Your Lab, Your Business

Volume 9 Issue 1 | February 2014

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Cover Story

Your Lab, Your Business

By Bernard B. Tulsi

Science has always been the paramount focus of laboratory managers. But that is no longer sufficient. Now, lab leaders need to be profoundly conversant with the business side of their operations as well.

Featured Articles


Editor's Buzz

Business Management

Drowning in Regulations

Every laboratory manager and company executive has had these thoughts at some point: “Another regulation. OMG. What do they want now? Will the government ever leave us alone? How am I ever going to get anything done?” 

Leadership and Staffing

Political Science, Part II

Part one of this article ended with a discussion of politics in your department. We hope you have considered the questions and the implications of the answers.

Products in Action

Thermo Scientific LIMS Play a Key Role in Food and Beverage Safety

For businesses, the costs of food and beverage recalls are significant and extend far beyond the hard costs of pulling product off shelves and scrapping inventory. Erosion of consumer confidence and loss of brand equity have consequences that are much farther-reaching and infinitely more costly.

Laboratory Technology

IT's Complicated

An IT department alone can't plan, implement, and support today's laboratory systems

Helium or Nitrogen, Tank or Generator?

Helium is commonly used as the makeup gas for flame ionization detection in gas chromatography;however, dramatic increases in cost and limited availability in recent years have led many chromatographers to use nitrogen in its place.

Leadership and Staffing

Workplace Mistakes

Making a mistake here and there is the hallmark of human existence. None of us is perfect, and we can’t get everything right all the time.

Ask the Expert

Efficiencies of Lab Automation

Louis Scampavia, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Molecular Therapeutics at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida, talks to contributing editor Tanuja Koppal, PhD, about how automation has been a critical part of their high-throughput screening activities. He goes into the details of what can and should be automated and the due diligence that needs to be performed before these decisions are made—decisions that have a long-standing impact on the workings of a lab.

Product Focus

Product Focus: Microscopes

Microscopy means many things to many different laboratories. One constant remains beyond the dizzying array of choices: constant technologic improvement based on the confluence of diverse technologies.

Product Focus: Glove Boxes

Glove boxes are containment systems for protecting samples, processes, and products from operators and the environment—or the other way around. 

Product Focus: Power Supplies

Almost every piece of equipment—from a computer to an oscilloscope and beyond—uses a power supply. Scientists expect power supplies to keep going and going. Luckily, most of them do. Those power plants inside devices, though, come in a wide assortment.

Shakers: Precision Movements and Repeatability Matter the Most

Lab shakers make up such a ubiquitous piece of scientific equipment that sells them. In fact, a recent look at that site’s “lab shakers & accessories” section revealed 2,076 items. So, as Jerry Lee Lewis told us in 1957, there’s a “whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.”

Research-Specific Labs

Perspective On: A Cell Culture Lab

Unexpected cell loss is the fear and challenge of those who work in cell culture labs. Cells are living organisms that can’t be left on a shelf and forgotten about until needed. Instead, they require constant care and contingency plans at all times.


2014 HPLC System Product Survey Results

High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is, for many scientists, an essential chromatographic technique. HPLC systems used for the separation, identification, purification and quantification of various chemical and biochemical solutions are composed of a pump, a sample injector, a separation column, a detection unit, and a data-processor.

2014 Microplate Reader Survey Results

Microplate readers are widely used in research, drug discovery, bioassay validation, QC, and manufacturing processes for the detection of biological, chemical, or physical processes in samples contained in microtiter plates. 

2014 Titrator Product Survey

While titration is a basic analytical method, titrators are specialized instruments that perform titrations with minimal operator intervention. They can thus minimize errors, improve throughput, and facilitate documentation. There are two major titrator types: potentiometric acid-based designs and Karl Fischer titrators.

Maintenance Matters

How it Works

Purchasing Second-Hand Pharmaceutical and Biotech Equipment

Problem: Whether due to mergers and acquisitions, lab downsizing, upgrading or outsourcing, many pharmaceutical and biotech companies—large and small—are opting to sell R&D or manufacturing equipment no longer needed in their own labs. This presents a great opportunity for other institutions to obtain late-model, quality equipment at a reduced cost, direct from the working lab. While purchasing second-hand equipment can be a cost effective and socially acceptable way to go, there are potential pitfalls buyers should look out for including: unreliable sellers, equipment contamination, hidden fees, and unverified purchasing channels.

How an Automated Sample Prep Workstation Works

Problem: With unrelenting need for accurate sample analysis at lower and lower detection limits, there is pressure on modern laboratories for sample prep instruments that can provide automated, accurate reagent additions to previously prepared liquid samples or for preparing several aliquots of these samples with multiple dilution factors. The catch-all phrase that identifies these devices is “liquid handling systems” and they perform absolutely essential tasks that have a direct and large effect on the ultimate measurement accuracy of both inorganic and organic sample analysis.

Products in Action

Make Grainger Your Lab Partner

From beakers, incubators, hot plates and petroleum testers to analytical reagents, solvents, buffers and bases, you'll find a complete inventory of products to help keep your lab running its best.

Labconco RapidVap® Vertex Dry Evaporator and Xpert® Nano™ Enclosures

Combinatorial chemistry can be traced back to the 1960's, but didn't gain popularity until 1990 when pharmaceutical companies started compounding large amounts of potential new drugs into libraries.  Now, combinatorial chemistry has moved into other disciplines such as materials science, biotechnology and even semiconductors

875 KF Gas Analyzer: Fully Automated Water Analysis in Permanent and Liquefied Gases

With its new 875 Karl Fischer Gas Analyzer, Metrohm combines decades of experience in moisture analysis and sample handling.  The KF Gas Analyzer is designed to handle nearly any gas sample - compresses, liquefied or native.  It is fully equipped to measure the absolute moisture content of LPG, petrochemical intermediates, natural gas or other compresses or liquefied gases.

Innovations Designed for You

NuAire has teamed up with Hitachi Koki himac to offer High-Speed, Refrigerated, General-purpose Ultra, and Micro Ultracentrifuges to provide our customers with a reliable separation solution.

Proton OnSite

"More laboratories are opting to generate their own gas, on-site," said John Speranza, Vice President of Global Sales at Proton OnSite.  "For Gas Chromatographers (GC) who are struggling to source inexpensive helium gas, hydrogen is the superior carrier gas alternative..."
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