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Social Media for Scientists: Video Resources for Life Science Researchers

Posted by Mary Canady June 17th, 2009 .

At the recent Social Media for Scientists Event, we talked about the fact that the trends you are seeing in ‘everyday life’ such as increased utilization of the internet to communicate, are also finding their way into scientific research. This is also true for the ‘YouTube’ revolution–there are an increasing number of video sites and resources for scientists. They range from visualized experiments, to reviews of current research and events, to wacky and fun ‘kitchen science’ such as the nerdiest ways to slice butter.

The resources range from dedicated sites and communities to simple YouTube playlists (see also this resource which lists independent resources with an emphasis on medicine). UCSD/SDSC’s Phil Bourne has started SciVee, which is a website dedicated to “changing the pace at which science is conducted and communicated.” You can participate by joining the independent sites and/or creating an account in YouTube and subscribing to the channels. Also, as with all social media, you’ll get the most out of it by participating directly. You can create your own playlists or even create your own videos–small video cameras are inexpensive and take great videos. Also, we’d LOVE to see your videos of local events, and we’ll feature them here and on YouTube. As always, we welcome your comments/additions!

Channel/Resource Type Description
SciVee Independent Enables researchers to combine video with documentation and data in a media rich format, we enable scientists to make their research more visible, shareable, and accessible throughout the research cycle.
JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) Independent A peer reviewed, PubMed indexed journal devoted to the publication of biological research in a video format.
Nature Video Channel YouTube The latest innovations and ideas in all areas of science and technology.
DnaTube Independent A scientific site providing video based studies, lecturers and seminars.
National Center for Science Education YouTube Channel The NCSE is a nationally-recognized clearinghouse for information and advice to keep evolution in the science classroom and "scientific creationism" out.
Hydrocorax YouTube Channel Time-lapse nature paintings.
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) YouTube Channel Interviews relevant to stem cell research and regenerative medicine.
Stacystube YouTube Channel A product of–original videos and playlists
Integrative Biology 131 YouTube Playlist Integrative Biology 131: General Human Anatomy. Fall 2005. Professor Marian Diamond. The functional anatomy of the human body as revealed by gross and microscopic examination.
MIT 7.012 YouTube Playlist Introduction to Biology, Fall 2004. The MIT Biology Department core courses, 7.012, 7.013, and 7.014, all cover the same core material, which includes the fundamental principles of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology.
Bill Nye the Science Guy 1/2 YouTube Playlist Comedian/scientist Bill Nye stars as the genial host of this popular, fast-moving show designed to get kids interested in the science of everyday, and some not-so-everyday, things.
Science Experiments YouTube Playlist Simple science experiments.
Joannelovesscience YouTube Channel Joanne reviews some of her favorite science books and discusses stem cells for the layman.
Cell Press Video YouTube Channel Showcases some of the important findings published in Cell Press journals, covering the full spectrum of biology.
Periodic Table of Videos YouTube Channel This channel has a video about each element on the periodic table from the University of Nottingham.
Nottingham Science YouTube Channel See behind-the-scenes footage and other material from scientists working across a range of interesting subjects, including physics, chemistry, biology and engineering
Cell Medicine YouTube Channel Original stem cell videos describing current research.
NewScientist YouTube Channel International team of expert journalists brings you the latest innovations and ideas in science and technology, from the wonderful to the worrying to the weird.
Potholer54 YouTube Channel This channel is dedicated to explaining science in a way that most intelligent people can understand.
ScienCentral YouTube Channel From broadcast news features to educational products, we cover the medical, environmental, and technological issues that affect daily life.
Wired Science YouTube Playlist Each week, the Wired Science Video Podcast reports on the latest in green tech, health, science, bioethics and space exploration
Compare Networks/BioCompare YouTube Channel Funny videos from Life Science companies–mostly commercials, but very entertaining.
World Lecture Project Independent A video library with links to audio and video lectures of each faculty and from all over the world; and with a search engine that helps you find the lecture of your choice.

Special thanks to the folks at the friendfeed Life Scientists group for helping me compile this list, especially @BoraZ. Here is the original post, it illustrates the power of friendfeed!


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Illumina Goes for the Gold

Posted by Mary Canady June 16th, 2009 .
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Posted by Brian Orelli

Illumina has decided that selling picks and shovels isn’t enough; it’s going for the gold too. Last week the San Diego-based company announced that it’ll be offering a complete genome sequencing service — using its sequencers of course.

The good news is that you’ll be able to get your genome sequenced for half the cost of Illumina’s closest competitor. The bad news is that you’ll still have to shell out $48,000 for the 30X coverage of the 90% of your genome that’s unique enough to be sequenced with the company’s paired-end short-read technology.

To put that in perspective, for that amount you could:

  • Buy this 1-bedroom condo in City Heights
  • Take 488 of your closest friends to a Chargers game.
  • Buy 48 MacBooks; you’ll get a free Apple computer with your sequence on it with your sequencing order though.

Still, getting in now is probably a smart move for Illumina. The price of sequencing is bound to get down to a price that most people can afford it. Working out the kinks — and getting the rich early-adopters to pay for it — is preferable to waiting until there’s a substantial market for the product.

As for San Diego, the announcement likely means a few new jobs for the region as we’re home to Illumina’s new CLIA-certified laboratory. For now the company is sticking with the grunt work and plans to let 23andMe, Navigenics, Decode Genetics, and Knome do the fun part of interpreting what the genetic variations might mean for the patient.

That might be a short-sighted move as Daniel MacArthur of Genetic Future points out. Sequencing could become a low-margin business if competition becomes tight when next-next-generation sequencers become available. Concentrating on hocking the higher-margin sequencers and/or developing a system for interpreting the data might be a better move.

Only time will tell if Illumina has hit gold or pyrite.

Brian Orelli is a freelance analyst/writer based in San Diego. You can find his take on the healthcare industry at places such as The Motley Fool and Nature Biotechnology. You can follow him on twitter @BiologyFool or reach him by e-mail at Brian.Orelli at


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SDBN July 21st Event Featuring Fate Therapeutics and Stemgent

Posted by Mary Canady June 15th, 2009 .
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The San Diego Biotechnology Network is pleased to feature Fate Therapeutics and Stemgent at our July 21st networking event. These two companies represent exciting, interdisciplinary biotechnology research being done in San Diego that holds direct promise for making a difference in our quality of life. The event will feature a short talk followed by networking with the speakers and scientists from the two companies. As usual, we hope that the casual atmosphere at our venue, Tango del Rey, will stimulate discussions and meaningful interactions for all in attendance. We also encourage you to utilize the online tools available to communicate before, during, and after the event.

CATALYST: The Industrialization of Advanced iPSC Technology for Drug Discovery & Development

Dan Shoemaker, Ph.D., CTO (Fate), Stephen Chang, Ph.D., CSO (Stemgent) will present a short talk describing CATALYST:

  • Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are considered to be of great potential for toxicity testing, disease research and primary drug screening.
  • Catalyst is an alliance between Fate Therapeutics and Stemgent to translate groundbreaking induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) discoveries into cutting-edge iPSC technologies with standardized and optimized products and services for Catalyst Members to have exclusive access to a new paradigm in drug discovery and development.
  • The alliance is a powerful aggregation of complementary expertise, foundational intellectual property and scientific founders and advisory board members.
  • Catalyst Members will benefit from Fate’s expertise in stem cell biology research and the discovery and development of small molecules and biologics to modulate cell fate combined with Stemgent’s expertise in superior reagent design, production capabilities and customer support.

About Fate Therapeutics, Inc.

Fate Therapeutics is interrogating adult stem cell biology and applying induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to develop Stem Cell Modulators (SCMs), small molecule or biologic compounds that guide cell fate for therapeutic purposes. Fate’s approach has broad therapeutic potential in areas such as regenerative medicine, hematological diseases, metastatic cancer, traumatic injury and degenerative diseases. In addition, Fate Therapeutics and Stemgent have formed an alliance – Catalyst – a collaborative program to provide Catalyst Members with first access to the most advanced iPSC technologies for drug discovery and development. Fate Therapeutics is headquartered in La Jolla, CA. For more information, please visit

About Stemgent

Stemgent helps our customers advance stem cell science by providing proprietary reagents and technologies developed by some of the world’s leading stem cell scientists. Stemgent’s product offering includes virus-delivered reprogramming factors for iPS cell generation, cytokines and matrices for healthy stem cell growth, primary and reporter cell lines, stem cell characterization tools, polymers for transfection, and small molecules for reprogramming, self-renewal and differentiation. This unique product mix is designed to serve researchers who study stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, and those who use cells derived from stem cells to advance their understanding of major diseases. For more information visit us at

Event Details

Who: Biotechnology professionals in the greater San Diego area
What: San Diego Biotechnology Network’s July Networking Event Featuring Fate Therapeutics and Stemgent
When: Tuesday, July 21st, 5:30-9:00 p.m.
Where: Tango Del Rey, 3567 Del Rey Street, San Diego 92109 (Directions below)
Cost: $20, including appetizers ($15 for Academics) +$5 at door
For more information about the event:

Directions: From the North: South on Interstate 5, Exit Balboa Ave, Straight to 4th Traffic Light then left on Bunker Hill St. Building directly ahead 3 blks. From the South: North on Interstate 5, Exit Grand/ Garnet Ave, Straight to 3rd Traffic Light then right on Bunker Hill St. Building directly ahead 3 blks.


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Social Media for Scientists Slidecast

Posted by Mary Canady June 5th, 2009 .
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Thanks again to everyone who participated in our event last week! It was a ‘first’ for many things and I’m proud to announce that with your help we pulled almost everything off. We didn’t get a full video of the event, but re-recorded the audio and posted it on Slideshare (also embedded above).
Thanks also to Proven Scientific for sponsoring, and to volunteers John Cox, Cathy Yarbrough, Richard Ludwig, Caron Golden, Julie Wright, Steve Ohrmund, and Luigi (Lou) Schioppi. William Gunn is truly a rock star and you’ll be hearing more from him with the SDBN in the future. As we mentioned, we’ve created a friendfeed room to help you start getting involved in social media, please join. In addition, we also ‘took to heart’ the fact that many of you are already on Facebook, so we created a new fan page, check it out! Let’s see what works best, that’s what it’s all about!
We don’t have our next event scheduled, but it will likely be mid July. Stay tuned and connected to the SDBN channel!


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About last night…

Posted by Mary Canady May 29th, 2009 .
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THANKS to everyone for last night’s Social Media for Scientists event! I’ll post more info soon, but if you’re logging on looking for the ‘preso’ it can be found here:

Join the friendfeed group too!

More soon…