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Psych research findings not holding up?

The past several years have been bruising ones for the credibility of the social sciences. A star social psychologist was caught fabricating data, leading to more than 50 retracted papers. A top journal published a study supporting the existence of ESP that was widely criticized. The journal Science pulled a political science paper on the effect of gay canvassers on voters’ behavior because of concerns about faked data. Now, a…

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Research Scientists to Use Network Much Faster Than Internet

A series of ultra-high-speed fiber-optic cables will weave a cluster of West Coast university laboratories and supercomputer centers into a network called the Pacific Research Platform as part of a five-year $5 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation. The network is meant to keep pace with the vast acceleration of data collection in fields such as physics, astronomy and genetics. It will not be directly connected to the…

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Sharing Clinical Trial Data

Data sharing can accelerate new discoveries by avoiding duplicative trials, stimulating new ideas for research, and enabling the maximal scientific knowledge and benefits to be gained from the efforts of clinical trial participants and investigators. At the same time, sharing clinical trial data presents risks, burdens, and challenges. These include the need to protect the privacy and honor the consent of clinical trial participants; safeguard the legitimate economic interests of…

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Results Of Many Clinical Trials Not Being Reported

Many scientists are failing to live up to a 2007 law that requires them to report the results of their clinical trials to a public website, according to a study in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine. The website is clinicaltrials.gov, which draws 57,000 visitors a day, including people who are confronting serious diseases and looking for experimental treatments. A study from Duke University finds that five years after the…

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Behind New Dietary Guidelines, Better Science

For decades, many dietary recommendations have revolved around consuming a low percentage of your daily calories from fat. It has been widely thought that doing so would reduce your chance of having coronary heart disease. Most of the evidence for that recommendation has come from epidemiologic studies, which can be flawed. Use of these types of studies happens far more often than we would like, leading to dietary guidelines that…

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Resistance Is Futile: Why That’s A Good Thing In Biomedicine

Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation are very familiar with the Borg, a society of cybernetic individuals linked together in a collective mindset. The Borg navigate the universe in cube-shaped spacecraft actively seeking members of other races to absorb into their collective. Whenever others oppose their efforts, the Borg let them know, in no uncertain terms, that “resistance is futile” and they will be assimilated. Without context, however, this…

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Cancer patients using “mouse avatars” to customize treatments

Scientists often test drugs in mice. Now some cancer patients are doing the same — with the hope of curing their own disease. They are paying a private lab to breed mice that carry bits of their own tumors so treatments can be tried first on the customized rodents. The idea is to see which drugs might work best on a specific person’s specific cancer. The mice may help patients…

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Why Experts Reject Creativity

Boudreau, et al In 2007, Steve Ballmer, then-CEO of Microsoft, emphatically predicted that Apple’s new phone would fail. “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share,” he said. “No chance.” The volume of Ballmer’s voice makes him a popular target in technology, but he wasn’t an outlier, just the loudest guy in crowd of skeptical experts. RIM CEO Jim Balsillie said the iPhone would…

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