Overcoming the Irreproducibility Barrier: Considerations to Improve the Quality of Experimental Practice When Investigating the Effects of Low-Level Electric and Magnetic Fields on In Vitro Biological Systems

Authored by: Lucas Portelli

Bioengineering and Biophysical Aspects of Electromagnetic Fields

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138735309
eBook ISBN: 9781315186580
Adobe ISBN:


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Reports of biological effects of low-level electric and magnetic effects have been generated for the last ~50 years with emphasis on one or more of the multiple branches of the sciences involved in bioelectromagnetics. For some of these observations, reproducibility has been elusive, to the point of affecting consensus of the scientific community, policy, funding, and further research in this discipline. To explain, and ultimately transcend this occurrence, one may refer to the present-day replication crisis in biological and medical sciences alone, where it is proposed that a large portion of contemporary studies is irreproducible [Begley and Ellis, 2012; Freedman and Inglese, 2014]. The reason behind these observationns are numerous and may be linked back to fundamental errors in experimental design in general [Colquhoun, 2014; Halsey et al., 2015; Ioannidis, 2005; Loiselle and Ramchandra, 2015]. While suggestions and recommendations to amend those fundamental errors exist, they have been primarily aimed and limited at helping remedy those general sources of experimental variability and irreproducibility from the traditional biological experimentation point of view [Foster and Skufca, 2016].

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