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Brainstorming
Brainstorming
Idea

Order lab reagents using study protocols

Order lab reagents using study protocols

Image credit: National Cancer Institute/Unsplash

By Jamila Ahmed on Oct 16, 2020

Juran K. 8 days ago
Seems really great! I agree with everything mentioned and it would also make the process of introducing a new method to a lab much much easier. The problem that could arise is when the lab uses custom-made buffers or solutions (usually to save money, or to enhance the method; e.g. 97% EtOH instead of 70% in the RNA extraction).
Shubhankar Kulkarni 7 days ago
Juran K. Since everything will be documented and open source (anybody can view), it will easier to identify fault and fraud.
Jamila Ahmed 7 days ago
Juran K.It would be excellent if we could customize the order. Researchers often want to take an existing protocol and improve it by adding slightly different reagents or similar reagents but different concentrations. The website could use the study protocols as guidance, which means that the reagents don’t have to be the precise ones used in the protocol. The users can choose the same reagents or something else if they want to. 😊
Juran K. 7 days ago
Jamila Ahmed Okay, that option removes all my worries :)
Shubhankar Kulkarni 12 days ago
I like the idea! The biggest problem it solves is that of reproducibility. I have read several times in publications that the authors could not reproduce the results probably due to the use of different reagents/ materials. If we have such a database, people can just look up the make and the company and order that reagent. This should also work for cell lines. The genotype of the cells varies with the passage number and that may, too, decrease the reproducibility. I would also like to see an option of transfer of biomaterials via the platform. For example, if a lab has a certain cell line and the experiment seems to work using those cells, another lab can procure the cells. Also, if a lab has extracted "tons" of a particular protein and does not need it anymore, they can ship it off to those in need.

It will also be helpful in tracking down the problems with reproducibility. If two labs use the same reagents but get different results, the problem can also be due to the batch variation of the reagents.

This idea can be coupled with the publication of research. Every paper has a "materials and methods" section. Instead of just writing the materials there, the authors should also add those to this database. That way, everything that goes into that particular research, is also available with the details.