Researchers recently announced that significant, possibly foundational parts of the field of biomedical science could be rendered invalid, because of a long history of flawed data. It was described as a “systemic failure” in flawed data that goes back several decades.
A recent investigation alleges that over 30,000 published scientific studies are wrought with errors due to their use of falsely identified cell lines. Apparently what they call “immortal”cells contaminated other research cultures in a laboratory.
One “immortal cell line” was the topic of a film recently, about an African American woman named Henrietta Lacks whose cervical cancer cells were stolen without her knowledge or consent on February 8, 1951. She died of cancer on October 4 the same year, and her family was unaware that her cancer cells would be used to make an untold amount of profit.
Her cervical cancer cells were turned into the oldest and most commonly used “immortal cell line.” It is called the HeLa cell line.
The immortal cells were used in Jonas Salk’s infamous Polio vaccine in 1952. The vaccine ended up being responsible for an untold number of people getting cancer, and it was officially claimed that it was due to the Rhesus monkey kidney cells in the vaccine being contaminated with a cancer causing virus, SV40.
According to Wikipedia:
“Scientists have grown an estimated 20 tons of HeLa cells, and there are almost 11,000 patents involving these cells. The HeLa cell lines are known to overtake other cell cultures in laboratory settings and it is estimated that HeLa cells, at one point, contaminated millions of dollars worth of biological research.”
So the 30,000 + published studies are now compromised because cell cultures in the lab were contaminated with immortal cells (possibly even HeLa cells).
For example, a researcher studying lung cancer might publish a paper based on experiments with cells that were not from the lung, but from the liver. Or perhaps cells they published research on were actually mice cells or immortal cells. These scenarios in specific were described by an article from Science Alert. Reading from it:
“If you think that sounds bad, you’re right, as it means the findings of each piece of affected research may be flawed, and could even be completely unreliable.”
A figure quoted by Science Alert, Serge Horbach from Radboud University in the Netherlands said “Most scientists don’t intentionally publish findings on the wrong cells.”
“It’s an honest mistake. The more concerning problem is that the research data is potentially invalid and impossible to reproduce.”
It may be an honest mistake, but governments around the world make decisions based on the authority of scientific findings like this. Mandatory vaccination is a coercive, state mandated policy that is based on scientific research just like this, specifically within this field actually, and if it ends up being false, it was forced on people.
In the case of vaccination, I think the ill effects are even more obvious than something that could have been a result of systemic scientific error, and this type of error is probably not the reason governments choose to mandate vaccination anyway.
However the fact is, foundational errors happen. Science is the scientific method, a process of logically deducing facts, and the authority of people who call themselves scientists is irrelevant from what science truly is. The scientific method and coercive authority don’t mix: errors happen.
(Image credit: biocision)