Fixing Proteomics

Fixing ProteomicsI’ve only just discovered the Fixing Proteomics Campaign, thanks to a post on FriendFeed. It’s an initiative that I probably should have known about before, since it appears to originate, at least partly, from Nonlinear Dynamics, a Newcastle based proteomics informatics company. The campaign is also dedicated to a message I have been trying to spread among the researchers I interact with during my work: experiments must be robustly designed, and an unreproducible experimental result is meaningless.

The website for the campaign contains some useful resources for spreading this message, most effective are the analogies that illustrate the most common experimental design techniques, and the 4-step guide for Fixing Proteomics (the subject of the FF link, above). I have used something akin to the analogies in lectures I have given about experimental design (indeed I have used the apocryphal ‘Fahrenheit and the Cow’ story itself), and I will certainly be using the 4-steps in the future, and referencing the Fixing Proteomics website too.

Just one note: as Frank points out in the FriendFeed thread, the PSI could be highlighted a little more. Proteomics experiments would not be reproducible at all, particularly cross-site, without the efforts made by the standards community. As AnalysisXML enters its public comment phase, it is worth remembering the contribution they have made to opening up data formats and making data and metadata available in a non-proprietry way.

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