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It's Everyone's Problem

At the Gene Expression blog, Razib Khan says bias is "rife in any science which utilizes statistics." A recent post at the GiveWell blog presented some suggestions for the social sciences, including one that said that publication bias is of great concern when examining research. "We wonder both (a) how many studies are done, but never published because people don't find the results interesting or in line with what they had hoped; (b) for a given paper, how many different interpretations of the data were assembled before picking the ones that make it into the final version," GiveWell says. The answer may be to have researchers publish their questions, theories, and planned methods of data collection before their begin their work, the blog adds — that way, if the results come out differently from what the researchers expected, "there's then no way to hide this from a motivated investigator." Khan says this is not just a social science problem but an issue that all of science needs to address. "Statistical methods have become metrics to attain by any means necessary, when in reality they should be guidelines to get a better grasp of reality," he says. "The only way to clean up some of the natural human bias in the enterprise is to shed some light on it."

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.