“Is this article consistent with the latest thinking and knowledge in science?”
“Would experts in this field endorse the main message of this article?”
These are the types of questions our “feedbacks” are designed to answer. If the feedback is positive, you can generally assume the information you’re reading is of high credibility. If it’s negative, however, you may want to read with extra care and attention — some of the information contained and conclusions reached are not consistent with science.
New York Times accurately reports vaccine-derived polio outbreaks caused by low vaccine coverage
in New York Times, by Associated Press
"The content of the article is correct: attenuated polio strain type 2 contained in the oral vaccine can – in very rare cases – mutate and cause disease in under-immunized persons. However it might be good to specify that if the vaccine coverage is good, this will not happen (so the vaccine coverage has to be maintained, since it has prevented 13 million cases since 2000, according to the WHO)."
— 02 Dec 2019
Daily Mail article misleads with clickbait headline claiming cowpox-derived virus will “kill every type of cancer”
in Daily Mail, by Zoe Zaczek
"This article substantially overhypes early pre-clinical work with a viral therapy that has not yet been tested in even the earliest stages of human clinical trials. The headline is particularly misleading as I can find only three published papers suggesting the therapy has efficacy in lung, breast and colorectal cancers in cell lines and mouse models only."
— 20 Nov 2019
Washington Post article provides accurate and insightful report on recent spate of vaping-related illnesses
in Washington Post, by Lena H. Sun and Lindsey Bever
"At the moment, it is not possible to know if these pulmonary diseases are related to propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine, flavorings, or more likely, synthetic/natural drugs sometimes added to e-liquids. Although vaping has deleterious effects on the lungs, e-cigarette vaping has been shown to be safe for over 10 years now... I firmly believe that this new epidemic is linked to synthetic cannabinoids, which unfortunately could be popular among young people"
— 13 Sep 2019
The Atlantic provides accurate summary of research on gut microbiome, hypothesizes well-reasoned potential benefits of consuming fresh produce
in The Atlantic, by James Hamblin
"The article provides a well balanced discussion of current knowledge surrounding the gut microbiota and benefits of eating whole foods. The author could have provided more details on the limitations (possible confounding variables) of the initial referenced article, however this is a minor point. Furthermore, associations between the microbiota and weight gain/loss is currently unclear, which the author should have mentioned, particularly since reverse causation between obesity and a less diverse microbiota is highly possible"
— 02 Sep 2019
Article claiming vaccines cause autoimmunity and autism due to fetal DNA contaminants found unsupported and implausible
in Vaccine Impact, by Theresa Deisher
"While the letter provides some concerns about the fetal cell-derived DNA contamination in vaccines, it does not provide any actual evidence to support the claims made. The whole hypothesis of the author (which is misleadingly presented as fact) is based on the author’s own measurements of fetal cell-derived DNA, which has serious methodological problems that could be easily prevented by RNase treatment"
— 09 Jun 2019
New Scientist article accurately summarises polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) research but overstates significance of animal studies
in New Scientist, by Alice Klein
"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 cysts but follicles and this may be misleading. On the positive side, the quotes from Professor Robert Norman are spot on and accurately quoted (see Annotations below)."
— 17 Jan 2019
Research showing benefits of exercise on ageing immune system correctly reported by Time
in Time, by Alexandra Sifferlin
"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 the immune system. However, it is very unlikely that being regularly active prevents ageing of the immune system, although it may slow or limit some of the negative effects."
— 11 Jan 2019
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
"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 be mentioned in the article. The type of stem cells that were used for the procedure is also unclear. Immune system renewal after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has actually been demonstrated a long time ago..."
— 07 Jan 2019
2018’s most popular health article promoting cannabis’ safety found to be biased and misleading
in urhealthguide, by John Regan
“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 potential harms of cannabis. Although it does not cause fatal overdose, it does cause intoxication and impairment, and driving under the influence is dangerous. Also, both acute and chronic use of cannabis cause cognitive impairment which can interfere with an individual's safety and productivity.”
— 20 Dec 2018
Scientists discuss the widely shared Huffington Post article “Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong”
in Huffington Post, by Michael Hobbes
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 which discussed only the negative aspects of obese people’s interactions with society and the medical establishment, while glossing over how both groups have worked to help promote healthy living and weight loss in the obese, such as in the implementation of sugar taxes and the development of medical interventions like bariatric surgery.
— 17 Dec 2018
 Note: These feedbacks do not constitute endorsements of the author’s political or economic ideology, rather they are assessments of the scientific foundations and reasoning of the argumentation contained within each article.