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10 Signs That Study Is Bogus


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It's Too New
Maybe wait a while before you rush out to try the latest supposed cancer-blocking cure touted by a brand new study. Thinkstock Images/Stockbytes
Maybe wait a while before you rush out to try the latest supposed cancer-blocking cure touted by a brand new study. Thinkstock Images/Stockbytes

Every other day we hear of a new study that's found vitamin X, Y or Z prevents cancer or Alzheimer's or autoimmune disorders, and we rush out to buy vast quantities of the stuff. Before mainlining yet another trendy supplement, it might be wise to sit back and wait a little while to see whether subsequent research bolsters or debunks its value.

The media thrives on the latest and the newest. But when it comes to science, novelty isn't necessarily a good thing. Often it just means that the exciting results of a surprising new study are too new to have been disproven yet. Check back in a couple of years and see how many of those headliner research results have stood the test of time.

In terms of research, much of what the media reports on are "initial findings." Initial findings are just that, initial. They need to be verified by more studies to see whether the results can be reproduced. Frequently they can't be — but it's rare when media outlets report negative research results [source: Crowe]. That's because they're never as popular as an exciting new discovery.