Social Media The Genie is Out of the Bottle

Volume 8 Issue 11 | December 2013

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Cover Story

Social Media: The Genie is Out of the Bottle

By F. Key Kidder

“All sound and fury signifying nothing” pretty much sums up the scientific establishment’s take on Twitter, Facebook, and company at the dawning of social media. Given researchers’ reputation as a media-averse, socially restrained crowd, social media seemed the worst of all worlds.

Featured Articles


Business Management

Sourcing the Right Reagent

Managing lab purchases and juggling finances are among the top priorities for lab managers, and as the world of research reagents continues to expand, they are faced with the growing challenge of cost-efficiently acquiring high-quality reagents for the lab.

Laboratory Technology

Accessing Instrument Data in the Digital Era

In the digital era, data is tied to the instrument’s data system, unlike before when an instrument could change but users could still access its data in paper charts and notebooks. That means that in today’s world, careful planning is needed in order to avoid data system changes that can impact access to important instrument data.

Leadership and Staffing

How to Avoid SWOT Analysis Paralysis in your Lab

Logically, one would think that once SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is learned, people and teams would rise to new heights of productivity and team synergy. However, since that is the rare case and not the norm, perhaps changing the focus and methodology of SWOT is in order. “Analysis paralysis” occurs when a team becomes so lost in the process of examining and evaluating the elements of SWOT that they are unable to make a decision or change a process using the new information.

Business Management

Dealing with the Digital Deluge

One great thing about science today is that it’s more social than ever. We’re no longer exclusively on the bench, isolated with our work.

Ask the Expert

Setting up a Stem Cell Culture Lab: Dos and Don'ts

Philip Schwartz, PhD, supervisor and senior scientist and director of the National Human Neural Stem Cell Resource at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County Research Institute, talks to Contributing Editor Tanuja Koppal, PhD, about the subtle particulars and expertise needed to design and maintain a laboratory dedicated to culturing stem cells.

Lab Health and Safety

Disinfection Dilemma

Since their introduction, liquid sporicides have become one of the products of choice for many biological research and production facilities wherever high-level microbial control is critical. Although they are marketed as low-toxicity products, appropriate care during use is essential to prevent potentially dangerous conditions, exposures, and injuries.

Lab Health and Safety Tips

Product Focus

Pipettes: Ergonomics and Electronics

Pipetting is part of nearly every laboratory’s workflow. Yet this established technology continues to undergo improvements, most related to usability and consistency.

Product Focus: GC Systems

For all its maturity and secure establishment in chemical analysis, predicting the future of gas chromatography is an exercise in uncertainty.

Product Focus: Specialty Gases

Chemical processing and analysis are fueling a resurgence of interest in highly purified specialty gases. Novel gas-phase chemical reactions reduce the number of unit operations and side products while eliminating the disposal of toxic solvents.

Product Focus: Baths and Chillers

Across research laboratories and industrial manufacturing facilities, many processes must be kept at a specific temperature, and that requires baths and chillers.

Research-Specific Labs

Perspective On: A Food & Beverage Quality Control Lab

Lifeline Foods’ lab, which does quality control testing on the corn products the company produces before they are shipped to both domestic and international food and beverage manufacturers, faces unique challenges. We explore the management and communication issues necessary to maintain that lab’s success.

Laboratory Technology

Technology News December 2013

The latest equipment, instruments and system introductions to the laboratory market. This month, we also highlight some of the vendors who will be exhibiting at SLAS2014.



2013 Shaker Survey Results

The wide variety of lab-shaker designs on the market reflects the increasing diversity of scientific experimentation. Labs now use a greater range of sample sizes than ever before, from liters to microliters. Brought to you by:    

Time to Upgrade?

Is it Time for a New BSC?

Biological safety cabinets (BSCs) are crucial for the safety of staff and the protection of products, so it’s important to know when they should be upgraded.

How it Works

Digital PCR for GMO Quantification

Food testing labs have traditionally used conventional PCR and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to detect the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food and feed. When quantification is required, GMO content in these samples is expressed in relative terms as the ratio of the quantity of the transgene, which is the nucleic acid fragment introduced in the host genome, to that of an endogene, a gene normally found in the host genome. 
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