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Pandora's avatar

What study have you recently heard of that you feel is a waste of time and money and may even have an ulterior motive behind it?

Asked by Pandora (27130points) August 20th, 2011

So I read an article about studying bacteria coming from dogs in cities during the winter months. The study is about the possibilities of how these bacterias may possibly cause health risks.
You don’t say. Bacteria causing health risks. Bacteria in a city where rats roam, pigeons, stray animals and homeless people living in cardboard boxes peeing outside or drunks peeing outside. With all that they think it dried up, frozen, shriveled up dog poop that is a problem.
One person wrote that its just an attempt to figure out how to tax people with pets for air.
So back to my question. What study do you find is a waste of money?

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12 Answers

perspicacious's avatar

Most of them have an ulterior motive. Just find out who paid for it and it will probably become apparent shortly.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Anything involving estimates of how much oil exists underneath the Arctic Sea. And how many years of US domestic energy supply that would provide.

It’s certainly not a waste of time and money for Shell, etc, but they have every reason to over-report their results and bury contrary opinions. And they don’t have a sterling track record of honesty.

plethora's avatar

@Mamradpivo Would you prefer to be unaware of what Shell says they discover? Applying your reasoning, we could just shut down the useless media, most of which is guilty of exactly what you attribute to Shell. Nobody says you must believe either. I, for one, want to hear what Shell has to say and what the media has to say….even the liberal media.

Mamradpivo's avatar

@plethora Yes, I would only trust an estimate from an uninterested third-party observer. Sadly, I don’t believe that one exists. So instead, we’ll sit back while they Drill, Baby, Drill.

Cruiser's avatar

Here are a few…
How long can a shrimp run on a treadmill?
Does playing FarmVille on Facebook help people to make friends and keep them?
Can Twitter predict the stock market?

The list is long and spurious.

crisw's avatar


Could you provide a link to the study?

bkcunningham's avatar

@crisw, I wondered about the study also. Here is what I found. I hope you don’t mind me attempting to answer for you @Pandora.

crisw's avatar

I looked too and found the actual study.

Here’s the abstract. Note it just mentions dogs briefly; this was a finding the press grabbed onto:

“Bacteria are abundant in the atmosphere where they often represent a major portion of the organic aerosols. Potential pathogens of plants and livestock are commonly dispersed through the atmosphere and airborne bacteria can have important effects on human health as pathogens or triggers of allergenic asthma and seasonal allergies. Despite their importance, the diversity and biogeography of airborne microorganisms remain poorly understood. We used high-throughput pyrosequencing to analyze bacterial communities present in the PM2.5 aerosol fraction (fine particulate matter ≤ 2.5µm) from 96 near-surface atmospheric samples collected from cities throughout the midwestern U.S. and found that the communities are surprisingly diverse and strongly affected by season. We also directly compared the airborne communities to those communities found in hundreds of samples representing potential source environments. We show that, in addition to the more predictable sources (soils and leaf surfaces), fecal material, most likely dog feces, often represents an unexpected source of bacteria to the atmosphere at the more urbanized locations during the winter. Airborne bacteria are clearly an important, but under-studied, component of air quality that needs to be better integrated into efforts to measure and model pollutants in the atmosphere.”

zenvelo's avatar

Given the way many dog owners don;t clean up after their dogs, knowing what problems it can cause is important in deciding whether to be concerned about keeping it out of the water supply or to wash it down the sewer.

@Cruiser The relation of twitter to the stock market is being studied by private investors, and there are preliminary indications that it can predict short term (five to ten minute) movements in the market. If a fund has that advantage, they can earn a much larger return than many, more conventional, investors.

wundayatta's avatar

Any study that gets funded has to be vetted through peer review. Perhaps there are a very few studies that are a waste of time, but, for the most part, this kind of study bashing comes from people who have their own agenda.

Pandora's avatar

@wundayatta I just think that money can be redirected to other things right now. There are known illnesses that actually kill people daily, there are homeless people and malnurished children in our own country but lets stop and study the billions of bacterias there are.

flo's avatar

That is exactly what I thought too. What a waste. I can’t think of the most recent though. There almost one every month or so.

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