Science Fail Monday: A previously unreported method for complete randomization of biological samples

Posted: 05 18, 2015

Title: A previously unreported method for complete randomization of biological samples

Authors: Ima B. Klutz1, Tripp R. Treat1, Lucy Fenghers1,2, O. H. Schitt3, Ivana Revind4, Nev R. Definde3, Rocco Starr1,2,4.

Author Affiliations: 1 Curriculum in Unrealistic Biological Methodology, Wannabe-Harvard University, Cambridge, NC, 2 Department of Acronym Development and Testing, Wannabe-Harvard University, Cambridge, NC, 3 Department of Misplaced Statistics, Blue Devil University, Durham, NC, 4 Curriculum in Powerpoint Imagery and Imagination, Wannabe-Harvard University, Cambridge, NC

Short Running Head: Unintentional double blind


Abstract: Poor experimental design in research settings may result in reduced experimental reproducibility and may invalidate conclusions made by authors. For these reasons, many experimental biologists have turned toward improved experimental methods. Unfortunately, methods such as properly labeling tubes and plates during the course of an experiment may lead to the successful testing of one’s hypothesis, including appropriately comparing a control group to a treatment group during statistical analyses. Therefore, we present a method to completely and irreversibly randomize biological samples prior to full analysis. We tested this method using long-term differentiation of cells on insertable TranswellⓇ permeable supports that were labeled on the outside of the plate, but not on the actual inserts. The removable nature of these transwells lends itself perfectly to this methodology. Following proper experimental design and execution of an experiment lasting more than three weeks, but prior to RNA isolation and analysis, the experimenter unintentionally launches the plate containing samples into the air. Upon impact with the floor, samples become fully randomized and frequently contaminated, lost, or destroyed. We call this the Fully Unintentional, Complete, Kinesthetically-inducED method of randomization.

Keywords: Science Fail

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ScienceFail biological sample randomization


by Bailey Peck

edited by Nicole Baker and Jonathan Susser


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This article was co-published on the SWAC Blog, The Pipettepen.

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