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Methods? Reproducibility?

Posted by pbrown on 05 Aug 2010 at 05:21 GMT

On the surface, the work behind this article appears to be potentially a valuable contribution, but it will take a lot more to convince me. I'm assuming it was the authors' intentions to publish a scientific research article and not an advertisement.

I respectfully request that the authors provide the detailed instructions and plans that would be required for any interested reader to actually benefit from this work or even to be able to independently evaluate the validity of the claims. In its present form, without an adequate description and detailed instructions for assembling the microscope described, it's at best an advertisement and useless as a scientific article.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Methods? Reproducibility?

andymill replied to pbrown on 06 Aug 2010 at 20:50 GMT

While this paper focuses on the clinical evaluation of the Global Focus microscope, I would kindly encourage readers with an interest in the details of the engineering design, component selection, and optical characterization of the Global Focus microscope to read our paper published in the technical conference proceedings of SPIE. Our technical conference proceedings paper is citation #9, or it can be found by following this hyperlink:

Moreover, we are currently fabricating prototypes that will be available for additional, independent studies. I encourage any reader with an interest in conducting a study with the Global Focus microscope to contact me at the following email address:

Kind regards,
-Andrew Miller

Competing interests declared: The authors from Rice University are co-inventors on a patent application filed by Rice University on the technology described in this manuscript. I am the corresponding author.

RE: RE: Methods? Reproducibility?

pbrown replied to andymill on 24 Aug 2010 at 01:20 GMT

The SPIE proceedings paper is restricted-access, requiring payment in order for non-subscribers to read it. But they shouldn't waste their money if they are looking for a sufficiently detailed materials and methods to allow a potential user in an underserved country, or a high-school student, for example to build a microscope of this design. If the authors are interested in enabling interested readers to build "a portable bright field and fluorescence microscope ... for $240 USD" they should make a sufficiently detailed parts list and assembly instructions freely available online without restrictions. Otherwise it is hard to see how it will actually "expand the availability of M. tb testing at the point of care in low resource settings".

No competing interests declared.