Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Applied research


Competitive bodybuilders employ a combination of resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, calorie reduction, supplementation regimes and peaking strategies in order to lose fat mass and maintain fat free mass. Although recommendations exist for contest preparation, applied research is limited and data on the contest preparation regimes of bodybuilders are restricted to case studies or small cohorts. Moreover, the influence of different nutritional strategies on competitive outcome is unknown.

Concepts: Scientific method, Nutrition, Obesity, Fat, Research, Strength training, Weight training, Applied research


We here propose the implementation of a simple and effective method to enhance the quality of basic and preclinical academic research: critical incident reporting (CIR). CIR has become a standard in clinical medicine but to our knowledge has never been implemented in the context of academic basic research. We provide a simple, free, open-source software tool for implementing a CIR system in research groups, laboratories, or large institutions (LabCIRS). LabCIRS was developed, tested, and implemented in our multidisciplinary and multiprofessional neuroscience research department. It is accepted by all members of the department, has led to the emergence of a mature error culture, and has made the laboratory a safer and more communicative environment. Initial concerns that implementation of such a measure might lead to a “surveillance culture” that would stifle scientific creativity turned out to be unfounded.

Concepts: Scientific method, Science, Research, Experiment, Implementation, Innovation, Basic research, Applied research


Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Spotted Wing Drosophila) has recently become a serious pest of a wide variety of fruit crops in the U.S. as well as in Europe, leading to substantial yearly crop losses. To enable basic and applied research of this important pest, we sequenced the D. suzukii genome to obtain a high quality reference sequence. Here we discuss the basic properties of the genome and transcriptome, and describe patterns of genome evolution in D. suzukii and its close relatives. Our analyses and genome annotations are presented in a web portal, SpottedWingFlyBase, to facilitate public access.

Concepts: Scientific method, Agriculture, Insect, Research, Sequence, Crop, Basic research, Applied research


The increase in annual global investment in biomedical research–reaching US$240 billion in 2010–has resulted in important health dividends for patients and the public. However, much research does not lead to worthwhile achievements, partly because some studies are done to improve understanding of basic mechanisms that might not have relevance for human health. Additionally, good research ideas often do not yield the anticipated results. As long as the way in which these ideas are prioritised for research is transparent and warranted, these disappointments should not be deemed wasteful; they are simply an inevitable feature of the way science works. However, some sources of waste cannot be justified. In this report, we discuss how avoidable waste can be considered when research priorities are set. We have four recommendations. First, ways to improve the yield from basic research should be investigated. Second, the transparency of processes by which funders prioritise important uncertainties should be increased, making clear how they take account of the needs of potential users of research. Third, investment in additional research should always be preceded by systematic assessment of existing evidence. Fourth, sources of information about research that is in progress should be strengthened and developed and used by researchers. Research funders have primary responsibility for reductions in waste resulting from decisions about what research to do.

Concepts: Health, Research, Recycling, Waste, Transparency and translucency, Basic research, Applied research


Trees and forests provide a wide variety of ecosystem services in addition to timber, food, and other provisioning services. New approaches to pest and disease management are needed that take into account these multiple services and the different stakeholders they benefit, as well as the likelihood of greater threats in the future resulting from globalization and climate change. These considerations will affect priorities for both basic and applied research and how trade and phytosanitary regulations are formulated.

Concepts: Climate, Research, Ecosystem, Wood, International trade, Research and development, Basic research, Applied research


Hormesis refers to adaptive responses of biological systems to moderate environmental or self-imposed challenges through which the system improves its functionality and/or tolerance to more severe challenges. The past two decades have witnessed an expanding recognition of the concept of hormesis, elucidation of its evolutionary foundations, and underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms, and practical applications to improve quality of life. To better inform future basic and applied research, we organized and re-evaluated recent hormesis-related findings with the intent of incorporating new knowledge of biological mechanisms, and providing fundamental insights into the biological, biomedical and risk assessment implications of hormesis. As the literature on hormesis is expanding rapidly into new areas of basic and applied research, it is important to provide refined conceptualization of hormesis to aid in designing and interpreting future studies. Here, we establish a working compartmentalization of hormesis into ten categories that provide an integrated understanding of the biological meaning and applications of hormesis.

Concepts: Better, Evolution, Improve, Molecular biology, Biology, Life, Research, Applied research


Worldwide, plant viruses cause serious reductions in marketable crop yield and in some cases even plant death. In most cases, the most effective way to control virus diseases is through genetically controlled resistance. However, developing virus-resistant (VR) crops through traditional breeding can take many years, and in some cases is not even possible. Because of this, the demonstration of the first VR transgenic plants in 1985 generated much attention. This seminal report served as an inflection point for research in both basic and applied plant pathology, the results of which have dramatically changed both basic research and in a few cases, commercial crop production. The typical review article on this topic has focused on only basic or only applied research results stemming from this seminal discovery. This can make it difficult for the reader to appreciate the full impact of research on transgenic virus resistance, and the contributions from fundamental research that led to translational applications of this technology. In this review, we take a global view of this topic highlighting the significant changes to both basic and applied plant pathology research and commercial food production that have accumulated in the last 30 plus years. We present these milestones in the historical context of some of the scientific, economic, and environmental drivers for developing specific VR crops. The intent of this review is to provide a single document that adequately records the significant accomplishments of researchers in both basic and applied plant pathology research on this topic and how they relate to each other. We hope this review therefore serves as both an instructional tool for students new to the topic, as well as a source of conversation and discussion for how the technology of engineered virus resistance could be applied in the future.

Concepts: Life, Virus, Academic publishing, Research, Crops, Research and development, Basic research, Applied research


To date, the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) rule for identifying children who are at very low risk of clinically-important traumatic brain injuries after minor head trauma has not been validated prospectively in an independent population. Our goal was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of the PECARN clinical decision rule in a French pediatric population in multiple clinical settings.

Concepts: Risk, Traumatic brain injury, Research, Decision theory, Psychological trauma, Physical trauma, Concussion, Applied research


Major developments, as well as remaining challenges and the associated research opportunities, are evaluated for three technologically distinct approaches to solar energy utilization: solar electricity, solar thermal, and solar fuels technologies. Much progress has been made, but research opportunities are still present for all approaches. Both evolutionary and revolutionary technology development, involving foundational research, applied research, learning by doing, demonstration projects, and deployment at scale will be needed to continue this technology-innovation ecosystem. Most of the approaches still offer the potential to provide much higher efficiencies, much lower costs, improved scalability, and new functionality, relative to the embodiments of solar energy-conversion systems that have been developed to date.

Concepts: Sun, Science, Research, Photovoltaics, Technology, Solar energy, Solar thermal energy, Applied research


The MAQC/SEQC consortium has recently compiled a key benchmark that can serve for testing the latest developments in analysis tools for microarray and RNA-seq expression profiling. Such objective benchmarks are required for basic and applied research, and can be critical for clinical and regulatory outcomes. Going beyond the first comparisons presented in the original SEQC study, we here present extended benchmarks including effect strengths typical of common experiments.

Concepts: Scientific method, Research, DNA microarray, Microarrays, Basic research, Applied research