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Tech Overview - Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy
March 28, 2019 -- In today's post, we'll be discussing one of the techniques used to determine the concentration of particular elements in a sample. Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) is a spectro-analytical technique for the quantitative assessment of chemical elements through the absorption of optical radiation by free atoms in the gaseous state. The technique had its start in the 19th century, but underwent significant development in the 1950s. The core method has gone largely unchanged since. AAS can be used to determine over 70 different elements in solution or solid samples. Read More
2019 ASM Biothreats Conference Highlights Biosecurity and Epidemics Research
March 27, 2019 -- “What’s the first thing you think of when you hear Ebola?” asked speaker John Dye, PhD, of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at the American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM) Biothreats conference, held during the last week of January in Arlington, Virginia. Ebola was one of the most talked about high-consequence pathogens at the event. However, the discussions were not somber but rather inspirational, focused on learning from past outbreaks in order to inform novel ways to approach detection and prevention of Ebola, as well as other pathogens and toxins. Read More
Scientists Discuss Career Satisfaction
March 7, 2019 -- How satisfied are you with your career as a scientist? Do you feel adequately compensated for your work? Have you ever considered leaving your career in science? The Science Advisory Board set out to explore the answers to these questions. We interviewed over 600 of your fellow members from various disciplines across the world to understand their personal experiences and thoughts on the subject. Read More
Direct-to-consumer Testing Kits Exploded in 2018
February 28, 2019 -- Consumers are directing healthcare in many ways, but ordering clinical testing was, until recently, the exclusive purview of physicians. That’s changing as many services now exist for patients to order tests without a physician’s okay. The global direct to consumer (DTC) laboratory testing market totaled $208 million in 2018. Growth historically has been slower due to a lack of regulatory oversight and concerns within the industry. Strong growth is expected throughout the forecast period due to easing of the regulatory processes for DTC laboratory tests and increasing consumer demand for both direct-to-consumer routine clinical laboratory tests and genetic tests. Read More
Tech Overview - Color Measurement Technology
December 21, 2018 -- In today’s post, we’ll uncover a few ways to analyze the visual and molecular characteristics of a sample. Color measurement technology comprises a multitude of closely related instruments and photometric techniques that analyze the properties of a sample in terms of color, brightness, and other visual characteristics. Fluorescent-based techniques provide a wealth of information about a sample's atomic and molecular characteristics. I’ll discuss color measurement first, then describe the fluorescent technologies second. Read More
Scientists Speak Out on Research Misconduct
December 20, 2018 -- The scientific community is one of skepticism. The guarded interest of researchers and peer reviewers upholds a key understanding of scientific knowledge -- that any hypothesis is only as strong as the evidence that supports it. Read More
Biosimilars: How the FDA is Boosting Demand in Analytical Instrumentation
December 19, 2018 -- Establishing a regulatory pathway for pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. to manufacture biosimilar drugs presents a much anticipated new market opportunity for life science analytical instrument users. Read More
Tech Overview - Molecular Spectroscopy
December 12, 2018 -- This post kicks off our next technology series. Our focus will cover molecular spectroscopy. If your research uses molecular spec devices, or you are interested in learning more, be sure to follow along with this series as we uncover different technologies. Read More
Food Testing Compliance – Small Labs Battle With Changing Times
December 7, 2018 -- In our previous article, we reviewed some of the most prominent trends in the food applications industry. In this article, we delve into the technological drivers in the industry as well as end-user perspectives of 135 scientists around the world that currently use analytical tools in food safety testing, composition analysis, and other related applications. Read More
Modest Growth for Lab Automation
December 4, 2018 -- Lab automation refers to a collection of technologies that are involved in making faster and more efficient repetitive laboratory tasks. Lab automation generally consists of six categories: liquid handling; microplate readers; LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System), ELN/LES (Electronic Laboratory Notebook/Laboratory Execution System) and SDMS (Scientific Data Management System); multiplex and high-throughput ELISA systems; informatics; and robotics. Each of these techniques aims to increase the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of lab work, and enhance overall productivity. Read More
Tech Overview - X-ray Diffraction
November 30, 2018 -- X-ray Diffraction (XRD) is a non-destructive technique that probes properties of crystals, metallic solids and powders made of small-scale crystals. In XRD, a beam of x-rays is directed at the sample. Read More
Precious Metal Analysis with Atomic Spectroscopy- A Touchstone for Today!
November 28, 2018 -- Human culture has valued gold since prehistoric times. Gold was used in trade, and the first gold coins arose in the 6th century BCE. Doubtless, counterfeiting and adulteration arose almost immediately thereafter. Consequently, technology arose to evaluate gold for authenticity and purity. The importance and ubiquity of these methods have led to them entering the language as metaphors – we may speak of an ‘acid test’ or ‘touchstone’ for evaluating or exemplifying something’s worth. Although few of us still use gold in a day-to-day fashion for commerce, the need to assess purity remains, and analytical laboratory tools can be brought to bear on the question. Read More
Is Your Food Fit to Feast?
November 27, 2018 -- Almost everything you eat or drink exists within the confines of modern-day food safety guidelines, standards, and laws. Before it enters the grocery store or restaurant kitchen (and later, your stomach), the raw materials and final product have most likely been tested, processed, manufactured, monitored, validated, quality-checked, characterized, and certified – all before being shipped to its final destination for consumer purchase. Read More
Tech Overview - Total Organic Carbon
November 16, 2018 -- Carbon is found in both organic and inorganic forms. Organic carbon typically comes from naturally occurring urea, amines, and humid acid or from synthetic sources such as pesticides, fertilizers, and detergents. It also occurs as a result of the metabolic processes of bacteria and microorganisms. Inorganic carbon can come from a wide variety of sources, such as carbonate, bicarbonate, and carbon dioxide. Measurements of organic carbon are important for assessing water quality for a variety of purposes, however total organic carbon (TOC) analyzers generally determine the total carbon content of a sample and then separately account for the organic and inorganic content of the sample. Since the inorganic and organic content must sum to the total content, any two measurements determine the third. For this reason, the instruments classified in this post are referred to generally as sum parameter instruments. Read More
Who is top-of-mind in Plasticware?
November 14, 2018 -- We at The Science Advisory recognize the importance brands hold to our scientists. There are a variety of ways we can measure the value of a brand name. We have found that our members are loyal to brands that they have successes with and perceive as high quality. Furthermore, how recognizable the brand name is, and the special attributes the branded product contains are of great importance as well. We wanted to delve deep into the plasticware space and find out what brands came to mind when asked about lab plasticware for cell culture and liquid handling and storage. Read More
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