The scientific journal Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry is set to retract a manuscript that has been denounced as anti-vaccine pseudoscience. According to Retraction Watch the study was conducted by University of British Columbia scientists Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic.
The manuscript is about the effects of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines on the immune response in the brains of mice. Within a month of its publication, other scientists criticized the paper’s content in which some noticed image duplications and other errors. One reviewer noticed a clear and deliberate removal of control results, others noticed gel band duplications, and the content is similar to another manuscript Shaw and Tomljenovic presented that was also withdrawn three years ago.
During February of last year, the scientific duo submitted a study that raised concerns about vaccine effects to the journal Vaccine that was removed and later retracted only to be published in Immunologic Research in July 2016. Dr. Shaw says that he believes the core data of the study is correct but will have to go back and re-do the experiments that support their hypothesis.
The anti-vaccine movement is an extension of the environmentalist movement and, in a methodology similar to what has been tried with pesticides, greens are shrewd enough to identify and support the research of scientists ideologically in line with them. The researchers then do what is necessary so a study that covers a vaccine-related issue gets published in a peer reviewed journal and then its results replicated in other studies.
With scientists already questioning the results of and later retracting manuscripts done by scientists like the British Columbia scientists, hopefully they and other researchers like them will be fired or reassigned. However, it won’t stop anti-vaxxers from trying again since they only see failures as temporary set backs.