Dr Anna Ahimastos, a much-respected researcher working for Melbourne’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, has admitted to making up data in a medical study.A member of the Australian Society for Medical Research, in 2010 Dr Ahimastos was named a ‘Tall Poppy’ – an Australian Institute of Policy and Science campaign which recognises scientific excellence.Dr Ahimastos has admitted fabricating research published in two major international medical journals – for the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the American Heart Association.A statement published in the journals said the Melbourne researcher was solely responsible for data collection and the integrity of the study, which showed that the blood pressure drugs Ramipril and Prilace alleviated pain in patients suffering from peripheral arterial disease.The paper based on the study was retracted after an internal analysis by Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute “revealed anomalies that triggered an investigation which resulted in an admission of fabricated results by Dr Ahimastos”.Institute spokesperson Dr Bronwyn Kingwell told reporters the organisation took action as soon as the fabrication came to light. “Dr Ahimastos admitted to fabricating records for some patients,” she said.“These actions compromised the overall findings of the study and so we moved quickly to correct the public record by retracting the relevant papers.”Dr Virginia Barbour, chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics, told the ABC that while corrections were common in academic journals, a full retraction of a paper was more rare.“If you talk to academics nowadays, there is a real publish-or-perish culture,” she said.“We do feel one of the problems is that authors are pressured to publish, and publish in very high journals.”Dr Barbour said there were cases of substantial misconduct where grants had to be handed back. Dr Ahimastos has resigned from her position at the National Centre of Research Excellence for Peripheral Arterial Disease.Source: ABC Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Detention of Michael Kovrig, who works for an independent think-tank, comes as Beijing voices anger over Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of leading technology company Huawei. Michael Kovrig, the former diplomat, works for the International Crisis Group, an independent conflict resolution think-tank which said it was seeking his prompt and safe release.It was not immediately clear if the two cases were related, but Canadian analysts had already predicted China would retaliate after the arrest last week of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the request of US authorities.Meng, 46, faces US accusations that she misled multinational banks about Huawei’s control of a company operating in Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating US sanctions and incurring severe penalties, court documents said.The Hong Kong-based Kovrig had served as the political lead for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to that city in 2016.Canada’s public safety minister said the government is deeply concerned about Kovrig detention.Minister Ralph Goodale said the government is sparing no effort to look after the Canadian’s safety.Goodale said there is no explicit indication at this point that the cases are related and he said Canada is working to determine why he was detained.Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou returns to Canadian court for bail. (Reuters)Severe consequencesChina has threatened severe consequences unless Canada releases Meng immediately. Canadian PM Trudeau says the matter is one for the courts to decide.China’s Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Public Security did not respond immediately to questions regarding Kovrig’s detention sent via fax.Tuesday is the third day of bail hearings in a British Columbia court, where a judge will weigh final issues in determining whether Meng should be freed on bail while awaiting extradition proceedings.Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, with revenue of about $92 billion last year. Unlike other big Chinese technology firms, it does much of its business overseas.Huawei and its lawyers have said the company operates in strict compliance with applicable laws.‘Repression and retaliation’Former Canadian Liberal leader Bob Rae said it’s clear why he’s been detained.“It’s called repression and retaliation,” Rae tweeted.Roland Paris, a former foreign policy adviser to Trudeau, said that Chinese “retaliation against Canadian interests or Canadians would be unacceptable and pointless.”“It would have zero impact on judicial proceedings in Canada,” Paris tweeted.“Beijing should already know this from previous experience. Let cooler heads prevail.”Source: TRTWorld and agencies London best pest control Michael Kovrig, an employee with the International Crisis Group and former Canadian diplomat appears in this photo provided by the International Crisis Group in Brussels, Belgium, December 11, 2018. (Reuters)A former Canadian diplomat has been detained in China, just hours before a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co [HWT.UL] returned to a packed Vancouver courtroom on Tuesday for a bail hearing that has angered Beijing.