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Schematic diagrams

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  1. Schematic diagrams 11 Mar 2011

  2. Why are we talking about diagrams? • In lots of scientific communication • Talks and posters • Grant proposals • Papers • What else? • Generally easier to understand than text • Should be used more often– why aren’t they? • Don’t always communicate as well as they could • Examples on next slides

  3. Example– simplifying a diagram

  4. Aim 1A: What genes required? Aim 1B: Is interaction essential? Aim 2B: Does VLY determine host range? Aim 2C: Can we block? Aim 1C: What genes required? Y hCD59 epithelia bleb pore Aim 2A: Importance? colonzation Revised version of aims diagram

  5. Example– streamlining a diagram TLR = Toll-like receptor allows immune system to recognize microbes by looking at molecular patterns Used in work-in-progress talk Research question: What molecular mechanisms regulate the expression of VDR and CYP27B1 genes in response to a pathogen? Hypothesis: toll-like receptor  NFκB transcription factor activity VDR and CYP27B1 expression CYP27B1: a gene that encodes an enzyme to convert inactive vitamin D to active vitamin D VDR = Vitamin D Receptor Active vitamin D binds to VDR From Adams JS et al., Nature Clin Pract Endocr Metab 2008

  6. Revised version of signaling diagram Pathogen Omitted irrelevant parts Took out excess text– presenter would explain Highlighted important parts Made hypothesis part of diagram TLR NFκB? CYP27B1 Nucleus 25OHD VDR Phagosome Vitamin D Immune function

  7. Clarifying a diagram From Inne J et al., Methods 2005

  8. Revised version of diagram Crosslink Cell lysis RNAse Alkaline phosphatase + anti-Nova Ab RNA ligase + 3’ linker RNA Polynucleotide kinase + γ32P Cut out band, Proteinase K RNA ligase + 5’ linker RNA

  9. Science pictionary! • Find a partner • Draw a diagram on the white board • Of your research question or the model based on your results • Can label with words or phrases, but no sentences • In three minutes • Person drawing can’t talk • Partner explains what they think you’re trying to show • Revise your diagram • Switch roles

  10. Discuss science pictionary • How hard was it to avoid talking and writing out sentences? • What changes did you make after hearing your partner’s interpretation? • How will your partner’s understanding affect the way you depict your research in the future?

  11. Proposals Specific aims Research strategy How aims relate to one another Setup of specific experiments Papers Abstract or discussion Methods Talks Relate project to big picture Anchor– show contribution of each result to model Approach What else? Uses of schematic diagrams

  12. DO: Distinguish what was known from what’s new or proposed Draw as much as possible/ minimize text Label everything Use recognizable symbols What else? Don’t: Include anything that isn’t essential to your point Use the same symbol to mean different things Use labels that don’t correspond with the words in the text or talk What else? Dos and don’ts