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Loss of animals affects preclinical research results, analysis shows

The results of preclinical research studies are often flawed due to the number of animals that die during the course of an experiment, a paper published in PLOS Biology has said.

The study, published on 4 January, shows that random loss of animals increases the occurrence of false negatives due to a decrease in sample size and statistical power. This, the authors say, means that the experiments cannot be verified or repeated, which they say is a waste of public funding.

This finding echoes the conclusion of a study published in 2009, which estimated that about 85 per cent of the funding spent on biomedical research around the world each year—about £136 billion—was lost due to an inability to reproduce experiments.

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