Tense about OD's.

Daniel Zabetakis dan at cubmol.bio.columbia.edu
Sat Jul 17 16:12:35 EST 1993

  Since some people are apparently getting tense about my defense of
OD's, I figured I should more clearly explain what I mean. 

  If you actually count cells, then good for you! You are doing a Good Thing.
If you make OD curves for you strains, and refer to them, then that is
very good as well. But since it is clear that many people do not actually
care about the exact cell density, the thing that is importabt is to
Publish What You Do.
   If you just take OD reading, and neglect the reality of cell counts, then
that is what you actually do, and it should be said. It's neither good nor
bad. What I worry about is people doing experiments by OD, but pretending 
to do it by some better measure. That is a Bad Thing.
   I personally don't think it matters. You'll have to spend time empirically
determining the best conditions for any published experiment for you strains
and equipment anyway. When cell counts matter, I always count each culture.

Pet Peeve #2:  When articles cite another paper for a procedure, but the
cited paper does not itself contain the procedure.


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