This article is the second part of the series ‘The How and the Why: Interpreting Scientific Studies’, brought to you by Research Matters. The series focuses on the method of scientific studies, including emphasising the importance of meta-analyses, the repercussions of the replication crisis and the inclusion of ethics in experimental biology. We hope this series will better enable our readers to understand and evaluate scientific research they are interested in and those that could impact their lives.
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The walls were as quiet as ever. Warmth and protection radiated from them, but all went in vain against Ourelia’s boredom. She had been counting the days, as patiently as someone could, for the past 14 years. Every day presented the meticulous, yet mechanically planned, cellular routine in the same way. She would tend to the daily tasks by nibbling on the required nutrients and oxygen. She would then move on to cook some much-needed proteins and try to find some fun in watching the machine churn out strings of amino-acids.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia, UK, and the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, India, have explored how women’s work in agriculture affects nutritional outcomes for the family. The study found that although agricultural outputs have increased with women working in the farms, it has left them with little time to cater to the nutritional needs of their families and themselves, resulting in malnutrition.
Jack: That, my dear Algy, is the whole truth pure and simple.
Algernon: The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
— Oscar Wilde in The Importance of Being Earnest
In a series of articles, Research Matters tries to explain the commonly accepted process of scientific methodology, the interpretation of scientific studies and the obvious pitfalls. It is hoped that this series will help lay public in analysing any understanding published scientific studies for what they are, instead of believing just because ‘scientists say so’. This article is the first in the series.
It has been a few days since he had completed meiosis. Sperman was now an official ‘spermatocyte’ - one floor down from the B-floor.
Drops of sweat dripped down his face and he was flushed crimson from all the stress.
It was a perfect day. The sun was at its best—scorching enough to warm your face but not your tea. Sperman stretched himself and sat in his bed, curled up among his blankets, looking through the window. Outside, people were still finding their way to their respective destinations. He remembered his first day’s meal and the long nap that had followed. Those were the days. He highly doubted if he could ever be that carefree again.
It had all started when Sertoli reappeared the day after his previous instruction overload.
Sperman helped himself to a short break. He had tirelessly divided and divided for the last couple of days, that he had lost sight of where he was! Feeling thoroughly drained, he looked around hoping to find someone to ask for help. But, no one seemed to be bothered!
“Dude! Look at madam! She’s so into her work that she’s gonna spill her coffee!”
“Haha, you are on, my friend. As busy as she is, she excels in multitasking. Your wallet is going to miss the sweet hundred bucks note”
“Look at you, all acting pro in betting. I’ll take that bet!”