Often no one is held accountable; government inaction and a. The bad judgment exercised by the medical establishment has a high price on society. Often no one is held responsible; government inaction and lack of litigious repercussions reinforce the attitude of medical authorities that they are irreproachable. Why is it that time and again we read about studies that say that a particular vitamin is excellent for preventing this and that, or that a new drug could revolutionize the treatment of this or that thing, only to hear a few years after those studies were wrong, that the vitamin could increase the risk of cancer, while that the medicine produces side effects on the left and right.
John Ioannidis, adjunct professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, once opined that most published research results are false. Ioannidis reviewed a series of archived medical journals and was surprised at how many findings were refuted by later findings. It found that many studies were conducted inadequately, using poor study design and questionable data analysis. Some studies get so stuck in errors that they later recant.
Last week, for example, Science was forced to retract a decisive document that suggested that chronic fatigue syndrome could be caused by a virus called XMRV. It sounds ridiculous, but in reality he didn't have a hard time gathering the evidence to support his hypothesis. He found a series of studies that showed that smoking increases lung volume and hemoglobin and helps with weight loss. Since they are all important for improving running performance, he was able to conclude that smoking helps to run.
A study that warns that coffee drinkers have much higher rates of lung cancer could conclude that it is coffee that causes cancer and overlooks the confounding factor that people who drink a lot of coffee also tend to smoke a lot of cigarettes. Why did the first study have such different results? It's not entirely clear, but one theory is that the type of women who went to their doctors for HRT in the late 70s and early 80s were also the type who cared about their health and took a series of lifestyle measures to reduce their risk of heart disease. Researchers did not know how to control these factors, which led them to draw inaccurate conclusions. Reshma Jagsi, assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, wonders if these conflicts of interest were influencing the outcomes.
One of the best-known examples of this came when manufacturers of the anti-anxiety drug Paxil were accused of suppressing the results of four studies that showed that the drug was not only not effective in adolescents, but could also increase their risk of suicide. Erick Turner, a psychiatrist at Portland VA Medical Center in Oregon, caused a stir in the world of psychiatry a few years ago when he released a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed that the vast majority of clinical trials that found antidepressants to be ineffective were never published either. presented as positive results. Turner's study couldn't conclude whether antidepressant manufacturers chose not to submit negative studies to medical journals, if they did and their documents were rejected, or both.
But the net result was that patients and their doctors were deceived and gave the impression that the drugs were more effective than research had shown. Students gather atop the Harvard Medical School campus in a classroom on the 10th floor of the New Research Building, the reflective blue glass of the skyscraper next door provides a bright backdrop for their serious discussions of what scientists should consider when research has the potential to harm people. Born introduced the topic of p-hacking and questioned whether a significant part of the problem involved with the practice is an incentive structure in science that pressures researchers to obtain positive results. You could assume that standard medical advice was backed up by a lot of scientific research.
However, researchers recently discovered that nearly 400 routine practices were categorically contradicted in studies published in major journals. The advice of major medical groups has been to eliminate these pests in your home if you or your child has asthma. Course topics covered science and war, such as the development and use of the atomic bomb, or the intersection of race and medicine, with discussions linked to the book The Immortal Life by Henrietta Lacks. The medical establishment comprised of doctors, regulatory authorities, licensing bodies, patent offices and, of course, pharmaceuticals is often considered the last word on health practices.
But students agreed that there is a risk that practices such as computer hacking will cause greater harm when it causes science to lose credibility with the public due to questionable experiments or results. All medical studies should be considered in the context of the other studies above, and with a healthy degree of skepticism. The current 12-week course will cover a number of controversial topics before it concludes in the spring, including the use of science in war, sexism in science, the inclusion of diverse voices, and reproducibility in science as an ethical issue. Research on any topic doesn't end with a single article, or even a multitude of articles; it's an ongoing process and one that often involves conflicting findings, as sports medicine researcher and science blogger Travis Saunders recently suggested on his co-authored blog, Obesity Panacea.
This inflection represents a major dilemma, as the rest of the world views, first and foremost, the American medical establishment as a perceived model of excellence in healthcare to be emulated. One of them, Beckwith said, was Thomas Hunt Morgan, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933 for his discoveries that clarified the role that chromosomes play in inheritance. But at the beginning of the last century, science and society faced a similar rush to exploit human genetics. .