Don’t Ignore Lab Security: Protecting Your Samples and Data

Oct 3, 2019 / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Technology, Laboratory

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Lab security is critical no matter what kind of lab you work in. Medical labs need to keep patient identities confidential, while pharmaceutical labs and clinical trials face potential risks of theft or tampering. Even academic labs work with sensitive samples that need to be properly secured. Here, we’ll review some of the ways you can safeguard your samples and data from being meddled with by outside parties.


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The 4 Best New Features in the 2019 Edition of BarTender

Sep 26, 2019 / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Barcodes, Technology

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BarTender is the most versatile label printing software available on the market. BarTender 2019, the software’s first full update since 2016, was released this year with changes that yield additional functionality and a more streamlined database creation process. Here, we review the top 4 new additions that will improve how you manage databases and print labels with BarTender.     


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Beyond Bitcoin: How Blockchain is Helping Make Healthcare Safer

Aug 8, 2019 / 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 / 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 / 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 / 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 / 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 / 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 / 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 / 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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