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Retractions and corrections in science | COVID-19 trial

Posted by: The Conversation Global

Date: Tuesday, 07 July 2020


For researchers and scientists working to fight the COVID-19 pandemic the stakes are incredibly high. To add to the pressure, most of the public is paying more attention to science than they have in years. So in June, when two high-profile coronavirus papers were retracted, many responded with the question: is the seemingly noble process of science broken? Mark R. O'Brian argues that the retractions show quite the opposite. Science is not a smooth upwards path to ever more knowledge. Mistakes happen. In these cases they were immediately caught and corrected by other members of the scientific community. And good science prevailed.

South Africa recently started a vaccine trial for COVID-19 as part of joint effort involving scientists and funders from a range of countries. As Jeffrey Mphahlele explains, it won’t be easy to conduct a trial in the middle of a pandemic. But scientists can draw on experiences from previous public health emergencies such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the SARS epidemic of 2003.

Daniel Merino

Junior Editor: Science, Health, Environment

A high-profile paper on the risks of hyrdoxychloroquine was recently and rightfully retracted. AP Photo/John Locher,

Retractions and controversies over coronavirus research show that the process of science is working as it should

Mark R. O'Brian, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Severe scrutiny of two major papers, including one about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, is part of science's normal process of self-correction.

A volunteer receives an injection from a medical worker during the country’s first human clinical trial for a potential vaccine against COVID-19 in Soweto, South Africa. Felix Dlangamandla/Beeld/Gallo Images via Getty Images

COVID-19 vaccine: the challenges of running a trial in the middle of a pandemic

Jeffrey Mphahlele, South African Medical Research Council

In a pandemic like this one, the priority is to save lives. But without a vaccine, there's a limit in the tools available to save lives.

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Idir’s songs gave Kabyles a sense that their culture counted: that their customs and traditions could form a part of a modern Algerian nation.

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Horace Yeung, University of Leicester; Flora Huang, University of Derby

Hong Kong still has a competitive advantage over mainland Chinese rivals for international commerce.

Science + Technology

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There's no scientific definition for a wave of disease – and no evidence that the original onslaught of coronavirus in the US has receded much at all.

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Long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs is associated with stomach ulcers, kidney injuries and cardiovascular side effects.


"ሓመድ ድበ ዕስለ" ብ ኣወል ስዒድ/ "Hamed Dibe Esle" by AWEL SAID

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