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PLoS Biol: Statistical significance in animal studies

The Shadow of Bias
July 16, 2013
Chase JM (2013) The Shadow of Bias. PLoS Biol 11(7): e1001608. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001608

In a study by John Ioannidis and colleagues, the evaluation of 160 meta-analyses of animal studies on potential treatments for neurological disorders has revealed that the number of statistically significant results was too large to be true, suggesting biases…


Tsilidis KK, Panagiotou OA, Sena ES, Aretouli E, Evangelou E, Howells DW, Salman RA, Macleod MR, Ioannidis JP
Evaluation of Excess Significance Bias in Animal Studies of Neurological Diseases
PLoS Biol 11(7): e1001609. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001609

Author summary: Studies have shown that the results of animal biomedical experiments fail to translate into human clinical trials; this could be attributed either to real differences in the underlying biology between humans and animals, to shortcomings in the experimental design, or to bias in the reporting of results from the animal studies. We use a statistical technique to evaluate whether the number of published animal studies with “positive” (statistically significant) results is too large to be true…

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