Science Experiments More Test-tube than Youtube

Science experiments videoEver wanted to observe the dissection of fruitfly ovaries but were too squeamish? What about monitoring actin disassembly with time-lapse microscopy, not sure how it’s done? Maybe you have been wondering how to freeze human embryonic stem cells but were afraid to ask…

Don’t worry the online Journal of Visualized Experiments has come to the rescue of cash-strapped demonstrators with little spare time who can now call on a video of a growing number of biological experiments that can show how a particular procedure should best be carried out.

The journal’s site, MyJove.com, has a rather different modus operandi to Youtube, but nevertheless provides almost instant access to a searchable database of scientific “how-to” videos as well as allowing research assistants and others to submit their own (No Brainiacs please!). In truth, that’s where the similarity with Youtube ends, JOVE has a fully fledged editorial board and presumably reviewers to carry out the peer review process required of almost every academic journal, online or not.

The site’s raison d’etre is spelled out in its About page – “As every practicing biology researcher knows, it takes days, weeks or sometimes months and years to learn and apply new experimental techniques. It is especially difficult to reproduce newly published studies describing the most advanced state-of-the-art techniques. Thus, a major part of the PhD and post-doctoral training in life sciences is devoted to learning laboratory techniques and procedures.”

“Video-based visualization of biological techniques and procedures provide an effective solution to the problem described.”

And, for those of us not training in a biological research lab, we get to see what these guys spend their time on. Embed code, allows other sites to more effectively link to specific videos.

Be warned, though some of these videos are long and will buffer only slowly on a narrow bandwidth internet connection.

As part of the Learn with Sciencebase project, I’ve added a Top Ten Science Videos page to the site.

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