Scientists, among most other professions, know that reputation is the key to a sustainable career. Every time you publish your latest research, you’re putting your life’s work out in the world for public consumption. Similarly, every time you order or perform an experimental service on Science Exchange, you are putting your name out there and saying, “this work represents who I am as a scientist,” and we think you should be rewarded for that.
So, Science Exchange has implemented new facility metrics! The reviews have changed and the way we display our metrics have changed – let’s go through them.
Every time a project is completed, both the requester and the provider have the opportunity to rate and review each other. Our previous system was a 1-5 star scale, and our data showed that the majority of the ratings fell on one end or the other. Therefore, we upgraded to the binary review system below. The percentage of positive ratings received are shown as a part of the search results and on each individual facility page.
There are two contributions for each review:
- The user can choose that yes, you would work with your project partner again, or no, you would not.
- A user can also leave a comment describing their experience working with their project partner. A requester’s comment is then viewable on their provider’s facility page, and a provider’s comment is then viewable on their requester’s profile page.
Our previous blog post on increasing provider search rank went into great detail about the importance of completing projects through Science Exchange and how they affect search rank. Each completed project on Science Exchange improves a provider’s rank, and those completed projects are now visible directly in the search results:
As a requester, you know immediately whether the facility has a proven track record of successfully completing projects on the site, and as a provider, you are able to showcase that track record of success.
Endorsements are ways to give merit to a facility if you haven’t yet worked with them on Science Exchange, but have worked with them outside of Science Exchange in the past.
Endorsements are also an easy way to bump facility search rankings. Share a facility link with whomever you wish, and they can endorse that facility at any time by visiting the page and clicking the blue “Endorse This Facility” button in the sidebar.
Future versions will include the ability to filter search results even further based on all these criteria.
We’re really excited about continuing to improve our metrics, implementing new ways to search for the experimental services you need, filtering providers based on your individual criteria, and giving service providers the opportunity to generate even more revenue and showcase their expertise. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to chat!
Eos Neuroscience is a company built on collaboration, featuring a unique team with expertise in transgenes, virology and gene expression, and retinal degeneration. Once they complete their preclinical stage, their intended userbase would be those with blindness attributed to photoreceptor degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration.
They are running into some problems in the process of preclinical research, however. Alan Horsager, Co-Founder and CSO, describes his experience, “As a whole, biotech needs to deeply reevaluate the process, all the way from discovery to market. It’s so arduous that so few impactful drugs make it to market. There are certain gene therapies making it through, but the path is not easy at all. We say ’20 years and $200 million.’”
In light of difficulties and the expense of developing technologies, companies like Alan’s are trying to find ways to do things more efficiently, and their team is so unique that it’s difficult to recreate that collaboration. So rather than trying to clone themselves, they’re on Science Exchange.
“Science Exchange provides the opportunity to bring experts together toward a common goal, a network of distributed team members.” says Alan. “You can’t have an organization that has all the people and equipment that you need. You need expertise in different areas and Science Exchange provides a central location where you can go to get the experts.”
If your business encompasses multiple research areas, it is often difficult to access all the equipment and researchers you need in house. Eos does a wide range of research including vector development, qPCR, and gene expression, but in varying degrees and not constantly. So having the ability to do all that in house when you’re not doing the research full-time doesn’t make much sense.
Alan elaborated, “You can hire a postdoc for $70K per year, and theoretically they do more than a PCR assay, but if they don’t do it right it takes extra time and there’s a lot of training involved. If you’re only doing a couple of different assays, it’s probably better to hire someone and do it internally. But if you’re doing a lot of different assays, it’s better to seek external experts because it’s a fraction of the cost.”
We have actually found that researchers can save up to 46% on various experiments like immunohistochemistry (IHC), cloning, and sequencing, so Alan is absolutely right. Any product that enables you to order services from scientific experts across the world at significant discounts is worth a second look.
About Eos Neuroscience:
Eos has designed and managed clinical programs in gene therapy and the eye and has been involved in all aspects of primary research including transgenes, virology and gene expression, and retinal degeneration. Their worldwide core of experts has expertise covering basic research through clinical/regulatory.
About the author
Brianne is dedicated to customer support and development for Science Exchange. She is a formally trained biologist with a M.S. in Biotechnology whose past experience at Charles River Laboratories sparked a flame for building client relationships.
Last night, Bay Area biologists, physicists, engineers, and one geologist came together to answer the most pressing scientific questions.
Things like (answers are below):
What is the name of the band that sings Weird Science?
What two categories did Marie Curie win her Nobel Prize in?
Who is in the image to the left?
We were thrilled with the level of knowledge and enthusiasm of the group – we had no idea that there were such fearsome, science trivia-lites among us!
A few highlights from the night:
- Team Darwinners winning first place, after an epic music round naming every science song/artist known to man. Even Thomas Dolby!
- CEO Elizabeth Iorns’ excited exclamation that Ernest Rutherford was a kiwi.
- Team Pasteur’s many name changes: Team Pasteur => Pasteur’s Pasture => Pastry => Patrizzle earning them Microryza t-shirts.
- Everyone learning they’re seasoning their food with halite.
A huge thanks to everyone that came, we’re looking forward to many more to come. Stay tuned!
Answers: Oingo Boingo, Physics and Chemistry, Nikola Tesla
About the author
Tess builds Science Exchange’s online and offline community of scientists and providers. She is a geologist by training, but considers herself a friend of scientists near and far.
Shawn Carbonell at his small lab space in San Francisco. Photo from Jackson Solway’s Startup Portrait.
Have you ever had a big idea that burned a hole in your brain? Plagued you day after day? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Shawn Carbonell, the CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of OncoSynergy.
Although he had spent the last 18 years prepping for a career as an academic neurosurgeon, he couldn’t stop thinking about an idea he had that could help fight cancer. He had many options available to him, but he risked it all because he wanted to get a drug to the clinic in the quickest way possible.
I talked with Shawn a few weeks ago, I was impressed not only with the passion he has embodied to develop his cancer therapies, but also the speed at which he has done so (P.S. I’ve visited Shawn’s lab in San Francisco, and can say, hands-down, it is the most efficient lab I’ve ever visited). Read the rest of this entry »
Providers on Science Exchange can easily list service offerings on their facility storefront for researchers to order. Our new experiment hierarchy makes it even easier.
Your Management section currently allows you to add service offerings using a text field that has real-time drop-down results of services that have the same keywords.
Read the rest of this entry »
Shobhit Agrawal on his way to Antarctica.
When Shobhit was in the final stages of his PhD he ran into an issue, he needed sequencing done for his project, but his institute didn’t have the sequencing platform he needed. With his advisor in Antarctica, it would be awhile before he even knew if he could get the outsourcing reimbursed, so he went out on a limb, he fronted the cost of the sequencing himself and used the DNA Sequencing Facility on Science Exchange to get results quicker.
I talked to Shobhit about his research, outsourcing experiments, and the future of PhD programs. His outlook is both unique and inspirational. Check out his thoughts below: Read the rest of this entry »
Some companies skirt regulations, opting instead to go off the radar. American CryoStem‘s Anthony Dudzinski‘s first words to me on the phone during our discussion were, “We follow the rules.” They’ve accumulated the greatest depth of adipose tissue-based cellular technology research relative to creating their laboratory and processes at a clinical cGMP level, and they’ve done it by actively engaging FDA consultants in the process.
Anthony F. Dudzinski, COO at American CryoStem
They’re looking at adipose-derived stem cells – also known as mesenchymal cells. ‘Mesenchymal’ was the original name of cells that came from bone marrow, and the two types are 98-99% identical, but there are some difference with the protein markers and capabilities of adipose vs. marrow cells.
Marrow cells are better for blood-borne diseases like lymphomas, whereas adipose-derived stem cells seems to be much more effective than marrow for structural issues. The concentration of adipose cells per gram of source material is actually 500-1000x greater than bone marrow from same patient. They have the ability to differentiate into a multitude of other cells including chondrocytes. This has incredible potential for how doctors treat sports injuries and aging issues.
Anthony set the stage for the importance of the research,”Most sports or age injuries are due to ligament or cartilage damage to the extent that most of them are bone on bone. So what if we could take Mrs. Smith who’s 55 and played tennis most of her life but can’t play anymore and doesn’t want to have knee replacement surgery. We can take cells out of the fat in her own body, attach them to a scaffold to induce chondrocytes, insert them into the meniscal cartilage area, and as time goes by with normal rehabilitation, her body regrows cartilage in her knees and her pain is gone.”
Anthony is excited about the implications for creating tissue for repairs, wound healing, burns, tendon injury, etc., all coming out of cells taken from adipose tissue. Read the rest of this entry »
In order to successfully use Science Exchange, you have to fully understand how the site works. There are several times in which you’ll have to confirm a choice before submitting and moving on to the next task.
I’ll go over the following examples in this post:
Over a year ago, I began my mission to improve scientific reproducibility. I created the Reproducibility Initiative with PLOS, figshare, and Mendeley to provide a mechanism for scientists to independently replicate findings and be rewarded for doing so. We have made great strides in our effort such as the validation of more than 1000 antibodies for antibodies-online. However, today is the day that I have made progress very near and dear to my heart. The Reproducibility Initiative has received a $1.3 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to validate 50 landmark cancer biology studies.
Read the rest of this entry »
One of the best questions I get as the provider support manager is, “How do I rank higher in search results?!” This is a great question whose answer has many parts.
Here are five ways to rank higher in Science Exchange search:
1. Complete projects on Science Exchange!
- I know this sounds circular, but hear me out. We have many providers on the site right now who got their first completed project by inviting existing clients onto Science Exchange. They use their facility page as their own scientific storefront and use the integrated project management tools to manage their internal and external workflow.