Irregular Reporting of Societal IssuesSM

"Get your news weakly"SM 9 April 2007

New Headache Procedure Unveiled

Doctors at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland are researching a controversial new procedure for the alleviation of headache symptoms among patients. According to a report in the British medical journal The Lancet, headaches have been closely associated with the cranial region. Using this insight, a team of NIH physicians began looking at headaches in a totally new way. Team lead, Dr. Alvin Torquemada said, "We looked at the origins of pain and common ways to deal with pain in other areas of medicine". As a direct result of this ground-breaking research, the team has proposed the radical new approach of Cranial Excision as the most effective method for immediate termination of headaches.

Dr. Torquemada readily admits that the proposed treatment may not be appropriate for all cases, but insists that it remains the most effective treatment for pain. In fact, he goes on to say, "This treatment is, by far, the most expeditious method to eliminate unwanted pains of almost any kind". The research team even noted a higher rate of success with the elimination of pain from external sources, like neighbors and co-workers.

While the study is still in its early stages and remains highly technical, some details of the procedure are accessible to the average citizen. "Cranial excision is a very complex operation in which the upper portions of the body from a meridian along the cervical areas, immediately below the mandibular joint, are excised or removed, allowing free flow of blood", explains Dr. Torquemada. The research remains inconclusive as to the direct cause of the pain reduction, but the research team hypothesizes that it may be due to the free flow of blood to the surrounding areas.

Critics of the procedure were originally quite abundant, but they seem to be thinning in number, as Dr. Torquemada's team conducts further research. The main complaint of the few remaining critics is the high correlation of mortality with the Cranial Excision procedure. The NIH team insists that correlation is simply "not good science" and that causality has yet to be determined "beyond a reasonable doubt".


Doctors Determine Conclusions Terminal

Doctors at The Johns Hopkins Medical School have released a new study to be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), indicating that conclusions are terminal conditions. "We find that the end of a study, a book, a paper, or even a television program are often immediately preceded by a conclusion", says lead researcher Dr. Everett Von Scott. Co-author Janet Weiss-Majors points out that some conclusions are followed by "pointless ramblings, but these are mere prelude to the inevitable".

The research team cites as evidence, the conclusion of Dallas, which immediately preceded the termination of the once-thriving network television show. Similarly, the Fox production of The Simpsons rarely has a conclusion or even a consistent story line and remains one of the longest-lived productions in television history.

However, the implications of this research go far beyond popular culture. The team of authors propose the hypothesis that academic researchers in both the hard sciences and social sciences are often forced to search for additional funding sources, when their studies reach conclusions. "We find that, since a conclusion means the end of the study, existing funding sources often terminate with the study. While certainly compelling, more study is required to determine whether the funding is causally related to the conclusion", said Weiss-Majors. Dr. Von Scott highlighted that his team continues to be funded for the foreseeable future.

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