The publication of this project was a part of Piatt's internship work and Distinction in the Field research, as well as her multiyear experience as an undergraduate biophysics researcher in Dr. Price's research cohort.
"Sadie was really the driving force behind this research," said Dr. Price. "It's a great example of how students can be the source of creative ideas in science."
In the manuscript, the Emmanuel authors investigated how scientists can learn from the data they produce. When Piatt and Dr. Price measured individual protein and DNA molecules, they found the measurements fluctuated wildly, similarly, to how prices do so in the stock market. Using the Generalized Method of Moments, which was originally developed to analyze price fluctuations in econometrics, Piatt and Dr. Price discovered that this method could also be used to extract information from random molecular fluctuations in biophysics, and found that the simplest version of the theory worked better than versions that are more complicated.
Submissions to PLOS ONE are thoroughly peer-reviewed, and are considered for publication based on a manuscript's substantial impact in a given field.
Piatt graduated from Emmanuel with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry last May, and is currently enrolled in a biophysics graduate program at Harvard University.