What Makes a Lab a Productive Work Environment?

(DGIwire) – What is the recipe for the ideal laboratory work environment? A mixture of good management and state-of-the-art instrumentation. Recent articles in Nature and Laboratory Equipment have spotlighted the first of these elements. A survey of 3,200 scientists, conducted by Nature, suggested that a thorough training in lab and personnel management is crucial to helping lab managers optimize what is taking place inside.

The survey determined that morale was reasonably high among those surveyed, with scientists around the world viewing their groups as friendly, collaborative and supportive. Senior researchers reported the most satisfaction, with more than 90 percent reporting that they were happy with the operations of their labs.

“Key to optimizing the operations of any research lab in the life sciences is ensuring that its workers have the right tools to secure the knowledge they are seeking,” says Jeffrey Duchemin, President and CEO of Harvard Bioscience. “There is a wide variety of impressive instrumentation available to those doing a range of research in different fields.”

Harvard Bioscience encompasses an umbrella of companies that focus on a variety of research areas. For example, the company’s electrophysiology unit offers an in vivo wireless system, which enables the use of lightweight and reliable headstages from Triangle BioSystems (TBSI) with cutting-edge Multi Channel Systems (MCS) data acquisition and software. Additional products include a 32-channel micro preamplifier offering a smaller, more cost-effective headstage option for recordings not requiring stimulation that wish to retain the advantages of MCS’s tethered in vivo ME2100-System and the next generation of valve control systems from Warner Instruments with a 7” touch screen for even easier operation and control.

Data Science International, another Harvard Bioscience company, had developed implants for neuroscience that enable the continuous collection of up to four biopotential channels (typically EEG and EMG), plus temperature and activity for use in research areas such as sleep, seizure, affective disorders, movement disorders and neurodegenerative disorders. New implants for continuous glucose measurement allow the collection of stress-free data, with fewer blood draws and fewer animals. The implants are now available for mice, rats and large animals.

Within Harvard Bioscience’s Physiology, Cell and Molecular Instruments unit, BTX has developed solutions to advance all aspects of life science research from electroporation and electrofusion equipment to micro-volume spectrophotometers to the most accurate pen-sized pipettors and everything in between. Its ECM 830 Mammalian Transfection System is a multifunctional square wave electroporation generator that is ideal for delivery of molecules of interest into mammalian cells and tissues with high transfection efficiencies, including difficult-to-transfect cell types such as stem cells and primary cells.

“The instruments available to the modern researcher represent the cutting-edge of technology and could help significantly expand the boundaries of life science knowledge,” Duchemin adds.