Autism Gene Findings Raise Questions, Hype (wired)

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alex
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10 Jan 2008, 3:29 pm

Wired science blog has a good explanation of the hype about the new autism chromosome mutation study that has been discussed elsewhere on Wrong Planet:

Quote:
Despite the news coverage the discovery has received, The mutations, described yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine, are present in just 1 percent of all kids with autism. At least 31 different stories appear in Google News, with all the usual heavy hitters -- the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, New York Times et al. -- weighing in.



http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008 ... e-fin.html

The press really does run some misleading stories about scientific studies.


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Odin
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10 Jan 2008, 3:55 pm

alex wrote:

The press really does run some misleading stories about scientific studies.


Most "science" journalists are ignorant fools when it come to science.


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jrknothead
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10 Jan 2008, 4:05 pm

this is from the second paragraph of the original story:

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Thus far, only about 10 percent of autism cases have a known genetic cause. Boston-area researchers estimate the gene glitch they've identified accounts for another 1 percent of cases.


so it's only misleading if you only bother to read the headlines...



alex
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10 Jan 2008, 4:14 pm

jrknothead wrote:
this is from the second paragraph of the original story:

Quote:
Thus far, only about 10 percent of autism cases have a known genetic cause. Boston-area researchers estimate the gene glitch they've identified accounts for another 1 percent of cases.


so it's only misleading if you only bother to read the headlines...


the misleading part is that they spin the story so it seems like some big breakthrough when it isn't.


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Rynessa
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10 Jan 2008, 5:21 pm

It isn't the science of this story, but the terminology used that raised my eyebrows.

On my local news, the story they read described a genetic "variation" and "mutation".
After the story was read, however, the anchors chit-chatted about the findings, using the terms "missing link" and "glitch".



WurdBendur
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10 Jan 2008, 6:27 pm

Odin wrote:
Most "science" journalists are ignorant fools when it come to science.


Most people who say things like that are ignorant fools whet it comes to science.


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