Talapady Bhat developed Chem-BLAST, a software tool that allows researchers to search databases to identify new candidate drug molecules. Image credit: NIST.
To fully achieve the benefits of our investments in research, we need to increase scientific rigor in biological measurements. What is the significance of what is being measured? How accurate are the measurements? How do the computational tools being used to analyze and interpret the data add to uncertainty? These questions need to be addressed more explicitly in research publications. Without greater rigor, we will fail to achieve understanding of the fundamental principles, mechanisms and forces that drive biological processes.
The Biosystems and Biomaterials Division is focused on the measurements that will lead to better understanding of complex biological entities. We develop methods that allow for better characterization of the smallest complex unit of biology, the living cell, and the molecular scale events that control intracellular response. Our goal is to help the field of cell biology become a rigorous quantitative science through the dissemination of protocols, reference materials, and statistical methods, and by development of new measurement technologies that provide unique insight into complex biological systems.
Credit: G. Cooksey, NIST