Monday, February 6, 2012

The wet-lab machine


Scientific literature is openly available to anyone who wants to read them. However, "open" does not mean much if no one can understand them. Molecular biology protocols fall in this category. If you are not a molecular biologist, you will probably have no idea what the "methods" section of a molecular biology journal paper is talking about.

Possible solution:

The Incredible Machine is a nice game that is fun and intellectually challenging. For how complex the scenarios are, the interface and visualization make the game relatively simple to learn. 

I wonder if an interface like the incredible machine can be used to explain wet-lab procedures. Of course, the minute details would not be illustrated, but one of the issues with wet-lab at present is that there are only protocols. There are no higher-level 'big picture' explanations, which are necessary for someone who is trying to learn how to do wet-lab. In some sense, there is nothing equivalent of a pseudo-code.

Imagine supplementing the "methods" section of a journal paper with a cartoon animation similar to the Incredible Machine - how much more education value would it add to the journal paper! Further, imagine a repository of Incredible-Machine-line animations explaining the overall ideas behind wet-lab protocols.