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
The Proving Ground
What are the qualities that go into a top life science research university?
Universities are primarily thought of as training grounds—a place for students to learn the concepts they need to succeed in their careers. But for many universities, they’re also proving grounds, places where conducting research, testing theories and making new discoveries are just as important as graduation rates. Not only does research fulfill the goal of advancing knowledge, but those schools with the best research departments attract the brightest minds and, in many cases, provide additional revenue to the school.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/04/proving-ground
Federal Cuts Slow, But Don’t Stop Growth
Slowing federal investments in academia first surfaced in 2012, and likely will remain as federal spending cuts continue.
For the first time in more than 50 years, the federal government reduced the absolute amount of support it supplied for higher education in 2012 from the amount it supplied in 2011 ($40.1 billion in 2012 versus $40.8 billion in 2011). In some previous years, such as 2007, the amount the federal government increased its academic support was less than the inflation rate for that year and so real dollar increases were not seen, but at least there was the perception that an increase was being made. The 1.6% decline in support seen in 2012, when added to the 1.7% inflation rate for that year means that the actual impact on academic support was more than 3%.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/04/federal-cuts-slow-dont-stop-growth
Universities are teaming with various departments, industry and non-profits in the fight against energy-hogging campus laboratories.
Academic researchers collaborate with one another on a regular basis—papers are published with multiple authors from multiple departments, spin-off technologies are often the brainchild of numerous scientists and new laboratories are built/renovated to physically and mentally encourage partnership. In this day and age, it’s only natural for one buzzword to meet the next—collaboration meet sustainability; you could learn something from each other.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/04/collaborative-sustainability
The Good & Not-So-Good of Academic Rankings
A plethora of academic ranking systems reveal “old school” traditions and new school limitations.
The ranking of academic institutions is an active endeavor with numerous methodologies created by numerous organizations, often for various end purposes. The table on the right illustrates just four of the more popular ranking systems, with specific categorizations shown for two of them (USNWR and THE). The data shown in the table represent a range of rankings for various criteria.
Read complete article here: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/04/good-not-so-good-academic-rankings