Help! Repeats in Research?

Yonghua Tai ytai at
Mon Jun 17 17:15:21 EST 1996

I am a student in Anatomy Ph.D. program.  I would appreciate answers from not only neuroanatomists, 
but also scientists from other fields.The question is:

In studying neural topographical connection by neural tracing technique, the tracer needs to be 
delivered to the target nucleus at medial, intermediate, or lateral parts, for example.  Each 
animal receives one injection.  If on serial sections all these injections are at the desired 
locations, should these experiments be repeated?  If the animals used are rodents, there might be 
less hesitation to do the repeats.  What if the animals used are macaca monkeys?  Most of the 
neuroanatomical publications do not have repeats for their successful injections.  Is individual 
variation a major concern in such studies?  How should the theoretically possible variation be 
addressed?  Of course doing repeats would be safe in terms of variation, but would it be safely 
considered frugal with the resources in terms of the NIH grant proposal review?

Yonghua Tai
Department of Anatomy
The University of Iowa

ytai at

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