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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

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.