Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Govt finally questioning medical studies
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health--in a story on Reuters by Sharon Begley, a reporter I respect--said it's a waste of time and money to try to build on faulty studies. (Nature Magazine, Feb).
Too many journals are looking for sensational stuff--the kind of thing that is most likely to be "phantoms"--meaning the results cannot be reproduced by another team.
Scientists at Amgen, according to this, could only confirm 6 of 53 landmark cancer studies in 2011.
Either the original claim was wrong or the scientists goofed.
So the NIH is creating a mandatory course in study design for in-house scientists.
For one thing, it's really not OK to report the one study with a finding you like and not mention all the others with a different result.
Yes--this whole area could use work. Someone should do a study.