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Lab ready…almost

Considering the fixes and updates we needed to do it turned out quite well. We got our hoods and incubators in place and they make the place look more professional. The place is looking like it can handle five people at the moment. Will have to see. In the meantime, Josh has started so he will be invaluable to setting up the lab. Got to get all these boxes of consumables in here and then some. Hardware in the form of fridges and freezers should also arrive. Centrifuges have been installed this week and with them come the pipettes that are required for everything. Shaping up well…

Meanwhile, we just submitted a paper and it has gone out for review so that is positive. This is how the peer review process works:

  1. You organize our data into a paper (this is a LOT of work but only step 1)
  2. You submit it to the journal through their submission system (usually online)
  3. You will hear quickly at this stage (2 weeks usually or sooner if it is a no go).
  4. What happens at this point is that the editors decide if your manuscript fulfills all the criteria, is relevant to their journal, is innovative enough and if it is a cut above the average manuscripts they received at that point.
  5. If they think the research is exciting and the work solid they will send it out for review. If they think the research is exciting but it might need more work they will let you know and send it out for review. If they think the research is solid but not cutting edge they might suggest another journal or send it out to the reviewers to decide. If you meet none of these decisions then your paper will be rejected for publications and you better try another journal or revise your research paper by including more experiments to improve the outcome.
  6. If your paper is sent to review then you wait until the reviewers (other scientists, usually 3 in number) have read your work and send a letter to the editor explaining what they liked or didn’t and whether they recommend it for publication.
  7.  Usually if 2/3 reviewers like it you get to publish your paper. However, all reviewers always ask for additional data, images, experiments or correction of mistakes. This is to ensure the experiments are sufficiently supportive of your outcomes and that the research published is well considered.
  8. You get to send a letter at this stage together with the additional requested data and explain why certain things were done and why some things were not

I was not sure about the editor bracing us for further experiments but high impact journals require time and experiments, lots of them. It will be great to know though what other people think in the field about our work. Human primary data is always so much more finicky than mouse. The variability of humans makes it difficult sometimes to establish patterns. Lab mice, on the other hand, are much easier to show a variation on due to the fact that they are in-bread to keep the strain pure. So, if that strain is susceptible to a treatment you will most likely see it in all your subjects. Humans, though have a lot of genetic variability. What works for one person might not work for all. You need a lot more repeats to show that your treatment works. Just one of the difficulties we had with putting the paper together. We are excited to find out the reviewers thoughts though.

–Konstantin Knoblich

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