# Biology

Which of the following differences is more important? Differences, statistical differences or biological differences?
In data that obtained in a research, you maybe collect some values that differ but p>0.05 (differences), or p<0.05 (statistical differences). On the other hand, very less differences in some parameters can be valuable in the view of biological variations (biological differences). Can you help me about understanding of them?
Jayampathi Basnayake · Sugar Research Australia
If you could see a clear biological difference in a well planned experiment, we do not need to statistics to prove your hypothesis. When the differences are marginal and perhaps inconclusive (visually), we have to use some statistical tests to confirm whether the differences are acceptable at a given probability level. General acceptance level is 95% probability. In most of our biological experiments we are testing biological variances with the aids of ststistics. The statistical inference is important to accept or reject our set hypothesis. We are testing biological variations with mathamatically structured statistical designs and well planed experiments. For researchers, both differences are important to make conclusions. At the end, if you are not using the correct model to test the variances, it could easily mislead you and others. In this case biologists and statisticians should work together and understand fully about the concept & hypothesis that you are testing before conducting your experiments.
Can a child get an allele which is not present in both parents?
Can a child get an allele which is not present in both parents? Is it possible? If possible why and how?
Is intuition genetic or it can be trained?
Can intuition be taught to a person who does not have it? Is there a gene that is responsible for intuition?
Fairouz Bettayeb · Centre de Recherche Scientifique et Technique en Soudage et Contrôle
Of course @Hanno, scientists are intelligent people, who are capable to achieve nice things. May be the more passionate of them have more intuitive ideas..
Education in India has become business. Is it good for the growth of the nation?
It has been observed that some of the private colleges in India take donations from students without giving receipts, in turn, proving to be a source of 'black money'. Furthermore, the entrance exams are not conducted in a fair way. Deserving candidates are not able to gain entry to colleges due to financial problems.
prof V.S Muralidharan · Alagappa University
In Tamilnadu, India with in 2-3 years all the engineering colleges will be closed as there are no opportunities for engineers - many of the engineers are employed for 8000-9000 Rs per month on adhoc basis - As a business all colleges would be closed
The restriction fragments previously described don't match with the ones that I get today. Which is the best way to solve this problem?
My question is specifically directed to the determination of alpha-3.7 thalassemia subtypes I, II and III. Until so far, subtyping determination of these variants was performed by Southern blotting. According to Higgs (1984), the detection of these thalassemia variants can be achieved by the use of three restriction enzymes: ApaI, BalI and RsaI. Here’s the problem: when I compare the restriction pattern on the normal alpha globin sequence from GenBank, the fragments sizes and restriction sites of ApaI, BalI and RsaI don’t match with the ones mentioned on Higgs (1984). Therefore I cannot have a reliable reference of the predicted fragment sizes resulting from alfa-3.7 thalassemia subtypes I, II and III. What should I do then for solving this situation and successfully determining those alpha thalassemia variants? Thank you, all suggestions that you can give me it will be much appreciated!
PCR amplify the region of interest. Send the PCR fragment in for sequencing. If your fragment is too big i.e. >1000 bp then also send in some internal primrs to cover sequencing the entire fragment.. Maybe you are seeing a new and un-characterized subtype..
What is the possible cause of fungal contamination in packed bed column?
I would like to know what would cause fungal contamination in a packed bed column. The column was made from borosilicate glass capped with rubber stopper with a glass rod poked through the stopper to allow liquid to pass through. I am currently running larger scale packed bed column immobilized with bacterial consortium for continuous decolorization of model azo dye. After 1 week of feeding the column with medium, I noticed Aspergillus growth around the top part of the column near the rubber stopper area. This never happened before in the smaller column. The column packed with support material, the rubber stopper and all tubing were autoclaved and assembled in the laminar flow. The top part of the column was also sealed tightly with aluminium foil wrapped with parafilm yet the same problem occur again. The cultures were freshly prepared prior to the experiment. I am suspecting the rubber stopper was the cause since there were no other possible source for contamination.
Azura Ahmad · Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
Thank you all very much for your contributions. I discussed about the possibility of using sodium azide as some of you suggested with my supervisor. Since she didn't like the idea of having any other salt/buffer traces in the column, I had to find other solutions. I replaced the rubber stopper with plastic cap sealed tightly with parafilm and wiped without rinsing the incubator in which the column was placed with diluted bleach. I also did cleanse the lab with air purifier for a week. As a result, the fungal contamination never occurred again, at least until I wrapped up my experiment. Thanks again for your suggestions and all the best to all of you =)
You published a paper with your concept, or a theorem, or algorithm, or experiment analysis. Up to what extent is this your intellectual property?
What are your rights to defend your intellectual property? What are the rights of other researchers applied to your paper's results?
Samuel Arba Mosquera · SCHWIND eye-tech-solutions GmbH & Co. KG
Essentially you will get the credit for the discovery, and it is your discovery (the copyright of the text will likely belong to the publisher). This remains forever. But since you have decided to publish it (I assume before applying for a patent), then you have shared this knowledge with the scientific community so the use of the theorem/discovery belongs then to the public domain. I do not think you would retain any rights for financial benefits of your discovery or of any derived result. Another thing is, at least you have avoided this exact discovery to be patented and used "against you".
Do you agree that an Expert System can replace the human in different expert areas?
An Expert System is a special kind of software and they are working on knowledge base. They are specifically designed for an special purpose. They have logical ability like human and much more faster than human.
Ghazi Osman · University of Reading
Expert systems are now been widely looked at as obsolete as they are widely believed to have failed their main purpose to mimic human being experience. In construction they have not achieved significant success and they are almost abandoned. I was trying to track whether new efforts for ES are being exerted, specifically in construction and civil engineering but found none over the few past year, this is very indicative of a paradigm shift away from ES's. Nevertheless, my personal belief is that ES ought have been the natural extension for any automation effort in any field, in my PHD efforts I'm trying to suggest a new role for ES's. Regards
Is this definition of aging still valid?
The definition used here: "The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time." is the one usually used in biology and textbooks on aging. However, today we know that with increasing age we may experience losses and gains. Moreover this definition implies that aging as decline is inevitable (with passage of time) and cannot be influenced by lifestyle, experiences, training, etc., which is not true. The concept of aging as lifespan (multidimensional and multidirectional) developmental processes and the notion of plasticity of these processes as first introduced in psychology is increasingly also applied to biology, particularly, but not only, to neuroscience. Alternative question: Is it valid to distinguish between aging (in the conventional biological sense) and (lifespan) development?
Jacob Solomon Raju Aluri · Andhra University
To my knowledge, age should not be linked always to the definition mentioned by you. A multitude of factors in one's life, especially those relating to financial, mental and social contribute to his or her psychology and this reflects on the external appearance and functionality of the individual irrespective of the age he or she actually has.
Can anyone suggest a good book on Classical Genetics?
I need a text book on a Classical Genetics course for undergraduate Biology students.
Genetics by Strickberger
What is the most appropriate indicator to gauge the impacts of climate change?
While it is broadly true that climate change can be a cause of the temperature increase, climate change is not identical to temperature increase and even without climate change there have been epochs of long term temperature increasing and decreasing. What do you think?
Suresh Kumar · National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology
How do you effectively manage the expansive aquatic plant, water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes)?
Globally, there are aquatic plant problems in every country. Most aquatic plant problems are regional, but some plant species have caused significant agricultural, economic, and human health impacts worldwide. The following is not meant to be an exhaustive list of problematic aquatic plant species, but a description of those species that have routinely been named in literature as causing serious global problems for agriculture, aquaculture, natural areas, people, and economic security.
Ernest Durugbo · Redeemer's University
In Nigeria and other west African countries, water hyacinth has been a recurrent problem. Adekunle AA and other workers at the University of Lagos have reported the potential use of the fungi Curvularia pallescens in conttrolling the weed.
Why are sciences unpredictable?
All sciences are invented by humans to predict. However, the science itself is hard to predict. Why?
Vitaly Voloshin · Troy University
Chris, that prediction was very vague. And it is true. I can predict today that there will be another crisis, and another war, and another tsunami, and another earthquake etc. - because it happens every, say 10- 20 years.
What is the reason for cancer? Where does it start? Who is the master?
I need the real cause for cancer not the broad view. Nowadays everybody has cancer. We still don't know where it begins? I want to study it. I need your help.
James Grogan · Independent Researcher
I am not a cancer researcher. I only know what I see and what I read in publications, which I admit is limited. I simply want to contribute to the conversation and not attempt to be any kind of authority. I am old-school and ignorant of the latest DNA research on laboratory animals. Dr. Anu asked a question, and I just expressed my own anecdotal opinion based on what I have observed in my own clinical practice.
Is innovation more important than research? If so why?
I was surprised to read a recent article published in an Australian magazine, The Conversation, entitled "Research is useless, innovation is gold": http://theconversation.com/research-is-useless-innovation-is-gold-19160 If you are an active researcher (or striving to be one), the title alone can be off putting. While the argument presented in the article was based on economic outcomes and the ability to turn research into innovation, most researchers would not agree that economic consideration alone is sufficient to decided what is "useful" or what is "useless", especially given that many innovations we now freely enjoy have been borne out of pure, strategic and applied research. In fact, it could be successfully argued that without research, you have nothing to innovate. Is the view expressed in this article a common view or perception of research? Should innovation be a main driver in all our research? Or should this be considered only where relevant or possible? What do you think?
Abdulmojeed Yakubu · Nasarawa State University
In my own view, not all researches lead to innovations since 'innovation' itself is something which is newly discovered. Some of our projects either confirm of disagree with existing facts.
What is a gene? Gene is a gene?
The nature paper say: The idea of genes as beads on a DNA string is fast fading. Protein-coding sequences have no clear beginning or end and RNA is a key part of the information package.
Lev Goldfarb · University of New Brunswick
Again, given the educational background of almost all biologists, I believe that this discussion is not productive: presently, gene is viewed as a part of the 'hardware'---the only presently accessible part of the the corresponding informational system---and hence its true function/meaning cannot now be adequately perceived, or assessed.
What do you think of MSc and PhD theses written in languages other than English?
For non-native speakers it can be easier to write in their mother tongue. Moreover, pride in ones language can play a role. However, the language of science is English and writing science in other languages has, therefore, drawbacks. I wonder how this issue is navigated internationally.
prof V.S Muralidharan · Alagappa University
i was thinking that all European languages can be used to express science and write science thesis and learnt that wrong--Other than German and English writing science thesis is not easy in other languages as starve vocabulary.
What is the top value?
Suppose that you did not participate of any discussion here. You never asked or answered any question, however you have an excellent scientific production... What is the maximum value your RG score can achieve? In order to clarify this point, we performed a simple analisys by plotting the RG score of some researchers versus their total impacts. Then, we fitted a double exponential curve to the data (see the figure attached). As it seems, by considering only the publications, the maximum RG score is about 50. What you think about this? The most interesting is that I found a researcher without impact, but with a 75.42 RG score, which was achieved by a single well-formulated and very popular question !
Jose Victor Nunez Nalda · Universidad Politécnica de Sinaloa
There is at least one exception to " the average maximum punctuation attributed to the impact points is, at the limit, equal to 50" except for the word average. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bruno_Siciliano/
What to do if you believe that your supervisor is wrong?
In doing research, in most cases your supervisor is right. But not always. What is the criterion if any? Should you do what you believe is wrong?
Nitish Ranjan · KIIT University
If you are sure that your supervisor is wrong, go with your own idea and if it is a success show it to your supervisor telling him that it is another simpler way to do that. And if you could find a good point which could prove that your supervisor is definitely wrong then you can put your point to him also. But if your idea fails, go with your supervisors idea, maybe it can work for you. Regards, Nitish
Is it right to patent science? Especially in the fields that directly affect human life?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of patenting science? Can patenting be dangerous for science? Your opinion?
Anup Patwa · CSIR Unit for Research and Development of Information Products
Patenting is not dangerous to Science unless and until it will not affect on basic laws of nature and also human ethics. In my view it increases and influences the researchers to engage in further research by getting value (patent protection) for their earlier research through patenting their invention.
Is anyone interested in participating in a Survey on Academic Work Styles and Performance?
Dear Sir or Madam, we are a social psychology research group based at the University of Newcastle, Australia. You are invited to take part in a research project examining the relation between academic working styles and performance among scientific researchers. The study will take 15-20 mins to complete and you will be given a 1 in 40 chance to win a US\$200 Amazon gift certificate. Please access the Information Statement (see also attached) and survey by visiting the following link: https://psych.newcastle.edu.au/survey/index.php?sid=96854&lang=en With kind regards, Mark Rubin, Stefania Paolini, and Samineh Sanatkar School of Psychology University of Newcastle, Australia
Samineh Sanatkar · University of Newcastle
We have received some feedback that concerned browser difficulties with embedded web-pages. Therefore, we included links directing you to the relevant pages if the embedded web-pages do not work on your computer. Regards, Samineh
Does centrifuging of bacterial solution cause loss of bacteria population?
Assume that we have baterial solution with concentration of 10^6 cell/ml. If we centrifuge 2ml of the solution, pour off the supernatant and replace the old solution with the new one, do we still have the same number of bacteria as before (2*10^6 cell)?
Mahesh Yandigeri · National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, Bangalore, India
Centrifugation of cultures merely pellets the cells, but some cells donot pellet well remain in supernatant. In that case population counts drops a bit.
Is there an insufficiently explored novel area that could be called "Mesoscale Biology" and how would you view, consider or define this area?
At the Mesoscale or the middle area spanning macromolecules to tissues, reactions are relatively slow (<micro second), spatially complex, and non-random so that events are ordered and intermediates are not free. What do we want to learn from mesoscale biology?
Markus Sack · RWTH Aachen University
John, i currently have doubts regarding the chances for generating a bottom up mechanistic understanding of biological systems. There are some success stories (e.g. modeling of yeast metabolism), but i fear that anything above that level (which hence appears to be at your mesoscale) would currently be within our capabilities. So for a long time to come i beleive we need to be content with descriptive and correlative approaches, which clearly need to be improved (data quality, completeness, compatiblity of different databases, etc...). Having said this i also believe that there will be a need for novel research programs that go beyond the technical issues of omics and systems biology. One particular area might be to study how changes at one level propagate up or down, maybe a bit in the sense of the tumor cell example you have given (However, please not that the phenotypic effect at the tissue level was not derived from a bottom up mechanistic understanding of events at the cell level (e.g. genetic changes) but is based on a correlation) And i would like to add that i would as much as possible avoid the introduction of new languages with new canonical rules, just look at the abuse of "Systems biology".
Do oncogenic transformed cells can have more sensitivity to anticancer drug compared to their respective control cells?
Some papers say that transformed cells (or tumor cells) have higher sensitivity to therapeutic drugs than their respective controls but I cannot find clear experimental results from literature. Could you please let me know if you have some information on that? if you have interest on this topic ('oncogenic transformed cells have more sensitivity to therapeutic drugs')', could you share your opinions with us?
What are the pros and cons of using the 3-domain system as compared to the 5-kingdom classification for organisms?
Which classification system do you prefer to use, and why?
Prashant Shukla · RITEE, Raipur
@David: I do not agree with you. I think first even you learned about the existing classification and over a period of time developed your opinions. In the same way students should also be told not only about the current system of classification but also what system were used previously. It is only in this way a student can really appreciate the progress of science and it would be easier for him to understand the actual significance of classification.