NIH chimes in on reproduciblility crisis

Now we’re getting somewhere? The NIH has chimed in on the reproducibility crisis in Nature [cite source=’doi’]10.1038/505612a[/cite]. It frankly acknowledges the problem and lists some of the potential causes (pressure to publish, funding, etc.). However, in some important ways, the commentary falls flat. The NIH’s actions will be: better training in statistics, piloting having a reviewer critique the scientific premise of grant applications, and a big data repository.  Ho hum.   Scientists already know enough about p values to hack them.  The grant proposal can be wonderfully sound–it’s the quality of the product produced after the award that’s at issue.  And big data repositories for positive and negative findings…. not that bold or effective.  The overall lack of oomph from this commentary is telegraphed by the claim that the problems are mainly with animal pre-clinical work, since clinical trials has really cleaned up its act (ha!).  Well, I guess we’ll see if they have anything more visionary to say at SFN this year.  Fingers crossed.

Travel award for Gerry Holmes!

Congratulations, Gerry!  Junior DU student, bio major, and all-around Slug Lab superstar won a Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Travel Award to attend this year’s Society for Neuroscience Meeting in San Diego, CA.  It was a competitive and international field, but Gerry nabbed one of these prestigious awards to present her ongoing work on the transcriptional mechanisms of long-term habituation.  Shown in the photo on the left is Gerry (left), Dr C-J (middle) and lab alumni Kristine Bonnick (right) who visisted the poster and the meeting from Loma Linda medical school where she is now enrolled.  In the photo on the right, Dr. Bob makes an appearance.  Go sluglab!