Man's Anecdote Contradicts Research on Knee Health

 iStockphoto.com

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Conventional wisdom has long held that running is "bad for your knees." A recent study, widely publicized last week, made headlines by suggesting just the opposite—that running might actually be beneficial for the joint.

Now, however, the scientists behind that study are publicly questioning their work and have asked the journal that published the findings to scrub their report from its website.

"New information has come to light which contradicts our own conclusions on running and knee health," said Dr. Gordon Sumner, lead researcher of the study. "This information is compelling and too powerful to ignore."

The information in question came in the form of a reader comment on a news article reporting on the study:

"We saw that," Dr. Sumner said, "and it stopped us cold. Now we don't know what to think."

"It just goes to show you," he continued, "that you can design and carry out a study as carefully as you like, have it published in a peer-reviewed journal, presenting your data and providing context and analysis... you can take all of those steps, and then along comes a personal anecdote from some guy and everything collapses."

"Guess it's back to the drawing board for us."

News of the devastating anecdote spread like wildfire throughout the scientific community.

"It's every medical researcher's worst nightmare," said Dr. Stewart Copeland, a spokesman for the International Association of Research Scientists. "All of that careful work, undone in a few keystrokes by Ron from Texas."

"But," he said, "that's science for you."