The amount of research data being generated is currently increasing at an annual rate of 30 percent. As scientific data output grows even further, effective data organization is not only going to become more important, but also more difficult.
One study has found that 80 percent of scientific data is lost within two decades and the odds of sourcing datasets decline by 17 percent each year. If data continues to be poorly managed, science will ultimately suffer, with experiments being hard to replicate, findings called into question, papers retracted and careers impacted.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/04/love-or-lose-your-data
Best Practices for Surplus Lab Equipment
Managing surplus assets is a vital part of business operations that, when executed correctly, can provide cost savings, create new revenue and protect the brand.
With downsizing, mergers and acquisitions and plant closures becoming a mainstay in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, organizations face millions of dollars in real estate, laboratory equipment and research devices that need to be redeployed, sold or trashed. Given budget restrictions and the importance of maximizing recovery while being privy to environmental regulations, organizations can no longer afford to simply allow assets to lie idle or dispose of them without any thought to the process.
Read more: www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/04/best-practices-surplus-lab-equipment
Hands-on Program Helps Students, Algae Grow
Extensive lab facilities and a real-world learning approach at a Texas community college has put students and their algae research on a path to success.
Biotechnology student Timothy Hall squinted at a flask full of algae, then carefully placed a few drops into a lab instrument using a pipette. In a few seconds, hundreds of green algal cells appeared on screen. He clicked on several of the digital images, reviewed their measurements and other data and analyzed it for trends or patterns. Hall goes through this process almost daily, monitoring the growth of algal cells and their production of lipids as part of primary research he’s conducting in hopes of someday leading a viable commercial enterprise selling algae as feedstock for biofuel production and other applications. But Hall hasn’t looked for any venture funding. His work on moving America toward energy independence is part of his associate degree program in biotechnology at Lone Star Community College’s Montgomery campus in Conroe, Texas.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/04/hands-program-helps-students-algae-grow
Pure Lab Water: The Essential Lab Component
Increasing analytical instrumentation capabilities are expected to drive the demand for higher performance, easier-to-use and more flexible lab water systems.
"Ultrapure lab water is essential to research laboratory applications,” says Wayne Darsa, Director of Business Development at ELGA LabWater, Woodridge, Ill. “Often, however, it’s taken for granted even though it makes up the vast majority of reagents. In a worst case scenario, months of lab work can be called into question if inconsistencies in the ultrapure lab water source are identified in its delivery, jeopardizing published data.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/03/pure-lab-water-essential-lab-component
The Right Supply for the Right Sample
Considering all options for liquid nitrogen supply systems, including size and safety, is critical to further the growth of cryogenic applications.
The growth of storing and preserving biological materials in cryogenic liquid nitrogen freezers has resulted in many options and challenges in how to effectively supply these systems with the cryogenic liquid they require. Evaluating options, sizing and safety considerations is critical to determining the path a university laboratory or research facility should choose for implementation.
In new construction of facilities where dedicated freezer storage areas can be designed into the building plan, a large low-pressure bulk liquid nitrogen supply connected to a vacuum-jacketed pipeline is typically the best option. This type of installation allows for the most cost-efficient delivery of nitrogen by the supplier and potentially the lowest evaporation loss of cryogen to the freezers because of the low-heat transfer properties of vacuum-insulated piping systems.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/02/right-supply-right-sample
Faster, Better Sample Prep for Foodstuffs
Centrifugal evaporation has proven itself as a fast, safe and efficient sample preparation method in the analysis of foodstuffs for prohibited antibiotics.
Nitrofuran antibiotics were banned from use in the European Union (EU) in 1995 because of concerns that their residues were carcinogenic. In 2002/2003, the EU introduced a stringent testing regimen that calls for the use of highly sensitive methods to test food stuffs, principally meat, fish and shellfish, for the presence of this class of antibiotics. The Minimum Required Performance Limit (MRPL) laid down by the EU directive is 1 µg per kg for edible tissues, and is enforced on all products whether produced locally or imported into the EU. Many papers detail methods and identify metabolites and derivatives of the drugs concerned. The analytical method calls for good upstream sample preparation to eliminate the effects of the matrix, and can be manual and time consuming, particularly where evaporation is concerned. This article describes operational benefits, including workflow improvements, gained by the official food control authority of the canton of Zurich—Kantonales Labor Zurich (KLZH) —during improvement of an upstream sample preparation methodology based on Genevac’s EZ-2 Envi evaporator.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/01/faster-better-sample-prep-foodstuffs
Flexibility, Software and Ease-of-Use Drive Next-Gen Lab Automation
Making lab automation systems usable to non-experts is becoming a driver for equipment suppliers.
In today’s tight economic climate, the cost of operating a modern research lab is often considered the primary challenge for research managers and directors. One could extrapolate from that posit that, when considering the application of automation systems, the resulting reduction of costs from automation implementation would be the driving factor. But the substitution of machine systems for high-cost human operations is not the primary reason for implementing lab automation. Indeed, it’s not even the second reason, according to a recent reader survey by the editors of Laboratory Equipment.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2014/01/flexibility-software-and-ease-use-drive-next-gen-lab-automation
Temperature Standardization Gets the Cold Shoulder
Laboratories remain slow to adopt protocols and technologies that can improve and standardize temperature control in biomaterial sample handling and preservation.
While research involving temperature-sensitive biomaterials has been conducted for centuries, efforts to standardize temperature control in sample processing and handling have not been widely adopted. The situation continues despite the fact that research involving temperature-sensitive biomaterials has grown exponentially in recent years. Drug developers are now increasingly targeting biologics and other therapies that are highly temperature-sensitive. Out of the top 10 global pharma products positioned for launch in 2014, seven are biologics that have stringent requirements for cold chain handling. In addition, the introduction of new assays and other diagnostic tools based on analysis of blood, plasma, tissue and other biomaterials means that more laboratories than ever are now handling biological samples. In many cases, samples must be shipped to different locations for processing or analysis, making temperature control even more challenging.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2013/12/temperature-standardization-gets-cold-shoulder
Mobile Phones for Mobile Labs
Smartphones have the ability to be as transformative in the lab as they have been in our personal lives.
Envision a company on which millions rely for clean, safe drinking water. To deliver that vision, and ensure the region’s water is contaminant-free, the company uses a high-tech water sampling platform that relies on field technicians accurately and efficiently collecting and testing samples from reservoirs, water treatment facilities and even customers’ homes.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2013/12/mobile-phones-mobile-labs
Pittcon Showcases New and Breakthrough Technologies
General lab equipment, analytical instruments and specialty life science testing devices highlight the show’s return to the Northeast.
This issue of Laboratory Equipment covers the new products and technologies showcased at the 64th Annual Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (www.pittcon.org) being held in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pa., on March 17 to 21, 2013. Pittcon draws more than 17,000 attendees to view the laboratory products from more than 930 exhibitors. This year is an off-year for both the Analytica and Achema conferences, so visitors will only get to see new lab products at Pittcon and possibly ArabLab in Dubai the week before Pittcon (March 10 to 13, 2013). ArabLab has about 10,000 attendees and 750 exhibitors, but less than 10% of the exhibitors at ArabLab are also at Pittcon and vice versa, so attendees at one show will see mostly uniquely new products that are not seen at the other show.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2013/02/pittcon-showcases-new-and-breakthrough-technologies
Responding to Patient Safety Threats in the Lab
A public-private solution is needed to address and solve the serious risks to patient safety inherent in today’s pathology laboratory.
Few would argue that patient safety in a healthcare venue should be of paramount concern. Recognizing that, the federal government is spending $1 billion to address patient safety risks such as medication errors, slips and falls and inaccuracies in charting. Still, there’s one little-known setting where patient safety can be compromised on a daily basis—a place where risk should be unacceptable, given the potential for catastrophic results: the pathology lab.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2013/02/responding-patient-safety-threats-lab
Certified Welding Systems Support Medical Device Industry
Quality systems for the welding of medical devices rely on a variety of set standards, including protocols, certification and federal agency compliance.
A quality system rigorous enough to support the medical device industry is a necessary component of any welding company doing business in that sector. But what exactly does that include? A little bit of everything, it turns out. From IQ/OQ/PC (installation qualification/operational qualification/performance qualification) documentation, to adherence to ISO 13485 quality management standards, to compliance with FDA good manufacturing practices; quality procedures and documentation pervade the entire organization.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2013/02/certified-welding-systems-support-medical-device-industry
A Look Back: Early Pittcon Coverage
While Pittcon is celebrating its 64th birthday and a return to its roots in the Northeast, Laboratory Equipment is celebrating its 50th birthday with a look back at previous coverage.
Laboratory Equipment magazine was first published in May 1964 as a large tabloid publication. Since then, the magazine has evolved—just as laboratory equipment has—to meet the demands of a market and take advantage of a changing technological landscape. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is a commitment to showcasing new products and technologies, especially from one of the most important trade shows in the industry.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/articles/2013/02/look-back-early-pittcon-coverage
Ever Faster Technological Change
I am constantly amazed at the speed at which technology seems to be changing and how fast we’re catching up with the future. Two recent publications bring this fact home: in a Brookings Institution research article, the authors describe multiple body parts that future researchers will use to track individuals. And in “The Future Issue” (January 14, 2013) of Fortune magazine the editors document a number of future technologies and events, including an interview with one of my favorite futurists—Ray Kurzweil, on reverse engineering of the human brain.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/blogs/2013/02/ever-faster-technological-change