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2. Rats and Stats

June 14, 2013

Often the alarming results of health studies published in the media are based on rats. Any study of rats gives us a insight into possible links to human health, but further studies are needed.

eg. Couch Potatoes May Be Genetically Predisposed to Being Lazy, Rat Study Suggests. The study by Frank Booth, a professor in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine was able to selectively breed rats for extreme activity or extreme laziness. They say these rats indicate that genetics could play a role in exercise motivation, even in humans.

lazy rat

They bred lazy rats.

sports rat

They bred active rats.

ratin a hat

They even bred rats in hats.

 

Rats DO NOT THINK like humans. There is no rat walking around asking ‘does my butt look big in this?

rat-mirror

‘Even if rats experience the same disease they do not benefit from the PLACEBO EFFECT. Give a rat a sugar pill, it is just a sugar pill. But for humans a sugar pill can be 50% of the drug efficacy. Easily.

Health studies involving rats just point to an area of further research.

eg. In the 1970s rat studies suggested that artificial sweeteners caused bladder cancer. There was panic. Outrage. Hysteria. Eventually it all settled down. Further studies could not establish a link to cancer in humans. More info National Cancer Institute.

The results of rat studies are only relevant to those who hang out with lab rats namely the researchers.

There is no maths term to describe this statistical error. I’ll simply call it RATTY RESEARCH.

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