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Editor's Buzz

Figuring Out the Future

Figuring Out the Future

Any researcher in the United States who is dependent on government funding knows first-hand the devastation that the sequestration wrought. Some have found ways, temporarily, to do more with less money, while others have had to pack up their research tents for good.

Business Management

Navigating the Post-Sequestration Landscape

Navigating the Post-Sequestration Landscape

Navigating the Post-Sequestration Landscape

Job satisfaction and morale among researchers relying on government grants were body slammed by the sequestration—at least $1.3 trillion in across-the-board funding cuts were mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act for 2013 through 2021.

The Eighth Annual Salary & Employee Satisfaction Survey

The Eighth Annual Salary & Employee Satisfaction Survey

The Eighth Annual Salary & Employee Satisfaction Survey

As we wind up this year’s Salary & Employee Satisfaction Survey, it seems that little has changed for many
of our 1,199 survey respondents. 

Disposal Done Right

Disposal Done Right

Disposal Done Right

Disposing of unwanted or outdated lab chemicals has always been somewhat of a troublesome, expensive, and sometimes outright dangerous process. Ironically, the introduction in the UK of legislation designed to make this practice simpler has not, in our experience, always had the desired effect.

The Right Reader

The Right Reader

The Right Reader

With an ever-increasing number of multimode microplate readers on the market, it is more important than ever to choose the right solution for your laboratory and workflow.

Achieving a Collaborative Consensus

Achieving a Collaborative Consensus

Achieving a Collaborative Consensus

As a manager, you have three options when something needs to be done in your lab:
1. You can do it yourself.
2. You can delegate it to a specific person.
3. You can involve a group of people (two or more) to accomplish the task.

Leadership and Staffing

Your Workforce under the Microscope

Your Workforce under the Microscope

Your Workforce under the Microscope

Accessing the right talent at the right time to best support your business strategies

How to Hire the Best Talent for Your Lab

How to Hire the Best Talent for Your Lab

How to Hire the Best Talent for Your Lab

If you don’t have good people working around you, chances are you won’t have good results.

Laboratory Technology

Making Data Meaningful

Making Data Meaningful

Making Data Meaningful

A search of Google Trends for “big data” in news headlines reveals almost no interest until 2011, and 
then the numbers soar. 

September 2014 Technology News

September 2014 Technology News

September 2014 Technology News

The latest equipment, instrument and system introductions to the laboratory market.

Ask the Expert

Cell Culture Reagents and Applications: Focus on 3D Cultures

Cell Culture Reagents and Applications: Focus on 3D Cultures

Cell Culture Reagents and Applications: Focus on 3D Cultures

Geoffrey Bartholomeusz, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics and director of the siRNA Core Facility at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, talks to contributing editor Tanuja Koppal, PhD, about why there is a growing interest in replacing some 2D cell culture applications with 3D cell cultures. He talks about where and why he uses 3D-based cell cultures in his lab and what lab managers should take into consideration before making the investment in this innovative technology.

Lab Health and Safety

Breathing Easy

Breathing Easy

Breathing Easy

A building’s indoor air quality, known as IAQ—and now broadened to indoor environmental quality (IEQ)—has been a major issue in buildings since the early 1980s.

Lab Health and Safety Tips

Provide Guards on Vacuum Pumps & Secure Compressed Gas Cylinders

Provide Guards on Vacuum Pumps & Secure Compressed Gas Cylinders

Provide Guards on Vacuum Pumps & Secure Compressed Gas Cylinders

This is one of the most common OSHA violations. Whenever a pulley/belt assembly is within reach, there needs to be an enclosure to prevent fingers, hair, or clothing from being caught.

Product Focus

Product Focus: Lab Ovens

Product Focus: Lab Ovens

Product Focus: Lab Ovens

Nearly every lab or production facility of any sort needs an oven. Moreover, those ovens get used in a wide range of ways. As Uwe Ross, president at Binder in Great River, New York, says, “Oven applications range from prep work to curing to treating to testing.” He adds, “We really find lab ovens in applications from biotech and pharma to heavy-duty material testing.”

Automation Matters to Some, and Rugged Reliability Matter to Everyone

Automation Matters to Some, and Rugged Reliability Matter to Everyone

Automation Matters to Some, and Rugged Reliability Matter to Everyone

At United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Connecticut, staff research engineer Weina Li and her colleagues developed a vanadium flow battery. “It provides ten times higher power density than previous cells,” says Li.

Product Focus: Casework

Product Focus: Casework

Product Focus: Casework

More than just surfaces and storage, today’s laboratory casework makes a statement. For one thing, the right casework makes a lab operate more efficiently—putting the right drawers or shelves in the most at-hand places. In addition, casework can even keep track of pieces and parts in a lab. Plus, today’s options in cases—from materials to colors—give scientists an opportunity to create a lab with pizzazz.

Cold Storage: Cold Hard Facts About Managing Your Laboratory Freezer

Cold Storage: Cold Hard Facts About Managing Your Laboratory Freezer

Cold Storage: Cold Hard Facts About Managing Your Laboratory Freezer

Cost and energy efficiency have become critical considerations when purchasing any piece of laboratory equipment. This is particularly true when purchasing laboratory cold storage equipment, especially ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers. 

Freeze Dryers: It's All About Temperature, Pressure, and Time

Freeze Dryers: It's All About Temperature, Pressure, and Time

Freeze Dryers: It's All About Temperature, Pressure, and Time

Freeze-drying, or lyophilization, is a long established process in the food, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic industries that involves the removal of water or another solvent from a frozen product by means of sublimation. This process is commonly used for improving product stability, for long-term preservation, for product purification, and for sample preparation.

Research-Specific Labs

Perspective On: A Clinical Research Lab

Perspective On: A Clinical Research Lab

Perspective On: A Clinical Research Lab

One of the major benefits of working in the sciences is the ability to have a positive impact on the world through research or the development of new products. That’s certainly the case with working at Redbiotec AG, a biotechnology company located at the Bio-Technopark in Schlieren, near Zürich, Switzerland.

INSIGHTS

INSIGHTS on Fume Hoods

INSIGHTS on Fume Hoods

INSIGHTS on Fume Hoods

Aside from safety, saving energy is the trend in fume hoods these days. Hoods are energy hogs that suck thousands of cubic feet of conditioned air per hour, 24 hours per day, out of buildings; replacement air must be heated or cooled depending on the season.

Surveys

2014 Evaporators Survey Results

2014 Evaporators Survey Results

2014 Evaporators Survey Results

Rotary evaporators have for decades been staples in labs and industries performing chemistry, including labs in the chemical, environmental, materials, life science and forensics industries. Key applications include sample concentration, solvent recycling, extractions, and separation of solvent mixtures.

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2014 Automated Liquid Handling Survey Results

2014 Automated Liquid Handling Survey Results

2014 Automated Liquid Handling Survey Results

Automated liquid handling (ALH) systems span the range from semi automated multichannel pipettors to room-sized systems. The industry is trending toward versatile, modular ALH systems—seemingly for every budget. Likewise, instrumentation, software, and methods have followed the trend toward greater user accessibility.

2014 Shaker Survey Results

2014 Shaker Survey Results

2014 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. And while replicate and combinatorial studies increase the number of samples, requirements for environmental control create yet a third dimension that shaker designers must consider.

How it Works

How to Simplify Your Approach to Analytics

How to Simplify Your Approach to Analytics

How to Simplify Your Approach to Analytics

Problem: There has been an explosion in the growth of information. So much growth, that traditional informatics solutions are no longer sufficient. The labs of today, and most certainly the labs of tomorrow, need new tools to gather the data generated, make sense of it and turn it into actionable knowledge.

RNase H-Dependent PCR - For Detection of Rare or Very Similar Transcripts

RNase H-Dependent PCR - For Detection of Rare or Very Similar Transcripts

RNase H-Dependent PCR - For Detection of Rare or Very Similar Transcripts

Problem: PCR is used to detect or quantify nucleic acid sequences in research and diagnostic settings. While high specificity is often achieved, experimental design sometimes necessitates that primers be placed in suboptimal locations. This can lead to problems like the formation of primer dimers or off-target amplification of homologous sequences. The formation of primer dimers consumes primers and other reaction components, which can result in reduced target amplification. These structures can also generate false positive signals in real-time PCR assays that use DNA intercalating dyes to monitor amplification. Off-target amplification is particularly problematic with low copy-number targets because of the high number of cycles required for amplification and in multiplex assays, where many different primers must function well together.

White Papers and Application Notes

Modern Business Transformation Begins in the Lab

Modern Business Transformation Begins in the Lab

Modern Business Transformation Begins in the Lab

Transform your business before it’s transformed for you. This sentence speaks to the hard realities businesses face today. From geopolitical and economic macro trends to global threats to health and
the environment, businesses now face unprecedented—and increasingly more unpredictable—challenges. Without preemptive strategies to combat these headwinds, some businesses risk slowing growth or, even worse, failure.

Maintenance Matters

Maintenance Matters: CO2 Incubators

Maintenance Matters: CO2 Incubators

Maintenance Matters: CO2 Incubators

CO2 incubators are the heart of cell-based work in many labs. When they stop, work in the lab stops. Yet, these units are often ignored—until disaster strikes.