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Monday, October 15, 2012

Many Initial Science Findings Covered in News Later Refuted

Using attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as an example, researchers found that newspapers preferentially cover mostly positive initial studies and may fail to report on subsequent refuting/attenuating studies, presenting an inaccurate picture of overall findings.

Francois Gonon, PhD, from the University of Bordeaux in France, and colleagues, reported their findings in an article published online September 12 in PLoS ONE.

According to the researchers, initial observations are publicized by the mass media because of their novelty and, often, their publication in prominent journals. However, biomedical observations should be considered facts only after independent validation by subsequent studies, as initial observations often are contradicted or attenuated by follow-up studies.
More duh.

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