Enhancing Performance & Reproducibility in Pre-Clinical Research: The Role of Best Practices, Standards and VR Scientist Training
In recent times, a wave of concern regarding the reproducibility of pre-clinical studies has swept across the life science domain. An expanding body of literature has highlighted an unsettling volume of pre-clinical studies that are identified as irreproducible [1,2]. This “Reproducibility Crisis” not only fuels unwarranted optimism among patients but also unveils glaring inefficiencies in the execution, design, and disclosure of pre-clinical investigations. This scenario is further underlined by emerging questions surrounding the efficacy of the current peer-review mechanism itself . Amidst this landscape, the emergence of post-publication peer scrutiny platforms, data dissemination, and open access publishing is providing a fresh lens to identify irreproducible research .
This narrative serves as the prologue to our four-part series, “The Four Horsemen of The Reproducibility Crisis,” where we will delve into the core drivers of irreproducibility in pre-clinical Research & Development (R&D). We will also introduce QUREs Virtual Reality (VR) Scientist Training Metaverse, an innovative solution aimed at enhancing scientist performance, magnifying cost and time savings, and attenuating the reproducibility crisis in pre-clinical research.
- The Horseman of Conquest: The Issue of Biological Reagents and Reference Materials
- The Horseman of War: The Challenge of Laboratory Protocols
- The Horseman of Famine: The Problem of Data Analysis and Reporting
- The Horseman of Death: The Plague of Inadequate Validation of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources
QUREs Innovative Response to The Reproducibility Crisis
At QURE, we’re not just spectators; we’re stepping into the future of life sciences research with our pioneering metaverse. QUREs VR laboratory experience serves as a conduit for enhanced pre-clinical training, data sharing, and collaborative endeavors.
By leveraging Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), QURE is fostering a culture of transparency and trust, establishing a reproducibility-centric reputation system for scientists, while promoting collaboration across academic, industrial, and governmental sectors. We are inviting you to become part of this movement towards redefining the paradigms of decentralized research through QURE.
A Closer Look at Reproducibility & VR Training
Reproducibility isn’t just a fancy word; it’s the cornerstone of scientific integrity. It encompasses replicating results using the same methods and materials, and presenting research in enough detail for itto be replicated or re-analyzed. In the QUREs Life Science Metaverse, reproducibility is about ensuring consistency in results, between labs, through immersive training of the same experimental protocols and technologies. It’s not merely about repetition; it’s about understanding and applying protocols for consistent and reliable outcomes.
VR training has been shown to increase overall scientist performance, retention of workflow processes, and efficiency, while decreasing protocol errors, time-to-competence and more [6,7,8]. This phenomenon of VR-facilitated talent transfer & skill acquisition is well documented and holds great power for life scientist training [6,7,8].
The Four Facets of Irreproducibility
Irreproducibility manifests in four key areas: study design,biological reagents, laboratory protocols, and data analysis/reporting. The Scope of irreproducibility is broad, with conservative estimates suggesting a rate of between 18% and 88.5%, striking an average at 53.3%. This scenario underscores a pressing need for intervention. (5)
The Economic Implications of Irreproducibility
If the scientific costs of irreproducibility weren’t enough,here’s a jaw-dropper: In the US alone, $28 billions of tax-payer money is poured annually into irreproducible research. And the ripple effect travels down to the drug development pipeline, where replication costs skyrocket before clinical studies even take off. A 53.3% irreproducibility rate carries a hefty price tag, and the costs extend beyond dollars and cents. It’s about wasted time, stifled innovation, and delayed groundbreaking applications. (5)
The adoption of QURE’s “Standardization & Scalability Through Simulations” ethos is a stride towards cost-efficiency and heightened productivity in life science R&D.
Advancing with Best Practices and Standards
Tackling the reproducibility crisis is a team sport. It calls for a collaborative spirit among all stakeholders. Establishing Community-driven best practices and standards is like building a strong defense line against the reproducibility crisis. And having access to standardized training protocols that evolve with community input is a giant leap towards promoting reproducibility.
By harnessing the power of VR and DLT, QURE provides scientists and engineers with comprehensive tools & no-cost/no-risk training to fast-track their mastery of life science research techniques.
Conclusion: A Collective Endeavor
Reproducibility in life science R&D is a collective endeavor, demanding a concerted effort to address disparate methods in study design and execution. Embracing high-fidelity VR training simulations presents a pathway towards substantial improvements in research reproducibility. Our commitment at QURE goes beyond academic aspirations—it's a call to action, a moral obligation to expedite the development of groundbreaking treatments and cures.
At QURE, our resolve to enhance reproducibility goes beyond the call of duty. Together with our collaborators, we’re navigating towards a horizon of unmatched scientific excellence and transformative discoveries. Our Mission to foster “Standardization & Scalability Through Simulations” is more than a mantra; it’s our blueprint for ensuring immersive and reproducible research technique protocols for scientists and engineers.
So, are you ready to step into the future with QURE? Reachout at www.QureVR.com and let’s rally against irreproducibility together – #QureTogether.
1. Begley, C.G.and Ioannidis, J.P.A. (2015) ‘Reproducibility in Science’, Circulation Research,116(1), pp. 116–126. doi:10.1161/circresaha.114.303819.
2. Collins, F.S.and Tabak, L.A. (2014) ‘Policy: NIH plans to enhance reproducibility’, Nature,505(7485), pp. 612–613. doi:10.1038/505612a.
3. Macleod, M.R.et al. (2014) ‘Biomedical research: increasing value, reducing waste’, The Lancet,383(9912), pp. 101–104. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(13)62329-6.
4. Freedman, L.and Gibson, M. (2014) ‘The Impact of Preclinical Irreproducibility on Drug Development’, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 97(1), pp. 16–18.doi:10.1002/cpt.9.
5. Freedman,L.P., Cockburn, I.M. and Simcoe, T.S. (2015) ‘The Economics of Reproducibility In Preclinical Research’, PLOS Biology, 13(6).doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002165.
6. Virtual Reality laboratory training (2021b) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/labtraining/vr.html (Accessed: 26 September 2023).
7. Checa, D.,Bustillo, A. A review of immersive virtual reality serious games to enhance learning and training. Multimed Tools Appl 79, 5501–5527 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11042-019-08348-9
8. Lohre, RyanMD; Bois, Aaron J. MD, MSc, FRCSC; Athwal, George S. MD, FRCSC; Goel, Danny P.MD, MSc, FRCSC; on behalf of theCanadian Shoulder and Elbow Society (CSES)*. Improved Complex Skill Acquisition By Immersive Virtual Reality Training: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 102(6):p e26, March 18, 2020. | DOI:10.2106/JBJS.19.00982