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A new study found…

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We often hear in the media and in the academic press about promising new studies that can link some common everyday thing such as coffee, garlic or sex with a disease such as cancer or arthritis (either as causing it or protecting from it).

Reasons for jumping to conclusions vary but include (but not limited to):

  • Over generalization from animals to people
  • Poorly designed samples with inherent biases
  • Using samples that are too small for the effect being shown
  • Deliberate misinterpretation of results to fit a pre-conceived narrative

Often the scientists behind the study are not to blame, they may produce the best pre-clinical research possible. Drawing far reaching conclusions from early research is the problem.

A new Twitter account that is really worth checking out explains one of the reasons for this. Remember that over 100,000,000 years ago, the last most-common ancestor of mice and humans had died and we have been evolving in different directions ever since.

Imagine a world where transparency and explicit research methods make this sort of sensationalism impossible!

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