Root of the Problem – Sandra M.

When most people try to figure out where they went wrong the usually retrace their steps. It is the logical thing to do. That is exactly what some scientist are doing now. They know there is a problem with they way research is being gathered and they are trying to make it better.

Everyone likes to do something a certain way. For example some people put ketchup on top of their fries while others put the ketchup on the side, it is a harmless preference. What some scientist do not know is that the way they collect samples such as cancer can not be as harmless as they think. It is similar to the metric system versus the customary. When you try converting the units into the opposite system it is not easy or accurate as if everyone used the same system to begin with. Something as simple as using different test tubes could make a difference. “…it turned out the hospital used one type of test tube to collect blood, the clinic another. That seemingly trivial difference was enough to render his results meaningless.”(pg.201) Two different research facilities collaborated on a paper that was published in the journal Nature. Another scientist used the paper to try to see if the results actually matched. He later published a paper also on Nature and “… the results of the two experiments showed almost no correlation.”(pg.205) Test tubes are not the only reasons why some data might not always match another.

 

Test tube
Picture credit: http://www.directindustry.com/prod/brand/product-28307-871445.html

 

The amount of time the cancer cells have been sitting without being tested can also affect test results. Some labs may wait hours others days or weeks which makes all the tests results different. Which is essentially the root of the problem. If the research is going to be shared with the medical community in order to make a scientific breakthrough the scientist should share the same procedures and equipment. Although they may be big shot researchers they should go back and create basic. “Scientist are reluctant to create standards and even slower to adopt them.”(pg.203) If we want to continue moving forward scientist should create standards. Scientist carry a lot of people’s hopes on their backs. It is not fair to all those people for the scientist not to agree on standards.

Doctor to man: 'We've found a mass.  The good news is we have weapons of mass destruction.'
Picture credit: https://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=jhan988

Thankfully a women decided to use adaptive trials. “In this way the trial design gets away from ego driven research and instead rewards collaboration.”(pg.215) This is the way scientist should think. Breakthroughs are not only for the scientist reputation, it is for the people that it will help. That is what scientist should keep in mind as they retrace their steps and create standards.

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