Flora Teoh

Science Editor

ARTICLE REVIEWS

New Scientist article accurately summarises polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) research but overstates significance of animal studies

in New Scientist, by Alice Klein

— 17 Jan 2019

"I think that the title overstates the position with the present level of knowledge and is too sensationalist. The ‘ovarian cysts’ stated to typically characterize PCOS are not..

Research showing benefits of exercise on ageing immune system correctly reported by Time

in Time, by Alexandra Sifferlin

— 11 Jan 2019

"The overall message of the article is a fair reflection of current scientific opinion that being physically active regularly throughout life most likely promotes healthy ageing of..

Time article on bone marrow transplant trial for multiple sclerosis treatment mostly accurate but needs more important details and context

in Time, by Alice Park

— 07 Jan 2019

"The article contains some inaccuracies and simplifications, but is overall accurate. It is not clear which article and whose scientific data it refers to. Such information should ..

2018’s most popular health article promoting cannabis’ safety found to be biased and misleading

in urhealthguide, by John Regan

— 20 Dec 2018

“The article fails to point out that only very limited, low-quality evidence supports the use of cannabis for treating chronic pain. The article also fails to describe the potent...

Scientists discuss the widely shared Huffington Post article “Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong”

in Huffington Post, by Michael Hobbes

— 17 Dec 2018

The article failed to place the science in context and overstated scientific confidence, resulting in flawed conclusions. Reviewers also pointed out the bias present in the article...

Viral news article misinterprets classification of processed meat as carcinogenic in claiming it is “as harmful as cigarettes”

in Truth Reporter, by vinit

— 05 Dec 2018

"The classification of processed meat as “Group 1” – carcinogenic to humans means that the evidence is as strong as for other risk factors included in the Group 1 category, i..

Time article accurately describes distinguishing features between influenza infection and infection by other respiratory viruses

in Time, by Markham Heid

— 28 Nov 2018

"Generally accurate. However, the main issue is that influenza viruses can also cause a "cold", i.e. upper respiratory tract infection. A "cold" is a symptom/diagnosis whereas "inf..

CLAIM REVIEWS

Vaccination does not weaken the immune system against natural infection

CLAIM
"With repeated use of vaccines, cell-mediated immunity weakens"

SOURCE: Lance D Johnson, Andrew Wakefield, Newstarget, 19 Apr. 2019

VERDICT

Acidity in bottled drinking water not a cause for health concern, contrary to popular Facebook video claim

CLAIM
"Drinking bottled water with an acidic pH is bad for your health"

SOURCE: Internet user, Facebook, 19 Apr. 2017

VERDICT

Choosing not to vaccinate places self and others at risk of potentially serious and preventable illnesses

CLAIM
"Unvaccinated children pose no threat to anyone"

SOURCE: Tetyana Obukhanych, Richard Enos, Collective Evolution, 6 Mar. 2019

VERDICT

Tongue deviation might help to detect a stroke when combined with other signs from BE-FAST acronym

CLAIM
"If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke."

SOURCE: Internet user, Facebook, 4 Mar. 2013

VERDICT

Measles outbreak in US due to unvaccinated citizens, not illegal immigrants

CLAIM
"The measles outbreak is directly caused by illegal immigration"

SOURCE: Alex Jones, Infowars, 27 Apr. 2019

VERDICT

No, science has not proven that “cannabis cures cancer”, even though it helps manage some symptoms arising from cancer

CLAIM
"There Are Now 100 Scientific Studies That Prove Cannabis Cures Cancer"

SOURCE: Anonymous, Health Magazine, 12 Jul. 2018

VERDICT

Popular claim that “100% cancer cure” will be available next year is unsupported and misleading

CLAIM
"Israeli scientists have developed a cure for cancer, which is 100% effective and coming by 2020"

SOURCE: Anonymous, Natural Healing Magazine, 13 Feb. 2019

VERDICT

Marijuana has significant health risks, contrary to claims by Internet meme

CLAIM
"Marijuana is non-addictive, cures cancer, and grows brain cells"

SOURCE: Anonymous, Truth Teller, 9 April 2019

VERDICT

Omega-6 fatty acids in tilapia do not increase risk for Alzheimer’s, contrary to popular claim

CLAIM
"Tilapia are chock full of Omega-6 fatty acids – which increase your risk for Alzheimer’s!"

SOURCE: Anonymous, Life is Beautiful, 14 Apr. 2019

VERDICT

Genetic study shows moderate alcohol intake not protective but increases stroke risk

CLAIM
"Previous claims that one or two drinks a day might protect against stroke are not true"

SOURCE: Kate Kelland, Reuters, 5 Apr. 2019

VERDICT

INSIGHTS

Do radio waves from mobile devices cause cancer? A look at the evidence

— 08 Apr 2019

Mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives, and most people would not consider even leaving the house without one. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has est...

How we know vaccines don’t cause autism – and why this belief persists

— 26 Mar 2019

The claim that “vaccines cause autism” was first made by Andrew Wakefield’s now-retracted study in The Lancet, published in 1998. The study’s authors examined 12 childr...

The Most Popular Health Articles of 2018, a Scientific Credibility Review

— 28 Jan 2019

News about health and medicine touch the lives of many people, therefore they often become highly circulated on the Internet. Many of these articles achieve viral status, but how m...