Friday, April 3, 2015

Retracting This M.I.T. Post

I think I will leave it up:

"Papers from MIT cancer biologist’s lab retracted" by Carolyn Y. Johnson, Globe Staff  March 19, 2015

A prominent Massachusetts Institute of Technology biologist and other researchers have retracted two scientific papers on how breast cancer spreads because the data were improperly patched together from different experiments.

The retraction notices were signed by all authors of both papers, including Robert Weinberg, a cancer biologist and member of the MIT-affiliated Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Weinberg is best known for discovering the first human cancer-causing gene.

“I can tell you unequivocally that the retractions of these papers have no effect on any other research past or present that was conducted in my lab,” Weinberg said in an e-mail Thursday. “The work of others in my lab did not draw on any of the results reported in the retracted papers, and the retraction of these papers does not in any way affected the interpretation of the published results of others in my lab.”

The two retracted studies, published in the journal Genes & Development in 2009 and 2011, examined how a type of genetic material called a microRNA regulates metastasis — the process by which cancer spreads — in breast cancer.

The retractions, first reported on the blog Retraction Watch, were issued “because original data were compiled from different replicate experiments in order to assemble certain figure panels” in the 2009 paper. The later paper is being withdrawn, the researchers state, because the same analytical method was used.

“We believe that the responsible course of action is to retract the article,” the authors wrote in the retraction notice.

Weinberg declined to specify who was responsible for the problem. The lead author, Scott Valastyan, no longer works at MIT and last published a scientific paper in 2012. He did not immediately respond to efforts to reach him.

The retractions occurred shortly after two other issues surfaced in Weinberg’s laboratory that also stemmed from problems with assembling or presenting data....


And they wonder why I no longer believe in their "science?" 

Can't retract these:

"MIT student suicide is third of school year" by Kiera Blessing, Globe Correspondent  March 01, 2015

For the third time this school year, a student of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took his own life, officials said.

Matthew L. Nehring, a freshman from Colorado, died in an apparent suicide early Sunday, MIT president L. Rafael Reif wrote in an e-mail to the school Sunday.

“In this moment of tragedy, we extend heartfelt sympathies to Matthew’s family and friends,” Reif said. A community gathering will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Memorial Lobby of Building 10.

Cambridge police responded to an address on Vassar Street for a “sudden death” about 1:40 a.m. after being notified by campus police, Jeremy Warnick, spokesman for Cambridge police, said in an e-mail.

Nehring’s death follows the apparent suicides of two students in September. Austin Travis, a 26-year-old graduate student studying chemistry, died Sept. 3, and Phoebe Wang, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering, died Sept. 23.

See: Brown Down on Protest 

Such a tragedy.

Additionally, another graduate student and a professor have committed suicide since March 2014.

MIT is known to have one of the nation’s most comprehensive counseling programs. Some improvements were made following a series of suicides over the last several decades, including that of Elizabeth Shin, who died in 2000. Her parents sued the university, alleging that MIT didn’t do enough to protect her. The lawsuit was settled in 2006.

The university is currently battling a similar lawsuit, filed in 2011 by the family of Han Duy Nguyen. A 25-year-old doctoral student, Nguyen jumped to his death in 2009. The family has also sued two professors and an associate dean.

In his e-mail, Reif encouraged students to reach out for psychological support services by contacting MIT’s Mental Health Services.


"MIT student on leave dies in Fla. home" by Matt Rocheleau, Globe Staff  March 07, 2015

An MIT freshman died at her home in Florida on Thursday night, campus officials announced, marking the eighth death of a member of the university community over the past year.

Christina Tournant had recently decided to take a medical leave from school and returned home to her family, MIT’s president, L. Rafael Reif, wrote in a campuswide e-mail Friday.

“I know this news will have a profound effect on every one of us,” Reif’s letter said. “This is a moment when we need each other, a moment for caring, understanding, and kindness. We will come through this tragic period together.”

Campus officials did not say how Tournant died. The Tech student newspaper reported that Suzanne Flynn, the housemaster of the dormitory Tournant had lived in, told students that the death was still under investigation but was believed to have been a suicide.

Reif wrote that, before going on leave, Tournant was a resident of Maseeh Hall and was a member of the swim team and the sorority Alpha Phi.

A gathering was to be held on campus Friday, and a second on Saturday afternoon, Reif wrote, “so that we may support each other in this difficult time.”

In his letter, he urged members of the MIT community who feel they need help to seek counseling and support services provided by the university.

The news of Tournant’s death comes several days after another freshman died. Campus officials have said they believe that Matthew Nehring took his own life early Sunday.

Since last March, the school has mourned the deaths of one other undergraduate student, a professor, and four graduate students, one of whom was enrolled at Harvard but studying in a joint program with MIT.

One of the graduate students’ deaths was ruled an accident; the cause of another graduate student’s death is still pending. The other four cases have been ruled suicides.

MIT has taken steps to improve its mental health and counseling programs following a series of suicides over the last few decades, some of which resulted in wrongful death lawsuits against the school alleging administrators did not do enough to help the students.



"The suicides of four students within the past year — including two this month — have prompted fresh soul-searching among students, administrators, and faculty about stress and how to tame it at a college that, statistics suggest, has an above-average rate of students taking their own lives. Among the efforts: MIT is encouraging students to talk about the psychological phenomenon called “impostor syndrome,” a frequent feeling of being a failure despite a record of accomplishment. Students’ battle against stress is reflected in a new Twitter hashtag circulating around campus: Maggie Delano and several other MIT students said in recent interviews the stress is largely self-imposed because they are naturally competitive. The students told of toiling until 3 a.m. on many nights, of academic “hell weeks” when two or more exams or large assignments are due, and of a hesitation to ask for help. The problem can be compounded by pressure from home, and foreign students face unique challenges adjusting to American college culture. Sometimes the stress is too much."

My first thought was to what sort of horrific military mind control are these kids being subjected?

Also seeSuicidal thoughts affect professors, too

That's only at BU.


"Sex therapist, author, and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer brought her wit and wisdom to Waltham on Wednesday evening, speaking to 450 women at the Combined Jewish Philanthropies annual Pomegranate Society benefit. Dr. Ruth talked sex and Jewish identity at the fund-raiser, which was hosted at the Westin by Kim Altschuler, Andrea Finard, and Lori Leif. Westheimer, 86, who spent the better part of an hour signing books after her talk, joked that she was surprised — and impressed — that so many women managed to come to the event just three nights before Passover. She said she’d be staying in Boston a second night to give a talk at MIT."

So will INathan Abrams on Jews in the American porn industry

Little Tufts to take, isn't it?