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Antibody Validation Challenges Documentary Review

Antibody Validation Challenges Documentary Review (click the link to watch the film)

The film starts with a quote from Charles Darwin's book On The The Origin of Species, “Great is the power of steady misrepresentation - but the history of science shows how, fortunately, this power does not endure long.” - (Darwin, 1878, p. 421). The well made documentary was, to our knowledge, in large part funded, sponsored, and presented by BioCompare (@biocompare). The film goes on to analyze and dissect, through interview, diagrams, and on-site filming, the five stakeholder groups in the issue of reproducibility, specifically in regards to antibodies. The stakeholder groups are as follows: the institutions, the researchers, the suppliers, the societies, the publishers, and the funding agencies. All, on some level, are affected and contribute to the issue. Accordingly, they comment and analyze the 28.2 billion dollar issue of irreproducibility in US annual preclinical research, while diving into the conversation of fixing the reproducibility issue with antibodies. 

The film goes on to help viewers understand how the antibody market developed and how this development had a contribution to today’s issues with reproducibility. The contribution then expands, not in a sense of blame, but to look at the possible solutions based off the history of the issue. Some solutions from the publishing community are to offer a stronger enforcement on information for finding antibodies from published work. Societies are coming together trying to propose realistic ways in which antibodies can be tracked a reproduced, this segment featured Dr. Anita Bandrowski, co-investigator with the Neuroscience Information Framework and CEO of SciCrunch Inc. Dr. Bandrowski went on to discuss the Research Resource Initiative (RRID) and its ability to help create a rating system for antibodies while helping researchers track and reproduce antibodies and other resources. The film is balanced in the sense that it adds pros and cons to most of the pillars of contribution while attempting to include most opinions and ideas from relevant figures in the scientific community in regards to reproducibility and solutions for this issue, specifically in regards to antibodies. It further elaborates on Bandrowski’s work by describing the five pillars of validation and the antibody scoring method (Go to 23:50 in the film for said elaboration). 

The film not only address ideas for future structures to ensure validation procedures but also addresses immediate steps for antibody validation and reproducibility, such as a need for immediate data transparency. One such example is the need for images to back up claims that antibodies work. It goes on to address funding agencies and the way they are revamping for reproducible methods, the NIH in particular, comes into focus in regards to how they are revamping their ways of granting funding to ensure reproducible possibilities.

Overall, the film is a well rounded voice for the five stakeholders in the discussion of reproducibility with specific regard to antibodies. But the reality is the stakeholder is you, the reader, the taxpayer, the scientist, the human being. Let’s keep this reproducibility conversation alive! Share! Retweet (#RRID)! Research!


The SciCrunch and NIF team

(Images are stills from the film)


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