Adding Safety to Our Food
Fast and accurate MS techniques are leading to a more informed, knowledgeable citizenry when it comes to what’s really in our food.
Rarely a week goes by when there isn’t some type of local, state or national food recall. Be it listeria in lettuce, salmonella in peanut butter, bacteria in beef—we’ve all seen the headlines, and subsequently ran home to check every serial number we could find. Getting information about these types of dangerous contaminants in our food is relatively easy. But what about other ingredients in our food that are legal, but may or may not be dangerous? That information is harder to come by, and even harder to understand.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/09/adding-safety-our-food
Microscopic Advancements Aid Food QC Labs
Scanning electron microscopy and thermal stage technology are leading the path to modern techniques for food quality control and safety.
Recent advances in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and thermal stage microscopy have served to enhance quality control procedures of laboratories within the food industry. Modifications to instruments allow for rapid, onsite sample analysis, reducing turnaround time for work that may have been previously outsourced. The current state of SEM and thermal stage technology allows for companies to perform their own analyses in their own laboratories in as little as 15 minutes. These time-saving measures, for example, enable the quality control scientist to quickly measure the coating of a candy bar to determine the temperature at which starch grains will gelatinize, or to investigate failures in food packaging materials.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/09/microscopic-advancements-aid-food-qc-labs
The Agricultural Lab of the Future
GE, Panasonic, Toshiba and Fujitsu—one can easily point out the similarities between these companies. They have long been recognized and heralded for their work in the electronics and semiconductor industry. However, given their recent investments, it’s possible that this editorial written 20 years down the road may reflect on these companies as agricultural powerhouses instead. Recently, each company has started an indoor vegetable farm to provide pesticide-free leafy veggies. The response so far has been positive, and the future looks bright enough that we may be seeing a new type of “lab of the future.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/blogs/2014/08/agricultural-lab-future
Lab water purification systems play a crucial role in everyday work. Here are some pointers for selecting the perfect purification system for your lab.
A lab’s water purification system typically goes unnoticed, working behind the scenes to provide lab members with good quality water, rarely receiving a great deal of attention. However, considering that high quality water is an essential component of multiple lab applications—from autoclave feeds and buffer preparation to molecular biology and cell culture work—it is perhaps the very thing that should be carefully considered by all lab members. Knowing that water impurities can drastically impact sensitive techniques such as chromatography and spectrometry, as well as disrupt the multitude of enzymatic reactions relied upon in molecular biology, a lack of attention to this topic can quickly lead to poor data.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/08/good-water-good-results
Innovative, Automated and Simpler Sample Prep
Researchers want more of everything in the multitude of lab systems they employ for sample prep—throughput, ease-of-use, accuracy and speed are just a few.
Sample preparation continues to be the largest bottleneck in the modern research lab. Most sample prep operations are still non-automated and require a substantial number of personnel for labor-intensive and time-consuming operations leading up to analytical measurements. As a result, equipment and instrumentation developers are dedicating a large portion of their new product development work to improving the systems used in these processes. This is important because sample prep is used by more researchers than any other process, as well as being the process with the widest range of utilized equipment.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/06/innovative-automated-and-simpler-sample-prep
A Plastic World
A quote that has stuck with me for a long time is the one where a business partner (Mr. McGuire) of Benjamin Braddock’s father in the movie “The Graduate” advises Ben (played by Dustin Hoffman) at his graduation party that he, “just wants to say one word to you…..[and that word is] plastics.” Plastics in 1967, when this movie was made, was at the beginning of a substantial growth curve, and Mr. McGuire thought it had a great future.
Guest Blog: Metal Oxide Nanoparticles in Food Won’t Kill You
Recently Mother Jones published an article on the dangers of food laced with tiny metal oxide particles. The article, however, is laced with errors and misinformation.
The source material for the article came from a report by the environmental organization Friends of the Earth, an online database of nanotechnology-based consumer products and a peer-reviewed paper published in 2012. But, the analysis of the information is flawed.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/blogs/2014/06/guest-blog-metal-oxide-nanoparticles-food-wont-kill-you
Research is all about new beginnings. Over the past century, relatively small groups of scientists who were in the right place at the right time and with particular knowledge sets and business acumen have advanced the state of science and technology (S&T). In the early 1900s, the Edisons, Fords and Wrights created the foundations for modern transport and production technologies. Fifty years ago, it was the Watsons, Hewletts and Packards who created similar foundations for modern computing machines. Twenty-five years ago, the Mullis’, Hoods and Venters created the foundations for modern biological processes. And today, the Pages, Bezos’ and Zuckerbergs are creating a ubiquitous knowledge and communications environment.
Read complete blog: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/blogs/2014/05/beginnings
Translational Facilities Blend Research with Clinical Care
Basic research labs are being closely integrated with medical-based clinical facilities to accelerate the overall bench-to-bedside process.
Translational research is a “new” science concept intended to translate research findings in basic research to practical applications in the health, environmental and agricultural sciences, among others. The popular meaning in its most notable application—health science—is translating basic knowledge into the development of new medical treatments or meaningful health outcomes—or put more simply “bench-to-bedside.”
Many “Acid Bath” Stem Cell Investigators Are Investigated
It seems as if everyone is being investigated. On April 1, a Riken Institute investigative committee charged Harvard University/Riken stem cell researcher Haruko Obokata with falsification and fabrication of images in a January Nature paper. In that paper, she had reported reprogramming ordinary cells into stem cells just by stressing them with coffee-mild acid.
The alleged falsification—first discovered by anonymous Japanese scientist/bloggers—involved cutting and pasting gel images supposed to prove her starting cells were mature. The alleged fabrication involved false differentiation images supposed to prove her final cells were stem cells. (The latter images were outright taken from a completely different experiment, said the committee.)
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/05/many-%E2%80%9Cacid-bath%E2%80%9D-stem-cell-investigators-are-investigated