Most plants release methane during decomposition, when they are broken down by microorganisms under low-oxygen or anaerobic conditions, as in this study of peatlands.
This study found that plants release methane under aerobic conditions—in large quantities. The novel finding was controversial; and press coverage was, in some views, not sufficiently skeptical (including headlines such as “Global Warming: Blame the Forests"). The findings have not held up.
This study explored the complexities of using brain scans to detect autism spectrum disorder, reaching a different conclusion than the other paper: that MRI did not reveal anatomical indicators, but might hold promise for revealing functional differences in people with autism.
The press overreached with regard to the promise of these findings and the ability of MRI to detect autism, according to HealthNewsReviews. This small study suggested that anatomical differences in adults with autism might serve as a marker for the disorder.
Although early work showing neurogenesis in adult mammal brains was generally rejected until the late 1990s, research showing neurogenesis in adult bird brains grew steadily—although it too was considered controversial at the outset. Ultimately, those avian findings provided support for the work showing neurogenesis in the adult rat and primate brain.
This was a seminal study in a then-emergent field, contradicting a highly cited study from 1985 that claimed there was no neurogenesis in the adult primate brain (despite a handful of studies from the 1960s finding that there was such growth in adult mammal brains). This groundbreaking work has held up and deepened over the last 17 years.
Optogenetics is a young field, just over a decade old. Since the first paper describing the technique appeared in 2005, research in this realm has taken off and is being used to explore, among other things, behavior, basic brain function, and treatments for conditions such as depression.
This study was not extensively covered, but one of the few journalists who reported on it did a good job contextualizing, describing similar, successful work done in people.
This study found a stunning result: that a bacterium could use the toxic metal arsenic in place of phosphorus—an element essential for life—to grow. The finding, which would have upended traditional understanding of biology and chemistry, has been largely discredited.