The latest concerns about an ocean cleanup affecting marine life are based on questionable science
My introduction to the replication crisis in psychology was years ago when I started hearing about IQ-raising brain-training games. After that whole mess and a huge industry was born based off those studies, I wondered why anyone bothers to write about a study that has not yet been replicated. I prefer to hear about meta-analyses than individual studies.
Would it really be so much trouble for NYT to have someone review a preprint before running a story like this? This isn’t even a question of putting too much faith in the peer-review process.
For that matter, they ought to have enough in-house expertise to know not to read too much into a correlation with that small a sample. This is a wealthy news org that promises paying subscribers (including me) high-quality science journalism. Argh!
My local rubbish tip is full of scavenging birds but it is not seen as a good thing for them. The conditions which form the NPGP also circulate the wind driven Velella and Janthina (the most numerous part of the neuston). Janthina feed on Velella so not surprising they are found together. Looking at how the plastic could benefit neuston; Janthina larvae could nucleate their float on micro plastic; Velella could find more food from creatures using plastic as habitat. However, just as for the birds at the rubbish tip, this is not a good story.