Data_Sheet_2_Meta-Analytic Methodology for Basic Research: A Practical Guide.ZIP (538.02 kB)

Data_Sheet_2_Meta-Analytic Methodology for Basic Research: A Practical Guide.ZIP

Download (538.02 kB)
posted on 2019-03-27, 04:18 authored by Nicholas Mikolajewicz, Svetlana V. Komarova

Basic life science literature is rich with information, however methodically quantitative attempts to organize this information are rare. Unlike clinical research, where consolidation efforts are facilitated by systematic review and meta-analysis, the basic sciences seldom use such rigorous quantitative methods. The goal of this study is to present a brief theoretical foundation, computational resources and workflow outline along with a working example for performing systematic or rapid reviews of basic research followed by meta-analysis. Conventional meta-analytic techniques are extended to accommodate methods and practices found in basic research. Emphasis is placed on handling heterogeneity that is inherently prevalent in studies that use diverse experimental designs and models. We introduce MetaLab, a meta-analytic toolbox developed in MATLAB R2016b which implements the methods described in this methodology and is provided for researchers and statisticians at Git repository ( Through the course of the manuscript, a rapid review of intracellular ATP concentrations in osteoblasts is used as an example to demonstrate workflow, intermediate and final outcomes of basic research meta-analyses. In addition, the features pertaining to larger datasets are illustrated with a systematic review of mechanically-stimulated ATP release kinetics in mammalian cells. We discuss the criteria required to ensure outcome validity, as well as exploratory methods to identify influential experimental and biological factors. Thus, meta-analyses provide informed estimates for biological outcomes and the range of their variability, which are critical for the hypothesis generation and evidence-driven design of translational studies, as well as development of computational models.