Dear fellow navigators of the library’s vast resources,
By navigators I mean students, undergraduate and graduate, pursuing a major in the field of sciences. You may have been directed to this delightful site by your well-meaning professor. You might be here out of curiosity. Either way, you have arrived just in time to learn about a fascinating database that NDNU has subscribed to. This database, called the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), is full of videos informing viewers on how to use laboratory equipment such as a centrifuge, analytical balance, or spectrophotometer. Furthermore, JoVE also contains numerous videos about the skills every scientist and future scientist needs to have to perform experiments in the laboratory. One example is a video that explains the process of preparing and diluting solutions. Each video of a basic skill also links to additional videos that explain the applications these skills are used in.
For students, this site can help prepare you (and calm your nerves) for Chemistry Lab finals in which you may need to perform an experiment without step-by-step instructions. This site can also help you refresh your memory of how to use the lab equipment in tomorrow’s experiment. If you want to understand how to use a fundamental skill and understand the various possible experiments that require this skill, JoVE can help you. Say, for example, it’s been a long while since you last used the centrifuge but you know, according to your instructor’s handout, that tomorrow you will be using the centrifuge in an experiment. JoVE has a video titled “An Introduction to the Centrifuge.” If you don’t have a pair of earphones on you and you’re afraid of disturbing your peers, JoVE breaks down the video in a transcript marked by the times each segment begins at. Scrolling further down the page to “Applications,” you will see additional videos of experiments that require use of a centrifuge. One such video is “Purification of Mitochondria from Yeast Cells.” Another is called “Purification of Pathogen Vacuoles from Legionella-infected Phagocytes.”
JoVE can be easily navigated either by typing search terms into the search bar or by clicking on one of the ten circles to the right of the search bar. These circles bring the student to an area of science such as bioengineering or the environment. Most videos have their content outlined similarly to a scientific research paper with an abstract, introduction, results, discussion, protocol, and materials list underneath the video clip. The steps the scientists take in each clip are outlined under “Protocol.”As for writing a research paper, these videos can be easily cited and used in a paper as the citation can be found underneath each video. This site also allows the student to leave a comment at the bottom after viewing a video if he or she has a question.
Professors may recommend JoVE to students who want to review previously learned skills. JoVE is a great companion to any science lab class and can save students time and frustration by allowing him or her to view a video of the experiment for preparation.
I wish you Godspeed as you navigate your way through the labyrinth of information and technology, losing yourself in both cyberspace and in the maze of book shelves and staircases. If you are extremely bored (and a procrastinator), JoVE also has a blog that can be accessed above the search bar. Here you will find articles that only barely relate to your homework.
Best of luck!