Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Incompatible assumptions common in biomedical research

Date:
October 6, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Strong, incompatible views are common in biomedicine but are largely invisible to biomedical experts themselves, creating artificial barriers to effective modeling of complex biological phenomena. Researchers have explored the diversity in views among scientists researching the process of cancer metastasis and found ubiquitous disagreement around assumptions in any model of the progression of cancer cells from their original location to other parts of the body.

Strong, incompatible views are common in biomedicine but are largely invisible to biomedical experts themselves, creating artificial barriers to effective modeling of complex biological phenomena. Researchers at the University of Chicago explored the diversity in views among scientists researching the process of cancer metastasis and found ubiquitous disagreement around assumptions in any model of the progression of cancer cells from their original location to other parts of the body. The researchers suggest that making often invisible assumptions explicit could significantly improve the modeling of biomedical processes.

The study, published in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology on October 6th 2011, was based on interviews with 28 biologists and physicians considered experts in various cancer research fields. The authors found that a wide range of incompatible assumptions are held by scientists studying the same domain; in fact, no two scenarios for cancer metastasis were identical, and these differences were largely invisible to the experts themselves.

The authors believe this poses fundamental problems for modeling, peer-review, and scientific advance. They argue that assumptions are a critical part of any theory or mathematical model, and should be examined and collected systematically. Models that capture the full range of scientific opinion will create new opportunities for understanding how alternative assumptions and theories differ, and inform the researcher on how best to arbitrate between them. The authors then built an exemplar mathematical model of metastasis that makes conflicting assumptions explicit and exposes them for testing and systematic evaluation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna Divoli, Eneida A. Mendonηa, James A. Evans, Andrey Rzhetsky. Conflicting Biomedical Assumptions for Mathematical Modeling: The Case of Cancer Metastasis. PLoS Computational Biology, 2011; 7 (10): e1002132 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002132

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Incompatible assumptions common in biomedical research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006173441.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, October 6). Incompatible assumptions common in biomedical research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006173441.htm
Public Library of Science. "Incompatible assumptions common in biomedical research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006173441.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) — After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) — A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins