Beyond The Bench

Volume 9 Issue 9 | October 2014

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Cover Story

Beyond the Bench

By

Do you ever feel like you have hit a dead end in your career? Are you too busy attending to staff and their projects to even imagine a life beyond the lab bench?

Featured Articles

Sections

Business Management

Getting Heard

Mastering the technique of selling ideas to upper management is not just a vital part of your responsibilities as a lab manager. “[Selling your ideas] has the potential of providing you with opportunities for professional growth and career advancement,” says Glen Fine, chief executive officer at Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (and a former lab manager).

Leadership and Staffing

Building a Cross-Disciplinary Team

In the history of technology, The Manhattan Project and the United States space program are considered two of the most stellar accomplishments of the American scientific research enterprise. Both were challenge-driven research and development endeavors—and both employed multidisciplinary teams.

Business Management

The Standards of Standards

Labs of all kinds need standards, but they must be the right standards. Good standards are neither goals nor quotas that we will try to reach, but rather rules of behavior that we will follow every day, every time.

Laboratory Technology

Leak-Free GC

Maintaining a leak-free GC or GC-MS system is critical for obtaining optimal system performance with reliable, reproducible, and accurate results.

The Right Water

Laboratories use large volumes of water to fuel the vast majority of daily research, analysis, and processing applications—from autoclave feeds and buffer preparation to molecular biology, analytical analyses, and cell culture work.

Lab Health and Safety

Lockout

Every year, we see research facilities moving toward more automation, and recent issues of Lab Manager highlight some of the newest equipment on the market. Many laboratory tasks are labor-intensive and the sheer number of tasks performed, such as washing and sterilizing containers and installing and disposing samples and wastes, are becoming too time-consuming. Thus, complex equipment, such as sonicators, washers, autoclaves, and autosamplers, is becoming a necessity and is much more prevalent.

Lab Health and Safety Tips

Product Focus

Product Focus: UV-VIS Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy can cover a range of wavelengths, and this article focuses on the ultraviolet (UV) and visible (Vis) spectra, with a bit of near-infrared (NIR) too. These ranges allow for many applications as well as a variety of technologies.

Vacuum Pumps: Advanced Features

Scientists developed vacuum pumps—and their cousins—centuries ago. Until relatively recently, though, the instruments didn’t include many controls.

Product Focus: Electronic Laboratory Notebooks

Although the electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) market is mature, it has undergone several cycles during the past three decades. This existential back-and-forth has centered on whether ELNs should primarily serve as direct replacements for paper notebooks or something more.

Product Focus: UHPLC

Method transfer between HPLC and UHPLC has been a standard complaint against high-pressure, sub-two-micron technology. Despite the accumulation of application notes from UHPLC vendors, end users continue to cite method transfer difficulties for not switching to UHPLC.

Surveys

2014 Water Purification Survey Results

Water is the most commonly used laboratory reagent; however, the importance of water quality is often overlooked. Because impurities can be a critical factor in many research experiments, water purity ranks high in importance. There are several types of impurities and contaminants in water such as particulates, organics, inorganics, microorganisms and pyrogens that can adversely affect results.  Achieving water of a high quality requires the careful use of purification technologies and a method for accurately measuring and monitoring contaminants.

2014 Mass Spectrometer Product Survey Results

Mass spectrometers, measuring the mass-to-charge ratio of charged particles to determine their molecular weight, have not quite become a routine acquisition for every lab that might benefit from them. Four parts are standard in all mass spectrometers: a sample inlet, an ionization source, a mass analyzer and an ion detector.

Are You in the Market for a... Gas Generator?

In many laboratories, gas generators are quickly replacing traditional tanks offering greater flexibility, convenience, safety and cost-effectiveness. Gas generators offer the ability to produce on-demand supply and specialty blends of highly pure gases for various applications.

INSIGHTS

Laboratory Technology

October 2014 Technology News

This month, we highlight companies that will be exhibiting at two upcoming scientific trade shows–the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists’ Annual Meeting and Exposition (AAPS 2014) and the Society for Neuroscience’s Annual Meeting (Neuroscience 2014). AAPS 2014 takes place at the San Diego Convention Center from November 2-6 and offers pharmaceutical scientists the opportunity to network with others in their field and check out the latest pharma equipment. Neuroscience 2014 will run November 15-19 in Washington, DC, allowing neuroscientists to present emerging science, learn from experts, forge collaborations with peers, explore new tools and technologies, and advance careers.

How it Works

How Simplified Cell Count and Viability Measurements Work

Problem: The assessment of cell concentration and viability is an important step in the characterization of cell health. This information can be used for monitoring proliferation rates, optimizing growth conditions and normalizing cell data for further studies, such as assessing the impacts of cytotoxic compounds. Current methods rely on multiple, sometimes complex, instrument platforms to provide these answers, reducing flexibility and increasing research costs. Other, simpler methods provide inconsistent results due to their dependence on single-uptake dyes, which do not effectively discriminate between the various states of cell demise. As a result, there is a crucial need for analytical methods that efficiently provide reproducible count and viability data.

How Affordable sCMOS Camera Technology Works

Problem: In recent years, cell biology has included more emphasis on the study of rapid movement inside live cells: its dynamics, mechanisms, electrochemical signaling and protein transport. To capture these events while avoiding image artifacts, frame rates must be high enough to accurately sample these cellular phenomena. Depending on the event, these rates can range from 20 to several thousand frames per second with exposure times well below 100ms.

How Effective Chromatography Data Management Works

Problem: Research, QA/QC, and other laboratories ranging from large enterprise facilities to small analytical service centers are under increasing pressure to reduce costs and increase efficiency, productivity, and  quality. To reduce operating costs, lab managers know they must find ways to speed turn-around and maximize throughput. To improve productivity and quality, it’s essential for them to easily access information that will allow them to efficiently staff the laboratory, allocate assets, and optimize workflows while adhering to strict quality standards and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Maintenance Matters

Products in Action

New Benchmarks in Efficiency

The new Agilent 1290 Infinity II LC System embodies the next generation of UHPLC – with the exceptional reliability and robustness you expect from Agilent, plus breakthrough technologies to maximize the efficiency of your business in three dimensions.

High Throughput Screening of Novel Protein Therapeutics

Integrating an INTEGRA VIAFLO 96 multichannel pipette into their high throughput expression facility has enabled Molecular Partners (Zurich, Switzerland) to streamline the discovery and development of a novel class of targeted protein therapeutics termed DARPins.