Can autism be diagnosed with a brain scan? The lead author tells the Guardian that the test will be 90% accurate. No, says Carl Heneghan later in the Guardian – the actual chances that someone with a positive result would have autism is 4.5%, or around 1 in 22. The authors reply in the comments, and Heneghan replies back. Meanwhile, Dorothy Bishop discusses why it’s actually very difficult to set up a screening test.
Resistance to resistance is futile. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria carrying a gene called NDM-1 can shrug off all but two of our antibiotics, leading some scientists to warn about the end of the antibiotic era. Maryn McKenna has the best analysis at Superbug, while Sarah Boseley reports in the Guardian.
Harvard psychologist Marc Hauser is taking a year’s leave, amid talk of possible scientific misconduct. David Dobbs has the best overview of the events with tons of great links to other pieces. Nature, however, nailed the headline: Harvard morality researcher investigated for scientific misconduct
This is incredible. Photosynthetic algae have been found inside the cells of a “solar salamander”. Anna Petherick has the news at Nature.
Just… what? Virology Journal retracts a paper “speculating that a woman described in the Bible as being “cured by our Lord Jesus Christ” had flu”. Ivan Oransky’s post on the subject is pure gold, from the line “The authors of the original source material — Mark, Matthew and Luke — could not be reached” to the gripe from the paper’s author saying that he’s appalled that “so many comments were made outside the scope of the journal” rather than in letters to the editors. Heaven forfend.
More after the jump…