While many are having a rough time throughout the world, we thought one of the best ways to lighten the mood for those stuck at home would be to repeat our much-loved Lab Fails Contest. Remember, not only do all the lucky winners receive a LabTAG DNA plushy, but they also have the distinction of having one of the worst (and best!) lab fails of the year. Here to brighten you day are the best lab fails of 2020.
Using RNA interference (RNAi) to knock down gene expression is one of the staples of life science research. It’s used in many cellular models, primarily as a tool for assessing the involvement of specific genes in biological systems. However, it wasn’t until recently that this technology was successfully adapted for humans to treat disease.
It’s common knowledge in the cannabis industry that printing labels is one of the most important steps in creating a product that’s trusted by buyers. Considering that cannabis has been only recently legalized in limited parts of the world, making well-printed, informative labels is a potential key differentiator for your business in terms of how the public sees your products, from oils and ground flowers to sprays and edibles.
Over the last 10 years, biobanks have become a staple of biomedical research. The ability to accumulate, catalog, and dispense a variety of sample types from a large population of donors, both healthy and diseased, has facilitated an abundance of new discoveries. Generating new data is so efficient that each week, the UK Biobank publishes a new study based on information obtained from its own samples. However, caring for so many samples requires not just skilled personnel, but also systems that can track and trace these samples without making errors. This has led biobanks to integrate practices from pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing companies to ensure their inventory of samples is properly maintained and distributed accordingly.
In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began implementing the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), requiring pharmaceutical companies track prescription drugs as they are distributed. This is especially necessary for different drugs that come in similar packaging, as the barcodes are usually the primary means of differentiating the two. Though the FDA has provided strict guidelines for tracking approved drug therapies, there are still no specific guidelines for investigational drugs used in clinical trials. Here are some things to consider when deciding how to barcode clinical study drugs marked for production and distribution to research pharmacies.
There are many ways to label samples in the lab, though some of these may not be particularly efficient. Here, we’ll review these labeling pitfalls and provide tips to remedy them, which will make your lab more productive and organized.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all medical devices are identified with a unique device identifier (UDI), in both human and machine-readable forms. This system was put in place to enable healthcare providers and manufacturers to more quickly identify flawed devices, leading to faster recalls, and a reduction in medical errors.
Though scientists are exceptionally smart and resourceful people, they aren’t always the neatest. I’ve walked into many labs where the area around the weigh scale is littered with unidentified powdery substances and the sink is full of unwashed labware. Unfortunately, cleanliness is extremely important in the lab, as chemicals and microorganisms can quickly contaminate freezers, benches, and incubators if not kept properly cleaned, making the lab a potential danger for both you and your samples.
As of the day this article was written, more than 20,000 cases of the new coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, have been confirmed in China.1 The disease, which originated in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei province of China, has taken over headlines across the world as it currently has the potential to drive a global pandemic, with the WHO declaring it a global health emergency. Though the fatality rate is currently not as high as either of its two relatives, SARS and MERS, everyone is taking the threat seriously, particularly in China, where cities have become ghost towns.2
First discovered in the 1950s, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is now one of the most widely used techniques to resolve cellular structures. It bombards a specimen with an electron beam, which is focused with magnetic lenses to give an extremely high-resolution image, making it possible to view subcellular organelles—and sometimes full atoms and molecules—with much more precision than either light or confocal microscopes can provide.