Statistical Methods for Small Data – Dr Rens van de Schoot, Utrecht University
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About this episode
Researchers are heavily reliant on statistical techniques that are based on large sample sizes. Therefore, attempts to gain useful information from small samples can often lead to biased, or incorrect conclusions. Dr Rens van de Schoot at Utrecht University has shown that the limitations associated with small samples sizes can be overcome by using an alternative method – Bayesian estimation – as an all-encompassing approach to quantitative research. However, this approach comes at a price: expert knowledge must be integrated into the statistical model.
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Dr Samantha Dolan – Investigating Facilitators and Barriers to Electronic Immunisation Registry Implementation in Tanzania and Zambia
Digital health interventions have the potential to revolutionalise the management of health information. Despite reduced costs and increased accessibility of technology across the world, the implementation of digital health technologies in low- and middle-income countries has been less than optimal. Dr Samantha Dolan at PATH and the University of Washington and her colleagues investigated the perceived facilitators and barriers to electronic immunisation registry implementation in Tanzania and Zambia, and provide important recommendations for future practice.
There are over 3,600 established cell lines from 150 different species that can be used for scientific and medical research. In two recent studies, Dr Ruth MacKinnon and her team from St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne used multiple molecular methods to investigate changes in the way the genes are organised in two types of these cells. They demonstrated the importance of using multiple complementary methods and found that these cells can continue to evolve in the laboratory. They also uncovered evidence of a previously unreported process called ‘centromere capture’ which may be involved in the evolution of cancer cells.
In recent years, many researchers have been investigating the associations between wage, education, and productivity, to gather valuable insight that could guide business decision-making. Professor Qiao Wang at Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing has recently carried out a study specifically exploring the possibility that the motivation and productivity of business managers could be affected by their levels of education.
Weaning is an important time in the pig lifecycle, and changes in diet and environment can lead to unbalanced gut microbiota and pathogen colonisation. Prof. Luciana Rossi, Dr. Matteo Dell’Anno from the University of Milan, and Dr. Maria Luisa Callegari from Catholic University of Sacred Heart, have been investigating the impact on gut bacteria of adding natural compounds known as tannins to piglet food. Importantly, they found that tannins do affect the gut bacteria; with increases seen in bacteria associated with improved growth and gut health, and in particular, those that produce butyrate – a substance with proven health benefits.
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