Thursday, October 22, 2009

Earlier press hype over Ida the missing link now being undercut

Malcolm Ritter of AP writes:

Remember Ida, the fossil discovery announced last May with its own book and TV documentary? A publicity blitz called it "the link" that would reveal the earliest evolutionary roots of monkeys, apes and humans. Experts protested that Ida wasn't even a close relative. And now a new analysis supports their reaction.

The questioning of the significance of Ida appears in the journal Nature coming out Oct. 22, 2009 in a paper by Erik Seiffert and others.

One recalls similar hype over a recent stem cell paper from Nayernia, which paper got retracted, more likely because of the hype than because of the plagiarism that was asserted.

There has been a lot of hype, promoted by reporters, in both the stem cell area and in the area of "patent reform." In the area of patent reform, corrections to the hype don't always get published, unlike the situation with the paper of Erik Seiffert.


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