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June 04, 2004

Moving House

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I am posting this photo just for its sheer frivolity. Need a clue? Gentle Giant is a local moving company. Many of the Giants are rowers .

I know that the owner's sister, Margaret O'Toole, a post doctoral researcher at MIT, was the whistle blower in the "The Outbreak"

"Was the paper indeed bogus? Feder and Stewart looked into it as well as they could with the limited evidence available. (Stewart is the chief detective of the pair, Feder the diplomat.) The original whistleblower was not Maplethorpe but Margot O'Toole, who had worked with Thereza Imanishi-Kari , a co-author of the Weaver et al. paper. O'Toole had been trying to perform an experiment that followed up on the Weaver et al. paper. The experiment refused to work. A falling out ensued, and Imanishi-Kari exiled O'Toole to mouse breeding. Among the mousebreeding records were 17 pages of data, including some on a reagent called BET 1. In Weaver et al. BET 1 distinguished clearly between two particular sorts of antibodies. In the 17 pages it did not.

"If BET 1 behaved as the 17 pages showed, O'Toole realized, the failure of her own experiments was explained -- and the Weaver et al. paper was certainly wrong and possibly a fraud. She took her questions to Henry Wortis, who had supervised her Ph. D. work at Tufts University, where Imanishi-Kari was slated to go, and to the authorities at MIT. At MIT ombudsperson Mary Rowe told O'Toole that if she wrote up her complaints she would receive a written response to them. But then David Baltimore entered the fight in support of Imanishi-Kari and this assurance evaporated.

At both MIT and Tufts investigations found things wrong with the paper but said that no correction need be published.

And there O'Toole, recognizing the power arrayed against her, let the matter rest. When her fellowship at MIT expired she went to work answering the telephone for her brother's moving company."

Terribly sad, and woefully unfair, but it certainly sounds like a more hospitable place to work. A girl could develop some great pecs too.

Posted by Dakota at June 4, 2004 01:45 PM