Saturday, December 8, 2007

What is "Xiao's Reflex Arc"?

Professor Xiao Chuanguo claimed that the fruit of his research, the so-called "Xiao's Reflex Arc" or "Xiao's Procedure", is one of the very few world-wide recognized surgical procedures that are named after a Chinese national. If true, it is certainly a remarkable achievement worthy consideration of Chinese Academy of Science's Academician-ship.

However, after an exhausive search, Fang Zhouzi concluded that the terms such as "Xiao's Reflex Arc" or "Xiao's Procedure" do not exist in either medical literature or general information base. Indeed, up to today, a google search on these teams only turn up pages about Xiao Chuanguo vs. Fang Zhouzi libel case. Therefore, Fang Zhouzi accused that Professor Xiao Chuanguo had cooked up such terms on his own to gain fame.

On the web site of New York University, where Xiao worked during the period of dispute, it describes that Xiao "is actively engaged in pioneering research regarding creation of a somatic-autonomic reflex pathway for treatment of neurogenic bladder in patients with spinal cord injury." The term "Xiao's Reflex Arc" is nowhere to be found.

Today, we seem to know this much:

  • In 1999, Xiao coauthored a paper describing a bladder reflex pathway in cats. This work was cited in Walsh Campbell's Urology, 8th edition, 2002. Xiao uses this example to show recognition of his work, but he never mentioned the fact that the cited work is not on human, nor did he mention his co-authors. More importantly, nowhere in Urology, can the term "Xiao's Reflex Arc" be found.
  • The only occurrence of the term "Xiao's Reflex Arc" is in a Chinese textbook, edited by Xiao Chuanguo's thesis advisor Qiu Fazu(裘法祖).
During the trial in Wuhan, the presiding judge ignored Fang Zhouzi's plea that the validity of Professor's work itself is not in dispute. The issue is whether the term "Xiao's Reflex Arc" is an internationally recognized name for the work, as Xiao had repeated claimed. Instead, the judge declared that since Xiao's research work is real. "Xiao's Reflex Arc" must also be real.

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