#1: The Fog of Invented                       Science

       In September 2002, Dr. George A. Ricaurte announced that research that he had conducted on primates suggested that the drug Ecstasy (MDMA) might cause permanent brain damage in humans.  Dr. Ricaurte, who previously had been responsible for the questionable "plain brain/ecstasy brain" ad campaign on television, reported that when he fed even a single dose of Ecstasy to the10 baboons and monkeys in his lab, they suffered brain damage (and, in two cases, died). 

       Because his dramatic experiment on primates both had a reputable sponsor, Johns Hopkins University, and had been published in a prestigious journal, Science, the press jumped to the conclusion it was true, and warned their readers-- especially those attending late night raves-- of the cerebral consequences, with headlines such as "One Night's Ecstasy Use Can Cause Brain Damage."

           While the fog about brain damage persisted in the media for more than a year, others scientists quickly found they were unable to replicate Ricaurte's results with other baboons, no matter high they got them on ecstasy.  And for good reason.  It turned out that Dr. Ricaurte had erred in his experiment:  Instead of giving his baboons and monkeys Ecstasy, he gave them killer doses of methamphetamine which had been mistakenly labeled as ecstasy.  Once the mix-up in drugs was discovered,Sciencee retracted the article-- at the request of Dr. Ricaurte, who cited an "apparent labeling error" as the cause of the ecstasy fog.apparent labeling error .

 Any further examples of fogs?

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