Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Scientists like to "fondle their problems"

I thought this was a funny quote from an interesting article in Nature discussing the fact, that despite the identification of many disease-relevant proteins, "75% of protein research still focuses on the 10% of proteins that were known before the genome was mapped".

This is actually probably mostly driven by the conservative nature of funding sources.
From the authors:
Granting systems must be more daring, institutions must foster and reward risk, and the entire biomedical community must play down the legacy of the literature and let new evidence guide research. Genome-wide tools such as the DNA microarrays used in association studies have allowed geneticists to ignore preconceived ideas about disease mechanisms and pursue a remarkably successful broad-brush approach; this approach should be embraced more generally.

Too many roads not taken
Aled M. Edwards, Ruth Isserlin, Gary D. Bader, Stephen V. Frye, Timothy M. Willson & Frank H. Yu
Nature Volume: 470, Pages:163–165


Anonymous said...

I usually work with the unknown 90% genes using microarrays - but at some level the 10% is much easier to publish on, especially if you know somebody who knows the history of the gene-of-interest.

Why? Not because more is known - but because you know the first case will be sent to reviewers caring about correct unbiased approach and multiple testing, whereas the second case will get sent to reviewers who are interested in any new opinion on their favourite protein.

Yann Klimentidis said...

Depth and breadth are both important but work against each other. Hopefully the breadth gleaned from GWASs will lead to "broader depth".

Urvi Pathak (Recruiter focused on Biotechnology Jobs) said...

Is it ok to republish this post on our site? I think some of the scientists who visit our community might be interested.

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