“Public Health Depends on Reproducible Research”
by Cara Wilder
Scientific American, January 3, 2020
[pitched by publicist Ben Marcus]
Hi Mr. Lemonick,
From the reemergence of ebola in Western Africa, to the proliferation of antimicrobial resistance in the US and around the globe, and even a deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in your home state, microbes have fast become one of the greatest public health challenges of our time.
It’s urgent that scientists develop vaccines and novel treatments for these infections, but the microbes they’re trying to study in their labs might not be what they think they are.
During an experiment, a microbe can change – its genome can mutate and it can start acting differently. As a result, scientists end up aiming at different targets and therefore cannot build off of each other’s research.
That’s why biological resource centers, such as ATCC, provide the research community with standardized, traceable, fully authenticated cell lines and microorganisms. These standards enable microbiology researchers to remain certain that they’re studying the exact same ebola strain, for example, that’s making the people of Liberia sick.
As you focus on your October special issue on the state of the world’s science, would you be interested in a microbiology expert from ATCC contributing a blog to Scientific American about the importance of microbial standards in enabling the reproducibility of research against these terrible pathogens?
Ben Marcus, Ph.D.
Account Supervisor, Public Relations