J. K. Wickiser Lab

Posts Tagged ‘Scientific Method’

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Top 7 papers in Molecular Biology from F1000

Monday, September 12, 2011

Here are the top 7 papers in Molecular Biology ranked by F1000. Roger Tsien keeps hitting them out of the park. Cool stuff.

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Free Speech and Public Service

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Here’s a neat analysis detailing the balance of free speech and control as a gov’t employee.

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Meeting: The fight against drug resistance in bacteria

Monday, August 29, 2011

Here’s a cool looking meeting at NYAS in a couple months dealing with the evolution of drug resistant strains of microbes.

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Cool meeting in the near future.

Monday, August 22, 2011

NYAS meeting on synthetic biology.

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Science versus absolutism and dogma.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bronowski’s defense of science.

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Naturally Obsessed – one of the best science documentaries I’ve seen

Friday, August 19, 2011

Naturally Obsessed What a sad, amazing, inspiring, and tragic look at the way science is actually conducted. This is how the pictures in the text books are made. We forget the human element behind it all. Also notice that this PI unwittingly – I can only hope – forces three grad students to race to a single endpoint.

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NASA, the undisputed King of Press Releases

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A team from NASA is claiming to have found nucleobase-like molecules on a meteorite. They also claim that their signal (unusual nucleobase analogs to include 2,6-diaminopurine) is well above background and is not found in terrestrial controls. As much as I want to implicitly trust this data, my experience with NASA biochemistry is that they shoot first and think/ask questions later. But the one thing they do better than anyone else: crow about it.

Check these out:

PR: http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/11/dna-discovered-in-meteorites/

http://www.outlookseries.com/A0996/Science/3824_Michael_Callahan_NASA_Nucleobases_DNA_Building_Blocks_Can_Made_Space_Michael_Callahan.htm

PNAS paper

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The Decline Effect (aka not everything in print is fit to print)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

From Matt Browne, a summer student in the lab who is a rising junior at the local high school here.

In the article, the author describes a phenomenon that he has coined the “decline effect,” which is the uncanny propensity of scientific theories and experiments to show a sharp decline in positive results when repeated. While the article comes from the lay press and isn’t specifically focused on our work, for a tyro in the world of scientific research like myself, it was interesting to get a better understanding of part of the psyche researchers, and the scientific community as a whole. I don’t want to completely step on the article, but the author offers sever explanations towards this phenomenon, some statistical, but also interesting fallacies of scientists that exacerbate the “decline effect.” Simply statistically speaking, extensive repetition of an experiment will cause a regression to the mean in significant results. There are several aspects of scientific thought and the contemporary scientific culture that the author also cites as causes in this effect. For one, scientific journals hold what the author calls a “publication bias” in which they prefer to publish only significant results. Also, scientists can “shoehorn” their data and methods in order to verify the hypothesis they prefer. The individual biases of each scientist will greatly affect their research. In tests of the validity of acupuncture, 47 out of 47 tests from China, Taiwan, and Japan concluded that acupuncture was an effective treatment while only 56% of 94 trials in the U.S., U.K., and Sweden found any therapeutic benefits.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer?currentPage=1

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The Scientific Method: Inductive and Deductive

Friday, March 20, 2009

Check out this brief summary of the scientific method and what goes into it.

Brief Summary #2.

Brief Summary #3.

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