The quantum and nature of the scientific research that is going into protecting human health is amazing. Consider, for instance, the latest findings on the avian H5N1 influenza virus. An international team of researchers led by Kawaoka, a UW-Madison professor of pathobiological sciences and a leading authority on influenza, has found that relatively few amino acid mutations are sufficient for this virus to acquire the ability to transmit in mammals. This has significant implications for the monitoring of influenza and the preparedness to protect the world at large against a pandemic. Scientific laboratories that conduct such research are equipped with the latest technology and function with maximum efficiency. Scientific intelligence and advanced laboratory equipment are definitely a winning combination.

With the economic slowdown affecting all sectors, including research, all labs need to put their assets to optimum use. Some tips to ensure optimum utilization of lab assets:

  • Go in for high quality equipment as good design improves utilization, helps reduce cost and delivers high quality output. Recertified models of all types of devices are available at reasonable cost.
  • Improve processes and get lab personnel acquainted with new, sophisticated lab assets to ensure value-added operation.
  • Update computers so that they can handle the latest software.
  • Calibrate equipment frequently to ensure accuracy. Leading laboratory equipment dealers offer quality maintenance service.
  • Highly automated labs face instrumentation and automation risks, so ensure a proper power source and backup.

Granted that the main goal of laboratory management is to keep lab functions running smoothly and operating at the lowest possible cost. Accomplishing this means ensuring reliable results, managing risk, reducing environmental impacts, and proper utilization of equipment and personnel. Regulatory compliance is also crucial.