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Positive Results Can Be Negative

When are positive results a bad thing? When they indicate a possible "threat" to science, according to the University of Edinburgh. In a new study published in Scientometrics, Edinburgh's Daniele Fanelli examined more than 4,600 scientific papers published between 1990 and 2007, and found "a steady decline in studies in which the findings contradicted scientific hypotheses," the university says in a statement. During those 17 years, positive results increased from around 70 percent in 1990 to about 86 percent in 2007. "Either journals are rejecting more negative results, or scientists are producing more positives. It is most likely a combination of both," Fanelli says. The study also showed that this phenomenon was more pronounced in the US than in Europe, leading Fanelli to suggest that perhaps "problems linked to competition are greater in the US than elsewhere." The growing pressure to report only positive results may lead to a "decline" in scientific research around the world, the Edinburgh release suggests.

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.