Talk:Flow cytometry

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SPAM and advertisement[edit]

As this TALK page will attest:

This article contains far too many references and external links to commercial suppliers. All references and external links to specific manufacturers should be removed from this article. As stated in the Manual of Style under the heading of External links the following links are not allowed:

"Links that are added to promote a site, that primarily exist to sell products or services, with objectionable amounts of advertising, or that require payment to view the relevant content, colloquially known as external link spamming." "A [link to] a website that you own or maintain, even if the guidelines above imply that it should be linked to. This is because of neutrality and point-of-view concerns; neutrality is an important objective at Wikipedia, and a difficult one. If it is relevant and informative, mention it on the talk page and let other — neutral — Wikipedia editors decide whether to add the link."

Further, under WP:NOT "Wikipedia is not a directory" (of products or services). Should these manufactures have INTERNAL articles, a link to that organization's Wikipedia article should probably be placed under something like a "See Also: Manufactures" section at the bottom of the article. This allows for verifiability, and accountability and would discourage EVERY manufacturer (or someone who really likes the company's products) from attempting to insert external commercial links links (which is what seems to have happened to this article).--DO11.10 22:31, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

For a technique such as flow cytometry it is critical to have links to manufacturer since each instrument has its specificity and idiosyncracies. It would in fact necessary to add in this article the pro and cons of each type of instrument (this will probably balance the list feeling when looking at the manufacturer list). Moreover the guideline sentence "...with objectionable amounts of advertising, or that require payment to view the relevant content, colloquially known as external link spamming." does not apply to these companies. For sure they sell instruments, but do not SPAM. So I will request amore constructive approach : discussion of each manufacturer specificity and removal of the SPAM banner --Daniel Vaulot 05:55, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I am sorry that you feel my actions have been harsh. I am in no way implying that the entire article is an advertisment, in fact the article starts off fabulously. But...
First off, I think you are reading the guideline incorrectly, it is meant to say "Links that are added to promote a site, that primarily exist to sell products or services, (or) with objectionable amounts of advertising, or that require payment..." This tag does not imply that the links listed will send you unsolicited emails, it is meant to alert the reader that the pages linked are selling something, and are (naturally) likely to be biased toward their own products.
Second, to encylopedically address this topic there is rarely need to mention any company in particular, just the technology and specificities in general. Check out an article like Microscopy, no mention of Marianis or Ziess or Slidebook. Or PCR, with a large section on practical modifications, but no Perkin Elmer or Promega. The companies that are mentioned in the article (in the patent wars) are linked internally. If a certain product is mentioned there is no reason to include an external link to a sales site. Preferably the link should be internal, or if necessary, to third party sites (such as a journal) where the product has been utilized, but not promoted. This goes to guidelines of WP:NPOV and WP:Verifiability.
Third, because Wikipedia is not a directory, a repository of links, or a buying guide, listing the pros and cons of each instrument would be irrelevent, and probably confusing to the casual reader.
I hope that you will give these points some consideration. Cheers--DO11.10 07:26, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes indeed, but in many scientific domains, companies have made the technology... so this a complicated matter. For example, in microscopy there could be a paragraph about companies, not sounding as advertisement but how they contributed to shape things. Concerning the banner, it might be better to discuss things first in the discussion page rather than put the banner which is found in two places in the article ... What do you think  ? --Daniel Vaulot 09:15, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that, unless this article somehow got sent off to millions of users who did not request it, it cannot possibly be termed spam. Also, this being an advertisement would imply only one manufacturer gets mentioned, or one more favourably reviewed than other. As the list of manufacturers is quite comprehensive - it lists some VERY obscure ones next to the market leaders, in no particular order - and absolutely none of these get reviewed in any sense, calling the article an advertisement is a gross misstatement as well. I do take your point about this containing a list of commercial links, and admit to being guilty of adding to it, but wasn't aware of this particular policy. Still, better to make an existing vendor-neutral list a little more comprehensive than not to provide any relevant links at all, wouldn't you say?. Regards, --Ghermans 20:27, 11 October 2006 (CET)
It does not need to be "sent to millions of users" in order to be spam. You can get more info from WP:SPAM. That being said, Idon't have a definite opinion here. I understand the interest of keeping those external links even if it's unclear whether or not they respect the external link guidelines. Pascal.Tesson 18:57, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I have reorganized a bit the article to clean it up. I moved all the manufacturer link to the instrument list, which I think is very useful (remember for exemple that in scientific publications you always cite the instrument you are using because this may be a critical part of being able to reproduce the results). So the link part at the end is clean of any manufacturer. I did not remove the warning above the instrument list, but I feel that this should be done. Again in science, manufacturers are often integral part of science. Also for exemple if you look at Camera, there is a list of camera brands and nobody objects !!!--Daniel Vaulot 20:08, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Daniel, thank you for taking my objections into consideration. I would like to suggest a few other changes: This is the External Links list prior to clean up. I have visited each page and the follwing is my assesment of the content that the page provides:

  • // This is a Google ad based Link Farm WP:EL #10 and should be replaced with Non ad powered sites:
  • // GOOD site content/no ads/KEEP.
  • // GOOD no competing interests KEEP
  • // International Society for Analytical Cytology (ISAC)This page has no substantial content that adds to the article on free pages WP:EL #1 Delete
  • // Purdue University - Cytometry Laboratory- Good content wise but the page linked to has Ads galore #4 (objectionable amounts of advertising) but KEEP
  • // (Imperial College FACs lab) NO info other than in article now WP:EL #1

Site with more actual content: **[3]

  • Cancer Research UK's flow-activated cell sorter (FACS) laboratory GOOD site content/no ads/KEEP
  • Becton Dickinson Company WP:EL#4
  • Beckman Coulter Company WP:EL#4
    • Caliber details could be used to describe the instrument rather than the corporate page.
  • // Dako Company WP:EL#4
  • // PointCare Technologies Company WP:EL#4
  • // Partec Company WP:EL#4
  • // Amnis Company WP:EL#4
  • // CytoBuoy: flow cytometer for algae & phytoplankton –Company WP:EL#4
  • // Bay Bioscience Corp producers of JSAN sorter Company WP:EL#4
  • // Guava Technologies producers of Guava Personal Cytometer and Easycyte Company #4
  • // FloCyte Associates, Training and Recruiting in Flow Cytometry Company WP:EL#4
  • // The Science Creative Quarterly's overview of Flow Cytometry - plus excellent high res pics available BLOG #9-but good content, few ads/KEEP
  • // Dye spectrum viewer applet for checking fluorescent dye compatibilities Company WP:EL#4

I came across this website which I think had the best descriptions of Flow cytometry, for the non-scientist (I am actually a scientist), that I have seen: [4]

As for Camera you are right they do have a list of companies, but those are internal links (to other Wikipedia articles) where NPOV and verifiability can be maintained by dedicated and non-biased editors. I have no problem with the camera list, that is the way I think it should be.

Finally, the major problem is that adding external links does not add to the content of a page, it takes readers away from it, a better solution would be to include content and paper based references, or at least to non-biased sites.

A note on the tag: These tags are not meant to blacklist an article or label an editor, they are meant to foster communication and improve Wikipedia by alerting others to issues or good articles or good pictures, removing the tag before discussion or before a consensus is reached impedes on this intention. I am hesisant to remove the advert tag as you have really just moved the ads from under the spam tag to the advert tag. I hope that we can continue to work together to solve this matter. Cheers--DO11.10 20:57, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I have removed to advert tag, but I do think it might be more useful to direct the external links to the page about the instrument. I have also wikilinked a lot of stuff and cleaned up or clarified some pionts. I hope that you agree with my changes. Some things I observed:
  • The technology section is kinda confusing, even for me. A diagram would be very helpful here.
  • It would be nice to make a table (as you mentioed before) listing the specifics of some of the specialty instruments. Merely the differences, I don't think is it helpful to say XYZ has an A laser, a B laser and a Q laser if all FC have ABQ.
  • the parameters and applications sections should proabaly be merged together at the bottom of the page, and both sections incorporated into a table (somehow??).
  • something I realized when reading this was I have no idea what the technial diference between FC and FACS is, could someone enlighted me?
Please let me know what you think, I think that this article has the potential to be really great (pretty pictures always help!!) Cheers--DO11.10 18:03, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Good moves... I have done some cleaning up :
  • I moved the parameters section below the instrument. However, I do not think however that it can be merged with the application part which would need real extension. For exemple DNA as a parameter has many applications in very different field (cancer research, plant genome size, oceanography).
  • Following your advice I removed the links to BD and Becton since these links can be found in the corresponding Wikipedia articles you pointed to. I removed also the external link to the search engine that does not bring any value. In contrast I put back the link to ISAC. This is THE scientific professional society dedicated to flow cytometry. Anybody interested in flow cytometry should know about this professional society that publishes reference journal in the domain. In fact exploring their site you find a lot of information for exemple on the history of the technique.
  • FACS is just the sorting function added to a FC so the two articles FC and FACS should be merged together with FACS redirecting to FC (I do not have the time to do it at present).
  • Pictures would be nice indeed
  • All for now --Daniel Vaulot 20:43, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

PI staining[edit]

PI staining is usually read on the FL2 not the FL3. I've changed it. I don't know how to add citations on wiki, but this site is a formal source for that sort of thing:

I just about had a heart attack when I read the original way it was written! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:31, 23 October 2008 (UTC)


From a story on "Grading Wikipedia" at The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Entry examined: FLOW CYTOMETRY
Scholar: J. Paul Robinson, a professor of biomedical engineering and of immunopharmacology at Purdue University's main campus and president of the International Society for Analytical Cytology. (Flow cytometry is the analysis of microscopic particles suspended in a fluid.)
Grade: A
  • "The main section on flow cytometry was well-done and accurate, ... but as you drop into the subsections, the accuracy drops off. I went in and actually made some corrections to these — I said, 'I can't leave these and let the record stand like this.'"
Some flaws: At one point in the entry, the word "homologous" was misused in talking about blood transfusions. Mr. Robinson said he also decided to add some information that he felt was important, like the name of the scientist who invented the first cell sorter. Because of minor errors, he would give the subsections, such as a part about fluorescence-activated cell sorting, a C. "When you get into technical fields where accuracy is important, it should be accurate," he says. "The problem with the public domain is that anyone can put anything they like into the public domain. ... I was a little surprised that I could go in and edit."

blameless 19:07, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Please note any corrections or changes made in response to the article at Wikipedia:External peer review/The Chronicle of Higher Education October 2006. Thanks, BanyanTree 15:48, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be better to provide the link and a summary of the suggestions rather than copying that much of someone's words verbatim? - Taxman Talk 20:38, 30 October 2006 (UTC)


Flow cytometry has a significant role in the diagnosis of haematology cancers, such as lymphoma: doi:10.1182/blood-2007-11-120535 JFW | T@lk 21:57, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

English image[edit]

The picture is nice, but the tags are all in French. Does anyone have an English image that would be appropriate to lead this article? Matchups 10:46, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

I think it's Spanish. Anyway, I'll see what I can do. One problem is the availability of free data to create images from, but there are a bunch of example data sets distributed in Bioconductor. This article definitely needs pictures -Kieran (talk) 20:53, 14 August 2009 (UTC)


There are chronological errors in the history section that should be clarified: ...was developed in 1968 ... and first commercialized in 1968/69 ... Only 1 year later in 1978... Soon after... the Cytofluorograph (1971)... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sebboh (talkcontribs) 15:43, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to separate CyTOF into a separate article[edit]

CyTOF (a.k.a. mass cytometry) is a fundamentally different technique from flow cytometry due to its implementation. Therefore, I propose to unlink the "CyTOF" from redirecting to this article, and instead give a summary of metal isotope labeling (like done now) and allow the user to go to the main article if desired. CyTOF is implemented using mass spectrometry, does not use light in any form (unlike all flow cytometry labels), and destroys the cell in the process. Please, let me know your thoughts on this proposal. ~Zina~ (talk) 04:57, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Support - the explanation you've just given above would be a great start to the introduction. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 12:39, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Dear Sminthopsis84, if you think that's acceptable for me to unlink "CyTOF" from "flow cytometry" and start writing the "CyTOF" article, I'd be happy to do that. Just don't want to offend anyone :) Please, let me know if that's OK. Anyone else with opinion is welcome to weigh in! ~Zina~ (talk) 05:44, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
The mass cytometry page that you've redirected CyTOF to is clearly the place to start. I think it would be great to have a detailed description of how the method works and how it is used. Redirecting CyTOF here was not a good solution, but would have been appropriate when there was less detailed material present in wikipedia, so the little paragraph about isotyope labelling was the best place for it to redirect. If would be good to include a statement that "TOF" means "time of flight", and a citation that isn't a company advertisement for that could be this journal article. By the way, if you are inspired to add material, I'd suggest that Quantigene FlowRNA could use discussion here; the static version is discussed only at Fluorescence in situ hybridization. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 12:31, 2 July 2014 (UTC)


Link 6, "Centenary Institute - Media Release 2011-05-26" is broken, and returns a 404 error — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:33, 15 June 2015 (UTC)