Lab Manager | Run Your Lab Like a Business

Cover Story |  Volume 6 - Issue 7  |  September 2011

What Motivates Your Employees

Find out what intrinsic factors can keep your best and brightest from leaving


Editor's Buzz

Crossing the Border

A few weeks ago some colleagues and I drove from the New York City area north to Ontario, Canada for Lab Manager's annual sales meeting. Five hours into the trip—somewhere near Buffalo—I realized I’d forgotten my passport...

Leadership and Staffing

What Motivates Your Employees?

It is ever more difficult to argue that motivating knowledge workers is not the Holy Grail for 21st century lab managers. “Leadership,” according to management consultants, “is the process of motivating people to work together to accomplish great things."

Beyond Pay and Promotions

Professional development goals that add value to your employees’ career ambitions AND your organization.

Lab Manager Academy: The Two Fundamental Agreements of Conflict

How to stop arguing and start communicating in the lab!

Science Matters: Using Project Management Principals to Motivate

I wrote here several months ago that managers have the power to dramatically improve a lab’s bottom line by embracing new ways of doing things. I told the story of how one of the biggest game changers in the industry— the automation of manual processes— came about because suppliers chose to look at the customer/lab relationship in a new way.


Next-Generation Sequencing Hype Confirmed

Perhaps the most buzz-worthy technology in life sciences, next-generation sequencing continues to undergo rapid changes. With vendors updating their portfolios with new instruments annually, the market remains highly competitive and dynamic.

2011 Pipettes Survey Results

The most commonly used piece of laboratory equipment in any laboratory setting is the pipette, which has a long history of use. Read on to see the results of the Lab Manager pipettes survey!

2011 UV-Vis Spectrophotometer Survey Results

Read the fascinating results of Lab Manager's survey on UV-Vis spectrophotometers.

Medium Lab Glassware Washers Most Popular: See the Survey Results

Anyone who works in a lab quickly learns the value of labware washers. Today washers are almost as common in laboratories as they are in kitchens. Read the the results for our lab washers survey here.

Who's Investing in Lab Automation and Why

Results of our first Lab Automation Survey reveal both pros and cons of automating lab processes

Ask the Expert

Ask The Expert: Trends in Cell Culture Assays and Technologies

Ralph Garippa, Ph.D., independent consultant and former head of cell-based high-throughput screening (HTS) and microscopic imaging-based high-content screening (HCS) at Hoffmann-La Roche, discusses the recent trends in cell culture.

Laboratory Technology

Choosing a Diaphragm or Bellows Pump

In many applications, contamination of the gas stream must be prevented. When processing gases or sampling elements within a controlled environment, conveying the gas desirably cannot add trace elements such as lubricants or wear particles.

New Apps For Texture Analysis

Emerging techniques for assessing physical properties of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, medical devices and packaging.

Game Changer

Lab automation projects have become cooperative activities between lab and IT groups. This is part of the evolution of lab systems.

Integrating MSDS With Chemical Inventory Management

Integrating MSDS With Chemical Inventory Management

In June 2011, Lab Manager, along with ChemSW Inc. and 3E Company, hosted a “Product Showcase” webinar on “How to Seamlessly Integrate MSDSs with Chemical Inventory Management.”

September 2011 Technology News

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

New Tools for Protein Purification & Assay Automation

From protein sample preparation to next-generation sequencing to cell biology or the now more traditional HTS assays, many scientists are trying to eliminate the numerous manual steps that add cost and introduce variability to laboratory procedures.

Automated Washer Platforms Benefit Bead-Based Multiplex Assays

Microplate-based multiplex assays, where microspheres are used as solid support matrices, provide simultaneous analyte analysis per well with lower background noise and reagent, consumable and sample costs compared to traditional ELISAs. Specifi

Replacing Microplate-Based Technology with Array Tape: A Tutorial

The motivation to maximize laboratory automation is as powerful as it is simple—laboratories must produce more high quality data—faster and cheaper. Today, most envision high throughput (HTP) automation as a robotically-driven integration

Software Coupled With Flexible Hardware Improves Efficiency in the Laboratory

The primary goal of any laboratory is to collect and analyze data, and it is rare for many samples to be ready for analysis the moment they enter the lab. Samples may need cleanup or purification prior to downstream analysis.

From Whole Blood Collection to Long-Term Fraction Storage

In recent years, new research insights and breakthroughs have created demand for studies based on larger numbers of human samples. Facilities including hospitals, private research facilities, and huge government-owned biobanks, biorepositories of pat

Automated Workstations Offer Semi-or-fully-Automated 'Walk-Away' Platforms

In both industrial and academic labs, researchers are actively increasing the number of automated applications and tasks in order to improve performance and productivity while reducing costs and streamlining research. These changes include automating

Safe, Secure Sample Management During Workflow Automation

As a result of automation in the pharmaceutical industry, large compound libraries for future analysis and screening for potential drug candidates are routinely created. Alongside an increase in chemical compound samples, the number of biological sam

Product Focus

Product Focus: UV-VIS Spectrophotometers

Despite the technique’s maturity, ultraviolet and visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy has been a fertile area for innovation, both in terms of underlying technology and instrumentation.

Product Focus: Baths and Chillers

Despite their maturity as a product category, chillers and baths continue their slow evolution, particularly in the areas of controls and user interface.

Product Focus: FTIR Spectroscopy

Product Focus: FTIR Spectroscopy

Although serious Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) research and core analysis facilities are still alive and well, traditional applications are giving way to more dynamic uses such as controlling processes and field work.

Vacuum Pumps: More Options For Green, Remote Operation

Vacuum Pumps: More Options For Green, Remote Operation

Oil-free diaphragm pumps have earned a reputation for environmental- friendliness for low- to medium- pressure applications. At the low-pressure end, pumps do not continuously send water down the drain as do aspirators.

Product Focus: Specialty Gases

The prospect of gas cylinder accidents inspires awe and fear in lab workers. However, a safer alternative exists for some of the more common specialty gases: on-site or point-of-use generation that uses membranes, catalysts, or pressure swing absorption to generate pure gases from air or water.

How it Works

How to Use a GC-IR Hyphenated System to Distinguish Structural Isomers

Legally sold as “Vanilla Sky” and “Ivory Wave,” bath salts have become very popular for the very dangerous “high” they are providing.

How it Works: Atomic Layer Deposition Valves

The atomic layer deposition (ALD) process deposits thin films of precursor materials onto substrates one atomic layer at a time to impart such properties as conductivity, chemical resistance, and strength. Research and development operations utilize ALD systems to investigate new applications for producing advanced technologies such as semiconductor wafers, nanoelectronics, and optics.

How Measurement of Poisson’s Ratio Works

How Measurement of Poisson’s Ratio Works

The measurement of Poisson’s ratio can be a delicate matter. 

Lab Product

Evolution of Biological Shakers and Stirrers

Mixing solutions is one of the most common laboratory tasks. Over the years, a number of automated methods for mixing have been devised, all of which remove this burden from the operator by offering a sustained and controlled stirring action for indefinite periods of time.

Business Management

Stretching Your Maintenance Budget

Careful planning and consistent monitoring can significantly improve equipment maintenance programs.

Activity-Based Management

Activity-based management (ABM) is an approach to management in which work process managers—in this case, lab managers at all levels—are given the responsibility and authority to continuously improve the planning and control of operations.

Lab Health and Safety

A closeup of a lab bench and a lab technician's hands in blue gloves up in the air as they have just spilled a test tube of a red liquid all over the bench. There are a syringe and test tube rack in the background as well as a small glass of the same fluid in the foreground.

Types of Hazards and Risks in a Laboratory

An overview of the most common types of hazards encountered in typical research labs

The Second Annual Laboratory Safety Survey

Given the current economic climate, most employers are probably looking to save on operations and improve their bottom lines. Usually they begin by trying to increase efficiency, or “trim the fat,” as the saying goes. And those of us who work in the area of health and safety know that we are usually prime targets.

Lab Health and Safety Tips

Provide Fire Extinguishers, Safety Showers, Eye Wash Fountains, First Aid Kits, Fire Blankets and Fume Hoods

Fire extinguishers need to be appropriate to the type of fire. Type A fires form an ash. A water extinguisher is for fires involving burning wood or paper, and so on.

Research-Specific Labs

Perspective On: A Cosmetics & Personal Care Products Lab

Embattled like much of the United States economy, and having endured several years of anemic demand from consumers caught in the throes of a prolonged recession and high levels of unemployment, the $58.3 billion a year cosmetics and personal care industry in the US is eager for a rebound.

White Papers and Application Notes

Microwave Digestion of Food Materials

CEM has developed a method for the simultaneous and rapid preparation of vastly different food sample types for trace metal analysis.

Cleaning of Cosmetic Creams and Lotions from Laboratory Glassware

The cleaning of cosmetic creams and lotions from glassware is achieved through a combination of detergents, hot water – programmed in automated washing system.

Microwave Assisted Extraction of PCBS From Environmental Samples

Microwave Assisted Extraction offers significant benefits over traditional extraction techniques for PCB determination from environmental samples including higher sample throughput, time savings, reduced solvent, and great reproducibility.

Comparing Microvolume and Cuvette Based Measurements of Microbial Cell Cultures

Microvolume assessment of bacterial culture growth was found to facilitate measurement of undiluted cultures. Comparison between microvolume and cuvette-based data requires the use of a conversion factor, which can be simply determined.

ELGA: Type 1 Ultrapure Water Crucial for HPLC and UHPLC

High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a powerful analytical technique used to separate, identify and quantify compounds with a wide range of differing properties.

Ultrafast Analysis of Synthetic Colorants

Various types of synthetic colorants are used as food additives, and gradient elution is generally used to analyze them. The Nexera UHPLC (Shimadzu) enables stable, ultrafast gradient elution through accurate solution delivery and the use of a high--efficiency gradient mixer.