The Genome Center Biological Networks Seminars Series present:
Reproducibility in Systems and Synthetic Biology: Issues at the bench and the computer.
Speaker: Herbert M Sauro
Department of Bioengineering
University of Washington
Date: Friday, February 14th, 2014, 10am – 11pm
Location: 1005 GBSF
Reproducibility has been and is becoming more of an issue as the research we do becomes more complex. In the work I do there are two areas that warrant concern. The first is that the computational experiments we publish as a community are rarely if ever reproducible. Secondly, in synthetic biology where we design new organisms which are are also published we again are confronted with the fact that the bulk of published synthetic biology designs can not be recreated without recourse to the original constructs themselves. Sometimes even then the reported experiments cannot be reproduced. Reproducibility is at the heart of the scientific method and it damages science, particularly in the eyes of the general public, if the work we do cannot be easily reproduced. In addition, there are cost concerns when it can take months of labor to recreate work already done. The good news is that, at least in computational science, the reason for the lack of reproducibility is due almost entirely to human error. This is likely to true in experimental science as well. Human error can in theory be easily corrected. In this talk I will discuss some of the efforts going in my lab and others in relation to reproducibility in computational modeling and the design and implementing of synthetic organisms.