from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

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from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby Myotis_rufopictus » Oct 09 2010 12:33 am

Reading about expression of genes "in Planta" makes me think they're doing it in margarine.
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby relaxin » Oct 09 2010 7:20 pm

Very interesting story. When I was a postdoc, I did worry about being sabotaged by fellow postdoc. So I coded all clones in Japanese. For reagents, I put an inconspicuous tape that can be broken easily on he cap, so I knew if the bottle has been opened by someone else. It is difficult to keep cell cultures safe, because it is a communal incubator.
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby CrowSan » Oct 11 2010 9:24 am

That is absolutely shocking. It is often hard enought ot work out what is going wrong in an experiment as it is without having to worry about sabotage. I was also suprised in the article that they gave a lie detector test to the young student whose work was being sabotaged! Sheesh!
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby relaxin » Oct 11 2010 3:59 pm

I agree. But some times, people are wrongly accused of sabotaging other's work. Once my postdoc mentor accused one of the postdocs in his lab sabotaging his own experiment. But it turned out to be his mistake. We all got an apology and a free dinner. :) The other time was one of my graduate students accused her fellow student sabotaging. It was good I did not buy her story, and it turned out she was using a much more diluted antibiotics. This was caused by a typo in the protocol. I was the one who typed the protocol. :oops:
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby CrowSan » Oct 12 2010 8:26 am

I guess I've been lucky as I have never encountered sabotage (or accusations of sabotage) in the lab (at least I've not noticed it.... still....it might explain why my lamin co-ip's never worked....hmmmm :x )
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby r.rosati » Oct 13 2010 9:56 am

That's interesting, and in my opinion it goes quite in the same direction of a recent post on bitesizebio.com regarding the pitfalls of peer review. Lack of ethics.
I've listened to a lot of stories. Those about students faking their results are the most common. I've had to lock my reagents for a while too, in the past. I also had one paper ridiculously, openly hampered in peer review.
Well, in my opinion the scientific community is still more an utopia rather than a democracy. You know, like those little, strange, closed societies of people who built small villages to stay on their own, and proclaimed that everybody's brother of everybody else, everything belongs to everybody and should be shared, we should all love each other, and such. Socialism, at its beginnings, was not so much different from that. Internet totally was, and mostly still is, like that.
And it's really a nice thing and it does work, as long as you have a small community of sharing, loving, honest people. But unlike more "sharky" regimens such as capitalism, utopias are founded on the assumption that the high moral ethics of human beings will prevail upon selfish instincts; that society naturally tends to an equilibrium and thus, no strict rules are needed, just some bland form of overlooking and distribution.
Since we all know too well that high moral ethics are not included in the base model of human beings, this lack of rules eventually leads to two results:
1) some people soon discover that being honest and helping the brotherhood gives you satisfaction, but being selfish brings you more satisfaction - aka unequality and crime;
2) the "trusted" overlookers/controllers soon discover that they're being trusted by default, so they can do mostly whatever they please and nobody will ask - aka sopruse and corruption.

In sharky systems, such as capitalism, you start with the opposite assumption - man's nature is selfish, and the big fish will always try to eat the small fish. So, even if you think that fish eating is just in fishes' nature, you are fully aware that the system will not tend to an equilibrium by itself, so you're forced to build your society with a strict series of rules to avoid the total loss of small fishes. You also try to ensure that controllers, the biggest fishes of all, do not start nibbling here and there.

Think about the internet. It was all HTTP and telnet, and everybody was happy. Then e-commerce started, and who'd put his credit card number on a happy, sharing, communal network? Nobody. That's where secure protocols have their business now.

In science, we had a beautiful, universal community of high-ethics, sharing, confident people that mostly had few, local money but lots of ideas.
Then e-commerce came in the form of billion-dollar grants. High positions. Publish or perish. And we can't pretend the system to work smoothly on telnet anymore. We can't pretend that high moral ethics are preventing your postdoc to harass other students or fake their own results, or your neighbouring lab head to peek on your data, or your competitor to slow down the peer review of your paper, or your antagonist research network to happily edit and review each other's papers. If it can happen, sooner or later it will happen. So, I guess that if we want to avoid undisciplined paranoia, we need some regulamentation... Now, in my lab, I try to keep things straight. In the scientific community, I'm the small fish, so don't look at me.
(And yes, I do FISH. Heheh).
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby CrowSan » Oct 15 2010 7:30 am

Saddly there is a lot of truth in what you said r.rosati. The peer review system does need a drastic overhall - either the allowing of multiple submission to peer review journals or the ability to say to journals who NOT to send the manuscript to before publication (or both) should be instituted. I also don't like the fact that any paper published is classed as an "advertisement" and has to be paid for by the person who submits it (which can be quite expensive if you have a lot of colour pics). Quite frankly I think the journals have had it too good for too long!
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby relaxin » Oct 15 2010 9:19 am

I agree. Waiting for the decision on your manuscript from the journal can be a torture, especially you are on the edge of tenure decision. The peer review process often takes two months. If the manuscript is rejected, and you resubmit it to another journal, it would be another two months. Most journals do not allow multiple submission of one manuscript, because of copyright matters, and a waste of their time and effort if you withdraw later. When you submit a manuscript to a journal, you can specify in the covering letter to the editor that the manuscript should not be sent to some people for review. Journals like JBC specify the article as advertisement, because of the page charge paid by the authors (it is a legal matter). Recently there are online journals (such as PloS One) that can publish quite fast, but you have to pay thousands of dollars.
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby talkingtree » Oct 22 2010 7:38 pm

wow that gotta sux
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby researchwoman » Sep 10 2011 8:34 pm

I was the one who typed the protocol. :oops:[/quote]

;0
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby researchwoman » Sep 10 2011 8:48 pm

CrowSan wrote:Saddly there is a lot of truth in what you said r.rosati. The peer review system does need a drastic overhall - either the allowing of multiple submission to peer review journals or the ability to say to journals who NOT to send the manuscript to before publication (or both) should be instituted. I also don't like the fact that any paper published is classed as an "advertisement" and has to be paid for by the person who submits it (which can be quite expensive if you have a lot of colour pics). Quite frankly I think the journals have had it too good for too long!


Well, I feel that one does not have to disclose the name of authors when sending a paper for review. It leads to a lot of bias in my opinion. A 'well-established' lab may have data that could get a positive bias as compared to a lab that has not made its brand name yet. And there is difference between how work from different countries may be seen. It may be more fair to assess a manuscript on its own merit rather than get influenced by the brand name of the PI, or institution. The author names may be published when the peer review is completed.
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby relaxin » Sep 12 2011 8:32 am

researchwoman wrote:Well, I feel that one does not have to disclose the name of authors when sending a paper for review. It leads to a lot of bias in my opinion. A 'well-established' lab may have data that could get a positive bias as compared to a lab that has not made its brand name yet. And there is difference between how work from different countries may be seen. It may be more fair to assess a manuscript on its own merit rather than get influenced by the brand name of the PI, or institution. The author names may be published when the peer review is completed.


I agree. I hope they will do the same for NIH grant review. But this is impracticable. In a paper, you often refer to the reuslts of your earlier work--that reference gives away your identity and assoication.

I did once have an experience in an interview for a job. The interviewer showed me that he blocked out the name and association on all resumes, before the committee members selected two candidates for interview. The name often gives away the race and gender of the candidate, and some people do have bias.
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Re: from Nature News: Postdoc sabotaged grad student's work

Postby relaxin » Sep 12 2011 1:46 pm

researchwoman wrote:
relaxin wrote: I was the one who typed the protocol. :oops:


;0


I am only human afterall! :)
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