Writing Tips: Words to Avoid

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One of the most common issues I encounter as an editor is the use of imprecise verbs in scientific research. It is possible that the author cannot be more precise, because the experiments have not been done to determine how the change occurred or because the conditions may produce diverse outcomes. However, these should be … Read moreWriting Tips: Words to Avoid

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TGF-β and Wnt Signaling Challenge the Concept of ‘a’ Pathway

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Researchers commonly refer to the molecular and biochemical events that occur in response to extracellular signals as pathways. There is a tendency to lump a related set of pathways into a general overarching pathway. For example, researchers may refer to the TGF-β pathway or the Wnt pathway. These are no more individual pathways than the … Read moreTGF-β and Wnt Signaling Challenge the Concept of ‘a’ Pathway

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Challenges in Classifying Biology

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There are multiple ways to categorize nearly everything in biology. The value of an individual categorization scheme depends on the perspective of the user. As Shirley Malcom (Director, Education and Human Resources Programs, AAAS) once said, “We [Biologists] are splitters not lumpers.” This need for classification makes consensus difficult, can limit our way of thinking, … Read moreChallenges in Classifying Biology

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