No, a study did not link GM crops to 22 diseases

Written by John Johnson on . Posted in Health & Medicine

In my Facebook feed, a friend posted a very scary looking study that links genetically engineered (GE) crops to the rise in 22 diseases. These are pretty fearsome diseases too, like bile duct cancer and pelvis cancer. There are a few ways to respond to this article. First, it has not passed my attention that the second author has published a book called Myths of Safe Pesticides, which has been analyzed and debunked by Harriet Hall. Second, I could just say 'correlation is not causation.' Article debunked, and can be swept to the dustbin.

Christmas music: Rockin' around the data tree

Written by Glenn McDonald on . Posted in Culture

To heroically understate the situation, I am not personally a fan of Christmas music. But it's my job to help you enjoy the music you enjoy, not the music I enjoy. If you are one of the many, many people who do enjoy Christmas music, this is your time of year and to help you make the most of it, the genre system I work on at Spotify actually has several subvariations of Christmas music.

Meteorites, dark matter and statistics - December issue preview

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in Significance

What are the chances of a deadly meteor strike? It's a question that has concerned humanity for millennia - and one that we set out to answer in the December issue of Significance. It forms part of a special astrostatistics section, featuring ten articles exploring how the disciplines of astronomy and statistics are coming together to solve some of the biggest mysteries in modern science.

Do NHS records reflect patient ethnicity?

Written by Katie Saunders on . Posted in Health & Medicine

When registering with a doctor’s surgery or booking a medical test at a hospital, the UK National Health Service (NHS) will record a patient’s ethnicity. It has been doing this since 2000, when the Race Relations Act was amended to introduce a clear duty for organisations to monitor and tackle discrimination in the provision of public services.

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