Attending a large conference is often accompanied by a flurry of excitement – daily news releases, early access to abstracts, lanyards and conference bags suddenly becoming ubiquitous citywide. Read more
It is becoming increasingly clear that the current method of publishing scientific findings does not make the most of the vast amounts of data generated during scientific investigation. The message from the #SciData17 conference, held in London on the 25th of October, was that making data, code and detailed methods openly available will increase reproducibility, decrease redundancy and allow scientific discovery to advance at a faster pace. Funding bodies and journals are taking steps to encourage this kind of open research policy, and the decision to release datasets usually sits with lab heads or PIs, but there is a place for bottom-up change from students and postdocs too. Read more
Today, the Protein Data Bank houses over 130,000 structures of proteins and nucleic acids — the molecules that constitute life. In this carefully curated and indexed database, users can browse entries and examine the three-dimensional arrangement of the atoms that make up life’s molecular machines. The shapes can help scientists from various fields to make informed guesses about their functions, formulate hypotheses and research questions, and explain and connect observations. Read more
In the UK, almost half of the public believes that some animal research goes on without an official licence. The situation is similar in the US. This ignorance finds its way to policy makers around the world who dismiss academics and deride science. Clearly, there is a profound imbalance in the knowledge available to scientists and to the rest of society about animal research. Read more
Blog from Mathias Astell and Iain Hrynaszkiewicz on the difficulties in sharing non-public clinical data and a set guidelines being developed by Scientific Data to help researchers, repositories and journal editors best provide access to, and awareness of, clinical data.
Guest post from Ruedi Aebersold, Professor of Systems Biology with a joint appointment at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, & George Rosenberger, PhD student in the Aebersold group at the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, on the various avenues for sharing proteomics data and the benefits of building community resources through open data
Guest post from Mark Viant, on the changes in standards and reporting for metabolomics data. Mark is Professor of Metabolomics in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham, UK, and Director of both the national NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility – Metabolomics and the Phenome Centre Birmingham. His research interests encompass the development of optimised analytical and computational workflows for high-throughput mass spectrometry based metabolomics and the application of these technologies to investigate the metabolic pathways underlying toxicity and adverse outcome pathways.