Imagine you're at the bench performing a restriction enzyme digest, and you need information about an enzyme and don't want to have to take your gloves off. myNEB, an Alexa cloud-based voice service, released by New England Biolabs (NEB®), has the answers you need.
"Alexa, tell me about BsaI." myNEB will respond by reminding you that there is an improved version of this Type IIS enzyme, the supplied buffer, how it can be used in Golden Gate assembly, heat inactivation information, methylation sensitivity, and cut site.
This first of its kind, voice-activated digital lab assistant will help researchers and technicians with basic reagent-based calculations and scientific information, while they are engaged in lab work.
"We're excited to introduce Alexa into the lab," said Penny Devoe, associate director, Portfolio Management, DNA Cloning at NEB. "When it comes to seeking information to help with molecular biology experiments, we believe that voice activation could play a key role in the future. Scientists digest information in different ways. Going to the website isn't always the preferred method. Some people may just want to ask a digital device. Alexa in-home use is gaining in popularity, so it is only natural that it will eventually move to the laboratory too."
myNEB features include:
- Quick tips for cloning
- Ability to make experimental calculations and conversions (i.e., ligation, dilution, molarity)
- Access to a lab timer
- Detailed information about restriction enzymes, including: heat inactivation, methylation sensitivity, activity in different buffers, concentration, cut site, catalog number, summary of highlights, etc.
- Access to the NEB "Lessons from Lab & Life" podcast library for listening while working at the bench
myNEB is already impacting researchers, who were early testers of the device, around the country:
"myNEB is a unique instrument for basic laboratory calculations and useful information," said Ugochukwu Anieto, instructional assistant professor of Biology at Texas A&M University Higher Education Center. "It will make science much more interesting and more efficient."
myNEB is constantly learning, so the more you use it, the more it will understand your lab workflow needs. Additionally, NEB has provided a way for scientists to submit questions that they may want to have answered.