Some people have questioned whether the DNA was sufficiently cleaned by your technique using gel electrophoresis, to separate it from other molecules. Do you feel this is a valid concern?
(Shorter) Answer: No.
Others have argued that arsenate-linked DNA should have quickly fallen apart when exposed to water. Could you address this?
(Shorter) Answer: No experiments have previously been done relevant to our study.
Is it possible that salts in your growth media could have provided enough trace phosphorus to sustain the bacteria?
(shorter) Answer: We think not.
Is there anything else you’d like for the public to understand about your research, or about the scientific process?
(Hmm, I wonder who asked this question. It's not really one of those very critical questions that this whole debacle included.)
(Shorter) Answer: We love science, and we love you.
I'm not saying that is what the team intended to say in reply to that lat question, but that's the feeling I got from it. Overall, good answers, because they are standing their ground. That means that vindication will be sweet, or that the fall is going to hurt even more. Fun in the blogosphere either which way it goes. And science progresses, but that was never in doubt.
The Washington Post article also includes this bit of cluelessness:
He said that when people launch online attacks on the work done by him and biochemist Felisa Wolfe-Simon, he doesn't really know who is behind them. "I don't want to get involved in what can end up in a Jerry Springer situation, with people throwing chairs," he said.Oremland is pretty senior, i.e., trained before the advent of the internet. So no wonder. However, practices change, and we must, too. I was trained to write job applications on paper and send it by mail, but (next to) no one does that anymore either. Deal. Also, yes, we do know who is behind much of the serious criticism. Rosie Redfield. George Cody. Steven Benner, surely. The internet is great for looking people up.
But either way they will respond, so all is well on that front.
Yet not only was Oremland on the panel Thursday because of the blogging, but the research team also put out a series of answers to questions frequently asked about their work, and promised to respond by next month to more than 20 letters and e-mails sent to the the magazine Science questioning their work. The team announced as well that it would make samples of the microbes available to other scientists for their research.