Is the Rollercoaster Ride Over?

Volume 7 Issue 2 | March 2012

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Cover Story

Is the Roller Coaster Ride Over?

By Jonathan Witonsky

The laboratory industry enjoyed several years of robust growth from the late 1990s until 2003. Record research and development (R&D) investments by the biopharmaceutical industry, in combination with the doubling of the U.S. National Institutes budget, allowed for continual double-digit growth rates.


Editor's Buzz

Modest Optimism

“The year 2011 was tumultuous for the laboratory industry. In comparison, the outlook for 2012 looks only slightly positive. Laboratory decision makers generally expect their funding conditions either to remain the same or to minimally improve.”

Business Management

What Would Steve Jobs Do?

“Steve Jobs, technologist and tastemaker of modern digital culture, described himself as a captain of product design inspiring his teams of workers, as he once said, to go ‘beyond what anyone thought possible’ and to do ‘some great work, really great work that will go down in history.’”

Leadership and Staffing

Science Matters: Are You Helping or Hurting Employee Morale?

Last year I wrote a column about how “soft skills” are required to succeed in virtually every business today. Even in the sciences, a career path that has traditionally allowed insular personalities to thrive, soft skills are more important than ever.

Computing and Automation

We Need Backup!

For many of us, our introduction to laboratory automation revolves around the formerly popular Technicon SMA (Sequential Multiple Analyzer, circa 1969) and the SMAC (SMA + C), when a computer interface was added to the platform in 1974.

Laboratory Technology

Planned Downtime

Routine maintenance and proper training can extend the life of any piece of laboratory equipment. Unfortunately, even with proper maintenance, and sometimes resulting from lack of maintenance, large equipment can break down—sometimes at the worst possible time.

HPLC-Fluorescence Detection

Although scientists have relied solely on LC-MS methods in recent years, HPLC-fluorescence detection is now designated as the official analysis method for many components across various industries.

Ask the Expert

Ask The Expert: Trends in Laboratory QA/QC

Michael Noble, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia and chair of the Program Office for Laboratory Quality Management, emphasizes that while increased awareness, education and standardization of information and protocols have helped improve laboratory quality, people still need to be reminded that the pursuit of quality is a commitment that needs constant time, effort and money. 

Lab Health and Safety

Jumping Back Gas!

This column will focus on ethylene oxide, a frequently used and potentially dangerous sterilizing agent. Also known as EtO or EO, it is highly compatible with today’s polymer-based single-use medical devices, procedure kits, surgical trays, etc.

Lab Health and Safety Tips

Product Focus

Product Focus: Live Cell Imaging

Live cell imaging is made possible by a confluence of advances in imaging, computing, microscopy, and reagent technologies, connected by a deeper understanding and appreciation for cellular processes.

Product Focus: Flow Cytometry

Although flow cytometry first appeared (as fluorescence-assisted cell sorting) in the late 1970s, the last three years have seen a surge of innovation in instrumentation and applications.

Product Focus: Glove Boxes

Glove boxes are specialty enclosures that allow tight control over experimental conditions. Sizes range from less than five to several hundred cubic feet.


Are You in the Market for a Thermal Analyzer?

Pharmaceutical and polymer industries are increasingly interested in both TGA and DSC. Drug companies use these techniques to test for drug stability and crystalline state (or lack thereof).


Are You in the Market for a Flow Cytometer?

Flow cytometry is a powerful technology that allows researchers and clinicians to perform complex cellular analysis quickly and efficiently by analyzing several parameters simultaneously.

2012 Lab Oven Product Survey

Most laboratory workers view ovens almost as utilities, using them principally for drying glassware and heat-resistant equipment, regenerating desiccants and catalysts, gently heating samples, and curing or preparing materials and composites.

Lab Product

The Right Choice for Microplate Readers

Microplate readers are used to discern either physical, chemical, or biological events in microtiter plates and are common in academic organizations and the biotech, pharmaceutical, and drug discovery industries, as well as in research.

Research-Specific Labs

Lab Product

Products in Action

PURELAB flex- Innovating Water Purity

ELGA’s new innovative Type I ultrapure water purification system ensures accurate consistent results. The PURELAB flex 3 & 4 are the latest additions to the award winning PURELAB flex range of systems.

Innova ® Biological Shakers – the Gold Standard for Research

New Brunswick Scientific’s world renowned laboratory shakers are known for dependable operation and innovative design. New Brunswick offers the widest selection of biological shakers in the industry, with more than 30 models available to suit your exact needs.

It's Your Chemistry…Make it Personal!

Designed to meet the growing need for personalized solutions, Gilson’s PLC 2020 Personal Purification System is a fully-functioning purification system in a compact footprint intended to support an individual researcher or a small group of chemists.

i.C3™ from Helmer

The next generation of i.Series® monitoring features the i.C3 User Interface which offers constant temperature monitoring and control on all i.Series refrigerators and Freezers.

Products in Action

Laboratory Refrigerators and Freezers

Nor-Lake® Scientific Select™ laboratory Refrigerators and Freezers are designed for heavy-duty long term cold storage for a wide range of demanding laboratory, scientific, pharmacy and life science applications.

Parker Balston Hydrogen Generators

Parker Balston Gas Generators eliminate the need for expensive, dangerous, high pressure cylinders of hydrogen, helium, and nitrogen in the laboratory. It is no longer necessary to interrupt important analyses to change cylinders.

Proton OnSite Nitrogen Generation Systems

On-site gas generation specialist, Proton OnSite, now offers a full laboratory line of hydrogen, nitrogen and zero air generators. Its line of nitrogen generators from the NiGen™ Micro with an output capacity of 500cc/minute to the NiGen LCMS 100 that can produce as much as 100L/minute offers carrier gas solutions for laboratories of any size.

FreezerPro Features and Benefits

Today’s researchers demand precision and efficiency in their laboratories. Accounting for hundreds, thousands and even millions of samples is a task that requires a software system that will manage the volume while handling the complexities of your inventory intuitively.

Consumer Safety Compliance Standards

Your analysis is only as good as the standard you are running. SPEX CertiPrep was founded in 1954 to provide superior Certified Reference Materials for spectroscopy and chromatography.

Contamination Prevention without Compromise

Protect your valuable samples with Thermo Scientific 100% pure copper CO2 incubators. The Thermo Scientific 100% pure copper CO2 incubators allow you to culture precious samples, without worry.


STARLINE Plug-In Raceway, has revolutionized the power distribution industry! Universal Electric Corporation created STARLINE Plug-In Raceway to meet the ever-changing power distribution and datacom needs of research, pharmaceutical, university, hospital and data labs.

CytoOne® Cell Culture Performance Ware

Your cells deserve the best. Consistent growth surfaces with certified testing. Premium grade, optically clear polystyrene. ISO 9001 production and manufacturing, and rigorous quality control. 

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