Leading Change

Volume 8 Issue 9 | October 2013

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Cover Story

Featured Articles

Sections

Editor's Buzz

Why Change?

We all know that organizations these days face changes like never before. Globalization, breakneck technological innovation, and increased competition result in a constantly evolving business environment. The same is true for laboratories. 

Business Management

Beyond Customer Service

We are all experts in customer service; after all, we are customers every day of our lives. Furthermore, as department managers, we need to ensure that our phones are answered quickly and courteously, that our clients and potential customers have short wait times and are treated with care and respect, that our customers receive accurate and timely results, and that we conduct periodic surveys to ensure that our high standards are maintained.

Management Tips

Leadership and Staffing

Ask the Expert

How to Avoid Contamination in the Microbiology Lab

Contributing editor Tanuja Koppal, PhD, talks to Scott Sutton, PhD, principal of Microbiology Network, Inc., and Alison Buchan, PhD, associate professor, Department of Microbiology at the University of Tennessee, about the main sources and causes of contamination in a microbiology lab and how these problems can be minimized or eliminated. 

Lab Health and Safety

Take the LEED

To prevent indoor air quality issues after new construction or renovations

Lab Health and Safety Tips

Product Focus

Product Focus

Product Focus: FTIR Spectrophotometers

As FTIR instrumentation has become more compact and reliable, it has experienced a type of commoditization. That does not mean that innovation has ceased.

Vacuum Pumps: Developing Devices for Specific Needs

With an instrument focused on removing matter from a space, the vacuum-pump industry sure creates a lot of “matter,” in terms of different devices. Vacuum pumps come in so many varieties that, well, it’s a regular vacuum-pump jungle out there.

Product Focus: UHPLC

All major vendors of ultra high-performance liquid chromatography systems (UHPLC) have overcome significant problems related to detection, speed, column life (although users still grumble), usability, interface, and the special circumstances of working at very high pressures. The next frontier in rapid chromatography is one every analytical scientist will recognize.

Research-Specific Labs

Perspective On: A Regional Water Lab

As a premed student at West Texas A&M University, Josie Longoria was like many citizens of her region—she wasn't aware just how much the environment, especially water, affects human health. An environmental chemistry class changed that … and her career path.

Surveys

2013 Laboratory Glassware Washer Product Survey Results

Whether to employ central washing stations or point-of-use washers located under a lab bench or in a corner is also something that has to be addressed with regards to laboratory glassware washers. The former provide an economy of scale and are popular with lab workers who, almost universally, hate to “wash the dishes.”

2013 Gas Chromatography Product Survey Results

Gas chromatography (GC) is a common technique used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. GC is typically used for separating the different components of a mixture, improving the purity of a particular substance, or identifying a particular compound. GC is a ubiquitous technique, and the various GC instruments available are designed to achieve every requirement of the technique.

2013 Thermal Analyzers Product Survey Results

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.

Laboratory Technology

INSIGHTS

Time to Upgrade?

How it Works

How An Ultra-High Purity Oxygen Generator Works

Gas generators have become an alternative to high-pressure gas cylinders for supplying laboratory applications with high purity hydrogen, nitrogen, and zero-air. Until now, there has been no generator option for supplying high purity oxygen. Small pressure swing adsorption (PSA)-based oxygen generators are available for medical applications but do not offer the high purity generally required in the laboratory.

How Safe, Efficient, and Productive Block Digestion Works

Problem: Bringing samples into a mineralized state is usually the first step for performing accurate inorganic analysis, aka metals trace analysis. This conversion of a usually non-homogenous insoluble mixture into a representative, homogenous aqueous solution using heat and acids is usually a prerequisite for further analysis work with spectroscopic or chromatographic techniques.

Lab Product