Throughout the preface and first chapter of Rigor Mortis By, Richard Harris, he describes many factors contributing to the halt in medical science. I was very surprised on the information that research projects usually start off with repeating an experiment but, two thirds of scientist trying to reproduce a study have trouble doing so. Every year taxpayers contribute more than thirty- million dollars a year to fund the organization; National Institutes of Health. But where does this money go and what are scientists doing with their knowledge?
Hoop, Heather Van Der. “29 Smart Ways to Make Money on the Side in 2017.” The Penny Hoarder. https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/, 22 May 2017. Web. 15 June 2017.
During the book a scientist, C. Glenn Begely co-discovered Granulocyte- Colony Stimulating Factor. Granulocyte- Colony Stimulating Factor or simply G- CSF is now used “…in cancer treatments to reconstitute a person’s immune system after a potentially lethal dose of chemotherapy.” (pg. 8, Rigor Mortis) How this works is, whenever someone receives chemo their main goal is to rid the cancerous cells. Cancer is an uncontrolled grower whereas a body in homeostasis has limitations on how cells, tissue, and organs grow. There are renewable cell types and non- renewable. For example, cardiac muscle doesn’t regenerate. When you have a heart attack your cells die, then developing scar tissue. Surface skin, lining of the gut, epithelium, liver and blood system are constantly being renewed. “The blood system has three types of blood compliments that are renewable cell types, erythrocytes, cells of the immune system; lymphocytes and granulocytes which both have granules.”- Dr. Edward Perez. Neutrophils also have granules and enzymes that create a free radical oxidant that breaks down unwanted material in your body. Human beings have created regiments for cells who reproduce quickly (cancer cells) to die with chemotherapy. But you also have non- cancerous cells in your body that reproduce quickly. Therefore, your immune system takes a big hit due to the chemo killing the cancer cells and cells that are good for your body. What doctors do is they inject G- CSF between the skin and muscle. What this does is, it allows your body to start producing granulocytes. (a type of white blood cell) A granulocyte rescues the immune system by giving the parent cell the ability to produce granulocytes. This was a big breakthrough but C. Glenn Begely didn’t stop there.
Begely choose fifty- three papers he assumed to be wondrous. Not only did he decide to review these but he collected scientist who had origionally published these results to participate as well. The scientist would use the same materials they had used before to try and reproduce the same result, and if not, they were given other tools. Of the fifty- three original studies Begely had used, only six were reproduce. “What was more shocking to me was the original investigators themselves were not able to.” – C. Glenn Begely (pg. 9, Rigor Mortis) from here people became a bit more aware of the issue. A non- profit organization, Global Biological Standards conducted a few studies to try and measure the quality of biomedical science. This group came up with the stats, twenty percent of studies have untrustworthy designs, twenty- five percent use unsure components, eight percent have poor lab technique, eighteen percent of the time scientist fumble their data analysis. Freedman concluded that about half of these research papers aren’t trustworthy and the production cost is approximately twenty- eight billion dollars.
Agsandrew. “Diversity of the Mind.” Stock Photos, Video Footage & Audio by Dreamstime. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2017.
“… the average American household spends $900 a year to support these biomedical studies.” (pg. 2, Rigor Mortis) If half of biomedical studies can’t be trusted then it’s like four hundred- fifty dollars per family being thrown down the drain. Let alone the time and effort put in by scientist. Scientist do not realize they are making mistakes while doing labs and solving problems. Those who do realize it must choose by doing things right or keeping their jobs. Together we need to change the culture by fixing the misleading lab research so scientist aren’t looped into dead ends.
Cancer, Cleveland Clinic. “Granulocyte – Colony Stimulating Factor.” Granulocyte – Colony Stimulating Factor – Drug Information – Chemocare. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2017.
Speaking to, Dr. Edward Perez
“Biomedical Science, MBS.” Master’s in Biomedical Science – UNC Extended Campus. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2017.