You love your site and we love your site, but there is a whole world of people out there who might not even know it exists. When they do find it, their first impression will either scare them away or keep them around. Given this, let's take a hard look at the questions and answers here and make sure newcomers see the site at its best!

Below you'll find ten questions randomly selected from this site. What do you think about each of them and their answers? Are they the best they can be or can they be improved? Would they look interesting and inviting to an outsider or are they a little embarrassing?

Upvote the corresponding post here on meta when we're awesome. Downvote when our content just isn't quite up to par.

Oh, and do comment to let everyone know your thoughts and take part in this conversation. :)

Note: This evaluation will close on 2 November 2012. Get your votes in before then!

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closed as too localized by Aarthi Nov 4 '12 at 18:16

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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In many cases, I might -1 the question and +1 the answer... my solution has been to +1 if one or the other was particularly good. Could you provide more specific guidance? –  Abe Oct 25 '12 at 4:03
    
@Abe My personal philosophy is to ask myself, "Does this page make the internet better?" If the answer does but the question does not, +1 and edit the question. If the question does but the answer does not, -1 and explain why and/or answer the question myself with some serious researching. –  Aarthi Oct 25 '12 at 16:37
    
This is closed now, or? So I'm removing the featured tag –  Mad Scientist Nov 4 '12 at 8:28
    
@MadScientist Oh, yes! I was going to close this later today. :) Thanks for the assist. –  Aarthi Nov 4 '12 at 18:16

10 Answers 10

Why is it sometimes difficult to resuspend E. coli in P1?

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+1: good question about a practical lab day-to-day problem –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 7:46
    
Yes, and a constructive discussion. +1 –  terdon Oct 27 '12 at 14:16

Digital Genomic Footprinting for ENCODE

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+1: this is a type of question we should largely favour: clear context, quoted papers, clear explanation of the issue at hand etc. Ah, and good answer! –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 7:42

Methods of nuclear transfection - nuclear transport

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+1: the question is clear. The OP has done his homework, read papers, read the kit's manual and is asking precise questions. The answer, albeit inconclusive (essentially is "nobody knows" but, hey...) also quotes a paper, which may be used to dig for further references. –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 7:26

What determines testosterone exposure in womb, baby's genetics or mom's body?

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Good question and good answer. Not much to say here, there are references and the question goes pretty much to the point. I guess someone could give an answer that is a bit more complete, but as the OP is fine with the accepted one I guess it is sufficient. –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 7:35
    
This is a good question for the site, but also for search engine exposure, as I think it provides good facts to both scientists and the general public who might be seeking clarification on the topic. It carries a reference which bolsters its credibility even further. –  jonsca Oct 30 '12 at 22:15

Is consuming sugar with food as beneficial as consuming glucose (~half of the amount of sugar)?

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Compared to the "semen diet" question this has practical biological implications (although the OP had it the other way around). +1 –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 7:41
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The OP's title and question are a little unclear, however the two answers posted clarify the OP's question, correct his/her misconception and provide a detailed comparison of the relevant cellular and physiologic metabolism. –  leonardo Oct 27 '12 at 17:05

How exactly are game theoretical evolutionary models described during implementation for computer simulations?

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Nice question - but answers are incomplete (examples, citations, code repositories would improve the answers); would probably benefit from recently implemented MathJax. –  David Oct 25 '12 at 3:59
    
This is a bit borderline... almost a programming question, but not quite. Probably more fit for Biostar? It's not inherently bad, nor are the answers, but it's not either the type of question I would expect to see here, so I would give a 0. –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 7:28
    
I think the question was answered. It is on topic here in the sense of asking what do biologists use to get something done. In this case the tool in question is a computational method but the question addressed is clearly biological. Granted, I am biased here since I am a computational biologist, but it is very hard these days to take the computer completely out of biology. –  terdon Oct 27 '12 at 14:26

Ramifications and possibility of a diet consuming exclusively of human semen

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revolting thought but great answer. –  Abe Oct 25 '12 at 4:01
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This may possibly (not sure) be a good question for Skeptics.SE. The question lacks any biological context (e.g. if there were species that lived on a semen diet than it would be interesting to know HOW they do it) and I don't think it adds to the site. –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 7:39
    
I agree that it is kind of a ridiculous question but it is one that can easily be answered and within the scope of biology. As long as we keep the site open to non-experts (as I think we should) we should except questions like this. We should just try and answer them well. –  terdon Oct 27 '12 at 14:28

Age-associated neurodegenerative diseases

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Meh... -1 for this. Basically the OP asks for a list of diseases that he can get off Google in 30 seconds. I would +1 this question if it were: what is the biological reason for these diseases to appear only (or mainly) at old age? –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 7:45
    
Not sure about this one. I agree that asking for a list of age associated disorders is not a very useful question but asking what defines a disorder as age associated is not bad and that seems to be the main question. –  terdon Oct 27 '12 at 14:30

on/off behavior of neural networks

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-1: This is a badly formulated question in my opinion, mostly because the OP does not give any context for what he is asking and it is not really clear what he's talking about. I initially wanted to reply to that question but it was really difficult to come out with a proper answer. I guess the answer is not bad per se, but I'm not sure it answers the question. –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 7:33
    
@nico, this is not my field but the question seems ok. It is essentially "what would cause neurons to fire in the absence of external stimuli". Since this is your field I imagine you know something (some things) I don't and the answer will vary depending on circumstance. The OP may not be aware of this, couldn't this variation be addresed in the answer? In any case, to my untrained eye, it looks like the answer gives reasons to explain random neuron firings. –  terdon Oct 27 '12 at 14:39
    
@terdon: I agree with you that the topic of the question is very interesting. However, I am purely speaking about the specific way the question is formulated. It looks like the OP is referring to some specific experiment, where neurons fire syncronously when put in culture. This may be the case for certain neurons/culture conditions but it is definitely not a general "rule". If he is not referring to a specific experiment, then I do not understand why he is implying this happens at all. [cont'd] –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 15:43
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@terdon: [cont'd] For instance he says that "there are no neurons providing a stimulus for more firing", but there are plenty of neurons in a neuronal culture. The OP then speaks about "synchronized burst" and synchronization is a completely different story from spontaneous activity. All in all, I think the question is too vague, but I would surely upvoted if it was reformulated to be more clear. –  nico Oct 27 '12 at 15:46
    
@nico, I see, point taken. –  terdon Oct 27 '12 at 17:53

What is the species of these mushrooms?

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either beyond scope of site or requires a better framework (e.g. species id questions should require a certain level of observational detail, dependent on species or kingdom, as described here: meta.biology.stackexchange.com/a/345/222) –  David Oct 25 '12 at 3:56
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I think species identification of edible plants and fungi may be out of scope for the same reason that medical questions are. While there may well be experts here who can identify mushrooms from a picture, one can easily make a mistake if the sample is not physically present. A mistaken identification of a mushroom species can, potentially, even be lethal. –  terdon Oct 27 '12 at 14:42
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This question is a taxonomy/systematics question, and definitely in scope, but should be closed as "Not a Real Question". There is not enough information to answer it confidently and safely. The OP should be prompted for it via comments so that the question can be re-opened and answered, and they should be warned not to eat them. –  S. Albano Oct 28 '12 at 1:43

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