Laser Safety Glasses: The Ugly Truth About Laser Radiation Exposure

Avoiding Eye Damage

In the time that it takes to blink an eye, laser radiation damage to the eye may have already occurred. Unprotected exposure to lasers can result in the development of cataracts or even a corneal burn, which can result in vision loss. If you are working with or around lasers, it is very important to understand the consequences of laser radiation exposure. We have decided to dedicate this post to educating you about laser beams and the safety precautions you should take when working around them.

Laser Beam Exposure

In addition to direct laser beam exposure, there are several other types of dangerous indirect laser beam exposures. Intra beam exposure occurs when the eye or skin is directly exposed to all or a part of the laser beam. It is also important to be careful of specular reflections. This is when the laser beam is reflected off mirror like surfaces. Reflections from flat mirror surfaces can be as harmful as exposure to a direct laser beam. Curved mirror surfaces decrease the intensity of the beam, but there is a larger area for possible laser radiation exposure. Diffuse reflections happen with surfaces that reflect the beam in many directions. Because the beam is reflected in so many directions, this exposure does not have the same power and energy of a direct beam. It is important to keep in mind that diffuse reflections are still harmful.

Protecting Your Eyes

The biggest risk with working around lasers is having any of these types of exposures enter the eye unprotected. In the human body, the eye is the most sensitive to light. When the eye is exposed to a laser beam, the lens in the eye focuses the beam into a tiny spot. This can actually burn the retina of the eye. At different wavelengths, lasers cause several types of eye injuries. Exposure to laser radiation with wavelengths that are less than 400 nanometers and greater than 1400 nanometers result in cataracts and burn injuries. This is because the eye absorbs this level of exposure through the cornea and lens. The most damaging wavelengths are between 400 and 1,400 nanometers, which results in the heating of the retina and can cause retinal burns. The image below shows which parts of the eye absorb the laser rays at different wavelengths.

Determine The Appropriate Protection

Fortunately, wearing laser safety glasses or goggles can protect the eyes from the risks that lasers pose. The U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration require staff to wear laser safety glasses or goggles when operating or around lasers that are Class 3b and Class 4. Class 3b lasers are lasers that powered from 5 to 500 milliwatts and Class 4 lasers have output powers of more than 500 milliwatts. These laser safety glasses and goggles provide protection from reflected laser light and direct beam exposure. Laser safety eyewear is available for different wavelength ranges and for specific types of lasers. It is recommended that you find out the class of the laser you are working with as well as the appropriate wavelength range to ensure the best possible protection.

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to protect your eyes and yourself from the harmful effects of laser radiation. Remember, the damage done to the eyes from laser radiation exposure can be permanent!

The 5S Approach To A Lean Lab

What is Lean?

Lean production (lean) is a popular quality improvement methodology that can be traced back to manufacturing and technology. Lean manufacturing principles can be used to improve efficiency in the laboratory environment. Lean has been adopted by many health care organizations and laboratories to help eliminate waste, organize the workplace, streamline procedures and establish clear, visual standards.

According to a 2007 white paper written by the Mayo Clinic Mayo Medical Laboratories “Innovations in the Clinical Laboratory – An Overview of Lean Principles in the Laboratory,” Lean is a based on eliminating waste and continuous improvement: “This is done while intently concentrating on eliminating redundant motion, recognizing waste, and identifying what creates value from the client’s perspective. Lean is a continuous process improvement initiative and not an end destination.”

What is 5S Lean?

The disciplined approach of the lean methodology provides many benefits:

  • Reduces waste/clutter
  • Creates a culture of responsibility
  • Increased lab safety
  • Enhance employee morale and involvement
  • Organization
  • Cleanliness
  • Space savings
  • Increases inventory control
  • More consistent experiments
  • Increases productivity
  • Faster onboarding of new employees
  • Timely delivery of supplies

Simply put, 5S Lean is an enabler of waste-free production that supports an operating philosophy that emphasizes discipline, efficiency, and attention to detail. In the modern lab, where many labs have faced reduced budgets and fewer staff members, adopting the lean methodology can result in a more cost-effective and safer way to manage processes. Applying the 5S lean methodology in the laboratory environment will improve efficiencies and lab safety for current and future employees.

What are the 5 S’s?

There are five phases of the 5S Lean methodology, you may be familiar with the Japanese names, here are the five phases translated into English. It is important to note that you will want to establish a baseline for the target work areas before you begin the implementation process. This way you are able to document your baseline “before” condition with pictures and a description of the original work area configuration to use as a comparison during future audits.

  • Sort
  • Set in Order
  • Shine
  • Standardize
  • Sustain

Sort (Seri) is based on removing unnecessary items and disposing of them properly. Work is made easier by eliminating obstacles and you will reduce the chance of being disturbed by unnecessary items in the lab. This phase will also help prevent the accumulation of unnecessary items and it will also assist in the evaluation of necessary items with regard to debt, cost, and other important factors.

Key steps

  • Establish a holding area for items (e.g. red tag area)
  • Identify items not required at the current location
  • Organize team members to evaluate items in the holding area
  • Dispose of items with team approval

Set in Order (Seiton) is where you arrange all necessary items in order so they can be easily picked up for use. This phase focuses on preventing loss and wasting time, making it easy to find and identify the necessary tools, equipment, and supplies. You will want to identify sources of waste and rearrange items.

Key Steps

  • Identify necessary tools, equipment, and supplies
  • Determine location for necessary items
    • Item location considerations (pipettes will be used daily)
      • Daily use (lab bench) e.g. Pipettes
      • Weekly use (common storage area) e.g. buffer solutions
      • Monthly use (remote storage area) e.g. highly specialized lab items
  • Designate and outline permanent locations for items
    • How to set in order
      • Define the major processes performed
      • For each process, draw a map of the locations of each activity
      • Identify sources of waste and develop corrective measures
      • Position items where they are needed based on frequency
  • Organization of supplies
    • Determine address system with part number and address
    • Label container with part number
    • Note minimum and maximum quantity if appropriate
      • Inventory bins and shelves (holding product)
        • 2 bin system (2 bins for each product and once 1 bin is empty you will want to refill the bin)
        • Min/Max (max red line and minimum green line)
      • Relocating laboratory equipment such as digital dry baths, mini water baths, microscopes that are located throughout the laboratory into a more convenient location that is within reach and an open workspace.

Shine (Seiso) or clean is an important phase, especially while working in the laboratory environment. By thoroughly cleaning your work areas in the laboratory, you use cleaning as a means of inspection, you can keep your lab area safe from hazards and clutter which can result in inefficiencies. Getting in the habit of cleaning and inspecting your laboratory work space you will be able to identify leaks, spills, potential contamination, or any other minor problems that could turn into larger problems down the road.

Key Steps

  • Clean thoroughly – really make it shine!
  • Clean and inspect lab work areas daily to identify any potential issues or problems

Standardize (Seiketsu) phase is focused on maintaining order and adhering to a set standard. This is where you or your team will develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) which help in the in the on-boarding of new employees, saves time for routine tasks and improves overall efficiency. You will also want to document equipment and processes while developing an audit schedule and assigning specific tasks to individuals. Establishing a methodology to ensure a consistent strategy for successful 5S implementation is an important consideration and will impact the overall effectiveness of the initiative.

Key Steps

  • Develop SOPs (standard operating procedures) Helpful for new employees, saves time and improves efficiency
  • Document equipment and processes
  • Develop and audit schedule and assign tasks to individuals
  • Establish a methodology to ensure consistent strategy for 5S implementation
    • 5S taping standard
      • MIcroscope room (blue and yellow tape)
      • Standardize a bench (each bench has a standard layout)
        • Storage area for chemicals and solutions
          • Pipettes, sharps containers and tips
          • Biological cabinet (no tape) post a picture instead

Sustain (Shitsuke) is the most challenging and difficult stage for most organizations. Although this may be the most trying of phases, it is also the one with the largest payoff. You will want to regularly communicate and train employees to adopt the 5S methodology and adhere to the 5 phases to keep your lab running smoothly and efficiently. This portion of the 5S will have the highest level of variability since every lab and organization is different. It is important to define your measures of performance (MOPs) early, doing so will allow you to begin tracking your results immediately.

Key Takeaways

  1. Sort, separate what is unnecessary
  2. Set in Order, organize
  3. Shine, clean up
  4. Standardize, establish standard operating procedures
  5. Sustain, develop long-lasting habits

“The main objective of Lean, when applied in the laboratory, is to deliver quality patient laboratory results, at the lowest cost, within the shortest time frame while maintaining client satisfaction.” -Mayo Clinic Mayo Medical Laboratories

The Lean methodology is an extremely powerful tool when used properly. Every organization is different and this methodology will have to be adapted to your organizations unique needs and requirements. Remember, driving lean improvements can seem challenging at times, but when you utilize the proper tools, approach, and support, you can make a difference in your organization.

References

Amirahmadi, Fazi, Al Dalbello, Dan Gronseth, and Jean McCarthy. “Innovations in the Clinical Laboratory: An Overview of Lean Principles in the Laboratory.” (2007): 2. Mayo Medical Laboratories. Aug. 2007. Web. 28 Oct. 2009.

Ball, Dr. David [Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech]. (2014, July 24). 5S Organization in the Peccoud Lab Retrived from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_gmFiXgFY

Hirano, Hiroyuki (1995). 5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace. Cambridge, MA: Productivity Press. ISBN 978-1-56327-047-5.

3 Different Types of Serological Pipettes

Serological Pipettes

The serological pipette is commonly found and used in most laboratories for transferring milliliter volumes of liquid ranging from 1 milliliter to 50 milliliter. Pipettes are available in plastic or glass, for the purpose of this post we will be focusing on single-use, polystyrene plastic serological pipettes. We will be reviewing three types of serological pipettes, each type of pipette is designed for specific applications.

Open-End Pipettes

The Open-end pipettes are specially designed pipettes that feature an open-end for use with high viscosity liquids. The open-end design allows the pipettes to aspirate and dispense viscous liquids quickly and easily. Therefore, the fast fill and release rates make these pipettes well suited for use with oils, cosmetics, paint, sludge, food and cell culture applications. These open-ended pipettes are constructed of polystyrene plastic and provide a safer alternative to glass pipettes.

Liquid vapor and fluid contamination to the pipettor and sample is significantly reduced with fiber filter plug located at the end of the pipette tip. These non-pyrogenic pipettes are sterilized by gamma irradiation and come individually wrapped in thermoformed paper/plastic peel packaging. The pipettes are available in 1 mL, 2 mL, 5 mL, and 10 mL sizes. Color coded to meet industry standard ASTM E1380 for easy identification these open-end pipettes are an excellent choice for efficient liquid handling.

Bacteriological Pipettes

Used primarily in the examination of dairy products, milk or bacteriological pipettes are designed for use in the dairy field and meet the American Public Health Association (A.P.H.A) standard for the Examination of Dairy Products. These polystyrene milk pipettes are available in 1.1 mL and 2.2 mL sizes.

These sterile,non-pyrogenic, single-use bacteriological pipettes are sterilized by gamma irradiation and come individually wrapped in thermoformed paper/plastic peel packaging. These pipettes utilize a fiber filter that helps prevent fluid and liquid vapor contamination of samples and the pipette’s internal mechanism. This pipette is calibrated to deliver (TD) at +/- 2% and meets ASTM E934 standards.

Aspirating Pipettes

Unlike open-end and bacteriological pipettes, aspirating pipettes are completely transparent and do not have gradations. Designed for the transfer and mixing of liquids, they are used in a wide variety of applications, such as vacuum or pipettor aspiration procedures. These single-use, non-pyrogenic, non-plugged polystyrene pipettes are a safer alternative to glass Pasteur pipettes.

These aspirating pipettes come individually wrapped in thermoformed plastic/paper peel to protect against contamination. Sterilized by gamma irradiation, these pipettes have a sterility assurance level (SAL) of 10-6 .

Serological Pipettes: A Useful Tool For Transferring Solutions

Now that we have reviewed the three different types of serological pipettes available, you should have a better understanding of the unique capabilities of each type of pipette. For added flexibility and convenience, different sizes of pipettes can be used with the same pipette controller for a variety of experimental assays.

By following proper pipetting techniques while aspirating or dispensing liquids, serological pipettes can be useful tools for transferring milliliter volumes of solutions in your lab.

3 Safer Alternatives To Mouth Pipetting

Pipette controllers or fillers are used to draw liquid into a serological pipette. There are three different types of pipette controllers, ranging from simple rubberized bulbs to the more sophisticated motorized microprocessor controlled pipette fillers. These near ubiquitous liquid handling instruments may seem banal to some, but prior to the 1970’s, pipette controllers did not exist. However, laboratories did have pipettes and the need to transfer liquid from one container to another.

Before The Pipette Controller: How did they do it?

Mouth pipetting. Yes, mouth pipetting. If you’re not familiar with the term, fear not, a brief explanation is in order. If you have used one of the three types of pipette controllers, you are aware that the bulb or motorized controller draws the liquid into the pipette. When one is mouth pipetting they draw the liquid into the pipette using suction created by their mouth. Think about the types of toxic and corrosive substances, researchers and scientists exposed themselves to when they would use the mouth pipetting technique. There is a great article on the Discover blog that goes into more details if you are interested in learning more about the dangers of mouth pipetting. This technique has been banned in all laboratories because of its associated health risks.

Simple Yet Effective The simplest type of pipette controller is of the rubberized bulb variety. The rubber pipette filler is designed for an efficient one-handed operation. Many of these fillers come with three valves so that you can control air evacuation, liquid uptake, and liquid dispensing quickly and easily. There are also two valved pipette fillers that release through an automatic valve. Although there are some slight differences in pipette fillers vary by the manufacturer the overall principle is the same.

Simple Pipetting Aids

Hybrid Pipette Controllers Blending the simplicity of the bulb styled pipette-aid with the ergonomic styling of a manual pipette controller, these unique pipette controllers will allow for even finer control of volumetric and serological pipettes.

Lightweight and Easy To Use

The RF1000 Pipette Controller from Heathrow Scientific is uniquely designed for one-hand operation. The replaceable and autoclavable tapered silicon pipette adapter allows for a large range of pipette sizes ranging from 1 to 50 milliliters. The intuitive design allows for simple and easy liquid transfer throughout your laboratory, squeeze the main bulb and push the toggle forward to aspirate or back to dispense. Expel any remaining liquid by pushing the blowout bulb conveniently located above the toggle for one-handed operation. This versatile pipette controller is compatible with common, readily available replacement filters, which helps reduce the cost of ownership over time. Storage is a breeze with the magnetic wall mount that will help prevent damage and contamination to your pipette controller.

Simplifies Pipetting

The macro pipette controller from BrandTech Scientific has been a laboratory standard for decades, the newest version has been completely redesigned for enhanced precision and control of all volumetric and serological pipettes from 0.1-200 milliliters. The features that made the macro pipette controller so popular in the lab, including the “one-size-fits-all” silicone adapter, the reinforced ridge for easy tip wiping, and the sensitive toggle for smooth aspiration and dispensing, have all been retained in the new version. The ease of use makes this pipette controller an excellent tool for laboratories with multiple and novice users. The macro eliminates the awkward hand positioning associated with rubber pipette bulbs while increasing control of meniscus-level and flow rate. This pipette controller is lightweight and features a relaxed grip design and low-resistance operation which minimizes strain from prolonged pipetting.

Increase Efficiency with Motorized Pipette Controllers

Quickly and easily transfer liquids throughout your lab with the push of a button. These pipette controllers have improved liquid transport dramatically from the days of the unsafe practice of mouth pipetting. These innovative automatic pipettors provide rapid, yet sensitive aspiration and dispensing.

The New Standard In Pipette Controllers

BRAND accu-jet pro

The BRAND accu-jet pro pipette incorporates comfort and performance features that make it one of the most popular pipette controllers on the market. The well balanced and lightweight, accu-jet pro is contoured to accommodate both small and large hands. The ergonomic design eliminates pressure points and provides low-fatigue pipetting operation. The pressure-sensitive buttons control pipetting speeds and the motor-speed-limiter improves accuracy when working with small volume pipettes. The accu-jet offers advanced electronic features including an LED battery indicator, a long-life, environmentally friendly Nickel-Metal hydride battery, speed limiter, and two delivery modes. The dual-mode charger provides a quick charging in only four hours, after the full charge is complete, the charger switches to a pulsed mode to extend battery performance and life. The battery is easily accessible and the controller comes with two different style covers depending on your preferred storage method, benchtop or wall mounted. The charging socket is conveniently located on the bottom of the grip allowing you to pipette and charge simultaneously.  The accu-jet comes in four different color accents for personal preference or color-coding of laboratory application.

Packed With Features For Comfort And Accurate Pipetting

Heathrow Scientific RF3000

The RF3000 from Heathrow Scientific has a powerful, microprocessor controlled pump with adjustable valves that provides accurate and dependable aspiration and dispensing of liquids. The universal grip and soft coated triggers are perfect for both right and left handed users. The well balanced controller offers users a comfortable experience when working with a loaded pipette. The UV resistant housing extends the life of the controller when exposed to UV sterilization. The RF3000 comes with five autoclavable nose cones including one small pipette adapter, and three replacement 045 microliter filters for added versatility. Filters are readily available, so you are not tied into a pipette specific brand which will help reduce the overall cost of ownership. The small pipette adapter can be fitted to the nose cone to stabilize small volume and thinner pipettes. The controller includes a long-life Li-Ion Battery, with a quick charge feature that provides up to 20 hours of continuous use. Bright LED’s indicate three operational modes, high, low, and gravity, which are activated by repeatedly pressing a large mode button that is in easy reach of your thumb when in use. The RF3000 comes with a magnetic wall mount and a benchtop charging station, making this pipette controller a welcomed addition to your laboratory.

Portable Pipette Controller

The Diamond SeroLogic portable pipette controller is a rechargeable electronic pipetting aid designed for use with glass or serological pipettes ranging from 0.1 to 100 milliliter. The lightweight and ergonomic design provides you with effortless pipetting even during extensive use. The powerful 3-speed motor controlled with soft-grip buttons provides you with up to eight hours of continuous use. The conveniently located speed control switch allows you to operate the controller with one hand. The SeroLogic pipette controller offers a low battery indicator and comes with two 1000mAH NiMH rechargeable batteries and an intelligent battery charger that protects against overcharging, overheating and short circuiting. A safety valve and replaceable membrane filter provide double protection against fluid and aerosol contamination. The Diamond SeroLogic portable pipette controller includes a desktop stand for bench top mounting and a wall mounting bracket for added flexibility.

3 Much Safer Alternatives

Now that we have reviewed several safer alternatives to mouth pipetting, you should feel confident in selecting your next pipette filler/controller for your laboratory. Each type of pipette controller has specific benefits and features that you will want to carefully consider before making your decision. We have produced several product demo videos to help you understand the different benefits offered by each type of controller. We hope this guide was informative and helpful during your selection process, we’d like your feedback. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us on social media or simply leave a comment below.

4 Unique Ways To Safely Store Your Pipettes

Pipettes are designed to efficiently deliver a small measured fixed volume of liquid into a receptacle. Proper handling and storage techniques are important to maintain accurate readings and maximize their longevity. Liquid handling equipment must be stored correctly to prevent inaccuracies and produce accurate outcomes.

Pipettes are precise laboratory instruments and need to be properly cared during and after each use. It is recommended that you visually inspect your pipette for damage on a daily basis to avoid undesirable outcomes. For example, damage to the nose cone (where the tip is fitted) could result in a poor seal to the pipette tip, which will reduce accuracy and it is unlikely to be fit for the job you need it for.

Pipette Storage Tips

Once you have finished pipetting you will want to ensure that you store your pipette vertically using a pipette holder, stand or workstation. Following these simple steps will prevent any liquids from seeping into the barrel of the pipette and causing damage by corroding the barrel or shaft. Never put your pipette on it’s side with liquid in the tip, this can cause the same issue with corrosion and can be avoided by properly storing your pipette.

Although it is recommended that pipettes are serviced and calibrated at least once a year, taking a few minutes each day to make sure the pipettor is stored properly will save you the time and expense of having to send the pipettor off for maintenance more frequently. Remember that good routine maintenance and care helps prevent costly repairs.

Pipette Storage Options

There are a number of storage options for your pipettes depending on your laboratory and workstation configuration. Safely storing your pipettes when not in use is important, but you also want to make sure that you can access them quickly and easily as well. Listed below are four different style pipette storage options that can enhance your labs changing needs.

  1. The Flip & Grip Pipette Holder is a unique pipette holder that gives you the option of using it on your bench top, or as a hanging under shelf holder to help maximize your working space available. This pipette holder can hold up to 12 single channel pipettes, or a combination of 3 single channel and 3 multichannel pipettes. The unique rubber grips prevent scratching and is compatible with most common pipette brands. The holder rotates for quick and easy pipette selection and storage.
  2. The Clamp-Ette Pipette Holders makes pipette storage quick and easy. These pipette holders are available in single and triple formats and are compatible with most major pipette brands. The Clamp-Ette secures to tabletops, benches, and shelves with a simple twist of the fingertips, creating an instant pipette holding point within your laboratory. This unique autoclavable pipette holder is available in blue, red, and purple to match your lab and personality.
  3. The Pipette Workstation is the perfect solution for organizing your pipettes and pipette tips in one convenient location. The acrylic rack is opaque on the sides but has clear front and bin lids for easy pipette tip identification. This workstation will hold up to four pipettes and included two dust-free storage bins for different sized tips. The oversized lip on the lid provides easy access even wearing gloves. Organize your pipette and tips in one convenient location in your workstation.
  4. The pipette stands are available in several sizes, materials, and color options. These classic 3, 4, and 6-place pipette stands are designed to hold most major pipette brands. The 6-place pipette stand is available in clear acrylic, blue fluorescent acrylic, and dark blue ABS plastic for increased durability. The 3 and 4-place pipette stands come in clear acrylic for enhanced visibility and easy identification.

Protect Your Investment

There are a variety of pipette storage options available that can adapt to your labs changing needs. Your pipettes are precise liquid handling instruments and should be treated and stored with care to protect your investment and continue producing accurate results. Selecting the proper storage rack or stand will ensure that your pipettes are safe and organized, reducing clutter in your laboratory and improving your efficiency.

Heathrow Scientific Pearl Pipettes Adjustable Volume

Precision Liquid Handling

The Pearl Pipette is an air displacement pipette that is made from temperature and chemical resistant materials including polypropylene and stainless steel. The pipette is equipped with a tip ejector to easily remove the used tip during operation.

Air Displacement Pipettes

Commonly used in biology and biochemistry, air displacement pipettes are piston-driven micropipettes, which are tools used to handle volumes of liquid in the microliter scale. Micropipettes are the most accurate and  precise pipettes.

Digital Volume Meter

The Pearl Pipette is equipped with a digital volume meter which is used to display the volume. The plunger button is color coded and the maximum volume for the pipette is shown on the top of the plunger button.

Brightly Color Coded And Labeled With Volume Range 

(both top and side for quick visual confirmation)

The Pearl Pipettes Adjustable Volume Micropipettes provide you with a complete range of single channel and eight-channel pipette volumes to meet all of your liquid handling needs.

Pipette DescriptionColorProduct CodeNumber of ChannelsVolume Range
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorGreenHS120097Single0.1-2µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorLight BlueHS120098Single0.5-10µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorDark BlueHS120101Single10-100µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorCyanHS120104Single100-1000µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorRedHS120106Single1000-10000µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorLight PurpleHS120099Single2-20µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorYellowHS120102 Single20-200µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorPurpleHS120103Single30-300µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorOrange HS120100Single5-50µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorPinkHS120105Single500-5000µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorOrangeHS120215Eight5-50µL
Pearl Adjustable Micro PipettorPurpleHS120216 Eight30-300µL

 

 

Unique Features 

  • Precision metal components for both shaft and barrel ensure reliable performance and long life
  • Slight downward slant to tip ejector button reduces hand fatigue, incidence of repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Volume adjustment and low-force dispensing for all-in-one button convenience
  • Ergonomically designed finger hook
  • Isolated volume locking ring prevents accidental volume changes
  • 3-position volume display
  • Each unit is brightly color coded

Sleek Ergonomic Design Helps Reduce Fatigue

The Pearl Pipettes Adjustable Volume micropipettes are available in a complete range of single and eight channel volumes to cover all of your liquid handling needs. With the sleek ergonomic design and low-force dispensing plunger you will notice reduced hand fatigue after a day of pipetting in the laboratory. Requiring 2/3rd the operating pressure of most standard pipettes, the Pearl Pipettes help reduce the incidence of repetitive strain injury (RSI).

Reliable Performance

The Pearl Pipettes are tested in accordance with manufacturing standards and a calibration certificate is supplied with all pipettes. Manufactured in accordance with ISO9001 and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) regulations. The internal metal parts provide increased accuracy and calibration stability. Volume adjustment is quick and easy with the simple twist of the plunger. Accidental volume changes are virtually eliminated with the isolated volume locking ring.

Whether you are dispensing or aspirating microliters or millileters, the Pearl Pipettes offer you precision at your finger tips.

Whiteboard Wednesday: Why Reliable Specimen Bags Are Key For Handling Laboratory Samples

Today we’re talking about reliable specimen bags for handling laboratory samples on Whiteboard Wednesday. The problem with selecting sample bags is that the user must have a reliable, high-quality bag for certain applications. Watch today’s Whiteboard Wednesday to see what types of sample bags are reliable for sampling!

9 Study Tips To Help You Learn Human Anatomy

Human Anatomy

Human anatomy courses present a systemic approach to the study of the human body. Many courses will begin with the introduction of anatomical terminology and an overview of the cellular processes and tissue classifications. Students learn about the gross and microscopic anatomy of the following systems: nervous system, musculoskeletal system, circulatory system, respiratory system, digestive system, integumentary system, urinary system, reproductive system, immune system, lymphatic system and the endocrine system. Human anatomy courses will generally offer a laboratory component that parallels and reinforces concepts through the use of anatomical models, histological slides, skeletal materials and cadaver demonstrations.

1. Study early and frequently

When learning a new subject it is important to keep up with the course material and develop a habit of reviewing your coursework on a daily basis. Repetition is an important factor that will contribute to your overall success, study new and previous material to improve your understanding of the subject matter.

2. Understand your optimal learning style

Are you a visual, auditory or tactile learner. Determine what method works the best for you and develop your study habits based on your preferred learning style.

3. Budget your time

The human body is a complex structure comprised of the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, circulatory system, respiratory system, digestive system, integumentary system, urinary system, reproductive system, immune system, lymphatic system and the endocrine system. When learning about such a complex structure like the human body it is important to manage your time by setting priorities and planning study sessions. A general rule of thumb is to allocate 90 – 120 minutes for outside study for every 60 minutes spent in the classroom. Similar to establishing a good exercise routine, you will want to establish a study routine throughout the week dedicated to learning the material. Shorter, more frequent study sessions will improve your retention of the material and avoid burnout.

The human brain has about 100,000,000,000 neurons. (100 billion)

4. Create a suitable study space

Creating a good study environment allows you to maximize your learning efficiency. When combined with effective time management, good reading and note taking skills, developing effective test taking strategies, a good study space serves as impetus for productive effort. Depending on your optimal learning style, you will want to recognize which environmental distractions are most likely to interfere with your concentration.

5. Formulate a reading strategy 

Memory is formed by associations, so if you want help remembering things, create associations for yourself. 

Developing a sound reading strategy is crucial to successfully learning the material. Before class make sure to scan the chapter by looking at the headings, terms and figures so that you are aware of the topics and terms that will be discussed during the lecture. Following the lecture, review the chapter and us the the notes taken in class as a guide. Take breaks between reading sections and review the information before moving on to the next session. Make a list of what you need to read and budget out the material in an easy to manage manner, this will prevent you from cramming too much information into one study session. Set goals that are realistic and attainable. Try to follow the SQ3R reading method – Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Recite.

6. Take detailed notes

The SQ3R reading method can be incorporated into your note taking system. The Cornell Note-Taking System will help improve your note taking and overall study skills. When taking notes during the lecture, record only the essentials or telegraphic sentences. Formulate questions based on the lecture material immediately after class, this will improve retention of the material and also provides study questions for upcoming exams. Recite the answers to your questions in your own words and then reflect on the material. Once you have completed this process, spend ten minutes every week reviewing your previous notes to improve retention and prepare you for exams.

7. Study actively

Active study techniques are important for many reasons, especially when it comes to learning about human anatomy. Learning any complicated subject takes time. Understanding human anatomy involves a number of pre-requisites and drawing from information gained from previous courses. The human brain learns by hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting and detecting motion or kinetic energy. When studying human anatomy you will listen to your professor lecturing, you will read your course material, you will feel the anatomical models, and record the information from lectures, labs and reading. There are a number of active study tips including mnemonics, study cards, memorization that can help you increase material retention. Repetition is essential to learning a complicated subject like human anatomy.

8. Develop effective test taking strategies

Developing effective test strategies is much easier when you have established a sound study routine. When dealing with course material that you are familiar with rather than material you are just learning will improve your overall retention and lead to better performance in exams. Many of the strategies previously discussed will prove to be beneficial leading up to your exam.
9. Use all resources available to you  

It is important to properly manage your resources just as you manage your time. Use all the class time available, don’t leave early. Utilize open lab periods to expand and test your knowledge. By taking good notes and asking good questions you will be able to work with your instructors on any issues you may have, hopefully long before the exam. If your school has anatomical models in the classroom, lab or library make sure to take advantage of those resources to help you master the material, 90% of what you remember is based on what you do. Create a study group of fellow students to review the material and develop study questions based on important topics.

Summary 

Learning human anatomy is difficult and it will take a considerable amount of time and dedication. As mentioned earlier you should expect to invest 10-12 hours per week studying anatomy outside of class, including weeks after breaks. Human anatomy courses are largely based on memorization, both visual (cadavers, 3D anatomical models, anatomical charts) and definitions. There is also a critical thinking component where you will need to be able to identify a part of the anatomy based upon clues. As stated before, repetition and developing sound study techniques will provide you the framework for success in learning human anatomy.

Giving Patients A Visual With Anatomical Models

Physicians try their best to communicate to their patients in a way that they can understand a specific medical situation. Since a majority of patients don’t have medical backgrounds, some medical terminology may not be understood or could potentially be misinterpreted.

We’ve found that physicians often prefer communicating with patients when they have a visual to reference – like an anatomical model.

How do anatomical models help?

  • Help accurately evaluate your patient’s anatomy
  • Improves communication between you and your patient and medical staff
  • Serves as a visual reference before, during, after surgery
  • Cuts down the risk of patients misinterpreting information
  • Anatomical models are accurate

Patients will appreciate the visual reference when communicating about a health issue or situation. For example, for a patient that has COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) we offer a Diseased Lung Model. This anatomical model is a full-size model of two separate lungs with 4 cutaway sections illustrating the anatomy and effects of COPD, cancer and asthma on the opposite side.

Have any questions about this post? Let us know in the comment box below!

 

 

 

 

Whiteboard Wednesday: Improve Your Lab’s Safety With Test Tube Racks

This week on Whiteboard Wednesday we discuss ways to help improve your laboratory’s safety with test tube racks. Chaotic laboratories are a nightmare for lab employees and more importantly can be a major safety hazard! Each year, untidy laboratory work spaces contribute to over 10,000 lab accidents. Fortunately, keeping your lab organized and well kept can prevent many of these accidents. Test tube racks are an excellent tool to use for improving your lab safety.

A few of our favorite test tube rack designs include:

  • Interlocking test tube racks
  • Stack-able test tube racks
  • Plastic test tube racks