Fashions come and go in science as they do in any other industry. New experiments are “trendy” and “hot” and are soon replaced by the next big thing. If you don’t work in science, it’s easy to think that science should be rational and above such petty concerns, but the life science industry is big business and labs invest large sums of money in new techniques.
This is nicely explained in a post on the Science blog by Dan Albert called “Changing Fashions in Medical Research: Experience-Based Lessons in Adapting and Surviving“. It’s well worth a read, I couldn’t have put it better myself.
If you are a scientist, you’ll enjoy this very cheesy advert from BioRad (a life science company selling chemicals and equipment to scientists).