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Fiona fox's blog

before the headlines

When faced with a dataset from a scientific study, assessing what conclusions can legitimately be drawn is a challenging task. For a busy journalist, performing such an analysis is a tall order. One of the services the Science Media Centre provides for journalists is brief, independent statistical analyses of scientific papers with accompanying critiques of the authors’ own conclusions at a glance.

‘Before the headlines’ analyses are structured in a simple format, with clear summaries of what the paper in question claims, and a concise assessment of the strengths and limitations. This service is provided to the SMC by volunteer statisticians.

before the headlines volunteers

 

 

 

organic food and cancer

Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that a higher frequency of organic food consumption was associated with a reduced … read more

air pollution and death

Researchers, publishing in PNAS, looked at global estimates of mortality associated with longterm exposure air pollution. A roundup accompanied this Before the … read more

Pollution and birth weight

A new study, in The BMJ, examines the association between exposure to air pollution from road traffic in London during pregnancy and an increased risk of low birth weight babies born at full term. read more

Brain training for dementia

A new study, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, reports that computerised brain training may reduce the risk of dementia by 29%. read more

HRT use and long-term mortality

In a new study, published in JAMA, scientists report that among postmenopausal women, hormone therapy was not associated with risk of … read more

Sedentary behaviour and mortality

Publishing in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers looked at sedentary behaviour and reported that increased sedentary behaviour, both in total volume and prolonged uninterrupted … read more

Aircraft noise exposure and high blood pressure

A new cohort study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, reports that long-term exposure to aircraft noise, particularly during the night, is associated with incident hypertension and potentially, also, cardiovascular events. read more

Alcohol and brain function

In a new study published in the BMJ researchers report brain changes associated with chronic alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels. Roundup comments accompanied this analysis.

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