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And Now, to Summarize: Oops

This Wall Street Journal article profiles John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Tufts University and the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece who studies research methods. Ioannidis recently published a paper in PLoS Medicine entitled "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False." (Psst, John: this might make networking at future conferences slightly awkward.) According to the WSJ story, Ioannidis found that "the hotter the field of research the more likely its published findings should be viewed skeptically." Phew. Good thing genomics has never been "hot."

The beatings continue with this cover story from the New York Times Magazine, which wonders whether we really have any idea what makes us healthy and what doesn’t. Using the example of prescribing estrogen for the treatment of symptoms of menopause -- and of course later finding the dangers of doing so -- the article refers to it as the "here-today-gone-tomorrow nature of medical wisdom," saying that most of today's valid hyphotheses will be overturned by new studies next year. But Matthew Nisbet at the Framing Science blog blames this on bad communication rather than bad science. He writes that the "article offers valuable insight into the uncertainty and social side of science, but the misleading moral lesson is that science can't be trusted." Hey, at least someone's on our side.

 

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.