View Full Version : how to decide which sources or research is the most reliable?


sarahsweets
08-05-14, 04:56 AM
I stuck this in they science /media section for a few reasons :
-I want everyone who wants to participate to feel welcome
- this doesn't have to be purely 100% science I value all opinions
-frankly, the regular science section scares the sh*t out of me.
If the mods need to move it thats ok too.
I was wondering about this beecause of a post in the ritalin section where someone was citing pubmed about oxidative damage to the brain. I read the abstract they cited and couldn't figure out how "right " or correct the source was because I have read so many articles to the contrary. I know part of the requirement (I think) is that your research needs to be peer reviewed which I guess means read? I *think * its also should be something that other people cite in their owns research? Do places like pubmed have stuff that's not always correct? Can anyone get something published there and have it be considered scientific research that others should believe 100%?

I have come across stuff like this before. Where something I have learned about and read research on is published and then someone cites the same publication with completely different research . How they hell can you dispute it? I don't have a subscription to these sites so maybe I dont understand the big picture. But when someone cites pub med, I I flee with my tail between my legs. Who can argue with science right?

Please, if you comment understand that :
not all of us are science minded
Everyone has a valid opinion
Please don't derail the thread with information about your pet project
Don't derail the thread with any theoretical topics
Remember, there's room for more than 1 person in the sandbox.

SB_UK
08-05-14, 06:02 AM
I stuck this in they science /media section for a few reasons :
-I want everyone who wants to participate to feel welcome
- this doesn't have to be purely 100% science I value all opinions
-frankly, the regular science section scares the sh*t out of me.
If the mods need to move it thats ok too.
I was wondering about this beecause of a post in the ritalin section where someone was citing pubmed about oxidative damage to the brain. I read the abstract they cited and couldn't figure out how "right " or correct the source was because I have read so many articles to the contrary. I know part of the requirement (I think) is that your research needs to be peer reviewed which I guess means read? I *think * its also should be something that other people cite in their owns research? Do places like pubmed have stuff that's not always correct? Can anyone get something published there and have it be considered scientific research that others should believe 100%?

I have come across stuff like this before. Where something I have learned about and read research on is published and then someone cites the same publication with completely different research . How they hell can you dispute it? I don't have a subscription to these sites so maybe I dont understand the big picture. But when someone cites pub med, I I flee with my tail between my legs. Who can argue with science right?

Please, if you comment understand that :
not all of us are science minded
Everyone has a valid opinion
Please don't derail the thread with information about your pet project
Don't derail the thread with any theoretical topics
Remember, there's room for more than 1 person in the sandbox.

You can't.

Wouldn't be published if out and out wrong - so possible.

They've had to do some experimentation.
Some connection to previous literature.
And have had to pass some independent minds in peer review.

These 3 stages mean that whatever's published can't be out and out rejected as false.

First thought on ritalin/oxidative damage - I think - Ginniebean's thread on ritalin/Parkinson's disease.

SB_UK
08-05-14, 08:57 AM
Actually most papers suggest stimulants are helpful in Parkinson's

- go figure!!

Sad when publications make things more confusing which I think is the point of this thread; all that we can seek is a consistent message.

What's the consistent message ? Maintain physiology using natural means rather than fail to correct pathophysiology using either snake oil or profit-laden wonder chemicals.

Amazing documentary yesterday where the connection between the waste products from paper making plants are progressively enriched in fatty fish. Known oncogenes preferentially absorbed into fatty fish. And what're ex-cancer patients (certainly breast cancer!) told to eat - fatty fish.

You're not going to solve any of the problems we have unless all people're on board.

Incidentally in that documentary - Norwegian researcher who delivered much of the research was made redundant and research suppressed because of governmental minister financial interests - my point is ... ... the science you'd quite like to know about is actively suppressed in this particular case.
So you won't even get to hear about research which is inconvenient to somebody with financial interest.

Monsanto mentioned yet again - they're just always the bad guys.

Point of all of these comments - if your government (national research) or corporation (private research) don't like the cut of your research - then you're out of a job.
Scientists have to tow the party line.

Science is expensive.

How do you know what is right and what is wrong ?

I'd tend to argue that it's impossible.

Even scientists themselves aren't to be completely trusted - when's the last time a scientist concluded that his own specialist subject is of no interest in dissecting some problem domain; generally scientists become like salesmen - yeah - my technique xyz will help to keep your skin young looking, end poverty, bring about world peace.

Sadly - I know how to make your skin younger looking, end poverty and bring about world peace - and you don't particularly need anything to achieve these things.
Just a frame of mind.

SB_UK
08-05-14, 09:50 AM
oxidative damage


Old school scientists who first gave us the idea of oxidative damage -

Priestley and Lavoisier

- turned into a pair of sparring monsters each eager to be known as the person who discovered oxygen.

So if your government likes it, your corporation likes it and it makes YOUR career better - then that's the science you'll see ... ...

- not the science that is worth seeing - which summarises down to human beings create ALL of their own problems through pursuit of their own individual, tribal, corporate, national etc agenda ... ...

SB_UK
08-05-14, 10:14 AM
Idea thinking about currently - particularly after watching a doc. on Priestley/Lavoisier.

Simply - we're a candle.

We can pour petrol on the candle (burn faster) or 'calm' the candle (burn slower) - without extinguishing.

Strongly believe that stimulants cause the candle to burn faster -> premature ageing (oxidative damage).

Brings the stimulant vs narcotic balance into perspective.

Basic argument suggested - point is to generate a basal balance between stimulant and narcotic - and to live one's life there.
So that'd be overcoming 'the need for speed' - by achieving duality (overcoming pleasure/pain paradigm) - and settling into a singular state.

So - I'd agree with the basic idea of the paper - but of course eg if ritalin stops self-medication with illegal drugs etc then you may find 40 years shaved off your life expectancy instead of a couple with ritalin ... ... it all depends ... ...
What's the general conclusion ?
As above - maintain optimal physiology [through environmentaL modification] - correcting pathophysiology won't work - how do you stop somebody who's prone to cancer from getting cancer ... certainly not by advising them to eat more carcinogens [<-current advice of the medical establishment - fatty fish to breast cancer survivors].

So in the example above - shift from paper to e-readers (essentially eliminating the vast majority of manufacturing, polluting industry) (we'll have some method of transmitting info without hardware soon cf google glasses - but we can go far less material world than that even - contact lens ? ear implant?), become organic vegan
- and we've completely eliminated the problems described above of ingesting fish with high levels of dioxin, PCB, pesticide, heavy metal, cadmium etc

how to decide which sources or research is the most reliable?Ask who is paying ?
Ask are the researchers objective ? (ie do they have a speciality)

If somebody's paying and the researchers have a speciality then don't trust the science.

'But but but' - I hear you say.

EXACTLY - true science is compromised by hierarchical $ocial [a hierarchical workplace where people strive to climb the ladder] $tructure [a hierarchical moneyscape where people strive to make more].
Underlying problem - a desire in man to perpetuate and profit from a hierarchical society.
Solution - flatten structure or in simple words - equality.

And thereafter:how to decide which sources or research is the most reliable?
ALL of it.

So NONE of it currently to ALL of it - by simply altering $ocial $tructure.

Lunacie
08-05-14, 10:46 AM
You can't.

Wouldn't be published if out and out wrong - so possible.

They've had to do some experimentation.
Some connection to previous literature.
And have had to pass some independent minds in peer review.

These 3 stages mean that whatever's published can't be out and out rejected as false.

First thought on ritalin/oxidative damage - I think - Ginniebean's thread on ritalin/Parkinson's disease.

Seems like I remember some out-and-out wrong research on a link between vaccines and autism.

So yeah, it can turn out to be false and be rejected.

There was a piece in the news this morning about a scientist in Japan who committed suicide after research he co-authored was retracted and proven false.

http://news.msn.com/world/japan-scientist-in-discredited-stem-cell-research-dead-in-suicide

SB_UK
08-05-14, 10:59 AM
Seems like I remember some out-and-out wrong research on a link between vaccines and autism.

So yeah, it can turn out to be false and be rejected.

There was a piece in the news this morning about a scientist in Japan who committed suicide after research he co-authored was retracted and proven false.

http://news.msn.com/world/japan-scientist-in-discredited-stem-cell-research-dead-in-suicide

The majority (not all) scientists want to tell the truth.
But if you're looking to your left, you won't see what's happening to your right.
That's the problem with vested interest / speciality - the individual isn't attempting to lie - they're simply not telling the truth because it's impossible from that vantage point.
You need the big picture.

the parable implies that one's subjective experience can be true, but that such experience is inherently limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

SB_UK
08-05-14, 11:08 AM
Seems like I remember some out-and-out wrong research on a link between vaccines and autism.

If we're going to introduce the idea of a scientist deliberately making up data (which isn't going to be the exception rather than the norm) - then fine
- but I think this thread is more aimed at research which the researcher believes to be true.

IE see quote above.

Now how do you tell if a scientific study is a complete work of fiction ?
Well - that's tough. Don't know. Somebody will inevitably try and repeat the process - if there's a lot at stake. We can rest assured that wholly fictional publications are exceedingly rare.
The informed individual won't be able to discredit works of fiction without some assistance.

Difficult - though - because often extremely challenging (AND CORRECT!) ideas are railed against by the entire scientific community ... ...

eventually left him isolated within the scientific community.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Priestley

silivrentoliel
08-05-14, 11:41 AM
I know this is totally out in left field to what has been discussed thus far, however, your original question was how to decide which sources were the most reliable... a lot of deciding that, I've found, is to first be able to tell if their argument in the paper itself is valid or not. If it sounds bogus, chances are, the science is going to be way out in left field as well... not necessarily wrong, but probably not used in the correct context.

This is a bit off topic, but I think it fits in with the original question...
A deductive argument is said to be valid if and only if it takes a form that makes it impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion nevertheless to be false. Otherwise, a deductive argument is said to be invalid. (found here (http://www.iep.utm.edu/val-snd/))

addthree
08-05-14, 11:48 AM
Try to find legitimate sources. Schools discourage any other source than .edu or .gov. There are legit sources with other web address endings. However these are the only two held to higher standards. There are no internet police checking to see that websites report accurate facts.

Eaaqas
08-05-14, 12:24 PM
This is actually a decent question.

For studies I always look at the journal and who is publishing the information. Usually going to their university page gives a good indication of their research specialties.

Look at journal rankings as well.

The only other real option is to read the experimental methods section of a paper to see if their methods are correct, but for that you need at least some understanding of treatment methods.

mildadhd
08-05-14, 02:29 PM
I think it is important to consider more than one research/researcher, on any topic.

Also what might be true for some people, might not be exactly true for everyone.

There is also new findings, replacing older findings, etc.


P

Hathor
08-05-14, 02:47 PM
I read the abstract they cited and couldn't figure out how "right " or correct the source was because I have read so many articles to the contrary. I know part of the requirement (I think) is that your research needs to be peer reviewed which I guess means read? I *think * its also should be something that other people cite in their owns research? Do places like pubmed have stuff that's not always correct? Can anyone get something published there and have it be considered scientific research that others should believe 100%?



well I am more interested in Social Sciences that the firmer science of Medicine, but I have seen the lines get blurred where 'Science' gets socialized/politicized to the point where peer review starts to look like a bunch of Scotsmen lording it over everybody else.

This tends to happen most clearly in topics that will break the political and other taboos so I can't give examples to back up my trouble with this authoritarianism, but I do see it clearly at times.

As for you Sarahsweets, I think you have the right idea - keep doing what you are doing [yourself] and you will get better at spotting bad sources while learning more about the content.

mildadhd
08-05-14, 06:32 PM
I stuck this in they science /media section for a few reasons :
-I want everyone who wants to participate to feel welcome
- this doesn't have to be purely 100% science I value all opinions
-frankly, the regular science section scares the sh*t out of me.
If the mods need to move it thats ok too.
I was wondering about this beecause of a post in the ritalin section where someone was citing pubmed about oxidative damage to the brain. I read the abstract they cited and couldn't figure out how "right " or correct the source was because I have read so many articles to the contrary. I know part of the requirement (I think) is that your research needs to be peer reviewed which I guess means read? I *think * its also should be something that other people cite in their owns research? Do places like pubmed have stuff that's not always correct? Can anyone get something published there and have it be considered scientific research that others should believe 100%?

I have come across stuff like this before. Where something I have learned about and read research on is published and then someone cites the same publication with completely different research . How they hell can you dispute it? I don't have a subscription to these sites so maybe I dont understand the big picture. But when someone cites pub med, I I flee with my tail between my legs. Who can argue with science right?

Please, if you comment understand that :
not all of us are science minded
Everyone has a valid opinion
Please don't derail the thread with information about your pet project
Don't derail the thread with any theoretical topics
Remember, there's room for more than 1 person in the sandbox.

Consider them all and choose good.

P

mildadhd
08-05-14, 07:05 PM
It takes many sources of reliable research/researchers, not just one.


P

Lunacie
08-06-14, 10:02 AM
I read the abstract they cited and couldn't figure out how "right " or correct the source was because I have read so many articles to the contrary. I know part of the requirement (I think) is that your research needs to be peer reviewed which I guess means read? I *think * its also should be something that other people cite in their owns research? Do places like pubmed have stuff that's not always correct? Can anyone get something published there and have it be considered scientific research that others should believe 100%?

I have come across stuff like this before. Where something I have learned about and read research on is published and then someone cites the same publication with completely different research . How they hell can you dispute it? I don't have a subscription to these sites so maybe I dont understand the big picture. But when someone cites pub med, I I flee with my tail between my legs. Who can argue with science right?

Sarah was very brave to broach this topic given her hesitation to enter the scientific forum.

I think it's a good question and one I'm not entirely sure about myself.
I do think good research is replicable and isn't just one study of only a dozen people.
I hadn't really considered the benefits of peer review.

SB_UK
08-06-14, 10:14 AM
I read the abstract they cited and couldn't figure out how "right " or correct the source was because I have read so many articles to the contrary. I know part of the requirement (I think) is that your research needs to be peer reviewed which I guess means read? I *think * its also should be something that other people cite in their owns research? Do places like pubmed have stuff that's not always correct? Can anyone get something published there and have it be considered scientific research that others should believe 100%?If the authors aren't deliberately lying (as often appears to happen in the pharma industry to falsify clinical trials) - then the paper as it is presented is correct.
So given their experimental methodology, their population, their statistics - the results which they report are correct.

So it's not partially right - it's completely right.

That's not to say that they've chosen an inappropriate experimental methodology, population or statistic
- just that if one uses their experimental methodology, population or statistic - then that's the result you'll get.

OK - so which is the right experimental methodology, population or statistic ?
That's not going to prove an easy question to answer.

Note - not really looking at the discussion where it's possible to go off on one - just methods, results.

Now - whether their findings apply outside of their experimental paradigm and in the 'real' world is not certain.

You want to know if you're hurting yourself by taking ritalin ie you want to know if their experimental model means anything to you.

Good question - maybe or maybe not - you need more data - which'll either be or not be forthcoming dependent on whether it's in political vogue, scientific vogue, funding vogue, public interest vogue, just general vogue.

Dizfriz
08-06-14, 11:06 AM
I stuck this in they science /media section for a few reasons : -I want everyone who wants to participate to feel welcome - this doesn't have to be purely 100% science I value all opinions -frankly, the regular science section scares the sh*t out of me. If the mods need to move it thats ok too. I was wondering about this beecause of a post in the ritalin section where someone was citing pubmed about oxidative damage to the brain. I read the abstract they cited and couldn't figure out how "right " or correct the source was because I have read so many articles to the contrary. I know part of the requirement (I think) is that your research needs to be peer reviewed which I guess means read? I *think * its also should be something that other people cite in their owns research? Do places like pubmed have stuff that's not always correct? Can anyone get something published there and have it be considered scientific research that others should believe 100%?


Here is a list of things to consider and a discussion of them:

http://sciencebasedlife.wordpress.com/resources-2/what-is-a-good-study-guidelines-for-evaluating-scientific-studies/

1. Was the study large enough to pass statistical muster?

2. Was it designed well?

3. Did it last long enough?

4. Were there any other possible explanations for the conclusions of the study or reasons to doubt the findings?

5. Do the conclusions fit with other scientific evidence? If not, why?

6. Do you have the full picture?

7. Have the findings been checked by other experts?

8. What are the implications of the research? Any potential problems or applications? The average person will not have the training or time to look into all of these.

Here is what I do when I see a study of this type.

First I look at the name of the journal to make sure it is science journal and not a site selling something or pushing an agenda. (I get very cautious of these)

Next I look at the abstract to see generally what it is about. At times, the study is above my training level so I do not look all that much about how it was done. I generally don't look at the body anyway unless it is something I am interested in and it falls within my ability to understand what they did.

Then I go to the discussion or conclusion section usually at the end and usually get a much clearer picture of how the authors view the study and its meaning.

Very often you will see them say that that study indicates the need for further research into the subject which will tell you that the purpose of this was to add to the body of knowledge of the subject and that's about all.

Next, I ask something like "Do the conclusions fit with other scientific evidence?"

Science tends to fall into patterns that most studies fit into. Most studies are expanding on what is already known and not breaking new ground.

It the results are out of that pattern or different to what we have seen before, I tend to be cautious. I try to see in the study has been replicated. If not, an unreplicated study of this type has to be seen as *very* provisional unless extremely well done.

Another thing along this line is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

So basically what I am trying to say is to take all studies of this type with a grain of salt especially when it is the only one showing these results.

I think the big thing for you is to keep in mind that all studies are provisional "They.can.be.wrong."

It is not until the study has been replicated, preferably several times, that it can be looked at as something that has some real credibility.

It is not unusual for a study to make a big splash then several years later be moved to the back pile because it did not hold up to replication.

So my suggestion to you is to look at a study, mark it in your mind as interesting then wait to see how it turns out.

Also keep in mind that most good science reporters have been let go and the ones writing on the research in the popular press are not all that well trained. Also many media sources simply repeat what someone else has said. Take all media reports of science with a *huge* grain of salt.

Now concerning the specific study cited, this is how I would look at it.

Abstract OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate oxidative damage through the thiobarbituric acid-reactive species (TBARS) and protein carbonyl groups; antioxidant enzymatic system - superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT); and energetic metabolism in the brain of spontaneously hypertensive adult rats (SHR) after both acute and chronic treatment with methylphenidate hydrochloride (MPH). METHODS:

Adult (60 days old) SHRs were treated during 28 days (chronic treatment), or 1 day (acute treatment). The rats received one i.p. injection per day of either saline or MPH (2 mg/kg). Two hours after the last injection, oxidative damage parameters and energetic metabolism in the cerebellum, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, striatum and cortex were evaluated. RESULTS:

We observed that both acute and/or chronic treatment increased TBARS and carbonyl groups, and decreased SOD and CAT activities in many of the brain structures evaluated. Regarding the energetic metabolism evaluation, the acute and chronic treatment altered the energetic metabolism in many of the brain structures evaluated.

CONCLUSION:

We observed that both acute and chronic use of methylphenidate hydrochloride (MPH) in adult spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) was associated with increased oxidative stress and energetic metabolism alterations. These data also reinforce the importance of the SHR animal model in further studies regarding MPH. I saw this was a rat study and therefor not necessarily applicable to humans. I also saw that the specific science was out of my range.

I then went to the conclusion. They did not make any reference to humans. They stress the importance of animal studies. What the were basically saying was that the results were information to keep in mind but not earth shaking.

So this is one the studies that could be put in the interesting pile but for people like you and me, it is not all that important. In the future, it might be or it might not.

Complicated subject, hope I helped a little.

Dizfriz

namazu
08-06-14, 11:46 AM
Reminder!

The topic of the thread is how non-scientists can evaluate the credibility of "scientific" claims.
I know part of the requirement (I think) is that your research needs to be peer reviewed which I guess means read? I *think * its also should be something that other people cite in their owns research? Do places like pubmed have stuff that's not always correct? Can anyone get something published there and have it be considered scientific research that others should believe 100%?

I have come across stuff like this before. Where something I have learned about and read research on is published and then someone cites the same publication with completely different research . How they hell can you dispute it? I don't have a subscription to these sites so maybe I dont understand the big picture. But when someone cites pub med, I I flee with my tail between my legs. Who can argue with science right?

mildadhd
08-06-14, 11:51 AM
Reminder!

The topic of the thread is how non-scientists can evaluate the credibility of "scientific" claims.


Thanks!


P

Eaaqas
08-06-14, 11:59 AM
I would like to add to DizFriz's comment.

Sometimes experiments have NOT been replicated. This could be due to many things, including the fact that papers that just duplicate research never publish well. One way to see if the experiment is valid is to test it against the THEORETICAL underpinnings. Usually a paper will have an introduction that describes current research that you can examine.

Don't worry if you think you can't understand experimental design! It is actually VERY easy to understand if you just take some time to read it. Don't read the results, as econometrics is always hard to understand. Read the experimental design portion, which usually starts with "our study used a sample of XXX adult males" or something of that nature.

mildadhd
08-06-14, 12:40 PM
How non-scientists can evaluate the credibility of "scientific" claims? (OP Question)



I find the Affective Neuroscientific approach, the most whole brain function accurate and easiest to understand.


Affective neuroscience seeks to link the affective mind to animal brains--to triangulate among (i) subjective mental states (most easily studied in humans),
(ii) brain functions (more easily studied in animals), and (iii) the natural (instinctual) emotional behaviors that all young mammals must exhibit early in life in order to survive.

This triangulation allows us to envision the ancient ground plan for human mental life and deep neural sources of our values--our primal emotional feelings.



Panksepp/Biven, "The Archaeology of Mind", P 6.



I don't want to derail this thread, but just wanted to post what I find the easiest to understand.

I will start another thread someday in the future, with a more in depth discussion involving the Affective Neuroscientific triangulated approach.

P

SB_UK
08-06-14, 02:45 PM
... ... the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) obtained from Charles River, Germany (SHR/NCrl) at present constitutes the best validated animal model of ADHD combined subtype (ADHD-C), and the Wistar Kyoto substrain obtained from Harlan, UK (WKY/NHsd) is its most appropriate control. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19698722

Did not know that.

Blood pressure increase with stimulants - unsurprising.

I've extremely low blood pressure without stimulants - especially when fasting.

Sounds like there's a tie into the body as an aerobic respiratory vessel ie respiratory rate, heart rate, blood pressure, blood parameters (glucose, ketone, ions), mental state
- the works synchronized in the generation of water.

Maybe ?

The Spontaneous Hypertensive Rat is also a model for anxiety.

Back around we come to ADHD as (di)stress sensitivity.

ADDers (http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20101223143647/southpark/images/e/eb/Tweek_Tweak.png)

The boys' hyperactive and paranoid classmate due to an excessive intake of coffee, although his parents believe it to be because of ADD


When you're that wired - dexedrine has a lovely lovely relaxing effect.

SB_UK
08-06-14, 04:24 PM
Regarding the effects of hypertension, data from the 3-, 6-, and 9-month-old groups provided further support to the suggestion that this pathological condition impairs learning and memory2 (http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/31/4/968.full#ref-2) 3 (http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/31/4/968.full#ref-3) 9 (http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/31/4/968.full#ref-9) 10 (http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/31/4/968.full#ref-10) 11 (http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/31/4/968.full#ref-11) 12 (http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/31/4/968.full#ref-12)http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/31/4/968.full

Certainly ADHD impacts learning and memory.

Chronic/Distress defintely impacts learning and memory.

As far as I can see - ADHD is (di)stress sensitivity -> relating to altered ideal metabolic profile (see argument relating to ketones promoting neural complexity).
SHR could be stress sensitivity also - spontaneously hypertensive because sensitive to sympathetic nervous system.

ADHD medication is sympathomimetic.

ADDers are stress sensitive.
And become stress hormone/stress neurotransmitter resistant with persistent exposure to stress.

So - the ADDer needs stimulants to restore balance. <- this is how I originally found dexedrine
But the SHR would be over-stimulated with stimulant. <- this is how dexedrine effects me now

So - yes increased oxidative stress in SHRs - but because SHRs are stress sensitive and not stress sensitive desensitized - they don't offer a good model of what's going on in the ADDer brain.

Maybe to expose SHRs to chronic levels of stimulant (equivalent to levels used in man) to desensitize the system and then re-attempt the experiment ?

I think I'd argue that if the ADDer brain is desensitized - then the meds will restore normal functioning and not overcrank (oxidative stress) a system.

But the key message remains (repeated from above) - that the ideal situation would be for the ADDer to not have his/her neuroendocrine system blunted by (di)stress.

-*-

Or simply if you're poked with a stick naked - it'll hurt <- SHRs
If you're poked with a stick whilst wearing armour - you won't feel a thing <- ADDers
Level of pain felt (oxidative stress) in these 2 situations differs.
Although the stick (more or less) which is used remains the same.

Dizfriz
08-06-14, 05:24 PM
I would like to add to DizFriz's comment.

Sometimes experiments have NOT been replicated. This could be due to many things, including the fact that papers that just duplicate research never publish well. One way to see if the experiment is valid is to test it against the THEORETICAL underpinnings. Usually a paper will have an introduction that describes current research that you can examine.

Don't worry if you think you can't understand experimental design! It is actually VERY easy to understand if you just take some time to read it. Don't read the results, as econometrics is always hard to understand. Read the experimental design portion, which usually starts with "our study used a sample of XXX adult males" or something of that nature.This is true and I don't disagree but most people do not have the training to evaluate the design and I often don't outside of my field. We need something a little bit simpler so they can have some idea of how to take the studies and put them into some kind of perspective.

Do you have any ideas on how to do this? It has always been a problem for the lay person who are hit with these sometime scary studies and have no idea of how much importance to place on them.

That is what I was trying to describe, a rough and ready way to look at studies for the benefit of the average person.

The way I describe is pretty much the way I do it and I seldom look at the body of the study or the design. Mostly I want to see their conclusions and what they think about them and don't worry much about the rest unless I am really interested in what they found.

Take care,

Dizfriz

SB_UK
08-07-14, 03:13 AM
how to decide which sources or research is the most reliable?You probably need scientists to do this for you by working collaboratively.

In many (most? all?) cases the 'right' answer won't be known by anybody - even/especially the scientist.

I guess the point (of science) is to get to the right answer - the question in this case being whether ritalin does more harm than good ? does ritalin do any harm ? does ritalin do statistically significant harm ? does ritalin do clinically significant harm ?
It's not the role of the individual to have to somehow synthesize the work of scientist - that's just too hard.

In the law court - you see 2 lawyers attempting to win by putting doubt into the minds of the jury; scientists can do the same ie the geneticists try and make out it's a genetic condition ... the environmentalists that the very same condition is environmental.

In both cases the lawyer / scientist is trying to win.

(money, power, influence ... ...)

You really need (eg) the environmentalists and geneticists to work together - and each group not to be afraid of telling the truth.
For the longest time (Namazu) - we've known that genetics of common disorders is turning out statistically significant results which aren't clinically significant; if this information was released it'd kill all funding to geneticist - and so geneticist (in figght for survival) doesn't publicise this finding.

Similarly - a case in which prosecution/defence operated together to see if an individual is guilty would see justice done.

-*-

So - the answer to your question would be that you can't in a competitive scientific environment - because the problem being dissected is confused by researchers seeking to find loopholes to exploit for personal careers ... ...

you'll find that you can trust (know which research is reliable) if scientists (people) adopt the motivation of wanting to know the 'right' answer (ie working collaboratively) - but this absolutely requires an end to money - because money won't allow collaborative behaviour - or at least properly collaborative behaviour.

In this thread so far - we've an example of true research being suppressed by both public and private organizations - the individual who pulls the purse strings has control - and that level of control generates a hierarchy of people - each level of which controls the fate of the level below.

So - there's an unemployed fresh postdoc (lowest of the low) in Norway who's unemployed because her 'ultimate' governmental boss pulled her project investigating a corporation's product used in her private corporations (factory fish farming).

So a hierarchical chain of power in all organizations (including science) which prevents the freedom of thought to permit collaboration.

Introduce a new flat structure in all human organizations - and we'd neatly prevent (that word again) the need for threads such as these - because doubt would be ironed out by 'experts' operating to dispel as opposed to stoke (prosecution vs defence lawyer) uncertainty.

This was the story:
http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/ethoxyquin-fish-farming-salmon-mainly-bbb.29007/

Black irony! It's also concerned with the idea of oxidation.

SB_UK
08-07-14, 03:55 AM
You see - here's my problem.

Having read that story on food preparation - I'm left wondering whether food additives present within the food fed to the animals were having an effect on the results obtained.

Do you see what I mean ?

Beginning to worry about details which're taken for granted in any study design.

Sure - all people feed their animals this type of food
- but perhaps if all people fed their animals a different type of food - then the SHR wouldn't be SHR anymore ... ...

Too many thoughts are driven when one opens one's mind up to the potential pitfalls in a study; it's enough to drive you mad - because at the end of the process - you feel as though you can't trust any information - so many potential problems associated with any study design.

Not what you wanted to know - you want to know certainty - but when the mind reports back deep uncertainty at even the most seemingly inocuous stage in an experimental design - anyway here's an example ... ...

I've just mentioned that organic should be better.

But organic is just a word - and it appears that thoroughly non-organic fishmeal can be used to feed so called organically-fed fish.
http://www.soilassociation.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=7L8E4PgIa4E%3D&tabid=1326....fishmeal
page 10

Unmodified fish meal can spontaneously combust (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_combustion). In the past, ships have sunk because of such fires. Now, the danger is eliminated by adding antioxidants, namely, ethoxyquin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethoxyquin). So somehow organically-fed fish can be fed fishmeal which contains an antioxidant carcinogen ?

Apologies for dragging this example out - but it's just to illustrate how if even a single word can be used in a different sense to the sense that people take it to mean
ie I'd have thought that organic means something like what they'd eat naturally without anything artificial

- that you're going to have a REALLY hard job of dissecting out esoteric scientific jargon - which itself may not mean what it's defined to mean.

-*-

So after all of that uncertainty what's the take home message ?

Human beings create all of our own problems by introducing cures which cause downstream problems.
prevention [of problems arising in the first place] is key
Human physiology, psychology, epidemiology, sociology can teach us what whole humans need to be happy in a whole society.
prevention [of problems arising in the first place] is key
If we aim for that society - then all of the various failed 'cures' can be eliminated since no pathophysiology will EVER arise.
prevention [of problems arising in the first place] is key
Or if it does - (maybe some will?) - but the few problems which (may?) arise in a happy, moral, sensible world - will have the united collaborative efforts of all people working together towards eradication - meaning that we'll get where we need
- as close to a complete eradication of human suffering via this approach.

-*-

The overarching point is that we're free to do what we want in the informational realm ie music, art, film
- but not free to do what we want in the material world - particularly modification of the material world.

It's not that it's inherently evil - it's that we don't know what we're doing.

Natural science/God/Evolution creates something as elegant as man.
We create Frankenstein.

SB_UK
08-07-14, 04:27 AM
how to decide which sources or research is the most reliable?1. Find a scientist who wants to know the right answer.
2. Find a scientist who derives reward from approaching the correct answer.
3. Find a scientist whose mind is open to ANY possibility ie absence of any personal vested interest.

Generally you'll find that much of what they turn out is as good as it gets.

Can they (this type of person) still be wrong ?
Reading a map the right way around is essential - but the map may not be detailed.
Rather than wrong I'd suggest - vaguely correct (dependent on map detail) - and with the important statement that without vested interest - hand the individual a better map - and their mind will immediately reactively change.

The important point to make is that all of the above comes to the individual (ANY individual) who completes mind/transition to wisdom and that human beings can only be said to be properly human when this transition is completed - since morality becomes (at that specific transition) - the individual's prime (unswerving) directive.

Lunacie
08-07-14, 08:43 AM
1. Find a scientist who wants to know the right answer.
2. Find a scientist who derives reward from approaching the correct answer.
3. Find a scientist whose mind is open to ANY possibility ie absence of any personal vested interest.

Generally you'll find that much of what they turn out is as good as it gets.

Can they (this type of person) still be wrong ?
Reading a map the right way around is essential - but the map may not be detailed.
Rather than wrong I'd suggest - vaguely correct (dependent on map detail) - and with the important statement that without vested interest - hand the individual a better map - and their mind will immediately reactively change.

The important point to make is that all of the above comes to the individual (ANY individual) who completes mind/transition to wisdom and that human beings can only be said to be properly human when this transition is completed - since morality becomes (at that specific transition) - the individual's prime (unswerving) directive.



Where does one go to learn such personal information about the people who conducted the research?

Eaaqas
08-07-14, 11:38 AM
This is true and I don't disagree but most people do not have the training to evaluate the design and I often don't outside of my field. We need something a little bit simpler so they can have some idea of how to take the studies and put them into some kind of perspective.

Do you have any ideas on how to do this? It has always been a problem for the lay person who are hit with these sometime scary studies and have no idea of how much importance to place on them.


Dizfriz, thank you for correcting me on that.

When I was younger I had a very hard time reading through a paper as well. I was unwilling to go search references and especially enjoyed skipping experimental design ;).

It is always helpful to read the abstract. Also, if the paper is too technical, you can look at the citation paper titles to get an idea of where their theory is derived. (E.g. a paper on Adderall tolerance might cite a recent experiment about Ritalin tolerance, in which case you could probably assume they used a well-known design).

I also understand not WANTING to read through a paper that is 12 pages of technical jargon (I hate macroeconomics papers for this reason!).

Some SPECIFIC things to look for in any paper: Look for the words "Randomized" and "sample size" to make sure that there is an adequate sample (e.g. more than 12) and they aren't just selecting their friends for the experiment.

Now, if you have questions about how to interpret results I can go into that briefly.

I hope all of this is helping at least slightly :/

EDIT:

ALSO @SB_UK and @Lunacie:

1) He means look for a published scientist that has a degree. There is no way to tell if someone "wants to know the truth", but any scientist is peer reviewed and will have their degree stripped from them given they are producing bad research for their own gain. Peer review is important, thus published papers need to be looked at.

2) see 1

3) Any published scientist who has published a peer review paper will not be "out for their own interest" -- What he is saying is stay away from industry research programs.


To the rest of his point: All scientists to is "reject the null hypothesis", meaning that they consider the hypothesis that they made to have some evidence to support it. They don't "prove things to be true". They aren't "vaguely correct". They "have some idea of what treatment XXX does to the brain" given the experimental design used.

I think it should be mentioned that scientists are never WRONG, they just produce theories on incorrect assumptions, which have to be made in any model.

Dizfriz
08-07-14, 11:42 AM
Dizfriz, thank you for correcting me on that.

When I was younger I had a very hard time reading through a paper as well. I was unwilling to go search references and especially enjoyed skipping experimental design ;).

It is always helpful to read the abstract. Also, if the paper is too technical, you can look at the citation paper titles to get an idea of where their theory is derived. (E.g. a paper on Adderall tolerance might cite a recent experiment about Ritalin tolerance, in which case you could probably assume they used a well-known design).

I also understand not WANTING to read through a paper that is 12 pages of technical jargon (I hate macroeconomics papers for this reason!).

Some SPECIFIC things to look for in any paper: Look for the words "Randomized" and "sample size" to make sure that there is an adequate sample (e.g. more than 12) and they aren't just selecting their friends for the experiment.

Now, if you have questions about how to interpret results I can go into that briefly.

I hope all of this is helping at least slightly :/

It should. Sarah asked some very good questions and I think she deserves some on topic responses, so thanks.

Dizfriz

Lunacie
08-07-14, 11:52 AM
EDIT:

ALSO @SB_UK and @Lunacie:

1) He means look for a published scientist that has a degree. There is no way to tell if someone "wants to know the truth", but any scientist is peer reviewed and will have their degree stripped from them given they are producing bad research for their own gain. Peer review is important, thus published papers need to be looked at.

2) see 1

3) Any published scientist who has published a peer review paper will not be "out for their own interest" -- What he is saying is stay away from industry research programs.


To the rest of his point: All scientists to is "reject the null hypothesis", meaning that they consider the hypothesis that they made to have some evidence to support it. They don't "prove things to be true". They aren't "vaguely correct". They "have some idea of what treatment XXX does to the brain" given the experimental design used.

I think it should be mentioned that scientists are never WRONG, they just produce theories on incorrect assumptions, which have to be made in any model.

Thank you. That makes much more sense to me than trying to guess what motivates (rewards) the scientist.

SB_UK
08-08-14, 07:20 AM
A Duke University (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_University) study[37] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucralose#cite_note-37) funded by the Sugar Association (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sugar_Association&action=edit&redlink=1) found evidence that doses of Splenda of between 100 and 1000 mg/kg, containing sucralose at 1.1 to 11 mg/kg (compare to the FDA Acceptable Daily Intake of 5 mg/kg), reduced the amount of fecal microflora (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbiotic) in rats by up to 50%A study funded by sugar shows that sugar substitutes are bad.
University funded by private organization shows that competitor private organization is bad.

Who to believe ?

Honourable University ?
Honourable sugar industry ?
Honourable sugar replacement industry ?

Who knows ?

You'll soon find out if all of these vested interests are eliminated by discarding money.

Sugar causes cavity.
Sugar replacements destroy biome.

How about organic (decent definition) fruits ?

IE
"you say poetato, I say pottato - let's call the whole thing off."

(prevention you potato)

Lunacie
08-08-14, 09:37 AM
A study funded by sugar shows that sugar substitutes are bad.
University funded by private organization shows that competitor private organization is bad.

Who to believe ?

Honourable University ?
Honourable sugar industry ?
Honourable sugar replacement industry ?

Who knows ?

You'll soon find out if all of these vested interests are eliminated by discarding money.

Sugar causes cavity.
Sugar replacements destroy biome.

How about organic (decent definition) fruits ?

IE
"you say poetato, I say pottato - let's call the whole thing off."

Doesn't matter who funded those studies, the truth is
that sugar does cause cavities and sugar-substitutes do have their share of problems.

It's good to know both the pros and cons when making a decision to use something (food, meds, etc.).

Stevuke79
08-08-14, 10:45 AM
To me Pubmed seems like a great source for scientific research. It seems like everything they have has been published in a peer reviewed journal and in any case if it has they tell you where. So I guess if you see something but it doesn't tell you what journal it was published in, maybe it hasn't been published (but I've not seen that).

That something is peer reviewed doesn't mean it's true, and it doesn't even mean that it wont be disproven tomorrow, but it's light years more valid a source than psychology today or the NY Times.

I am also a big believer in wikipedia and on popular topics wikipedia has ridiculous accuracy. I'm a big believer in the wisdom of crowds, and I don't think there's a soul on this planet who is anywhere near as intelligent as the crowd. (which is one of my favorite ostensible contradictions :D)

Stevuke79
08-08-14, 11:02 AM
Claims to the contrary aside, the bias of scientific studies due to corporate funding is generally an illogical assertion, extremely rare and very quickly uncovered.

There was one case, Scott Reuben, that went for 5 years. He is considered to be the "maddoff" of corporate-scientific fraud. Not only is 5 years the world record - nothing else ever came close.

For diseases like Depression and ADHD that have been around forever, or drugs like adderall that have been around for 70-80 years, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Dizfriz
08-08-14, 11:53 AM
To me Pubmed seems like a great source for scientific research. It seems like everything they have has been published in a peer reviewed journal and in any case if it has they tell you where. So I guess if you see something but it doesn't tell you what journal it was published in, maybe it hasn't been published (but I've not seen that).

That something is peer reviewed doesn't mean it's true, and it doesn't even mean that it wont be disproven tomorrow, but it's light years more valid a source than psychology today or the NY Times.

I am also a big believer in wikipedia and on popular topics wikipedia has ridiculous accuracy. I'm a big believer in the wisdom of crowds, and I don't think there's a soul on this planet who is anywhere near as intelligent as the crowd. (which is one of my favorite ostensible contradictions :D)
I find myself using Google Scholar more. It gives cite numbers which can give a reasonable idea of how much impact an article has had.

http://scholar.google.com/

Dizfriz

Stevuke79
08-08-14, 12:04 PM
Hadn't heard of it. Awesome! Thanks!

Lunacie
08-08-14, 03:25 PM
Yeah, adding that to my favorites list so I can look stuff up later.

SB_UK
08-08-14, 03:28 PM
Mind you Hitler had a big impact factor but you'd probably want to distance yourself from referencing him as foundational precedent for anything you'd wish to develop.

There could just be a huge collective delusion which is given false credibility through impact factor.

SB_UK
08-08-14, 03:55 PM
Claims to the contrary aside, the bias of scientific studies due to corporate funding is generally an illogical assertion, extremely rare and very quickly uncovered.


Somebody has to pay for research.
It's expensive stuff.

It's easy enough to do 'real' research which benefits the bottom line.

If a sugar corporation flooded the market with valid papers on sugar substitutes causing problems to the gut biome and did not fund any publications on the effects of sugar on cavities, diabetes, obesity -
then people 'd be more exposed to the perils of sugar-free than sugar-full (which they wouldn't so much hear about) and would be driven into the toothless embrace of the sugar corporation.

Worse still - as more people are trained in the perils of sugar-free, graduate, post-doctoral and grow into positions of prominence in the establishment
- so the sugar-free delusion would take ahold.

Nobody has (actually) lied.

It's just a game to grab your moolah.

Which is why de-mooling the world is in our best interests.

A moolahful world will forever be a place of confusion.

ps stevia/erythritol for President.

SB_UK
08-08-14, 04:14 PM
Back to the study - ritalin leads to negative consequences.

You can see why a pharmaceutical company 'd saturate the literature with positive accounts of their drug.
It's well known that the pharmaceutical lobby group is extremely powerful over governmental agencies ... ... which fund 'public' research.

You're really up against it with research which challenges the purse strings of public and private industry.

But having said that - how come we've a negative report on a pharmaceutical agent ?

ADHD is a little different to most diseases in that it's perhaps (of all the diseases I've come across) - the one in which people object to the medication.
Object to the medication, object to even the existence of the condition.

Maybe it's simply fertile ground for researchers to plough - as the scientist introducing uncertainty into the ADDer medication/existence of ADHD smells a beautiful career in front of them - perpetuating (and playing upon) the doubt.
It's what lawyers do to befuddle jurors into letting guilty clients off scotfree.

SB_UK
08-09-14, 05:27 AM
So - if we imagine a legal case between sugar free and sugar full corporation featuring the lawyer.

The sugar-free case will be aimed at presenting sugar-free in the best possible not the correct light
- and sugar-full in the worst possible not the correct light.

The sugar-full case will be aimed at presenting sugar in the best possible not the correct light
- and sugar-free in the worst possible not the correct light.

The lawyers will simply pour petrol onto the confrontation, for that's how they will profit most.

And then SarahSweets comes along and asks whether the sugar-free anti-/pro-, sugar-full anti-/pro- or lawyer confusion promoting publications (ALL PEER REVIEWED) is to be trusted.

The answer is that NONE of it is to be trusted.

Because as should be obvious - there is no objectivity underlying any of the studies.

What's the solution ?
The sugar-free, sugar-full and lawyer positions are all ELIMINATED by switching to properly organic fruit grown in community gardens.

Nobody's funding the correct answer - and so the correct answer cannot be found in peer reviewed scientific literature.

To arrive at the right answer Sarahsweets has to work it out by herself.

SB_UK
08-09-14, 12:48 PM
properly organic fruit grown in community gardens.


http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/4d/1e/96/4d1e9674a4ac562edae6f6e7f244d3af.jpg

As Dr.Seuss teaches us.

Kill the Once-ler corporation (sugar-full and sugar-free)
- and 'The Lorax' speaks for itself.

Law axe.
Kill the law.

Amtram
08-09-14, 09:22 PM
PubMed Commons is a place where scientists can comment on papers. I don't remember if anyone can read it or if I got in through a backdoor.

You can't necessarily trust everything you see on PubMed, because it includes several journals of dubious value, so you really do need to know a bit about methods and bias and such. It's not that easy to do when all you can see is an Abstract, either.

I backtrack and see if I can find something written about the study in the authors' lab or university press releases. The methods may be touched on in those articles. I also search to see if other scientists in the relevant field have commented on the work. I've built up a small network of go-to sources in certain fields - scientists who are critical and impartial and who have commenters who debate the value of a paper or book or article. I've been adding to that over the last several months, and it really helps to see what an author's peers (people working in the same field or area of research) think about it. They'll be the ones who can point out conflicting or supporting evidence and critique the methods or the statistics. But if you're not really into this, it's probably more effort than you want to put in. Still, it's something to look for with a topic that stirs your interest.

Science or Not (http://scienceornot.net/) is a good resource for non-scientists to get a handle on what makes good science. It has several sections on different things to look for, and points out things that are definitely not science so you don't have to waste time figuring them out.