Backstabbing Biomed-Danna M.

  I must say that reading this chapter really opened my eyes to the effects that mistakes could have on more than just your own cause but it can also affect others. Now I wasn’t entirely surprised that some Biomedical research is not entirely true and can get mixed up, but I didn’t quite acknowledge that fact that by making a mistake which could be simple, could in turn causes future researchers to do their work wrong. To understand this situation better let’s start with a question. Have you ever been working on a project and you have put in all of your effort and dedication into it, and then you find out that what you had based all of your work on was in fact wrong the whole time? Well that is exactly what happened to Dr.Nina Desai and her colleagues when they were trying to find away for infertile couples to conceive. The team had obtained this misidentified cell line called “HeLa” which is like a weed in the biomedical field, and as it turned out all there hard work was wrong.


Later on in the chapter Richard Harris had started to connect Nina’s work to other scientists’. They then realized that many of them that were working with the misidentified cell line used it to help with breast cancer. After that they began to warn people about the cell, but most of them refused to give up on their work.”Caution to alert breast cancer researchers that the cell line appeared to be misidentified. Some scientist who had spent many years studying this “breast cancer” dug in there heels… “People were very invested in the tremendous effort they’d put into the cell line,” Ross said. some developed a convoluted rationale to explain how MDA-MB-435(another cell line used in the breast cancer research) could could still conceivably be breast cancer cells”. Here on this link you can go into more detail about how the breast cancer research was held back because of this mistake. I personally can relate to having something being wrong the whole time and having not checked it, I had to start the whole project again and not only did it affect me but it also affected my peers, so I can only imagine how it must have felt for them when their biomedical research (in a sense) stabbed them in the back.


To this day some people still use this incorrect information, and that must stop, not only does it effect new research to come but also the money. “When you start doing the multiplication, we’re talking about millions of dollars that have been spent using a cell line inappropriately.”(103) This is a serious problem that if not corrected it can damage the whole biomedical industry. Ways that we can change this for the better is by checking every variable that is in the project, so that we can avoid obvious mistakes that could lead the whole project astray. We could also change this by making sure that we know that the variables that we will use in out experiments are what they say it is and running a background check to be certain. As we go into the future we can always strive to be better than we were. 



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  1. I enjoyed reading your post. It is very well written and you get straight to the point. Good job on adding solutions to the problems you came across. I have a few questions. As you may know, checking other scientists work ( that you are basing off on) can be very expensive and time-consuming. What are some other ways you suggest, to check on scientists work, without having to re-create their experiment? I honestly really enjoyed your post. Good job!!!- Ariana D.

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