What Other Scientists Are Saying About Today's "Life on a Comet" Claim

This morning, several news outlets gave voice to an extraordinary claim: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where the spacecraft Philae awoke last month, could be home to alien life. But extraordinary claims, we all know, require extraordinary evidence. So guess what these morning’s claims were lacking! » 7/06/15 11:20am Yesterday 11:20am

Once Again, The Media Is Overhyping The Health Benefits Of Chocolate

“There does not appear to be evidence that chocolate should be avoided in terms of impact on cardiovascular risk.” So conclude the authors of a report published Monday in the august medical journal Heart. Their takeaway is decidedly unsexy (takeaways from well-conducted health studies, which the aforementioned… » 6/16/15 2:27pm 6/16/15 2:27pm

Chocolate Diet Paper Won't Be Retracted, Because It Was Never Published

Yesterday, John Bohannon reported on his deeply (and intentionally) flawed study claiming chocolate accelerates weight loss. Today, we have a new twist: The editor of the journal that published his paper claims they never really published it in the first place, despite emails to Bohannon to the contrary. » 5/28/15 2:40pm 5/28/15 2:40pm

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.

“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. It made the front page of Bild, Europe’s largest daily newspaper, just beneath their update about the Germanwings crash. From there, it… » 5/27/15 1:23pm 5/27/15 1:23pm

Fuck Belle Gibson And The Enablers She Rode In On

“Wellness Guru” Belle Gibson lied about having terminal brain cancer and made a killing peddling bogus cures. At Boing Boing, Xeni Jardin excoriates Gibson and “the culture of magical thinking and hero idolization that built her myth into a profitable business, ignoring decades of real science, and placing vulnerable… » 4/23/15 6:00pm 4/23/15 6:00pm

Yep, That Anti-Robot Protest At SXSW Was A Marketing Stunt [UPDATED]

When a group of plucky students organized a protest at SXSW against the rising threat of artificial intelligence, they got a ton of attention. Including interviews on NPR and the BBC. A grassroots anti-robot protest seemed almost too good to be true. And it's looking like maybe it was. [Updated!] » 3/16/15 1:30pm 3/16/15 1:30pm

Depriving Infants Of Peanut Products May Have Been A Colossal Mistake

For years, parents have been told to withhold peanuts from their children until the age of three, to prevent the onset of dangerous peanut allergies. A landmark study is now throwing this conventional wisdom on its head, instead suggesting that most peanut allergies can be staved off by introducing peanuts to… » 2/24/15 8:20am 2/24/15 8:20am

The Truth Behind Interstellar's "Scientifically Accurate" Black Hole

You've probably heard that the black hole in Interstellar was a simulation of unprecedented scientific accuracy. You may also have heard that its creation led to an "amazing scientific discovery" having to do with the shape of its accretion disk, which loops over and under its dark, central shadow. Neither of these… » 2/17/15 12:10pm 2/17/15 12:10pm