Discovered: Botox lifts faces and moods; papers retracted due to fraud more often than error; climate change could decimate fish; African salmonella outbreak connected to HIV.
Botox lifts depression. Botulinum toxin injections may smooth out skin and clear up wrinkles, but many say that the cosmetic procedure leaves faces looking emotionless. But whatever emotions is (or isn't) registered on the outside, those who get Botox shots are likely to feel a positive mood adjustment. M. Axel Wollmer of the University of Basel conducted a study on the effect of Botox on patients suffering from major depressive disorder, and found that symptoms of depression alleviated by 47 percent after six weeks. Wollmer says that since Botox "interrupts feedback from the facial musculature to the brain, which may be involved in the development and maintenance of negative emotions," it may be able to regulate depression. Basically, since you can't frown, you can't be depressed! [Scientific American]
More papers being retracted due to researcher fraud. The kind of scientific misconduct we've written about may be trending upwards, according to a study of over 2,000 papers retracted from PubMed in recent years. Since 1975, retractions have become ten times more likely to stem from fraud, not error, according to a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And that might be an optimistic account, says study author Arturo Casadevall of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He says, "The better the counterfeit, the less likely you are to find it—whatever we show, it is an underestimate." Over two-thirds of the retractions Casadevall and his colleagues studied arose due to scientific misconduct, and only 21.3 percent came about from errors. Of the misconduct retractions, 43.3 percent were due to fraud, 14.2 percent to duplicated publications, and 9.8 percent from plagiarism. [The Guardian]