When a follower approached Dr. Elisabeth Bik with a set of studies published in various scientific journals, she was puzzled. The studies all described a new method of destroying cancer cells it referred to as "YXQ-EQ," and several had received federal funding or Harvard University's stamp of approval.
There was just one problem: YXQ-EQ involves one man, a self-described "miracle worker" taking cancer cells into a locked room, alone, and bringing them out 10 minutes later, dead.
Bik broke down the numerous issues with the studies in a viral thread:
The papers, which feature authors from reputable institutions, claim this new mystery method (YXQ-EQ) has amazing results!
But there's a problem...none of the papers seem to go into detail about what exactly YXQ-EQ is.
It seemed that YXQ-EQ had something to do with Qi, "the life force believed to exist in everything" in classical Chinese culture. Bik made it clear her point was not to belittle or discount non-traditional or eastern medicine, but scientific studies mean nothing if their methods can't be replicated.
Yet, the studies left out any mention of what YXQ-EQ might be.
For some reason, none of the peer reviewers who were meant to catch this mistake managed to notice that the study's central treatment method was left completely mysterious.
A lot of red flags popped up as Bik went searching for what YXQ-Eq might be...
Dr. Yan Xin seems to be the only scientist working with YXQ-EQ, a method partially named after himself.
Yet, somehow, all of Xin's papers avoid saying what YXQ-EQ actually is.
Finally, Bik managed to track down a paper from 2004 which gives a description of the method.
YXQ-EQ is just Dr. Xin taking cancer cells into a secret locked room and doing SOMETHING secret for a while. He claims it has something to do with Qigong, but there's absolutely no way to verify that.
The issue isn't Xin claiming to be harnessing the power of Qi, it's his refusal to share methods that can be replicated or tested, resulting in a far-from-scientific study.
Basically Xin claims in his scientific studies that he, and perhaps only he, has the power to use cure cancer, but he can't tell you how or let you watch him do it.
It's one thing for a (probably crazy) person to claim this. It's another thing for multiple scientific journals to publish this belief after putting his paper through a supposed "peer-review" process.
These studies somehow received national funding.
Several notable scientists attached their name to Xin's studies.
Bik reached out to all the publications in question. Some have responded saying they will look into the issues she raised in her thread, others have yet to offer comment.
Twitter was grateful to Bik for her hard work digging into the issue!
Secret methods go against the very core of scientific research, and should never be allowed in a peer-reviewed paper. It's even more shocking in a federally-funded paper. James Heathers, "a research scientist at Northeastern University known for calling out inconsistencies in scientific data," told Buzzfeed why the issues Bik found were so strange:
"People say funny things on the internet all the time, and some of that is in research and of very little consequence. But if they're doing it on government salary, or if they're doing it at an institution that prides itself on its ability to take science seriously, it's a completely different story."
Never forget to be skeptical of what you're reading - even in reputable scientific journals! You never know when someone might be trying to pull the wool over your eyes.