Well that got your attention, didn't it?
I remember a time when scientific studies were analyzed, discussed and reproduced in the scientific community before they ever entered the streamlined media world. Why? Because we wanted the results to be looked at and to determine whether or not the research was well-designed and had clinical applications. But nowadays, it doesn't matter how small the study or how poorly designed the research is - if it has a catchy headline, the media can't wait to throw it out there for all the world to see.
Now I do not totally blame the media - after all I am part of the problem, too. But these days it seems many medical journals, in an effort to get more recognition and readability, are all but glad to inform media outlets of their "breaking news" stories.
Yes - as they say in the media world - good content is priceless, and if it has a good headline, even better! That is why many people feel confused about the reports they read on a daily basis. One day coffee is good for you; the next day it's not! Are these preliminary studies really helping our readers?
Here are some of today's favorites_
- Woman's Leg Won't Quit Growing
- Chemical in Gut May Help Fight Obesity
- Pig Organs: Ready for Humans at Last?
- Top 4 Foods to Boost Your Memory
- 21st Century Plague Discovered by Scientists
Often, writers even have the same standard formula for reporting these studies prematurely. They usually ask an expert and the classic response goes something like this: "We're all excited about the findings, but more research needs to be done."
So I guess tomorrow I'll talk about a new exciting study, but I'll try to get all the facts first.