Research in Biological Sciences

Wnt Pathway Experiments

I am looking at the Wnt signalling pathway in my research, which is altered in some cancers. Last week, my supervisor gave me two of the latest papers in the field to look at. I haven't read them in detail yet but below are two sentences from the papers:

  • ... we provide the formal demonstration that APC is necessary for β-catenin phosphorylation ... (Lili Wang, 2014)
  • ... our findings support the view that APC is dispensable for β-catenin phosphorylation ... (Jan Gerlach, 2015)

So those are almost the opposite claims?

Now both claims may be true, and I am happy to believe that both outcomes are possible depending on the setup of the experiments. This is the reality of research in the biological sciences.

Every day I am learning that we have little clue on how the human body works. I guess that's allowed - biological systems have been evolving and getting more complex for billions of years. Plus, we are trying to advance the human knowledge, so it's OK not to know everything at the other edges of science, but it's a bit scary from the inside.

Better get on with it then.