« An Interview With A GSK Shanghai Scientist |
| How Much to Develop a Drug? An Update. »
August 12, 2013
Cancer and Autism: Slow Down
The New York Times had a rather confusing story the other day about the PTEN gene, autism, and cancer. Unfortunately, it turned into a good example of how not to explain a subject like this, and it missed out (or waited too long) to explain a number of key concepts. Things like "one gene can be responsible a lot of different things in a human phenotype", and "genes can have a lot of different mutations, which can also do different things", and "autism's genetic signature is complex and not well worked out, not least because it's such a wide-ranging diagnosis", and (perhaps most importantly, "people with autism are not doomed to get cancer".
Let me refer you to Emily Willingham at Forbes, who does a fine job of straightening things out here. I fear that what can happen at the Times (and other media outlets as well) is that when a reporter scrambles a science piece, there's no one else on the staff who's capable of noticing it. So it just runs as is.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Cancer | The Central Nervous System
POST A COMMENT
- RELATED ENTRIES
- Scripps Update
- What If Drug Patents Were Written Like Software Patents?
- Stem Cells: The Center of "Right to Try"
- Speaking of Polyphenols. . .
- Dark Biology And Small Molecules
- How Polyphenols Work, Perhaps?
- More On Automated Medicinal Chemistry
- Scripps Merging With USC?