where many scientific studies cannot be reproduced. Inappropriate practices of science, such as HARKing, p-hacking, and selective reporting of positive results, have been suggested as causes of irreproducibility. In this editorial, I propose that a lack of raw data or data fabrication is another possible cause of irreproducibility.As an Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Brain, I have handled 180 manuscripts since early 2017 and have made 41 editorial decisions categorized as “Revise before review,” requesting that the authors provide raw data. Surprisingly, among those 41 manuscripts, 21 were withdrawn without providing raw data, indicating that requiring raw data drove away more than half of the manuscripts. I rejected 19 out of the remaining 20 manuscripts because of insufficient raw data. Thus, more than 97% of the 41 manuscripts did not present the raw data supporting their results when requested by an editor, suggesting a possibility that the raw data did not exist from the beginning, at least in some portions of these cases.Considering that any scientific study should be based on raw data, and that data storage space should no longer be a challenge, journals, in principle, should try to have their authors publicize raw data in a public database or journal site upon the publication of the paper to increase reproducibility of the published results and to increase public trust in science.

494

There is extensive, yet fragmented, evidence of gender differences in academia suggesting that women are underrepresented in most scientific disciplines and publish fewer articles throughout a career, and their work acquires fewer citations. Here, we offer a comprehensive picture of longitudinal gender differences in performance through a bibliometric analysis of academic publishing careers by reconstructing the complete publication history of over 1.5 million gender-identified authors whose publishing career ended between 1955 and 2010, covering 83 countries and 13 disciplines. We find that, paradoxically, the increase of participation of women in science over the past 60 years was accompanied by an increase of gender differences in both productivity and impact. Most surprisingly, though, we uncover two gender invariants, finding that men and women publish at a comparable annual rate and have equivalent career-wise impact for the same size body of work. Finally, we demonstrate that differences in publishing career lengths and dropout rates explain a large portion of the reported career-wise differences in productivity and impact, although productivity differences still remain. This comprehensive picture of gender inequality in academia can help rephrase the conversation around the sustainability of women’s careers in academia, with important consequences for institutions and policy makers.

474

To assess the association between macrolide antibiotics prescribing during pregnancy and major malformations, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism spectrum disorder in children.

306

There is little evidence for the role of plant foods in the dispersal of early modern humans into new habitats globally. Researchers have hypothesised that early movements of human populations through Island Southeast Asia and into Sahul were driven by the lure of high-calorie, low-handling-cost foods, and that the use of plant foods requiring processing was not common in Sahul until the Holocene. Here we present the analysis of charred plant food remains from Madjedbebe rockshelter in northern Australia, dated to between 65 kya and 53 kya. We demonstrate that Australia’s earliest known human population exploited a range of plant foods, including those requiring processing. Our finds predate existing evidence for such subsistence practices in Sahul by at least 23ky. These results suggest that dietary breadth underpinned the success of early modern human populations in this region, with the expenditure of labour on the processing of plants guaranteeing reliable access to nutrients in new environments.

253

During the 2019-20 influenza season, influenza-like illness (ILI)* activity first exceeded the national baseline during the week ending November 9, 2019, signaling the earliest start to the influenza season since the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic. Activity remains elevated as of mid-February 2020. In the United States, annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months (1). During each influenza season, CDC estimates seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza associated with medically attended acute respiratory illness (ARI). This interim report used data from 4,112 children and adults enrolled in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network (U.S. Flu VE Network) during October 23, 2019-January 25, 2020. Overall, vaccine effectiveness (VE) against any influenza virus associated with medically attended ARI was 45% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 36%-53%). VE was estimated to be 50% (95% CI = 39%-59%) against influenza B/Victoria viruses and 37% (95% CI = 19%-52%) against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, indicating that vaccine has significantly reduced medical visits associated with influenza so far this season. Notably, vaccination provided substantial protection (VE = 55%; 95% CI = 42%-65%) among children and adolescents aged 6 months-17 years. Interim VE estimates are consistent with those from previous seasons, ranging from 40%-60% when influenza vaccines were antigenically matched to circulating viruses. CDC recommends that health care providers continue to administer influenza vaccine to persons aged ≥6 months because influenza activity is ongoing, and the vaccine can still prevent illness, hospitalization, and death associated with currently circulating influenza viruses as well as other influenza viruses that might circulate later in the season.

244

Ageing is accompanied by deterioration of multiple bodily functions and inflammation, which collectively contribute to frailty. We and others have shown that frailty co-varies with alterations in the gut microbiota in a manner accelerated by consumption of a restricted diversity diet. The Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) is associated with health. In the NU-AGE project, we investigated if a 1-year MedDiet intervention could alter the gut microbiota and reduce frailty.

206

Background Domestic abuse (DA) against women is a global public health problem. Although the possible health burden could be substantial, the associations between DA and subsequent cardiometabolic disease (cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes mellitus) and all-cause mortality are poorly understood. Methods and Results This retrospective cohort study consisted of UK-based primary care patients between January 1, 1995, to December 1, 2017. Overall, 18 547 women exposed to DA were matched to 72 231 unexposed women by age and lifestyle factors. The main outcomes, presented as adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRs), were the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and all-cause mortality. In total, 181 exposed women experienced a cardiovascular disease event compared with 644 of the unexposed control group, relating to an increased adjusted IRR of 1.31 (95% CI, 1.11-1.55; P=0.001). There was also an increased risk of subsequent type 2 diabetes mellitus (adjusted IRR: 1.51; 95% CI, 1.30-1.76; P<0.001) and all-cause mortality (adjusted IRR: 1.44; 95% CI, 1.24-1.67; P<0.001) following exposure to DA. This observation was not seen with hypertension (adjusted IRR: 0.99; 95% CI, 0.88-1.12; P=0.873). Conclusions There is an increased risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and all-cause mortality in female survivors of DA. However, there is no association with the development of hypertension in this group, in keeping with previous literature. Considering the high prevalence of DA, clinicians should be made aware of the disproportionally increased risk and thus are encouraged to manage modifiable risk factors actively in this group.

146

Essential oils (EOs) have been used therapeutically for centuries. In recent decades, randomized controlled (clinical) trials have supported efficacy in specific therapeutic indications for a few of them. Some EOs, their components or derivatives thereof have been approved as drugs. Nevertheless, they are still considered products that are mainly used in complementary and alternative medicine. EO components occupy a special niche in chemical space, that offers unique opportunities based on their unusual physicochemical properties, because they are typically volatile and hydrophobic. Here we evaluate selected physicochemical parameters, used in conventional drug discovery, of EO components present in a range of commercially available EOs. We show that, contrary to generally held belief, most EO components meet current-day requirements of medicinal chemistry for good drug candidates. Moreover, they also offer attractive opportunities for lead optimization or even fragment-based drug discovery. Because their therapeutic potential is still under-scrutinized, we propose that this be explored more vigorously with present-day methods.

120

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus is spreading rapidly, and scientists are endeavoring to discover drugs for its efficacious treatment in China. Chloroquine phosphate, an old drug for treatment of malaria, is shown to have apparent efficacy and acceptable safety against COVID-19 associated pneumonia in multicenter clinical trials conducted in China. The drug is recommended to be included in the next version of the Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Pneumonia Caused by COVID-19 issued by the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China for treatment of COVID-19 infection in larger populations in the future.

118

Many of the words used by scientists when reviewing manuscripts, job candidates and grant applications - words such as incremental, novelty, mechanism, descriptive and impact - have lost their meaning.