BioGPS Featured Article – The kSORT Assay to Detect Renal Transplant Patients at High Risk for Acute Rejection: Results of the Multicenter AART Study | The Su Lab

BioGPS Featured Article – The kSORT Assay to Detect Renal Transplant Patients at High Risk for Acute Rejection: Results of the Multicenter AART Study | The Su Lab.

Here’s the skinny on this paper:

    WHO:

    • Investigated By: Researchers for 8 renal transplant centers
    • Has implications for: Renal transplant patients and their medical providers (pending further validation studies, regulatory trials and approvals)

     
    WHY: 15-20% of renal transplant patients experience acute rejection, but the current method to detect acute rejection involves taking a biopsy following suspicious blood test results (in other words, more surgery!). Worse yet, the suspicious blood test results are non-specific for acute rejection, and usually a bit too late when it is indicative of acute rejection.

    WHAT: A blood test to detect risk of acute kidney transplant rejection called the Kidney Solid Organ Response Test (kSORT)

    HOW: Analyzing gene expression of >500 blood samples from 436 renal transplant patients divided into 1 training set and 3 validation sets.

Learn more about this paper and the researchers behind it here. Or go read it now ’cause it’s interesting and free!

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Impact of Social Sciences – The great potential of citizen science: restoring the role of tacit knowledge and amateur discovery.

    “In most citizen science projects today, however, amateurs perform rather mundane tasks like documenting things (see above), outsourcing computing power (e.g. SETI@home) or playing games (e.g. Foldit). You can go to the Scientific American’s citizen science webpage and search for the word ‘help’ and you will find that out of 15 featured projects, 13 are prefaced help scientists do something. The division of roles between citizens and real scientists is evident. Citizen scientists perform honey bee tasks. The analytic capacity remains with real researchers. Citizen science today is often a twofold euphemism.

    That is not to say that collecting, documenting and counting is not a crucial part of research. In many ways the limited task complexity even resembles the day-to-day business of in-person research teams. Citizen scientists, on the other hand, can work when they want to and on what they want to. That being said, citizen science is still a win win in terms of data collection and citizen involvement.”Impact of Social Sciences – The great potential of citizen science: restoring the role of tacit knowledge and amateur discovery..

Don’t get me wrong, I understand and see the point the author makes about the division of roles between citizen and real scientists in terms of running analyses, but before anyone complains that citizen scientists don’t get to do anything fun and that their tasks are mundane…take a look at this:

'Real' scientists do really boring stuff too

If you’ve never touched one of these in your life, it’s fun for about the first ten minutes. After that, it quickly loses its charm. It basically works similar to this:

pipette-149308_1280

Which is gets old pretty quick when you’re adding different solutions, volumes of solutions, etc to a couple dozen hundred of these:

Minusheet Figure 2

Personally, I’d rather be counting these guys for Penguin Watch:
Penguins walking -Moltke Harbour, South Georgia, British overseas territory, UK-8

Anyone else feel the same?