Beyond Bitcoin: How Blockchain is Helping Make Healthcare Safer

Aug 8, 2019 12:07:46 PM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Technology, Healthcare

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In 2018, the term “Blockchain” was one of the most searched terms by scientists on Google.1 This technology first appeared ten years earlier as the driving force behind the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Since then, many have followed suit, creating more than 2000 different cryptocurrencies worth hundreds of billions of dollars.2 Blockchain is now being implemented in the healthcare industry, with the opportunity to solve many issues currently plaguing healthcare institutions and companies alike.


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Using 3D Printing to Build Organs, Implants, and Medical Devices

Jun 20, 2019 9:17:05 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Printer, Technology, Science, Healthcare

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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.


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How Vaccines are Made

May 30, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Technology, Science, Healthcare

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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.  

 

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Developing Artificial Life from Scratch

May 23, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Technology, Science

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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


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A Brief History of Cryogenic Storage

May 9, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Technology, Cryogenic, History

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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.


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Promoting Climate Change Awareness with Labels

Mar 21, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Technology, Science

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Climate change is a global phenomenon with wide-ranging and potentially disastrous effects for the entire human population.  The consumption of fossil fuels (e.g. coal, oil, and gas) combined with mass deforestation has led to exorbitantly high atmospheric CO2 levels that were only last recorded 800,000 years ago. These high CO2 levels have resulted in a significant increase in the average global temperature, a key factor that has led to the polar ice caps melting at an accelerated pace, making the seas warmer and sea levels higher.1 Heat waves are much stronger than they used to be, record-breaking hurricanes occur much more frequently than before, and we’ve lost nearly 60% of the world’s wildlife.2 It’s been well-documented that these changes are a result of human activities, as worldwide economic and technological progress has led to a consistent increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Altogether, this has led to a rise in the average global temperature of nearly one degree Celsius since 1901, with the rate of global warming having doubled since 1975.3

 

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Barcode Scanners and How They Actually Work

Feb 28, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Barcodes, Technology

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Many industries require barcodes to track their inventory, samples, and equipment. To integrate the data from the barcodes into a tracking system, the barcodes must be scanned when each item is processed. So, how do scanners relay the information from barcodes to a computer?

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What You Should Know About Automation in Histology

Feb 7, 2019 11:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Technology, Histology, Automation

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Histology has evolved considerably since its beginnings in the 17th century, with advances in both specimen processing and analysis. Consequently, histology departments now face increasingly larger workloads. To adapt, they have integrated automated systems, which save time and allow histology professionals to work on other skill-based tasks, while maintaining enough flexibility to process and stain according to the needs of the medical or research lab. Here, we’ll explore how automation has been integrated into histology to speed up the workflow of both medical technicians and researchers.

 

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Keys to Managing your Lab’s Inventory of Samples and Reagents

Jan 31, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Labels, Technology, Science, Laboratory

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Whether you have banks of cell lines stored in liquid nitrogen or assay reagents constantly consumed, managing your inventory is necessary to keep your lab running smoothly. That means having processes and workflows in place to guarantee the lab is working at peak efficiency, as well as having the proper material and infrastructure to track and manage your assets. Below, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can efficiently manage your inventory and keep track of everything in your lab.


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How Swiss Cheese Can Help You Avoid Errors in the Lab

Jan 24, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Labels, Technology, Healthcare, Laboratory

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Errors occur every day in healthcare institutions and research facilities. Medical lab errors can be very costly, setting hospitals back hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars for every mislabeled sample, causing irreparable harm to the physical and mental health of the patient. Errors in research also have a broad impact, skewing results and wasting precious materials—which are often irreplaceable—and years of effort.

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