Skip to comments.Blood, sweat and tears in biotech — the Theranos story
Posted on 05/15/2018 7:12:53 AM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
Few scandals have so gripped both the health-care and technology industries as the seismic rise and fall of blood-testing company Theranos. In Bad Blood, acclaimed investigative journalist John Carreyrou, who broke the story in 2015, presents comprehensive evidence of the fraud perpetrated by Theranos chief executive Elizabeth Holmes. Specifically, Holmes and the companys former president Ramesh Sunny Balwani raised more than US$700 million through elaborate, years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the companys technology, business, and financial performance, as the US Securities and Exchange Commission put it in March this year.
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
” Like so many others, I had confirmation bias, wanting this young, ambitious woman with a great idea to succeed.”
“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli paid back EVERY DIME. His investors lost nothing, but he still got 7 years in prison.
Any bets on how long she’ll serve?
It seems like the overall concept was valid, but Theranos needed a lot of work to improve accuracy.
They shouldn’t have been afraid to announce their failings - in a zero interest rate, printed money monetary system as we have, big investors are very forgiving about bad results in new technology.
Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. Confirmation bias is a variation of the more general tendency of apophenia.
Apophenia is the tendency to perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things.
I’ve had some involvement with microfluidics, fascinating technology that offers great potential. But that said, the devil is as always, in the millions of details and engineers always see the potential rather than the limitations. But executives are supposed to balance that, not enable cheating to hide failures and deceive investors and others. Her big brain was the problem here, not the technology, and most likely the investors would have stayed in for the long term had she not lied and cheated.
The overall concept wasn't valid. The whole thing was a fraud.
This story is about a lot of things, but one of them is widespread scientific illiteracy among people with very high-level “educations”.
Now, I don’t count, as a biology major and medical school graduate. I never took an interest in Theranos as it was rising, since the fraud was so transparent.
But. When I was in (public) high school and in (liberal arts) college, EVERYBODY had to take a few science courses, and EVERYBODY had enough math to do simple logic problems.
Some really big people with really big degrees backed this nonsense, because (apparently) they couldn’t tell it was as impossible as spinning straw into gold.
Of course it wasn't.
Has she even been charged in criminal court yet?
Chemical background. Some experience in that field. Premise was flawed from the get go.
Not a day.
She will repeat the performance again.
Shes another silicon valley grifter scammer. Btw, Mattis was on her board of directors. No doubt because of his medical lab background. /s
Really - everything, including the machinery and processes they developed were fictional?
Or they just didn’t work anywhere near as advertised?
The machinery? I have no idea. Is the “machinery” part of a perpetual motion machine real? I suppose it depends on how you define “real”.
The processes? Not even remotely possible.
Therenos was a modern-day remake of a 1969 episode of Hawaii Five-0.
No kidding, even down to the machine that diagnosed from a drop of blood.
Spookier still, the scammer in that episode was played by Joanne Linville. She bore a striking resemblance to Theranos’ Holmes.
Here is a short clip from YouTube:
Not possible - until someone does it. What Theranos was promising will very likely be achieved in the next 10-15 years by others, following a more logical and scientific (and investment-wise, boring) incrementalist approach.
She paid a $500,000 fine. That’s it. She must be ratting out anyone and everyone to get that deal.
She settled with the SEC for the civil portion.
I think she surrendered a couple million shares of her worthless company and some cash.
She’ll get a vagina pass and walk.
Yeah. How often does the criminal at the very top get a pass to rat on underlings?
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