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Kidney stone paradox

Simpson's paradox

Statistics are tricky. Consider this: of two treatments for kidney stones, Treatment A is better on average for large stones and small stones. But consider all stones together and Treatment B is better. This is Simpson’s paradox.

Immortal dog

Husky

Some time more than 200 years ago, a dog or wolf in China or Siberia got cancer. It was a strange type of cancer: the cancer cells were contagious. That cell line is still alive today, and will probably be alive forever.

Ulcer broth

Helicobacter pylori

Up until the 1980s, scientific consensus held that stomach ulcers were caused by stress and spicy food. Australian scientist Barry Marshall thought differently, and to test his theory he drank a cup of bacteria.