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About That Finding…

Medical studies that show large effects often don't hold up under further scrutiny, a new paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association says. Stanford University's John Ioannidis and his colleagues analyzed clinical trial data from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and found that "when additional evidence is obtained, most of the very large treatment effects become much smaller and many lose their nominal significance," the authors write.

Ioannidis and his colleagues add that while there are some truly large, well-established effect sizes seen in medical studies, they are quite rare and don't usually affect mortality.

When a new study shows such a large effect, Ioannidis tells the Los Angeles Times that "one should be cautious and wait for a better trial."

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.