In this month’s cover story, author John Borchardt describes the changes that have taken place since 2008 in priorities for hiring new laboratory employees. Most significant is that today’s employers, rather than hiring newly graduated
Winning The Talent War
Since the end of the recession, the war for talent has raged anew in some laboratories. Laboratories in the petroleum, minerals, biotechnology, and other industries are actively recruiting experienced scientists, engineers, and technicians. However,
Conflict and Disagreement Are Not Always Bad
You likely have people in your lab who are responsible for different tasks, each of which is important. The real power however comes when you can get your people to work in synergy, to combine their individual skills and strengths to form a single cohesive unit that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. Challenges can arise though when your people don’t always get along well with one another; which may lead you to think that as a leader, you should create harmony and agreement. Wrong! In reality, conflict is actually a good thing; your ultimate goal as a leader is to create an optimum balance between consensus and conflict—you want people to get along with one another, but you also want them to speak up when they need to, even if their message is unwanted or controversial.
Competing for Gold Medal Talent: It Takes a Strategic and Tactical Approach
For two weeks the 2012 Summer Olympics held the attention of audiences across events in well-known– and not-so-well-known–sports. In more familiar competitions such as gymnastics and swimming, spectators largely understood the high stakes because of the year-round popularity of these events. But while the more obscure events might have been entertaining, how often do we really think about what it takes to win at track cycling?
The Sixth Annual Salary & Employee Satisfaction Survey
As in our previous Salary & Employee Satisfaction surveys, the results this year continue to reinforce the idea that laboratory professionals are for the most part happy in their careers and derive meaning and satisfaction from the work they do. However, there were a few surprises this year with regard to career growth opportunities. But before we get to those details, let’s find out more about the participants in this year’s survey.
American Chemical Society (ACS) experts have concluded from ACS member surveys that members can expect to hold several jobs during the courses of their careers. These may be for a single employer but are more likely to be for several. The same is
Computing & Automation
The Challenges of High Performance Computing
Research laboratories are expected to deliver high performance computing (HPC) systematically and reliably to keep pace with the unprecedented levels of computation, storage arrays, and networking switches researchers require to gather, evaluate,
Lab Design and Furnishings
Pushing Design Boundaries
The past 20 years have seen an explosion in laboratory construction as academic, pharmaceutical, biotech, and high-tech companies have increased the level of research and development in their respective fields. The design of these laboratories has
Preventing Cell Death
The cell wall components of gram-negative bacteria,
such as E. coli and pseudomonads, are designated as endotoxins.
They have a hydrophilic polysaccharide and a
lipophilic lipid component and, unlike the bacteria from
which they originate, are
Are You in the Market for A... Lab Washer?
Anyone who works in a lab quickly learns the value of labware washers. Today, washers are almost as common in laboratories as they are in kitchens. Any lab that uses glassware for analysis, science, or engineering is a potential user. Washers are found in schools, research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and water and wastewater analytical labs, and are used in many industries such as public health, forensics, chemical R&D, petrochemicals, electronics, medical devices, optics and cosmetics.
Are You in the Market for A... Gas Chromatography System?
Two interesting and fairly recent trends in GC systems are “fast GC” and the use of hydrogen as the carrier gas. Hydrogen is much less expensive than helium. It also has superior optimal linear velocity and produces a very low effective plate height, meaning more theoretical plates are available for a given column length. Because of its lower density relative to helium, hydrogen works extremely well with very narrow-bore columns. Fast GC provides benefits of lower instrument and human resource costs, higher revenues for high-throughput testing or service labs, and more rapid method development.
Are You in the Market for A... Thermal Analyzer?
Thermal analysis is the broad category of at least 20 techniques that measure some fundamental property of matter as a result of adding heat. For example, dilatometry measures volume changes upon heating, thermomechanical analysis quantifies the change in dimension of a sample as a function of temperature, and thermo-optical analysis detects changes in optical properties on heating or cooling. This discussion applies mostly to two techniques, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), although many of the ideas presented here apply to other types of thermal analysis.
Product Focus: HPLC Columns
Liquid chromatographers have a wealth of choices when it comes to columns and systems: HILIC, chiral, mixed mode, supercritical fluid (SCF), normal phase, ion exchange. But the pharmaceutical industry’s influence on LC products is such that reversephase (predominantly C18 and C8) remains the most popular chromatography mode “by a large margin,” says Denis Boudriau, product specialist at SiliCycle (Quebec, Canada).
Product Focus: Mass Spectrometers
Mass spectrometry (MS) has not quite become a routine acquisition for every lab that might benefit from it. Nor are MS instruments yet capable of serving routine users and experimenters equally well. But the characteristics and performance of instrumentation serving highand low-end applications overlap more now than ever.
Product Focus: Vacuum Pumps
Scientists started using
true vacuum pumps more
than 350 years ago, and
investigators used suction pumps
for more than 400 years before
that. Consequently, removing gas
to create a vacuum is not new in
science. Nonetheless, the way of
removing that gas keeps changing.
Product Focus: UV-Vis Spectrophotometry
Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometry is arguably the most common as well as one of the oldest forms of absorption-based analysis. UV and visible regions of the electromagnetic spectrum are contiguous: UV wavelengths range from 10 to 4000 angstroms; they are visible from 4000 to 7000 angstroms.
Product Focus: IT for Gene Sequencing
Handling the Exponential Growth in Raw and Processed Genetic Data Gene sequencing is all about data—3.2 gigabytes for a single human genome, with several times that for making raw sequences relevant to real-world problems. Mining the genome for medical intelligence multiplies the data “crunch” for gene sequencers and value-added services that annotate gene sequences for their relevance to protein and metabolite concentrations, and to both diseased and healthy states.
Ask the Expert: Choosing the Right IT System and Data Infrastructure
Alexander Sherman, director of systems in the Department of Neurology and director of strategic development and systems at the Neurological Clinical Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses why the right choice and setup for data collecting, data handling, and data sharing infrastructure is important to help establish successful research collaborations.
Lab Health & Safety
Working in biological containment facilities or with infectious agents is serious business. The research performed usually entails indigenous or exotic agents with the potential for severe or lethal disease. Two examples of infectious pathogens that
Develop a Program for Dating Stored Chemicals and for Recertifying or Discarding Them
Some chemicals have a short life expectancy. Others will remain good for a long time. Solvents that form peroxides are one example of substances requiring periodic testing. Ethers, vinyl compounds, alcohols, ketones, and aldehydes are some of the
The Right Choice For Analytical Balances
Now is a good time to purchase an analytical balance if you’re in the market. Thanks to software algorithms that translate electrical signals to weight and improved user interfaces, analytical balances are now much faster in terms of measuring than they used to be. They are also much more accurate because of the efficiency of the algorithmic evaluation that turns data points into weight data and higher data acquisition speed.
Perspective On: A Mobile Lab
Born of the anthrax mailing scare of 2002, the mobile lab in the hazardous materials section of the Cleveland Fire Department in Ohio deals with public health risks and the identification of unknown, potentially dangerous substances in the region.
ANALYTICAL Spectral Surface Mapping™ Capability S2M™ • For the Perfect Vision™ microspectrophotometer line • Gives CRAIC microspectrometer users the ability to map the spectral variation of surfaces of their
Selecting a Quality Antibody, Every Time
Problem: Poor quality antibodies are a major stumbling block for scientists detecting new protein targets in immunological applications. The prevalence of such antibodies is significant; reactions to recent, high-profile retractions of several
How It Works : A Microplate Reader with Environmental Control
Problem: There is little doubt that cell-based assays are becoming a mainstay across the pre-clinical drug discovery process. Many of these assays are end-point based, where live cells are cultured in microplates, incubated with compounds of
A Gas Control Module in a Multimode Microplate Reader
Problem: Performing long-term, cell-based applications with living cells using a multimode microplate reader is becoming more and more popular in life science research. There are various absorbance-, fluorescence- and luminescence-based assays that
Products in Action: JULABO USA, Inc.
The new PRESTO® from JULABO represents the state-of-the-art in liquid temperature control for modern laboratories. Models in this redesigned line of temperature-control instruments are the air-cooled A30, A40 and the water-cooled W40. These