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Articles on This is research

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Just because a treatment works for some people, doesn’t mean it will work for you. from

Want to quit a bad habit? Here’s one way to compare treatments

It’s hard to decide which treatment to choose when trying to quit smoking or lose weight. The term ‘number needed to treat’ could help you decide what is most likely to work.
Ear infections are no fun. The OSTRICH clinical trial looked at whether oral steroid medications might help. from

How researchers assess whether medications work

Clinical trials can assess impact of a medication on a disease. The ideal design is ‘blind’ – when the researchers and participants do not know who is assigned to the different treatments.
A study showed it’s social circumstance, and not biology, that explains most of the differences in the occurrence of diabetes among racial and ethnic groups. Omar Lopez/Unsplash

Unscrambling the egg: how research works out what really leads to an increased disease risk

What contributes most to being at high risk of diabetes – diet, genes or something else? Big research questions need robust research approaches, so let’s break it down.
Sometimes statistical analysis suggests a result is significant – but actually in real life it means very little. Marlon Lara/Unsplash

What it means when scientists say their results are ‘significant’

What do stats really mean in the real world? Here’s an example from leukaemia research to help you identify if a result really is important.
Teaspoons seem to have legs. from

The curious case of the missing workplace teaspoons

Once upon a time, a group of disheartened scientists found their tearoom bereft of teaspoons. They explored the problem with a longitudinal study design.

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