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Lab Statistics & Math

R You Ready? Using R for Statistical Tests

We’ve been slowly coaxing you along in our R tutorials.  We’ve introduced what R is, gave you a basic tutorial into how to use R and also spent some time learning how to explore your data with R. By now you are probably itching to use R for more complicated analyses.  To indulge you, I…

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You did a Co-IP…now what?

You spent the last few weeks tweaking your Co-immunoprecipitation conditions, testing different antibody/bead combinations, and sampling a panaply of solutions and FINALLY! You have your Co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) elution… Now what? Well, you have a few choices. It really all depends on what you need know about the proteins in your elution. Do you need to identify…

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Let’s Talk About Stats: Comparing Multiple Datasets

Last week I focused on the left-hand side of this diagram and talked about statistical tests for comparing only two datasets.  Unfortunately, many experiments are more complicated and have three or more datasets.  Different statistical tests are used for comparing multiple data sets. Today I will focus on the right side of the diagram and…

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Let’s Talk About Stats: Comparing Two Sets of Data

There are so may statistical tests out there it can be difficult to determine which is the right test to use. Below is a simple diagram to help you quickly determine which test is right for you. Although this is by no means a comprehensive guide, it includes some of the most common tests and…

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Let’s Talk About Stats: Understanding the Lingo

The first hurdle in learning about statistics is the language.  It’s terrible to be reading about a particular statistical test and have to be looking up the meaning of every third word. The type of data you have, the number of measurements, the range of your data values and how your data cluster are all…

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How to Deal With a Failed Experiment

Scientific success is often defined by how well your experiments progress and the results you produce. However, scientific research is driven by a curiosity about the unknown, and you cannot always be prepared for the unknown. Inevitably there will come a time when your experiments fail. In this article I give you some of the…

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Beneath the Lab Coat Part 2: What is lurking under our readers’ lab coats?

Recently, we wrote an article highlighting the prevalence of science-themed tattoos among scientists, and the particular significance these tattoos have among those who choose to get them (https://bitesizebio.com/articles/beneath-the-lab-coat-why-do-scientists-get-inked/). As a follow-up, we reached out to our readers to collect images and stories about their unique, science-themed tattoos. Some of you were kind enough to share…

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The Ten Lab Commandments: Or the Guide to a Happy Lab

I was lucky enough to do my PhD in an extremely friendly and well-organised lab.  In my opinion, these two key traits are required for a successful research experience. This environment, while appearing effortless, was due in part to the hard work of the senior postdoc who kept the lab, and all of us, in…

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A Guide for Solving Your Lab Math Problems

Math is an important part of lab life, from making solutions to calculating protein concentrations, and miscalculations can cause mayhem for your experiments. Therefore it is important that your math is right, or you could spend weeks trying to figure out what’s going wrong in your experiments. I was hopeless at remembering how to do…

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Show Us Your Moves: Making an MSD Plot

In the previous article, I showed you how to interpret mean-squared displacement (MSD) and showed four easy things you can learn from an MSD graph at a quick glance. Now let’s turn from analyzing an MSD plot to making one. I am going to use the programming language R to generate simulated data and then…

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Statistics: A Good P-value is Not Enough

Like many scientists, I don’t consider myself a statistics expert. But I am determined to do things right in my science, and that includes statistics. In my experience, a lot of scientists who are “scared” of statistics fall into the trap of ignoring the existence of anything beyond a t-test. But using the right method…

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Time for T: How to Use the Student’s T-test

To pull together our discussions so far on hypothesis testing and p-values, we will use the t distribution as an example to see how it all works. The t distribution (you may have heard it called Student’s t) is a probability distribution that looks like a bell-shaped curve (or normal distribution). If we sample repeatedly from…

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