Brainstorming and mind maps are ways of collecting ideas and sorting them in a logical way to serve a purpose. The purpose could be writing a project or grant proposal, or even a research paper.
The point behind this is to put your thoughts on a paper instead of crowding them in your head where they could get lost or even change.
“Thinking on a paper” is a technique that I find very useful in making sense of what I know and planning the way forward. Here’s an example from my doctoral research:
I know that
- Cigarette smoke induces the activity of transcription factor Nrf2
- Nrf2 increases the activity of transcription factor Ahr.
- Nrf2 also increases the expression of microRNA-125b
- MicroRNA-125b blocks the repressor of Ahr, activating Ahr
- But cigarette smoke reduces microRNA-125b
What I don’t know is
- Why cigarette smoke reduces microRNA-125b expression
- What impact that has on Ahr activity and Ahrr expression
What I need to do is
- Figure out the possible regulators of microRNA-125b expression
- Manipulate microRNA-125b expression to determine the impact on Ahr activity