2012.11.19: One more reason not to just trust your software!

Another busy day – Meeting with student I am co-supervising, trying to get the HRC grant in, getting the eggs ready, and dealing with the conference organisation.

The meeting with student went well. Turns out, she comes to me afterwards puzzled that her input resistances are different in voltage and current clamp modes, and the ones in current clamp mode turn out to look nothing realistic. I suggested that she should repeat her experiments (in both modes) with a model cell, since what she described sounded to me like the software was off by an order or magnitude or something – though it was weird that the problem would only be there in one of the modes. Anyway, she did this and was skipping with joy when realising pClamp was off by a factor of 4 (whatever she meant by that).

Sort of timely given my recent blog post (http://blogs.plos.org/mindthebrain/2012/11/15/failure-to-replicate-as-an-opportunity-from-learning-2). And underscores what I always say: do not trust software, not even commercial software! test test test and make sure software does what it says it does. When I think about it, time to look to see if anyone else has noticed this and whether some of the publications using pclamp are off!!!! Oh my…..

Glad that puzzle has been sorted.

Anyway, eggs are set, and should start fixing embryos on Friday – must remember to finish doing the dishes