The latest lab apps allow researchers to access their instruments from almost anywhere
Selecting a SaaS LIMS
Okay, let’s jump straight to the point. You’ve performed your due diligence and have decided that to remain viable your laboratory absolutely must transition to a laboratory information management system (LIMS). That is an important step, but perhaps one of the simplest.
May 2015 Technology News
This month, we highlight companies that will be exhibiting at the American Society for Microbiology’s annual general meeting (asm2015) and the American Society for Mass Spectrometry’s annual conference (ASMS 2015).
The XRF Factor
At Pittcon this year, PANalytical revealed a completely new type of analytical X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer.
The Art of Selling Yourself for Success
A barely-known junior senator from Illinois becomes the first African American elected President of the United States. A 19-year-old Pittsburgh entrepreneur strikes a $100,000 deal with Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban and turns a small business into a multi-million dollar company. A former advertising executive sells rocks as hassle-free pets and creates an estimated $15 million dollar profit in six months.
Brand Recognition is its Own Reward
When HR professionals talk about rewards and recognition in the workplace, it’s easy to hit the default button that leads directly to bonuses or “attaboys.” After all, every employee appreciates a nice check or a public pat on the back for a job well done, right? Incentivizing workers this way definitely has a long-standing place in generating goodwill and improving morale with employees.
Secrets of a Successful Start-Up Lab
Many labs start out as entrepreneurial ventures to develop new technology. As such, a start-up lab has entrepreneurial requirements that must be met in order for it to successfully develop into a full-fledged business.
Leadership and Staffing
Rewards and Recognition
Laboratory leaders are tasked with the difficult responsibility of not only attracting but also maintaining talented individuals as satisfied employees. To alleviate the stress level of their workforces and boost morale, those in charge must look for ways to acknowledge their staffs’ efforts and contributions.
Lab Health and Safety
Fume Hood Installation Tips for Optimal Performance
The chemical fume hood is probably the single most-used piece of equipment in research laboratories. Often, the chemical hood is shared by lab personnel, and occasionally it’s shared between labs.
Lab Health and Safety Tips
Ask the Expert
Analyzing and Interpreting Mass Spectral Data
Douglas Kiehl is a principal research scientist at Eli Lilly & Company, and is currently leader for the Spectroscopy & Raw Materials team. His group performs characterization and structural elucidation of impurities, related substances, and contaminants as well as testing and qualification of process raw materials through development and commercialization. Additionally, his team leads Lilly’s technical strategy for evaluating extractables and leachables associated with pharmaceutically relevant materials.
Trends in High-Content Screening
Dr. Donald Sakaguchi, professor of genetics, development and cell biology at Iowa State University, talks to contributing editor Dr. Tanuja Koppal about the time and cost savings generated in his lab due to a recent investment in a high-content screening (HCS) system. While his research group can now set up more experiments to look at different cell types and conditions, they also spend more time carefully designing the experiments and optimizing the conditions and later analyzing the vast amounts of data generated from each experiment.
INSIGHTS on Brownfield Assessment and Remediation
Brownfield sites—mainly abandoned or soon-to-be abandoned industrial facilities—pose huge challenges to governments, communities, and engineering firms charged with restoring them to common uses. At issue are contaminants—chemicals and metals—that if not remediated pose public health concerns.
INSIGHTS on GMO Detection
Combining chromosomes from different organisms started as soon as someone created a hybrid. “In natural breeding,” says geneticist Kulvinder S. Gill of Washington State University in Pullman, “we transfer genes through hybridization—transferring pollen from one plant to another.” He adds, “It can, for example, be pollen from wheat to rye or rye to wheat.”
Mass Spec for Clinical Microbiology
Infectious diseases remain deadly. In fact, the World Health Organization’s top-ten list of global causes of death includes two examples: lower respiratory infections and HIV. The list stretches much further, to long-standing culprits—including malaria and tuberculosis— and newer perpetrators—including Ebola and
mad cow disease. For public health measures in general and for treating individual patients, clinical microbiologists need fast and effective methods of microbial identification.
Microplates for Cell-Based Assays
Cell-based assays have become the go-to technology for pharmaceutical, environmental, and toxicology labs. Cells are far less costly to maintain than test animals and don’t involve the ethical considerations. But the complexity of cell-based assays compared with chemical or biochemical assays presents distinct challenges to laboratory managers.
The Most Abundant Element is Not Always Easily Captured
As the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen might seem easy to come by, except that it’s usually bonded to oxygen in water or bound in organic compounds. Many applications, though, require pure hydrogen.
To LIMS or Not to LIMS?
When implementing laboratory informatics systems, managers should consider both current and anticipated workflows, says Trish Meek, director of product strategy at Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, MA). “They need complete agreement and buy-in from business owners and IT. Managers should consider the agility their business requires, for example, when bringing in a new product or instrument.”
2015 UV-Vis Spectrophotometer Survey Results
Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometry is arguably the most common as well as one of the oldest forms of absorption-based analysis. UV and visible regions of the electromagnetic spectrum are contiguous: UV wavelengths range from 10 to 4000 angstroms; they are visible from 4000 to 7000 angstroms.
2015 Pipettes Survey Results
Pipettes can be found in almost every laboratory and, if you’re looking to buy one, there are many options— manual or electronic, single or multi-channel. Luckily, a few main considerations can help in deciding whether or not to buy the latest pipette technology.
2015 Cold Storage Survey Results
Freezers and refrigerators are an integral part of any laboratory that requires temperature controlled storage.
2015 Vacuum Pumps Survey Results
Vacuum pumps are an essential piece of equipment and are used in a wide variety of processes in most laboratories. Over the past 25 years, it has become apparent that vendors have made significant innovative improvements to vacuum pumps, with important developments in high vacuum technology, corrosion resistance, vacuum control, and improvements in the efficiency and ecological impact of vacuum pumps.
Products in Action
ISO 22000 and Integrated Informatics: Business Best Practices to Meet Global Food Safety Regulatory Challenges
In KPMG’S 2014 Food, Drink and Consumer Goods Industry Outlook Survey, 22 percent of the senior managers questioned said that “staying ahead of or navigating changes in the regulatory environment” would consume most of their time in the coming 12 months. Nearly 20 percent said that geographic expansion would be one of the primary areas of investment in the coming months. Taken together, these two data points echo a common food industry refrain: we want to expand internationally, but we’re increasingly aware of the difficulties and costs of doing so from a regulatory standpoint.
Cell Thawing in a Controlled Environment
Thawing cells in a regulated environment presents many challenges. The need to minimize variability through standardization is crucial. Whereas the science of cell freezing has become highly standardized in order to improve and retain optimal viability and function, cell thawing has been overlooked and has much to gain from similar standardization.
UCSD Chemistry Standardizes on Heidolph Radleys Findenser for Safety and Sustainability
In 2014 the State of California was in the midst of an unprecedented drought with a big drive from the State of California University Office of the President to save water.
Safety Bunsen Burner Explainer Video
INTEGRA has created a short, simple and engaging 'SimpleShow' format video to explain the safety features of their FIREBOY Safety Bunsen Burner.
Safe Chemical Handling in the Purifier® Axiom™ Class II Biological Safety Cabinet
Abstract: A new Type of Class II BSC has emerged that will simplify the selection process and provide true flexibility in modern laboratories needing both chemical and biological protection. Along with 3rd party validation in biological challenges by NSF International®, the Purifier Axiom Class II BSC was put under
ASHRAE 110 containment testing for chemical hazards to verify its ability to handle chemical hazards as well as a fume hood.
How new ICP-OES spectrometer technologies substantially cut operating costs
Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) is used for elemental analysis of everything from soil and sludge to water and wastewater, plus various industrial process materials. In evaluating ICP-OES instruments, environmental contract laboratories may prioritize sensitivity and speed. Industrial research laboratories may emphasize stability and analytical precision. However, both agree on the importance of controlling costs.
Increase Accuracy in Molar Mass Averages by Gel Permeation Chromatography
Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) is the most widely accepted and used analytical method for obtaining molar mass averages of both synthetic and biopolymers. Traditionally, molar mass averages are obtained via a peak position calibration involving a series of standards of known molar mass and chemistry analyzed by GPC coupled to a differential refractive index (RI) detector.