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Online Show and Tell for Scientists

Scientific publishing has caught on to the power of show and tell. Instead of calling on kindergarteners, the Journal of Visualized Experiments has added an online video feature so that researchers can share their lab techniques.

Neurobiologist Dr. Troy Ghashghaei (pronounced Gash-guy) is the first from NC State to take advantage of this option.

Ghashghaei, an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, is all about stem cells and neurons. He and his team study how stem cells get “told” to become neurons, particularly in adults. Cracking that mystery could lead to new therapies for people with neurological disorders, as well as those with diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

As part of their research, he and his team created a new method for capturing time-lapse imaging of neuronal migration—a big improvement over traditional observational methods. His method involves some fairly complex slicing and pipetting. The written procedure takes seven pages to explain.

That’s why his lab’s how-to video, posted on the JoVE site, is worth more than a few thousand words.

The new method we’ve developed is exciting,” Ghashghaei says, “but so is the ability to share it with colleagues in a visual manner, which really benefits the scientific community.”

He encourages colleagues to consider sharing novel methods through the videos.

You can see the Ghashghaei lab’s video on the JoVE site. A word to the squeamish:  if you don’t like watching tissue being dissected, just read the paper.

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