Biology is a notoriously difficult research area, especially for replicating results. To paraphrase from a film that has inspired thousands of people to get into this field: life finds a way (of behaving unexpectedly). Because everything is so interconnected in biology, the one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) approach is usually taken to investigate biological systems. But what if there were a better way to gain insights into the holistic nature of biology and explore the interconnectedness of various factors while maintaining scientific accuracy? Well there is, it’s called Design of Experiments (DOE).

When we say DOE we are talking about a branch of applied statistics that can be applied to experimental design to explore the relationships between factors in an experiment as well as the effect of the factors themselves. Compared to other experimental approaches, such as the OFAT approach, DOE can save time and resources in performing experiments while providing deeper insights.

In CABTalk this month, EngD student Shama Chilakwad explains how her studies are entirely based on exploring the possibilities of DOE in studying transaminases.

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