Monday, January 23, 2012

Magic roses....

This article is embarrassingly poorly worded.  I would hate to be the researcher or the author as it makes them look like idiots.  Who knows who may actually be responsible for it in this fun age of poor editing ....

This is akin to suggesting that putting fertiliser on your garden increases your risk of getting roses. This would suggest a poor grasp of biology for a professor of Molecular Bioscience. (Ignoring the issue of wind-blown seeds, neighbours throwing cuttings over the fence ..etc) Roses, do not just ...appear.

Rose seeds cause roses. Just as cancer is caused by runaway growth in a mutant cell line originating with a mutant cell caused by a mutating agent/enzyme/accident/watever acting on a healthy cell during division.  The fact that growth factors are available in the body simply affects the potential rate of growth of the then mutant cell to further divide and carry that mutation forward after the mutation event. 

If you already have roses in your garden, and you add fertiliser, then there's a reasonable expectation that you will increase the growth of the exiting roses but suggesting that adding fertiliser to a garden without roses will increase your risk of getting roses is just silly.

My guess is that there has been some correlation study done that somehow controlled for all the other lifestyle factors, generational differences etc and came up with the conclusion that providing a rich growing environment somehow caused something to have a greater chance of appearing.  Missing the point that for that thing to appear you still require exactly the same causality as if the environment were not rich. The issue of the growth environment logically only has an effect after the seed has been planted or more worryingly that the growing environment has an effect on the chance of a seed being implanted.  This would suggest then that the environment increases the risk of cell mutation.  However this theory would need to fight it out with all the other "lifestyle related condition" theories such as smoking, drinking, dieting, breathing, cellphones, watching cartoons, not getting enough exercise, reading fashion magazines, owning a hat, driving a car... basically everything that people either get beaten for doing too much of, not enough of or have some guilt complex about.

This in no way should suggest that a relationship between the breast cancer and the availability of glucose and insulin is not real ( if that is what the researcher found), just that the simplistic ( and ass backward ) conclusion that the article presented is just a bit dumb.  

A more rational conclusion may be that a rich growing environment may allow greater growth in the cancer resulting in increased detection levels which leads to a whole range of other more interesting questions, such as, are the same number of occurrences of breast cancer occurring in people with lower levels of glucose/insulin and either not being detected, not developing or is there some flaw in the methodology that has reached this result?

Its intersting to speculate that possibly a richer growing medium may result in a greater number of  mutations actually successfully establishing.... which would suggest that mutations may die off in some cases...

This again reminds me to not read or watch dumbed down media that employs functionally illiterate people to report on research... its frustrating and causes unreasonable amounts of ranting. 

No comments:

Post a Comment