Valentine’s day is a special day for couples around the world. For those who believe that love is blind, it doesn’t really matter how or why they love their significant other; they simply love them because of who they are, no matter what (unless they leave the toilet seat up, then things get a little hairy). For scientists, though, studying love represents an intriguing challenge, from both evolutionary and biochemical perspectives. By studying humans and other monogamous animals—the prairie vole, in particular—researchers have devised biological theories that explain the reasons behind why we love and how our bodies react to affection and desire.
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.
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.
Syringes are one of the most integral tools of any medical institution. Primarily used for injectable medications, they are critical to proper patient care, as anesthesiologists depend on them to sedate and anesthetize. With that in mind, it’s important to consider that syringes, which may hold any number of different classes of drugs, need to be properly labeled with pertinent information, such as the name of the drug and its concentration, as mislabeled syringes could yield potentially dire consequences for those who are injected with the wrong substance or dose.
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.
So, you’ve decided to purchase a set of labels and a label printer, but you haven’t figured out which software you should install to design your labels with. There are several different options, from basic software that comes with the printer to specialized software, such as BarTender™ and Label Matrix™, each of which can be used on their own or as part of a laboratory information management system (LIMS). Here, we’ll review some of the pros and cons of each option.
Gene expression microarrays generate extremely high amounts of transcriptomic data. These datasets may account for thousands of genes from hundreds of different individuals and can be used to identify genes associated with a particular disease or to assess gene expression profiles in response to a given therapy. Transcriptomic datasets are usually uploaded to a larger database, such as Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), where others can review the data and draw their own conclusions. In effect, these datasets don’t just shape the hypothesis of the paper from which it was published; they influence all other scientists using those datasets to guide their own research.
Histology, the study of the anatomy of cells and tissues, is an important field of research used by researchers and physicians. While researchers seek to understand how each individual cell affects the function of tissues and organs, physicians study the histopathology of tissues, to see how they change in those affected by disease. Proper labeling of tissue samples at each step of the tissue preparation process is critical to the interpretation of histopathologic results, which are relied upon to correctly diagnose patients. However, histological techniques present unique obstacles for proper labeling that will often require innovative identification solutions to overcome.
In both clinical and research labs, it is often necessary to label material or equipment with sensitive information. This can include patient information or confidential experimental data. Once the patient is discharged, or the samples are either processed or no longer needed, these labels must be discarded; however, the information on the labels must still remain private. In certain cases, this may prove to be more difficult than anticipated. Here are 3 unique label options to help ensure that discarded material can’t be used to procure sensitive information.
Most of us are familiar with the mainstream image of Santa Claus, with his reindeer, sleigh, and a country full of elves that love nothing more than to make presents for children. However, Saint Nicholas was not always the goofy bearded man we picture today, having gone through many facelifts since his humbler beginnings in the 4th century, a time when Saint Nicholas, otherwise known as Nicholas of Bari or Nicholas of Myra, lived.