A Statistical Approach to the Reproducibility Crisis
Original Article Reference
This SciPod is a summary of the paper:
‘Factoring a 2 x 2 contingency table’, from PLOS one. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224460
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About this episode
Many fields of experimental research are now facing a daunting challenge: despite the fact that separate research teams may work on the same system, the end results of their experiments can be widely varied. In his research, Dr Stanley Luck, at the Science, Technology and Research Institute of Delaware, explores the reasons behind this inherent inability to reproduce experimental results. Based on his analysis, he now suggests two key requirements that must be met to overcome this crisis, which could have a profound influence over the techniques employed by experimental researchers in the future.
Energy is vital for life. It allows important functions to occur in living systems, from the molecular level to the scale of the whole organism. Dr Helen Greenwood Hansma, from the University of California in Santa Barbara, believes that the types of energy used in living cells can provide clues to help us understand the origins of life. In her recent research, she explores how mechanical energy could have driven the processes that gave rise to early life in the absence of chemical energy.
A welcome sign of a change in seasons, the year’s first flowers usher in the start of spring. Yet, as the climate warms, some flowers are blooming earlier. Since plants respond to environmental cues, such as temperature, shifts in their annual development has long been considered an effect of climate change. However, significant warming does not always lead to earlier flowering.
Faecal sludge, a material derived from human waste, can be difficult to dispose of and causes significant disease and pollution worldwide. However, it also shows potential as a fuel, fertiliser and even a building material, if properly treated. Dr Santiago [san-tee-ah-go] Septien [sep-tee-uhn] Stringel and his team at the WASH R&D [wash R and D] Centre of the University of KwaZulu-Natal [kwah-zoo-loo-nay-taal], in Durban, South Africa, have been investigating the process for drying faecal sludge, towards developing new ways of transforming it into sustainable products.
The Geological History of Once-Glaciated Regions Affects Current and Future Earth Surface Processes | Dr Alison Anders
Over the past few millions of years, a succession of ice ages has profoundly influenced the geology of Earth’s northerly latitudes. These past events continue to influence our lives today – particularly in the fertile regions we now rely on for agriculture. By tracing the advances and retreats of ice sheets, Dr Alison Anders at the University of Illinois is gaining important new insights into how the landscapes and ecosystems of these regions are intrinsically linked to the geological past. Her team is also revealing how these areas are responding to a changing climate, and to complex human relationships with the land.
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