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The Lead

Acoustic Liquid Handling: Not a One-Trick Pony

December 30, 2013 11:21 am | by Joe Olechno, Labcyte Inc. | Articles | Comments

Liquid handlers are essential in drug discovery but have been prone to limitations inherent in their design. As researchers miniaturize to reduce cost and allow the use of rare reagents and cells, these limitations can become more serious.

Coculture Systems Increase Sensitivity for Predictive Toxicology Studies

December 16, 2013 12:13 pm | by Onyi Irrechukwu, Hepregen Corporation | Articles | Comments

Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is of primary concern in drug development. Nearly half of all...

Site-Directed Mutagenesis via Gibson Assembly

May 21, 2013 12:11 pm | by Ezra Schildkraut, PhD; Peichung Hsieh, PhD, Applications and Product Development Scientists; New England Biolabs, Ipswitch, Mass. | Articles | Comments

Gibson Assembly is a rapid and reliable method for the assembly of DNA fragments in a single-...

Quantifying Apoptosis Via High-throughput Screening

April 12, 2013 3:49 pm | by David Guffey, MS, Senior Technical Service Consultant; Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis | Articles | Comments

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, plays an essential role in organismal development and...

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Bioluminescence and Fluorescence Imaging for Preclinical Cancer Research

February 21, 2013 2:13 pm | by Jeffrey D. Peterson, PhD, Director of Applied Biology; PerkinElmer, Boston, Mass. | Articles | Comments

The most common metric used to assess tumor progression or response to treatment is the physical measurement of tumor length and width for the calculation of tumor volume. This approach is often hindered by the inherent inaccuracies and variability of hand calculation and is only useful for accessible subcutaneous tumors.

Pathway Profiling via Endogenous Gene Tagging

February 14, 2013 1:54 pm | by Dmitry Malkov, PhD, Principal Scientist; David Briner, Manager, Emerging Technologies; Sigma Life Science, St. Louis, Mo. | Articles | Comments

Since the isolation and propagation of the first immortalized cell line some 60 years ago, a multitude of relevant cell types and lineages now serve as a cornerstone in scientific research. However, as the “toolbox” grows so does our understanding of potential shortcomings in these models.

Cryo-Electron Microscopy Elucidates 3D Structure in Biological Samples

October 5, 2012 4:44 pm | by Thomas Wohlfarth, PhD, Director, Product Marketing, Life Sciences Business Unit; FEI, Eindhoven, Netherlands | Articles | Comments

Electron microscopes are thousands of times more powerful than light microscopes, capable of visualizing single atoms and detecting differences in their positions as small as 50 picometers. Unfortunately, most biological specimens share characteristics that pose challenges to scientists’ ability to realize EM’s full potential.


Using SEM/EDX for Particle Characterization in the Drug Manufacturing Process

October 4, 2012 3:29 pm | by Sue Benes, Product Marketing Manager, and Marie Vicéns, PhD, Manager of Analytical Services, ASPEX Corporation, Delmont, Pennsylvania | Articles | Comments

Drug manufacturing processes―especially production of drugs delivered through inhalation―must have strict control over contaminate particles. Numerous methodologies  allow companies to monitor these particles, the challenge is gathering the information quickly enough in order to be able to detect manufacturing problems.

Low-Voltage Transmission Electron Microscopy for Life Science Research

October 4, 2012 3:22 pm | by Jared Lapkovsky, Sales and Application Engineer; Delong America, Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Articles | Comments

Low-energy electrons interact much more strongly with the sample than the high-energy electrons from classical transmission electron microscopes. Electrons in the LVEM5 are strongly scattered by organic materials resulting in strong differentiation of features.

Automating Fluid Level Monitoring in Analytical Instruments

August 10, 2012 4:08 pm | by Wendy Gaisford, Scientific Writer; TTP Labtech, Cambridge, U.K. | Articles | Comments

Laboratory automation within the pharmaceutical industry has been expanding rapidly over the past decade, providing higher productivity, precision, and quality.

Automated Colony Picking

August 9, 2012 4:42 pm | by Scott VanderWoude, Director of Marketing & Sales; Hudson Robotics, Springfield, N.J. | Articles | Comments

Automated colony-picking instruments have been used for many years to image and select “good” bacterial colonies from an agar plate, pick the good colonies with a pin, then inoculate a microplate filled with media. The pins were then sterilized and the process was repeated.

Automating Microplate Cell-based Assays

August 9, 2012 4:40 pm | by E.J. Dell, PhD, International Marketing Director; BMG LABTECH, Ortenberg, Germany | Articles | Comments

As scientists developed fluorescent proteins for use in cellular assays, a need for a corresponding analytical instrument arose. The most important of these is the confocal microscope. Using various fluorescent proteins, real-time pictures and movies of cellular processes can be recorded using a confocal microscope.


Robots Minimize Human Intervention

August 9, 2012 4:36 pm | by David Arceneaux, Operations Manager-Assistant Division Manager; Stäubli Robotics, Duncan, S.C. | Articles | Comments

Contamination is a significant concern for the pharmaceutical industry. Despite stringent gowning procedures and sophisticated PPE, human operators indisputably remain the greatest contributor to cleanroom and product contamination. For this reason, removing human operators from the equation is essential to reducing contamination.

Automating Workflow

August 9, 2012 4:31 pm | by Dean S. Mulyk, Product Manager, Mid-Throughput Segments; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Burlington, Canada | News | Comments

With high demand for reliable and accurate data across the drug discovery industry, automation has become a key component within almost every laboratory. The ability to streamline workflows in an efficient manner increases walk-away time for lab personnel and frees them up for more-demanding tasks.

Automation of 3D Cell Culturing

August 9, 2012 4:26 pm | by Susanne Braum, PhD, Senior Market Manager Cells & Proteins; Tecan Schweiz AG, Mannedorf, Switzerland | Articles | Comments

Cells naturally grow in a 3D environment, which has a direct influence on individual cell morphology and leads to the formation of complex intercellular structures. Maintaining this 3D environment is crucial to understanding cell function and signaling, as well as cellular responses to external stimuli such as pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals.

PCR Thermal Cycler Enables Rapid Optimization

June 13, 2012 1:20 pm | by Charles Joseph, PCR Portfolio Product Manager; Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, Calif. | Articles | Comments

While quantitative PCR is used for applications such as expression profiling, traditional end-point PCR is most commonly used to amplify DNA and RNA for downstream applications.

Real-time PCR System Enables Small- and Large-Scale Experiments

June 13, 2012 12:14 pm | by Vanee Pho, Product Manager for Life Technologies; Kathleen Hayashibara, Senior Applications Specialist; Life Technologies Corp., Carlsbad, Calif. | Articles | Comments

The growing demand for biomarker screening experiments has created a greater need for instruments that enable high-throughput capabilities coupled with high accuracy and low cost.


High Throughput Real-Time PCR for Large-Scale Gene Analysis

June 13, 2012 12:09 pm | by John R. Ogden, PhD, Director, Applications & Technical Services; Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, Ind. | Articles | Comments

Large-scale, PCR-based gene analysis is only possible when signals are generated, captured, and analyzed accurately and reproducibly.

Optical Biosensors for High-Throughput Screening

May 21, 2012 2:11 pm | by Lynsey Willetts, PhD, MBA, Product Line Manager - Epic Technology; Corning Life Sciences, Tewksbury, Mass. | Articles | Comments

The Corning Epic platform offers access to native cell signaling pathways that best reflect relevant in vivo conditions, more accurately reflecting their true biological function.

Quartz Crystal Microbalance Technology Provides Biologically Relevant Data

May 14, 2012 4:53 pm | by Teodor Aastrup, Executive VP and Co-founder; Attana AB, Stockholm, Sweden; Ingo Montenbruck, PhD, Head of Sales Development Europe; Tecan Deutschland GmbH, Crailsheim, Germany | News | Comments

Many companies are refocusing their drug discovery programs to provide a broader perspective of modes of action―as well as inclusion of biomarkers.

Noninvasive Technology Provides Highly Characterized Information

May 14, 2012 4:50 pm | by Tim Cloutier, PhD, Director of In Vitro Applications; PerkinElmer, Waltham, Mass. | Articles | Comments

Across academic and drug discovery research there is growing demand for more physiologically-relevant assay platforms, leading to increased adoption of both label-free technologies and stem cells.

Screening Membrane Targets by SPR in Drug Discovery

May 14, 2012 4:44 pm | by Laura Moriarty, PhD, Protein Function Division Product Manager; Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., Hercules, Calif. | Articles | Comments

Surface plasmon resonance is used to detect the interaction of biomolecules in real time without the need for labels. Traditionally, SPR has been used to measure protein interactions during drug discovery research.

Microarray-Synthesized Oligos for Targeted Sequencing

April 12, 2012 3:28 pm | by Chris Hebel, Vice President of Business Development; LC Sciences, Houston | Articles | Comments

Though next-generation DNA sequencing provides very high levels of coverage even on complex genomes, it is still advantageous to reduce the complexity of samples.

Automation of Next-Generation Sequencing Sample Preparation

April 12, 2012 3:20 pm | by Alicia Burt, Senior Product Manager; Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, Calif. | Articles | Comments

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized genomics, enabling entire genomes and exomes to be sequenced more efficiently than ever before.

Light and Electron Microscopy Workflow Sheds Insight on Cells

March 19, 2012 3:10 pm | by Robert W. Snyder, Global Marketing Programs Manager, Life Sciences Business Unit; FEI Company, Hillsboro, Ore. | Articles | Comments

The Modular Automated Processing System from FEI is a workflow application that allows the microscopist to use image data from a light microscope to quickly and easily find and image the same area of the sample in an electron microscope.

Fluorescence Zoom Microscopy for Screening and Imaging

March 19, 2012 3:04 pm | by Kristen Orlowski, Product Manager Light Microscopy; Carl Zeiss Microscopy, Thornwood, N.Y. | Articles | Comments

Traditional compound microscopes offer high resolution, allowing visualization of structures down to approximately 220 nm, but at the cost of working distance and image field size.

Macro to Micro In Vivo Imaging

March 19, 2012 2:58 pm | by Sean Gallagher, PhD, VP and CTO; Tony Sanchez, MD, Life Scientist; UVP LLC, Upland, Calif. | Articles | Comments

With the availability of both mice and cancer cell lines that are genetically encoded to express fluorescent protein tags,  tumor seeding, growth, and spread via metastasis can be viewed in real time in the living animal.

Atomic Force Microscopy and Drug Research

March 9, 2012 12:50 pm | by Sophia Hohlbauch, Biological Applications Scientist; Nicholas Geisse, Biological Applications Scientist; Irene Revenko Biological Applications Scientist; Asylum Research, Santa Barbara, Calif. | Articles | Comments

Atomic force microscopy is part of a broad class of scanning probe microscopes that were originally developed in the 1980s. AFMs physically track samples with a microfabricated probe to generate 3D topographical images.

Laser-free Technology for Confocal Imaging

March 9, 2012 12:33 pm | by Geraint Wilde, PhD, Product Specialist for Microscopy; Andor Technology plc, Belfast, U.K. | Articles | Comments

The primary benefit of confocal imaging is its ability to capture high-contrast, high-resolution fluorescent images, typically through the volume of a specimen.

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