"Imagine a psychic," prompts CSHL computational biologist Jesse Gillis, who worked on the study. "When they do a 'cold reading' for an audience, they say 'someone here has the name Dave or David' and so on, right? They make guesses that are very probable."
In that moment, the audience isn't thinking about the popularity of the name David, making it exciting that onlooker Dave has been singled out.
Gillis - Researcher - Maggie - Crow - Trap
Gillis and postdoctoral researcher Maggie Crow noticed that the trap in thinking this way can be problematic for studies comparing the gene activity of healthy cells to that of cells involved in disease -- something called "differential expression."
They figured that if someone predicted which gene would be identified during a search for differential expression, that gene might appear to be associated with the disease, but only because it's associated with almost any disease.
Pair - Paul - Pavlidis - University - British
The pair, along with Paul Pavlidis at University of British Columbia, conducted a computational analysis of 635 data sets across about 27,000 samples. They found that there...
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