yielding a serious clinical tool

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Does "serious" here mean "important"? It sounds not natural to me.

Thanks in advance

Clinical outcome studies of penicillin’s efficacy in different bacteria have allowed us to predict which bacteria penicillin can effectively kill, yielding a serious clinical tool to guide antibiotic therapy in patients.

-Scientific American

  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I shudder to think what the opposite would be — a facetious clinical tool?
    Given that this blog entry is the rebuttal to a critique of the writer's earlier article (the article suggests that neuroscience is a useful tool) we need to read the background. A quote from the blog
    "Another example Neuroskeptic used to minimize the relevance of neuroscience to clinical care was drug discovery: “The big discoveries in psychiatric medications were driven by serendipity, not through mechanism-based research.”"
    So here the Neuroskeptic suggested/implied that "neuroscience is not a serious tool" in clinical care, and the blog writer illustrates the argument saying the studies on antibiotics yielded a serious tool - not the kind of frivolous tool that Neuroskeptic thinks neuroscience is when treating patient.

    So yes, serious here is meant as the opposite of frivolous or useless.
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