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Complicated phrasing used in bacteria/yeast research, how to translate

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by South, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. South

    South Senior Member

    Southeastern United States
    Why do researchers use such convoluted sentence structures in writing their reports for research studies?

    For example, here's a sentence from a study on things that kill candida. In the report, "C. Albicans" means candida:

    "For C. albicans, antagonism was observed for the combination of MUC7 12-mer and calcium; however, there was synergism between MUC7 12-mer and EDTA"

    Allrighty then. English?

    "antagonism was observed" could mean of these:
    A. The combination of MUC7 12-mer and calcium killed candida more than either of these alone did.
    Or it could mean:
    B. The calcium antagonized the killing effect that MUC7 12-mer had, and thus the MUC7 12-mer was less effective when calcium was present, not more effective.

    Before assuming I know what they meant, I then read the following sentence:

    "No antagonism but additivity or indifference was observed for the combination of MUC7 12-mer and potassium, sodium or magnesium" So this language seems to imply that in their earlier use of the word "antagonism", they meant that substance X reversed the candida-killing quality of substance Y.

    Reports on the Web often do not include the tables of numeric results, to use to simply see the results in numeric form.

    Couldn't they just say "Candida in petri dishes was reduced 20% by a combination of X and Y, but was only reduced 10% by Y alone". There, a simple sentence.

    (And if I see the word "respectively" after a loooooong sentence in one more research paper, I'll scream. But that's another subject.)
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

    Antagonism = fighting something
    MUC7 = a gene which is thought to help clear bacteria in the mouth
    12-mer = a string of 12 amino acids from a protein produced by a gene, also can be called a peptide
    EDTA = a liquid which binds metal ions

    Due to the context, I think the antagonism is calcium and the MUC7 12-mer interfering with each other. Rather, a subsection of MUC7 needs to do its job, and calcium prevents that from happening.

    But they're also suggesting that EDTA helps MUC7 do its job.

    Hence adding a metal interferes with the MUC7 12-mer from killing bacteria, but adding something which binds metals somehow helps the MUC7 12-mer to kill bacteria.

    That leaves the question as to whether the calcium helps the bacteria directly or indirectly by down-regulating or interfering with MUC7. And whether EDTA harms the bacteria directly or somehow augments the ability of MUC7 to kill bacteria.
    adreno likes this.
  3. adreno

    adreno PR activist

    In the discussion section of the paper, the authors should speculate on the implications of their findings.
    Valentijn likes this.

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