Highlights of our 2009 Investment Confidence Survey provide a glimpse into the investment decisions being made by laboratory management in staffing, outsourcing, facility improvement and new technologies–taking the pulse of confidence in economic security in these uncertain times.
Sequestration and the macroeconomic outlook keep confidence in the doldrums
Instituting economical ways to save electricity could save about three quarters of the electricity consumed in the U.S. at an average cost of about one cent per kilowatt-hour, according to Amory Lovins, chairman and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute.
Every year it seems the subject of continuing education can creep up on us all. We know we may need it—or want it—but why does it seem we’re always doing the last-minute hustle for something that would truly benefit our careers?
Regardless of what stage your lab is in, planning is essential to the successful application of automation and information technologies.
The reality is that most scientists are pretty normal people, at least outside the laboratory setting. There are some unique characteristics that may be more prevalent in the scientific community, and most of those characteristics can contribute positively to the organization.
Social networking sites allow recruiters to establish relationships with candidates while promoting their company and leveraging relationships into placements down the road.
Does teamwork matter in a laboratory setting? Absolutely! Teamwork contributes to synergy, creativity, enhanced decision-making, customer/client responsiveness, and an engaged, motivated working environment.
With the aim of increasing sample integrity, designers have looked at cold storage energy sinks, associated components and subsystems to increase system efficiency. As a result, a new breed of cold storage provides greater sample protection while being kinder to the environment.
Quality by Design (QbD) refers to the strategies developed and advanced by the US Food and Drug Administration, the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH), and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP),1-5 based on scientific principles and risk assessment and focused on product and process understanding.
The latest equipment, instrument and system introductions to the laboratory market.
In October 2013, Lab Manager, along with BUCHI Corporation, hosted a Product Spotlight webinar to discuss the various techniques that are in use for protein analysis.
In this month’s Tech News section, we highlight exhibitors for two tradeshows—INTERPHEX 2014, which takes place March 18-19 in New York City and the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which will be held April 5-9, 2014, in San Diego, California.
Should you be concerned? Yes, you should. If your pipettes have not been calibrated recently, the quality of your results and the integrity of your data are questionable.
An energy savings of 15 percent or more is available through the use of VAV laboratory exhaust ventilation systems. When properly designed, a VAV system can provide these savings without adversely impacting the air quality at downwind air intake locations or sensitive locations.
A series of food safety crises, including melamine contamination in pet foods; E coli-tainted spinach, peppers and green onions; and a Salmonella typhimurium outbreak in peanut products have transformed food analysts from vigilant sentries into veritable centurions stridently safeguarding the quality, regulatory compliance and safety of our food.
For lab manager Mark Lloyd, finding the motivation to come to work every day isn’t difficult. All it takes is an extra-long walk—a routine that started when he was a master’s student working at a shared resource facility at Georgetown University.
David Patterson, PhD, professor of computer science at the University of California at Berkeley, talks to contributing editor Tanuja Koppal, PhD, about big data—what it is, where it applies, and what lab managers can expect to gain by investing in it. He also provides guidance on where people can get more
information about (and help with) big data and the possible concerns they need to be aware of.
Begin by following decontamination system manufacturers' safety protocols
Virtually all labs have established procedures for managing their chemical inventories, but they may be outdated or the staff may be uninformed or poorly trained.
The practice of forbidding smoking, eating, and drinking in laboratories is one of the basic good hygiene practices. Unfortunately, it is often one of the most frequently disregarded. Too many people seem to have a "good reason" for continuing these bad habits. None of these reasons are good enough.
Users decide between dedicated and multipurpose systems
Refractometry is thought to be a limited analytical technique that works best with binary solutions—for example, salt or sugar solutions—where it excels at precise concentration measurements.
Controlling the environment and the operation determines much of the accuracy
Fluid extraction and containment systems is a more reliable and safe to use equipment that offers no human monitoring, total containment of waste fluid and safeguards against overfilling.
Automation offers improved productivity, reduced manual input and the elimination of Safety Health and Environment (SHE) issues associated with solvent exposure.
Design for atmospheric pressure ionization sources came of age in the late 1980s to provide a powerful analytical tool—the mass spectrometer —the ability to characterize analytes amenable to liquid chromatography as gas-phase ions removed from the liquid. The motivating force behind such invention has always been the need to answer questions better and faster with tools that provide greater utility.
Problem: Vacuum pumps are laboratory workhorses, providing the conditions needed to run many lab applications. Unfortunately, pumps are also exposed to acid or organic chemical vapors that can cause some real maintenance issues. Particularly with oil-sealed, rotary vane pumps, the exposure of the oil to the chemical vapors can cause the oil to become corrosive, or to break down and no longer serve its vital lubricating function. Regular oil changes are needed to protect the pump.
Problem: In almost any laboratory or scientific research facility today, there are numerous devices, instruments or processes that require cryogenic fluids or gases supplied from cryogenic sources. The past quarter-century has seen cryogenic liquid cylinders expand from a rarity in laboratories with relatively few applications, to become the dominant mode of supplying high-purity gas and cryogenic fluids.
Problem: For a lab manager, these scenarios are all too familiar:
Centrifuges work on the principle of sedimentation facilitated by an apparent angular force that draws components of a rotating sample away from the center of rotation. Although centrifugation theory is straightforward, its engineering literature is voluminous due to the number of industries and research operations that depend on the operation.
Whether to employ central washing stations or point-of-use washers located under a lab bench or in a corner is also something that has to be addressed with regards to laboratory glassware washers. The former provide an economy of scale and are popular with lab workers who, almost universally, hate to “wash the dishes.” The downside for central washing stations is that glassware tends to disappear over time, due to breakage and operator error.
Gas chromatography (GC) is a common technique used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. GC is typically used for separating the different components of a mixture, improving the purity of a particular substance, or identifying a particular compound. GC is a ubiquitous technique, and the various GC instruments available are designed to achieve every requirement of the technique.
Common laboratory ovens maintain temperatures ranging from just above ambient to about 300°C and are ubiquitous in chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical, forensics, and environmental labs. Units operating at temperatures above 300°C are normally dedicated to specialized applications in physics, engineering, electronics, and materials processing. Typical lab ovens use four to six cubic feet of space and are located on benchtops or stacked atop another oven; other units may be much larger.
When preparing biological samples, you need a lab assistant you can trust, one that is focused on consistency and reproducible results across 10’s and 100’s of samples. Advancing your science and increasing the pace of your experiments is your job! Being tied to the bench for routine pipetting tasks doesn’t have to be!
Regulatory methods such as USEPA 1664, Rev B, Standard Methods 5520 and ISO11349:2010 can be performed more reliably with the market-leading automated system from Horizon Technology
From the evolution of handheld spectroscopy arrives Progeny™ - the first handheld Raman analyzer designed to be customizable for seamless integration into any work environment. Constructed for flexibility, this device adapts to evolving workflows, laboratory processes, and new personnel. Progeny raises the standard on what a portable Raman device should provide to lab managers, chemists, scientists, and other lab personnel needing fast and accurate materials analysis.