Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #PangolinPapers

Most recents (7)

Watch the UK Science and Technology Committee live sessions on reproducibility and research integrity:…
At the moment, Dr Jessica Butler, University of Aberdeen and Dr Ben Goldacre, University of Oxford are discussing ways to update our 150-year-old scientific publishing system.
Butler says scientists are entirely judged by the number of publications in a small number of prominent journals. Your funding maps to your publications in top journals. So scientists are incentivized to please these top journals/editors. This may not lead to the best science.
Read 40 tweets
People are asking what is going on with the #PangolinPapers

tldr multiple groups of scientists published non-reproducible papers on a pangolin virus that caused a media frenzy over pangolins as an intermediate host of SARS2 in 2020.

Instead of retracting the papers...
... the journals gave each team of scientists a year or more to gather data that actually supported their findings, which were meanwhile cited and incorporated across hundreds of studies.

The resulting massive corrections reveal at best highly negligent scientific conduct.
If authors are not penalized for this type of behavior, does it mean that our top journals are now permitting scientists to submit papers with whatever results they like, and only if they get called out by other scientists, then they are given a year to gather actual data?
Read 8 tweets
On to my more contentious 🧵 of the night.

“It’s very funny that everyone is worrying about preprints given that, collectively, journals are not doing a great job of keeping misinformation out,” Sever (co-founder of medRxiv and bioRxiv) said.…
There's been a lot of criticism of preprints since COVID-19 appeared. I've done my fair share too, breaking down preprints (and mostly peer-reviewed articles).

But I think the misinformation tragedy lies in peer-reviewed journals, NOT preprints.
"In the academic world, the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins issued a point-by-point response one week after Yan’s paper appeared on Zenodo"

Why didn't John Hopkins do a point-by-points response to RaTG13 or the #pangolinpapers?
Read 12 tweets
For those still following the sordid tale: It's more than a year, and there's no trail of the virus until it caused an outbreak in Wuhan. No precursor strains or intermediary host, earlier patients had no market connection, & none of the animal samples tested positive for SARS2.
In the mean time, the closest know virus to SARS-CoV-2 was traced to samples collected from a mineshaft, 1000 miles away from Wuhan, where 3 miners died in 2012.

Doctors who treated the miners concluded that their illness was "caused by a SARS-like coronavirus."
Shi Zhengli's team went on multiple expeditions to collect viruses from the mine. They were brought back, stored and studied in the Wuhan labs.

I can hardly imagine them missing out on new SARS-like pandemic viruses.
Read 10 tweets
On the recent paper describing new SARS2-like viruses in Thailand, the big takeaways for me:

The closest relatives to SARS2 are still from inside China whether you count it by genome, RdRp, or Spike RBD.

The ones from Thailand don't use human ACE2.…
I think sampling bats for viruses is worthwhile as long as care is taken not to introduce SARS2 from human personnel into wildlife while going on these expeditions.

BUT I don't think that hunting for bat CoVs in SE Asia is going to answer how this pandemic got started in Wuhan.
You're just going further and further away from ground zero. Wuhan (top dot), Kunming, Yunnan, China (middle dot) where the Mojiang miners and RaTG13 was collected, and Chachoengsao, Thailand (bottom dot) where the new bat CoVs were collected.
Read 12 tweets
@who going to investigate Covid-19 originating from frozen foods rather than #laborigins because lab leak too unlikely based on what the Wuhan lab personnel told them.
Not too confident that this @who team has much insight to the lab leak hypothesis - the WIV’s SARS research was done at BL2 and BL3 all these years, not BL4. Team could benefit from a lab leak/biosecurity expert weighing in on their report.
So the team says the virus was spreading before the Huanan market but that intermediate host is still the most likely #originsofcovid I’m keen to see the evidence that points to an intermediate host. Also, no mention of pangolins now? #pangolinpapers
Read 42 tweets
Tough questions about the #pangolinpapers and the peer review process in this investigative article by the @USRightToKnow

At least half a dozen people on twitter bombarded me with this article today for good reason...
It relates to the curiosity of all of these #pangolinpapers being released on Feb 18-20, driving a mania that SARS2 came from pangolins; all 4 papers used the same 2019 dataset; there is a web of co-authorship (scroll to end of the thread cited here):

I'm saving a 🔥🐉 thread on the issues in these papers for when their corrections are issued. But key questions raised by @USRightToKnow (I'm paraphrasing):

1. Did these authors know about each other preprinting in the same 3 days (3 groups on Feb 20, 1 group on Feb 18)?
Read 12 tweets

Related hashtags

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!