ASPB News Bioethics Imperative Article

Article on Issues in Displaying Gels in Publication

From an issue of Nature Cell Biology, here’s an article on issues in displaying gels in a publication.

Gel slicing and dicing: a recipe for disaster

The main points from the essay are:

  • Display conservatively cropped versions of gels in the primary paper.  A reasonable guide is to retain about five bandwidths of background above and below. Crop only when no essential information is at stake.
  • As far as possible, include essential controls and molecular-weight markers; either in the main figure or as Supplementary Information.
  • Avoid splicing different gels together. If unavoidable, clearly demark the point of splicing and avoid overextending quantitative interpretations across splices.
  • Display all of the key data involving cropped gels as a full and un-edited version with appropriate labelling in Supplementary Information; please display all panels as a single figure and refer to this data in the relevant figure legends. As a minimum, provide un-cropped data at the submission stage to facilitate peer review.