Making Connections that Count

Building Neuroscience Value Networks

For this month’s backstory, I am excited to introduce Dr. Ijad Madisch and the Networking Site he founded, ResearchGATE corporation (www.researchgate.net). 

Madisch, 27, an M.D. and Ph.D. virologist, says he and some friends came up with the idea when he moved from his native Germany for a research traineeship at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He found that collaborating with colleagues in Germany was awkward because e-mail wasn’t an efficient way to share updated protocols and drafts of papers. Meanwhile, sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn were taking off. “I thought, ‘This adapted to the requirements of researchers would be of big benefit to every researcher in the world,’ “ says Madisch, who is now working full-time as ResearchGATE Corp.’s CEO. The idea has become a valuable reality.

And we are happy. Having published blogs and uploaded methods/protocols into various wikis, It is easy to see the potential and power.  Users post their profiles and link up with contacts.  More importantly, they can also include information such as publications, methods, protocols and research skills. 

This provides the foundation for Neuroscience Researchers to resolve shared issues including alerting the community to new methods and approaches.  It can also work to enable “those who have done it to help those who are trying”.  This activity is the base for driving efficiencies and reducing experimental bottlenecks. In this sense, by helping others we are helping ourselves.

ResearchGATE, though launched only 6 months ago, already has 15,000+ participants. These cover many different Science Disciplines. The challenge will be to build a large network of Neuroscientists and catalyze active participation. I will be inviting select Neuromics’ Customers to participate so stay tuned.


Culturing DRG Neurons

In our last backstory, we featured Dr. Matt Ramer and the excellent work he and his team are doing on  Sensory Neuron Regeneration. One of the focal points of this research is on the Dorsal Root Ganglion. This is the connection point between the Peripheral Nervous System and Spinal Cord. From the spinal cord signals are sent to the brain for processing.

In response to the expressed needs of our colleagues and customers, we now offer E18 primary Rat DRG tissue

DRGs culture on calf skin collagen

DRGs culture on calf skin collagen

and related methods enabling researchers to make healthy and pure cultures of DRG Neurons.

 Primary Rat DRGs are live neurons isolated from micro-surgically dissected regions of day 18 embryonic Sprague/Dawley rat brain. These cells are prepared fresh each week and shipped in a nutrient rich medium that keeps the cells alive for up to 14 days under refrigeration.

Please note: It is important to review Protocol/Datasheet prior to ordering. There is a unique step for making the dissociation enzyme solution. Do not hesitate to call or e-mail me (612-801-1007 or pshuster@neuromics.com) should you have questions.

References: A dissection and Tissue Culture Manual of the Nervous System (1989). A. Shahar, J.D. Vellis, A. Vernadakis, B. Haber (Eds.), Dissociated Spinal Cord – Dorsal Root Ganglion Cultures on Plastic Tissue Culture Dishes and Glass Coverslips and Wells (pp.219-222). Wiley-Liss, Inc. J.L. Werth,
S.A. Thayer (1994) Mitrochondria Buffer Physiological Calcium Loads in Cultured Rat Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons, The Journal of Neuroscience, 14(1), 348-356