Budgeting for Scientific Discoveries in Computational Molecular Biology


Suppose classical biology developed and reached the level of knowledge today by using mainly observational studies. In that case, modern biology is fundamentally based on the notion of experiment and the process of experimentation to acquire new information and knowledge. The purpose of the experiment and budgeting the discoveries is to verify the validity of a previously formulated hypothesis using a set of techniques and methods.
The success of an experiment, i.e., the unequivocal formulation of a conclusion related to the theory to be tested, depends mainly on the researcher's ability to design a study model, choose and use one or more methods of investigation correctly. Most of the profile work of the last decade, which describes laboratory methods and techniques used in biochemistry, enzymology, cellular and molecular biology, has been done mainly for teaching purposes, being used as a support for theoretical lectures.
Experimental methods are often reduced to straightforward guidelines that participants can easily follow. However, the lack of general information about the theoretical principles and the applicability of the plans give a false impression of the immutability of the experimental protocols, which makes the experimenter is often put in trouble when they have to adapt the approach precisely.
In this context, this presentation is intended to be a detailed guide to critical methods, frequently used in molecular biology, focusing not only on the simple formulation of experimental protocols but also on explaining the principles behind each technique to specify the spectrum of applicability and expected results. Each of the methods presented was tested and used by the authors in the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Faculty of Biology, George Campbell of Iowa.