Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Methodlogy Porn

In this issue of Wired Magazine is an interesting article on how to disseminate details of methods one can not learn out of books, and I guess not entirely from videos either. But it is a great leap ahead in providing an inroad into how science works.

This is an excellent example, how innate knowledge could spread, such as the proper mounting and handling of Winkler bags, or dissecting insect genitalia. It is also an excellent vehicle to expose your own scientific work.

"YouTube Does Science, From Fruit-Fly Fight Clubs to Stem Cell Extractions Years behind the lab bench taught

Moshe Pritsker that the trickiest part of any science experiment isn't the hypothesis, it's the method. The former Harvard researcher learned this lesson back in his student days, after carefully following the instructions on a specialized kit for isolating DNA. "Surprise," Pritsker says, "no DNA!" A colleague finally showed him how to make the kit work. And that gave Pritsker an idea: methodology porn. The Web site he cofounded, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, launched last October. Now its videos of experimental procedures and techniques — from stem-cell culture prep to hippocampal dye injection — get 300 pageviews a day. The journal's still a work in progress (nothing's gone viral yet), but just wait. "No one has published results in video before," Pritsker says. "Scientists don't know how to do it." Here are a few of the journal's faves."