Decreased susceptibility to NMU-induced mammary carcinogenesis in transgenic rats carrying multiple copies of a rat ras gene driven by the rat Harvey ras promoter A Literature Critique of the Nature article published April 2002
Introduction • There were 6 authors for this paper, with the primary author Todd A Thompson2. The others were Jill D Haag1, Mary J Lindstrom3, Anne E Griep4, Jan K Lohse4 and Michael N Gould1,2 • Generally the scientists were considering how the body reacts when there is an over expression of Ras protein, and what this reaction implies for mammary carcinogenesis (breast cancer). • According to the authors, Ras has the potential to function as a modifier gene in repressing mammary carcinogenesis.
Overview • Literary analysis (i.e. Analyzing the writing style of the authors) • The correct way to format a Journal-Style Scientific Paper • Breakdown from the Abstract to the Conclusion • Impact factor of the article • vs impact factor of the journal
Literary Analysis HOW ON EARTH? • What is the correct way to format a journal style paper? • Title • Authors and Affiliation • Abstract • Introduction • Methods • Results • Discussion • Acknowledgments and Literature Cited • How did the authors of this paper do it? • Mixed it up • Title • Authors and Affiliation • Abstract • Introduction • Results • Discussion • Methods • Acknowledgments and References
Literary Analysis: Breakdown The Purpose Methods/ Experimental Design • Abstract: The function of an abstract is to summarize in one paragraph the major aspects of the entire paper. It should include • The purpose of the paper • The experimental design and methods used • The major findings • A brief summary of their conclusions. • Did they get it right?
Literary Analysis: Breakdown Results Conclusion • Abstract: The function of an abstract is to summarize in one paragraph the major aspects of the entire paper. It should include • The purpose of the paper • The experimental design and methods used • The major findings • A brief summary of their conclusions. • Did they get it right?
Literary Analysis: Breakdown • Introduction • Methods: • One line under statistical analysis “The effect of transgene on 18-week tumor multiplicity was assessed for the HrHr and HrKr transgenic lines using a generalized linear model assuming Poisson distributed counts.” • Results: • Seven different instances of “data not shown” is not commendable. Show more data instead.
Literary Analysis: Breakdown • Results • Appropriate use of tables and diagrams • Indicating “p-value” which shows the significance of the data they got • Showing relationships using graphs and clearly labeled pictures Figure 1 from the article Figure 5 from the article, Assays Table 1 from the article
Literary Analysis: Breakdown • Since the format of the paper was a little different, the article ended with the Materials and Methods section • Cliff hanger feeling • Instead, they should have ended with the Discussion section • In conclusion, it was a decent research article – B plus
Impact Factor • The article had been cited only twice on PubMed • However, the scientific journal Nature is a very high impact journal • So the article has actually been cited at least 46 times over the last 11 years making it a relatively high impact document June 2012 Copy of Nature