The study of the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data.

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24
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2k views

Is it necessary to conduct a power analysis before beginning an experiment?

I know that power analysis is the statistically valid way to ensure you use the correct numer of samples or repeats in an experiment. But I have never seen any biologist actually conduct a power ...
14
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1answer
346 views

How statistically significant was the “sweaty T-shirt” experiment?

An Overview of the Experiment. In 1995 there was an experiment that involves young people smelling T-shirts worn by another gender and rating their preference. The researchers found that people ...
12
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1answer
188 views

Systems identification in small neural network

When analyzing data from cortex, we often try to understand what each neuron does in terms of its inputs from other neurons - a specific kind of a systems identification strategy. Most current ...
11
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2answers
3k views

What is the difference between naive and adjusted p-values in a GWAS study?

What is the difference between a naive p-value and an adjusted p-value in the results of a GWAS study? See from this paper: After Bonferroni adjustment, a single gene, DCTN4 (encoding dynactin 4) ...
11
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1answer
138 views

Biostatistics: Pollen dispersal directionality

What Information am I looking for? Think about a tree that is sending pollen all over the place. Because of wind, most pollen grain will go toward one direction. Imagine, we split the 2D area around ...
10
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3answers
1k views

How best to count bees entering and leaving a hive to measure hive activity?

This is my first question here, so I apologize for all mistakes I could have possibly made. I'm a high school student in East-Central Europe and I need to complete some research for a biology contest ...
9
votes
3answers
364 views

Do biological phenomena follow Gaussian statistics?

I have recently entered the life sciences (from physics). I am concerned about the use of p values in the life sciences literature. For example, in this article, they test 9 - 12 rats in a control ...
9
votes
1answer
118 views

What is the base cancer rate for an arbitrary carcinogen?

Are all carcinogens equally potent? Is the relationship between dose and probability of cancer roughly equal, or are there some carcinogens that provoke cancer significantly more than their cousins?
9
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1answer
1k views

What is the difference between a mechanistic and a statistical predictive model?

The simplest description of the difference between these two approaches that I have found are on this site who summarise the difference as: Mechanistic model: a hypothesized relationship between the ...
9
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1answer
1k views

How does population stability evolve?

The number of individuals constituting a population is called population size. Over time population size does not remain constant, it fluctuates to different extent over generations because of ...
9
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2answers
85 views

Can we disambiguate competing molecular mechanisms of learning and plasticity by measuring electrical activity of neurons?

I have been reading with fascination about the several molecular- and cellular-scale mechanisms and structural changes that underlie what we refer to as long-term plasticity. For instance, [1], [2], ...
9
votes
1answer
104 views

Statistical method for characterizing the relationship between body mass and metabolic rate

There is a dataset that contains body mass ($x$) and metabolic rate ($y$) from many different organisms. It is common to fit the data to the model of the form $y=ax^b$ and estimate the parameters $a$ ...
8
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1answer
3k views

How should species density be calculated for a clumped distribution?

Lets imagine 5 plots of different size are sampled for a target species: ...
8
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1answer
1k views

A timeline of the odds for survival for fertilized eggs and fetuses

I'm looking for data to build a timeline of the odds for survival of a fertilized egg, i.e., What are the odds it'll last a week? What are the odds it'll last a month? 2 months? (and so on ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How many (taxonomic) families are there?

Approximately, how many families have been identified? I've often often come across figures for the total number of species on Earth. Recently, I found myself wondering about the encompassing ranks ...
7
votes
2answers
130 views

A mathematician's confusion regarding parametric $t$ tests for gene expression data

I'm a mathematician trying to test some things on gene expression data, and I'm thus skimming over various articles such as Sotiriou et. al. to understand what is typically done with such data sets. ...
7
votes
1answer
150 views

PDB Mining: Why Do I Find Atoms Less than 1 Angstrom Apart?

I am attempting to find potential Hydrogen bonds between Hydrogen donors and aromatic ring acceptors. I do this by predicting the location of Hydrogens on residues and then calculating how far these ...
6
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1answer
1k views

What is Mendelian Randomization, and how is it used to infer causality in epidemiology?

Studies of human traits and diseases are inherently confined to observational studies, known as epidemiological studies. This can make it very hard to determine what actually causes a particular ...
6
votes
2answers
276 views

Can I compare Shannon indices of metagenome gene data?

I'm comparing 12 Metagenomes. I'm using HMM counts of a number of proteins known to exists as groups within certain operons. I have grouped the HMM counts for each type of operon and calculated the ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

What are the units of Phylogenetic Independent Contrasts (PICs)

PICs are a popular phylogenetic comparative method and I was wondering what units the actual contrasts are in. I want to say they are unitless but I am not entirely sure.
6
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1answer
52 views

Independent contrasts with non-homologous traits

I have morphometric measurements for a trait across various animal taxa, and would like to study the relationship between the size of this trait, and the animals' body size. In theory, I can account ...
5
votes
1answer
37 views

Is “aggregate percentage” still a valid term in ecology?

Martin et al. 1946 define "aggregate percentage" as a metric that describes the mean percentage contribution of a group to the total mass/abundance of all samples. The metric is useful in datasets ...
5
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0answers
73 views

Understanding F-statistics in population genetics

I am reading a classical Weir and Cockerham 1984 paper about Fst estimation. At the beginning (first page, right column), they define 3 statistics. $F$ is the correlation of genes within individuals ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Bayes theorem for mutations

MEN 2A is a dominant inherited disease caused by a mutation in the RET proto-oncogene. The probability of being sick when you have the mutation of the RET proto-oncogene varies with age and is assumed ...
4
votes
1answer
553 views

What is the optimum length of abstinence for maximum ejaculation volume in humans?

There have been papers discussing this, and whether the abstinence period should be 1 week, 2 weeks or other [1, 2]. Some think the time to maximum ejaculation volume is even longer than this. doi: ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What does conditional analysis of a SNP in a GWA study entail?

I am familiar with the use of tag-SNPs in genome-wide association studies to identify gene loci involved in complex traits, but I keep seeing the term "conditional analysis" used without any ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Why estimate linear and full (linear, quadratic, and correlational) selection coefficients separately?

"We then fitted a linear regression including all three life-history traits to estimate the vector of linear selection gradients, β, for each sex (Lande and Arnold 1983). A quadratic regression ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

What equation to compare protein isoforms in a Western Blot?

The protein isoforms I am interested in comparing appear as distinct bands on the gel I have already run. I have an Excel sheet with optical density measurements I obtained using ImageJ; it looks ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Are there any online resources one can use to access raw clinical trial data without having to contact those involved in the study?

I want to do some statistical analysis and I have a preference for real data so I was wondering if there's somewhere I can get such data for free without a heap of bother in phoning other those ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Appropriate statistical test for a student lab?

I am a HS Bio teacher and doing a microevolution lab involving candy. Essentially students use four candy types and push them together until one cracks (Nat Sel). They also do simulations of ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Distinguishing Father from Brother

Given the (non-identical) DNA sequences of two men and the knowledge that the second man is either the father, brother, or son of the first man, is the DNA useful in determining which of these three ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Why perform imputation?

Genetics datasets contain measurements for millions of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Some (usually small) percentage of these values are of low confidence, and are labeled as missing values. ...
3
votes
2answers
155 views

Choosing appropriate statistical test for ordinal data

Ordinal response variables show up often in biology, but I'm not sure how they are best analysed. Some examples are qualitative assessments (little, many, a lot) or risk assessments (low risk, medium ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

What are the benefits of statins in terms of prolonging life?

Recently the UK government suggested that all adults over the age of 50, without exception, would benefit from taking statins. I have an elderly female relative who may, or may not have had a minor ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

RNA-seq analysis - q-values in cuffdiff

I'm using cuffdiff 2.1.1 to look for differential gene expression between two conditions. Each condition has 2 biological replicates. The results I get look promising from a log fold change ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Are people genetically predisposed to being interested in specific fields/ideas? How does specialization occur?

I'm not sure if I formulated my question well, but I'm curious about a couple statements made by Steven Pinker and and James Heckman. In this interview: ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Index of ecological niche overlap

For this question I am interested in the Pianka's Index of ecological niche overlap. What is the Pianka's Index? How does it work? How can one calculate this index? How often is it used? In what ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Using Canonical Correspondence Analysis on matrices with missing data

I have a matrix of sites where not all the environmental variables I want to assess were sampled. In other words, there are sites with the whole set of variables sampled, and there are other sites ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

What is a good source for info on disease frequency distribution among age groups?

I need information on the disease frequency distribution among age groups for an Android app I'm building... Hopefully I've come to the right place. Is there a good data source for this? Like a ...
3
votes
2answers
42 views

Different Effects of Detection Probability Between Presence and Count Data at the Same Location

I'm modeling habitat suitability for a large, mobile animal using occurrence data (presence only - I have no true absence data in this case) collected from camera traps (stations with automatic ...
3
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0answers
21 views

What techniques can be used to link environmental conditions to crop yield?

Im interested in how we can determine what are the optimal conditions for crops and how deviations from these optimal conditions affect yield. In the literature I have found two main approaches and I ...
3
votes
0answers
93 views

Data analysis of transcriptome sequencing data [closed]

I want to learn more about the data analysis and statistics on transcriptome sequencing data. I would like to read some important papers of the field and books and maybe some MOOCS, if they are ...
3
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0answers
2k views

What are the factors to consider when determining the sample size for a given study?

Say I'm designing a retrospective study (where I'd collect data from various schools for the last 5 years) to see if consuming milk can contribute to childhood obesity. How do I decide on how many ...
2
votes
1answer
263 views

Two brown-haired people have two children, P and Q. P has blond hair. Q has brown hair. What is the probability that Q is heterozygous?

Two brown-haired people have two children, P and Q. P has blond hair. We therefore believe that each parent is heterozygous and that blond hair is a recessive trait. Q has brown hair. What is the ...
2
votes
3answers
661 views

Why cancer mutations do accumulate sequentially?

According to Knudson hypothesis, cancer mutations accumulate in order. Statistics says, that cancer probability increases as sixth order of age, which may mean six consequential steps to cancer. But, ...
2
votes
3answers
546 views

Where can I find a list of diseases and their incidence?

Say I am studying a particular disease and I know that its incidence is 0.8 per 100000 children below the age of 18, how would I find the incidence of a whole bunch of other pediatric diseases (or ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

How to calculate the Jaccard index [closed]

I want to calculate the Jaccard index between two compounds. What is the algorithm? I have searched for it, it just gives the formula but how to apply it on compounds is not known to me. Can you help? ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Correct/complete representation of RTPCR statistics

In papers reporting a relative quantification of gene expression by RTPCR, I often see a bar chart with mean ± standard error or deviation, with the deviation belonging to biological replicates. This ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Data Bias in protein-protein interactions data

Databases like STRING have so many predicted as well as experimental interactions data for many organisms.However there is a bias in the data which they have?. a)The first is gene co-occurrence ...
2
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2answers
135 views

What are the statistical tools for distinguishing molecular analogy from homology?

Scientists have developed statistical tools that distinguish "distant" homologies from coincidental molecular homoplasy in extremely divergent sequences. What are these tools?How are they used ? I ...