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in the hoosegow

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

if only we were mr. spocks

I was listening to NPR the other morning and heard that some dude had done a meta-study to see if nutrition studies are biased in favor of the products/companies who supply funding. He found that (published) studies supported by companies are 8 times more likely to find positive results than those supported by other types of funding, i.e. they show their sponsors in a good nutritional light.

I wasn't particularly surprised by the findings. We science types know that the ideal of unbiased research is a difficult one to achieve, and it's a good kick in the pants to government types who allow industry to support studies rather than making that the government's job. Now, I know it's cool to get funding period if you're a researcher and that many be committing career suicide if they turned down all non-governmental sources of funding, but come on. The implications are clear.


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