Friday Links

1. This Sokalization of the nutrition literature is brilliant. A journalist got a paper published showing that chocolate helps you lose weight just to show how easy it is to get random results published (emphasis min):

Other than [concealing my identity], the study was 100 percent authentic. My colleagues and I recruited actual human subjects in Germany. We ran an actual clinical trial, with subjects randomly assigned to different diet regimes. And the statistically significant benefits of chocolate that we reported are based on the actual data. It was, in fact, a fairly typical study for the field of diet research. Which is to say: It was terrible science. The results are meaningless, and the health claims that the media blasted out to millions of people around the world are utterly unfounded.


Or as one prescient reader of the 4 April story in the Daily Express put it, “Every day is April Fool’s in nutrition.”

Long time readers will know that the awful state of nutrition “research” is a pet peeve of mine and that I think it undermines trust in science more generally.

2. If you didn’t see it, we got published in Science last week. If you don’t have time to read the paper, just listen to the rap summary (which features a plot I did).

3. There is a vaccine for Lyme Disease, which is not used because of anti-vaccination concerns. Here is the Nature News writeup (/ht ScienceBabe).

Also, I learned that there are more cases in Europe than in the US, the vaccine was initially based on work from the University of Heidelberg, but the vaccine is not offered here either.


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