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First the link to this week’s complete list as HTML and as PDF.
The result by Franco et al. is unexpected and perhaps disturbing. Publication bias is not a result of journals rejecting null results but of them not being written up and offered in the first place. Understandably having come up with a seemingly plausible hypothesis one will always feel better having it confirmed than refuted, but for any reasonable mainstream hypothesis the latter is just as valuable.
Anything helping to counter drug resistance is well worth pursuing and Kim et al.’s protocol ought to become adopted as soon and as widely as possible.
At first glance Servick’s idea for partially purging the placebo effect from trials looks promising. On the other hand it adds a whole new set of confounders and sources of subtle and hard to detect errors, so I wonder if the benefits really outweigh the risk here.
From the original publication by Green (2010) onward I had always stressed the possibility of alternative explanations as stated therein and been critical of the more spectacular reading. With Lohse & Frantz it is now clear I was wrong and the mainstream was right after all. So now the open question to be resolved is where and when. If the genetic dating of about 60 ka stands, it must have been outside of Europa, far from the places and before the time, where a long term coexistence is becoming securely established.
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