The Fail love to poke fun at wacky boffins, their obviously daffy ideas and their silly, irrelevant research. They also love to extrapolate from animal or lab bench studies in order to prove that wine cures cancer or that chocolate is a health food.
Their lack of self-awareness, joined-up thinking or anything resembling a sense of irony has led them to another triumph. Over the last two days, they’ve managed to print a story headlined “Put 49 fish on a plane and send it into a nosedive: How one scientist chose to study HUMAN weightlessness” (hahaha, those silly sods using fish to study human weightlessness – how bizarre and ridiculous these boffins are) and another story headlined “How blueberries can help battle the bulge” that tells of scientists feeding blueberries to a particular type of rat – one which is prone to obesity. The first line of the article is this: “Eating blueberries could help you lose weight, scientists revealed yesterday”, which rather seems to imply that blueberries can help all humans, rather than obese rats, lose weight. I’m not sure why the Fail think it is so odd to use fish to study human weightlessness but, at the same time, fine to assume that research in obesity-prone rats will apply to humans in general.
The blueberry article also ended with some musings on antioxidants:
Blueberries are rich in vitamins C and E, as well as other antioxidants such as anthocyanins and phenolics. They help protect the body against degenerative diseases.
Another study recently found that blueberries contained a chemical called pterostilbene which could help prevent colon cancer.
If it really were as straightforward as the Fail make it sound (“antioxidants… help protect the body against degenerative diseases”), then perhaps this Cochrane review would have had different conclusions: PDF. (For what it’s worth, the authors found that “antioxidant supplements had no significant effect on mortality in a random-effects meta-analysis [...] but significantly increased mortality in a fixed-effect model”.)