Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Three Sheets in the E.R. and Vodka on Mice

In two separate studies published today, researchers virtually beg the public not to interpret the results too literally. That's because they deal with alcohol and come up with surprising findings.

Once the health virtue of red wine was revealed, people couldn't seem to get enough good news about giggle juice. But the good news today isn't really good – just interesting.

Canadian researchers found that, at some levels, intoxication among emergency room patients with head trauma produced better recovery than those who were sober. Varying explanations abound, and there is a suggestion that giving medicinal alcohol to trauma victims may have some promise. Just so nobody concludes otherwise, the lead researcher declares, "Let me be clear: Drinking and driving will not protect your head."

In Sweden, researchers learned that plastered mice are substantially less
likely to get rheumatoid arthritis. The lead researcher there asserts he is looking for mechanisms for regulating the immune system. Asked if he would experiment on people, he said, "I wouldn't dare to do it."

The point of these two attention-getting studies should be applied to anything you read about new science discoveries. Namely, that the researchers may or may not find what they are looking for and that the scientific process is about taking one small step at a time. Hopefully, not on a white line while reciting the alphabet backward.

No comments:

Post a Comment