The "Rule of 48" mentioned in Michael Crichton's "Andromeda Strain" is a
more general phenomenon affecting all fields of research. The "Rule of 48"
refers to a 1936 citation reporting the number of human chromosomes as
48. Decades later, the original microscope photographs were examined, and
the count was confirmed as 46.
WiReD published "The 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill",
describing recent research into the airborne spread of virus particles,
including SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. The article documents how a questionable
number became embedded in the medical and public health communities.
An interesting read, applicable to many areas other than medicine and public