Many labs are inundated with a high volume of samples on a regular basis. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology labs can process thousands of samples daily, while medical labs are regularly bombarded with patient specimens. Because tube labeling can take up a significant portion of your day, having a system in place that can streamline the process is a necessity. For large labs, that includes having an automated labeling system.
The definition of LIMS is ever-evolving, with the technology used to develop it continually advancing and the needs of laboratories frequently changing. What remains constant, however, is the need to streamline sample tracking and traceability, data collection, and report generation. This is a continual pressing concern for the managers of academic, clinical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology labs, which are always looking for new solutions. LIMS was created to help fulfill these needs by automating the reporting process, managing data and inventory, monitoring workflows, assigning tasks, and storing data.
When you hear 3D printing, what do you think of? Perhaps you imagine creating inanimate objects like chairs, wrenches, or toys out of construction materials (e.g. plastic, ceramic, or metal). The uses of additive printing have evolved way past that and now serve an important role in medicine and research.
Everyone, at some point in their scientific career, has come across a technique that is made far more difficult than necessary because of how difficult it is to label their samples. However, whether your labels keep falling off, or the ink is continually smudging or fading, there’s usually an efficient solution to the problem. Below, we’ve listed several of the top experimental techniques that drive scientists crazy when it comes time to label tubes and slides.
Errors are difficult to avoid completely, no matter where you work. However, these errors can be especially costly to an assisted reproductive technology/in vitro fertilization (ART/IVF) clinic. With large numbers of donor egg and sperm samples as well as embryos that need to be accounted for on a daily basis, mistakes must be avoided at all costs. Here, we’ll discuss some of the methods IVF clinics have implemented to reduce or outright eliminate mistakes.
The main purpose of any vaccine is to stop the spread of communicable diseases from one person to another and, where possible, to abolish the disease outright from the general population. There are many commercially available vaccines for a variety of viral and bacterial diseases, including diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, polio, tuberculosis, hepatitis, human papillomavirus, and influenza. To develop these and other vaccines, three things are required: research to find an antigen (usually a protein produced by the pathogen) that produces a protective immune response against the disease, a platform in which to produce the vaccine, and clinical testing.
Science has recently begun to establish some of the tools that might let us develop a form of synthetic life. Developing cells from scratch ought to let us understand a whole lot more about what actually constitutes a living organism, while making it possible to generate simpler (yet no less sophisticated) life-like organisms that can be more predictably manipulated.1
In vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics specialize in obtaining, storing, and culturing sperm and eggs from donors to generate live embryos. Because they handle large quantities of human-derived primary cells, these labs must be tightly regulated. The guidelines state that every device, including those used to cryogenically store sperm and eggs, must be clearly and permanently labeled with patient identification codes and the date the samples were taken. Many labs will also require that their devices have low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Cryogenics is one of the most important fields that has been integrated into biomedical research. It’s employed to store a variety samples, including human tissue specimens, blood samples, and primary cells, making cryogenic storage an essential tool for hospitals and research facilities alike. Here, we’ll briefly explore how the field of cryogenics has developed within the last century to produce the storage equipment used throughout the world to perform ground-breaking research and to discover new medical advances.
Keeping a productive lab running smoothly isn’t an easy thing to do. Below, we’ve listed several tips that can set your lab up for continued success, whether your grant deadlines are fast approaching or you’re dealing with an inordinate number of samples.