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It's a Given

In an opinion column at The Scientist, Lisa Cosgrove — associate professor at the University of Massachusetts and research lab fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University — says bias in research is "unavoidable," and it's time the scientific community faced the issue rather than pretending it doesn't exist. And disclosing financial conflicts of interest isn't enough, she adds. "Many argue that subjectivity in the research process and the potential for bias can be eradicated by strict adherence to the scientific method and transparency about industry relationships," Cosgrove says. "Together, scientists believe, these practices can guarantee evidence-based research that leads to the discovery and dissemination of 'objective' scientific truths. The assumption is that the reporting of biased results is a 'bad apple' problem — a few corrupt individuals engaging in research fraud. But what we have today is a bad barrel." It has been shown over and over that transparency alone isn't enough, and that objectivity doesn't necessarily result from "adherence to the scientific method," she adds.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.