Case Studies
“Blinding in histopathology assessments – I see your point but…”
June 16, 2022

We strongly believe that, in most cases, preclinical in vivo studies conducted without adequate protection against risks of bias (i.e., underpowered, without randomization, blinding,…

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How much power should my next study have: One size fits all?
March 14, 2022

There is a slow but steady increase in the number of publications where authors report on sample size justification.  In most…

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Careful interpretation of Western blotting data
February 23, 2021

Western blotting represents a powerful technique for the semi-quantitative determination of protein expression and the detection of protein modifications like phosphorylation…

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In vivo veritas
October 5, 2020

Most of our readers are biologists but nevertheless we are occasionally exposed to medicinal chemistry literature describing novel research tools, lead…

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Best-dose analysis – A confirmatory research case
August 17, 2020

It is often observed and discussed that there are substantial inter-individual differences that can overshadow effects of otherwise effective treatments.  These…

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Beauty is not everything
May 28, 2020

Being able to trust the experimental data is critical for experimental research. This is certainly also true for Western Blotting as…

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Covid-19 and the PPV
May 28, 2020

There has been a lot in the news recently about using antibody tests to detect people who have had Covid-19 and…

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Biological vs technical replicates: Now from a data analysis perspective
March 31, 2020

We have discussed this topic several times before (HERE and HERE). There seems to be a growing understanding that, when reporting an experiment’s…

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From fecal transplants, obesity and the importance of randomizatIon and normalization
February 1, 2020

In one of the last Newsletter issues (LINK), we wrote about the uncertainties which sometimes exist when trying to find the…

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When p-hacking is not p-hacking – or: How shall the data be reported?
December 18, 2019

Organ bath experiments are a key technology to assess contractility of smooth muscle. When comparing force of contraction, investigators typically normalize…

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Estimation vs Hypothesis-Testing
November 22, 2019

As some of our readers may know, the PAASP team was involved in the “Negative results Award” project that took place…

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License to Kill – From Killer Experiments and Synthetic Lethality
August 12, 2019

The Maternal Embryonic Leucine zipper Kinase (MELK) is an interesting enzyme:In 2005, MELK was first implicated in cancer by finding elevated…

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Something is rotten in the state of antibody quality
March 11, 2019

A team of researchers led by Eleftherios P. Diamandis at the University of Toronto set out to discover novel serological markers…

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The SOD1 mouse – 10 years later
December 20, 2018

It has been more than 10 years since two seminal papers by Ludolph et al (2007) and Scott et al (2008) have introduced recommendations for…

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Reporting details – Differential induction of innate immune responses by LPS
November 17, 2018

The importance of reporting small details and making well-informed decisions about which information to include for each experimental parameter/factor in scientific…

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“Andromeda and Orion of modern biomarker research”
September 10, 2018

Amyloid beta (Aß) accumulation in the brain is regarded as one of the histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. However, Aß build-up…

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Reproducibility Issues – The Ghosts of HeLa
July 9, 2018

Listeria monocytogenes is an intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of the food-borne disease listeriosis. This disease primarily affects pregnant women,…

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Heads I win, tails you lose
June 6, 2018

Preclinical in vivo scientists often have to deal with a very interesting situation: Imagine we design a study to demonstrate that…

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Replication Study: Fusobacterium nucleatum infection is prevalent in human colorectal carcinoma
June 6, 2018

As part of the “Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology”, a Registered Report (Repass et al., 2016) was published in 2016, that described…

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Make hay while the sun shines
January 23, 2018

“When she arrived, I gave her a data set of a self-funded, failed study which had null results (it was a…

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After the Nature checklists – what’s next?
December 19, 2017

In the November issue of our Newsletter, we have featured a publication by the NPQIP Collaborative Group (LINK) that analyzed the…

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The Birthday Paradox
November 10, 2017

In biomedical research, dealing with probabilities is part of the daily routine for many scientists, independently of their specific research area….

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Randomization – The Horizon homeopathic dilution experiment
October 11, 2017

All Case Study publications presented in this section have received a lot of interest among the scientific community and are particularly…

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From dull rats and bright rats
September 28, 2017

In 1963, Robert Rosenthal and Kermit L. Fode supervised an animal study performed by students in order to gain further experience…

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Glyphosate and the importance of transparent reporting
September 1, 2017

Glyphosate, or N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine, is a widely used broad-spectrum, nonselective herbicide that has been in use since 1974. Glyphosate effectively suppresses the…

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Error bars can convey misleading information
July 26, 2017

by Martin C. Michel The most common type of graphical data reporting are bar graphs depicting means with SEM error bars….

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The different sample size of inter-connected research methods
June 7, 2017

We will continue presenting Case Study publications that are particularly interesting from the Good Research Practice perspective. We hope that these…

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Why details matter
May 19, 2017

The Materials and Methods section is a crucial component of any formal lab report, such as a scientific publication. This part…

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Need for a particularly rigorous planning of studies that are likely to raise a lot of attention when results are published
April 19, 2017

After being published, research findings often become a subject of replication efforts. Such replication efforts may be especially important when the…

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Effect Vibrations and a Roman God
March 19, 2017

There are a large number of ways how to analyze the same data set. Depending on the decision made in handling,…

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A priori power analysis – friend or foe?
November 23, 2016

Performing a power analysis is important for planning experimental studies. It helps us to estimate the sample size necessary to support…

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Searching for significance
August 20, 2016

To examine associations between urinary chemical concentrations and adult health status, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) measured…

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Scientists believed a whiff of the bonding hormone Oxytocin could increase trust between humans. Then they went back and checked their work… 
June 22, 2016

Over the last two decades, the neuropeptide Oxytocin (OT) has been studied extensively and many articles have been published about its…

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GDF11 – the ‘new blood’ anti-aging protein
May 22, 2016

The seminal paper by John Ioannidis  entitled “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” (2005 PLoS Medicine 2: e124), contains some…

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Presented data do not always support conclusions made in a paper
March 20, 2016

We will continue presenting Case Study publications that have received a lot of interest among the scientific community (and sometimes even in mass…

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Sperm RNA carries marks of trauma
February 20, 2016

We will use this Case Study section to draw your attention to publications that have received a lot of attention in the scientific…

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