Quickies: Male lab rats, serial harassment, and gun extremists


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. I hope that the “proof of concept” really does lead to something in the vaccine story by holy shit is that a great example of how the media blows things out of proportion when it comes to science reporting. She was one of two in the trial and the only one to show any effect, that could have been a spontaneous remission and a massive coincidence just as easily as it could have been an effect of the vaccine. Yet the story reads like we need to start over-vaccinating everyone to see what happens, especially the headline.

    One of the researchers actually said they were trying not to hype it too much but I feel that releasing the results of a two person trail is, in and of itself, over-hyping the situation. Maybe I’m wrong about this but it seems way premature to even speculate what caused the remission in public. Using it to point the way for future research is great but it’s a bit early to be yelling ‘Eureeka!”

    Again, interesting but whoa!

  2. I’m disturbed by how the Slate article continues to assume that male = normal and female = confounding. That if something works in men, then it may or may not work in women or it may have different/worse side effects in women, and this is what we need to worry about/study. It never seems to cross Marcotte’s mind that the over-reliance on male animals in early testing might cause therapies that would work with women (but not men) to be discarded because male rats show little or no benefit. Her article just seems to assume that “works with men but not women” is a normal thing that we need to check, but “works with women but not men and we didn’t bother to investigate because it didn’t work with men” is not a thing that could possibly happen.

    The original article in Nature is more alert to this, although it doesn’t say this in as many words.

    1. That is an uncharacteristic error on Amanda’s part. She would agree with you, I’m sure.

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