Another tale of egregious science reporting, this time “Time” magazine is the culprit.
This is like the old game of telephone. Communicate a message from person to person to person and watch how the original message disintegrates.
The message in question started as a basic research paper in the journal Medicinal Chemistry Communications - entitled:
The synthesis and functional evaluation of a mitochondria-targeted hydrogen sulfide donor, (10-oxo-10-(4-(3-thioxo-3H-1,2-dithiol-5-yl)phenoxy)decyl)triphenylphosphonium bromide (AP39)
That journal is not quite on the regular reading lists of newsrooms around the globe. Ah, but that’s why universities issue news releases.
And, in what appears to be a news-release-driven story, that research at the University of Exeter in the UK is drawing attention around the globe - apparently because a university news release about the research stated:
“It may smell of flatulence and have a reputation for being highly toxic, but when used in the right tiny dosage, hydrogen sulfide is now being being found to offer potential health benefits in a range of issues, from diabetes to stroke, heart attacks and dementia.”
The news release said “The research is being conducted in several models of disease, and pre-clinical results are promising,” but didn’t explain what those models were. I’m going to bet that many of the journalists who wrote about this don’t even know that pre-clinical means this isn’t human research.