By JoVE!

[Image taken offline.]

The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) makes its debut later this week, although some videos are already online. JoVE presents videos of (presumably common) advanced laboratory experiments, to help graduate students understand how experiments are done properly.

As a less-than-gifted laboratory kind of guy (although I can solder really well), I can understand the need. A Nature article about JoVE begins with the story of Cemille Guldal, a graduate student at Princeton, who claims that, &ldquoFor about a year, my boss thought I was completely incompetent because I couldn’t replicate those beautiful published pictures.” Turns out she’d been scrubbing away surface yeast instead of washing it under running water. Ooops.

The above image is a snapshot from a page on “Monitoring actin disassembly with timelapse microscopy,” which is approximately as exciting to watch as it sounds; however, I have no doubt that I’d nod off more quickly if I had to read directions for the experiment. Interestingly, the video ends with a cartoon of what’s taking place—having seen reality, one then needs to superimpose a means of integrating the experience into the mental constrcuts provided by your textbooks and other instruction. What better mental stand-in than a diagram?

Unfortunately, I don’t see a way to step through the videos on the site. I dug around the source code and found the video file, which I downloaded, resulting in a WMV file I couldn’t play (I use a Mac, of course, but I do have the appropriate software, so, I dunno…).

As I look at the above image, it reminds me a little of the one I posted yesterday. Hmmm. At least, they’re the two images I’ve presented thusfar that are most like abstract art.

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