Joined: May 2007
|Quote (K.Anderson @ Aug. 20 2015,21:31)|
|Quote (Dr.GH @ Aug. 09 2014,19:37)|
|A "permanent part time technician" was taking liberties that a faculty member would not have taken.|
Reading the article, and ironically his lawyer prepared complaint, showed a huge glaring reason to fire him. It was the amount of equipment, staff time, and lab stockroom supplies that were used on the one hand, and the total lack of funding or authorization on the other. And, as this "research" is already published, there is no possible way that those costs can be recovered. Armitage potentially stole $thousands$ from the University, unless he paid out of pocket. (I'll take bets he didn't).
That will get you fired pronto.
Armitage just helped himself, and if he did it during hours he was paid, then he stole salary as well.
It is also obvious that few people actually read the "research" paper supposedly at the center of this little storm.
Mark Hollis Armitage, Kevin Lee Anderson
2013 "Soft sheets of fibrillar bone from a fossil of the supraorbital horn of the dinosaur Triceratops horridus" Acta Histochemica, Volume 115, Issue 6, Pages 603–608
I have. It is crap.
The age of dinosaur bone is based on the formation it is recovered from and not the condition of the bone. There was no competent stratigraphic analysis of these fossils to associate any radiometric data and the recovered material. (Armitage also denies elsewhere the validity of all radiometric dates). The fact is that the fossil was found in a shallow secondary deposit. It was cracked and open to the environment. It was observed to have rootlets growing through it! None of the reasonable tests for the age of the material were performed (especially amino acid racemization analysis if as I suspect the "soft tissue" is recent plant and microorganisms). Armitage and Anderson soaked chunks from the horn core in Glutaraldehyde which is a cross-linking and tanning agent. In short, they made plastic out of any bacteria, fungi, or any other organic sludge on the bone. The attempted to demineralize other samples with sodium EDTA was incomplete. There are other problems as well.
The journal will be humiliated as soon as I find time to review it for publication.
I usually pay no attention to comments on various posting boards, but this was recently brought to my attention and it is simply so ignorant …
No CSUN equipment, supplies, money, or time was used for the reported work. Wow, you just blindly jump off the deep end when it comes to criminal accusations ...
As for the methods and results of our paper:
Nowhere in the paper do we make any suggestion about the horn’s age or the need for a readjustment of that age. Thus, subjecting the horn to one or more “dating” methods is irrelevant to the focus of the paper. As you say, “age of a dinosaur bone is based on the formation it is recovered.” It was a Triceratops horn recovered from the Hell Creek Formation. Both Triceratops and the Formation already have standard assigned age ranges. Attempting to reassign an age for the horn or for Hell Creek is a completely different paper in a completely different journal. Your point is irrelevant and highly misleading.
Instead, the entire purpose of the paper was simply to describe the discovery of pliable, soft tissue within a Triceratops horn. This had not been reported before, and it is also significant in that the horn was far from “pristinely” preserved prior to recovery. (The significance of other “non-pristinely” preserved specimens has recently been reported in Nature Communication.) The methodology we used is standard extraction and preparation protocols employed by other labs doing similar investigations. These methods have proven appropriate for extraction of tissue containing a variety of cells and proteins.
As for this “plastic” that you suggest we mistakenly thought was dinosaur tissue:
1) it would not have the textile characteristics of the extracted tissue.
2) it would not contain the cellular structures that would be mistaken for osteocytes. The osteocytes we observed were not fuzzy and obscure, they were large, clear, and very morphologically detailed.
3) plant, fungi, and bacterial cells look nothing like the cells we reported (this was a huge weakness of the Kaye et al (2008) paper too – they seemed to just ignore this point).
4) vertebrate osteocytes are very unique in size and morphology, which is why they serve well for these types of studies.
5) what is your evidence that such a “plastic” was formed with all the textile and cellular characteristics of our extracted tissue? It appears you’re just ‘making it up.’
You seem to be suggesting that we just fabricated untested protocols, and had no idea what we were doing or finding. It is my understanding that you are an archaeologist. Clearly, you are neither a biologist nor microscopist.
I suggest it is you, not the journal that will be "humiliated" by the submission of some form of review. Actually, you have already done a wonderful job of humiliating yourself here.
No one is questioning your motivation. The methods and results speak for themselves.
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