Wednesday, November 16, 2011

They're Starting to Take Care of It

I'm sure many of my fellow nerds have seen an article purporting to claim that observers can see evidence of a possible ”love gene” in brief video clips (original article here). This far-reaching conclusion was based on a sample size of 23. The good news is that experts are starting to react:

But the paper has drawn harsh criticism from geneticists because of its small sample size. Daniel MacArthur, who blogs at Genetic Future, said, “[A simple size of] 23 for genetics means the paper might as well not exist. It carries no useful info. Without a larger sample and independent replication, it’s safest to simply assume these results are false.” Joe Pickrell from Harvard Medical School, agreed: “If the sample size is 23… there’s no way that’s a real association.”And Chris Gunter from the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology added, “The literature is full of behavioural genetics studies which don’t replicate, with similarly small numbers.”

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