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Can Meta-analysis Help Biosafety Research?

Santa Clara University Biology Professor Michelle Marvier and her colleagues have recently published a meta-analysis of field studies that concluded that Bt crops are generally more benign for non-target invertebrates than chemical insecticides. A second meta-analysis of lab studies found no harmful effects of Bt proteins on honeybees. Although these reports will probably fail to convince skeptics, they raise an important question: Can meta-analysis be used to tease meaningful results out of a series of studies that, taken individually, are inconclusive? Given the cost and methodological complexity of ecological studies, it’s an important question. Keep Reading


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