Scientists cut peer review corners as demand for COVID-19 information grows

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The novel coronavirus was engineered in a lab using HIV. Stem cells are a potent weapon against the new pandemic. People with blood type A are more susceptible to COVID-19.

None of these “discoveries” have been proven. But all have been widely disseminated.

They’re examples of what many scientists are beginning to fear is an erosion of traditional safeguards against bad science under the pressing need for answers to the wave of sickness sweeping the globe.

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“We are getting a firehose of research-based data coming out at us, because we need it,” said Rees Kassen, a University of Ottawa scientist who has just published a paper with the World Economic Forum about the concern.

“That’s good, but it has to come with strong caveats.”

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The speed and volume of research into the novel coronavirus is unprecedented. During the 2003 SARS crisis, a French study found that 93 per cent of papers about the virus were published after the epidemic subsided.

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