Getting to market quickly is essential when introducing new instrumentation into a fast-paced industry sector like genomics. When the pressure is on, rapid prototyping can be the key to quickly and efficiently building a reliable product that fulfills all the needs of your customer. In this article, we take a closer look at what prototyping involves and how you can accelerate the process to get your instrument to market faster than your competitors.
Getting to market in time with a fully functional IVD instrument that is automated requires precision planning and laser focus at all stages of development. At the onset of your project, it is important to weigh the development risks and consider the impact those may have on time it takes to introduce your instrument to market. One of those development risks to evaluate is whether partnering with an OEM developer with automated liquid handling experience is a viable option for your project. Or if the option to develop your instrument in-house is the best way to proceed.
With complex products like laboratory instruments used to automate genomic testing, time to market is often a critical factor in determining whether or not to go ahead with product development. The obvious problem is that as projects become more complex and involve more teams with mixed competencies, calculating the time to market becomes more challenging. Based on my experience, here are some of the top reasons why companies significantly underestimate their time to market projections. If you can avoid these common pitfalls when launching new lab instruments and genomic tools, then the risk of your project being delayed is significantly reduced.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to look at laboratory routines to see if they are really pandemic proof. For example, the explosive demand for high throughput genomic analysis often creates pressures upstream to process many more samples and prepare high quality DNA. The rapid shut down of non-essential workplaces and services coupled with the surge in demand for laboratory testing put immense strain on multiple aspects of normal laboratory operations such as strict rules on the need for personal protective equipment which was in limited supply and required physical distancing. Consumable stocks and reagents also dwindled as they were being used at a much faster rate and the supply chains were affected by global demand. Now that limitations of current laboratory routines have been highlighted, it’s time to consider how to make laboratories pandemic proof.
Designing and manufacturing lab instruments that include automated liquid handling is challenging at the best of times, but in the face of increased demand for faster testing, it’s even more critical to select the right partner and reliable components. The global COVID-19 pandemic is posing unprecedented challenges for laboratories as they race to meet the demand for accurate, large-scale testing in a short amount of time, and without the risk of cross-contamination.
How do you prepare for the unexpected? The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light how challenging it is for labs and production facilities to scale up quickly in times of need. The sudden surge in demand for laboratory solutions at the very time that we are experiencing unprecedented constraints on the workforce and global supply chains is a wake-up call. This has put pressure on infrastructures in every sphere connected to the healthcare industry—from R&D and manufacturing to clinical diagnostics. Even relatively small labs and organizations have been required to rapidly shift focus and massively expand their outputs at an unprecedented rate.
There is, however, a silver lining: the current pandemic compels healthcare industry leaders to question the agility and scalability of their laboratory solutions—both now and in the future. With the advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS), the field of metagenomics has exploded in recent years, as scientists are now able to study microbes as communities instead of individual organisms. This has revolutionized our understanding of the relationships between microbiota, human health, and the environment.
It can be easy to dismiss outsourcing lab automation in favour of seemingly less expensive do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions. However, outsourcing is more cost effective than it might seem. By taking advantage of the expertise of Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) partners, who can also offer a variety of flexible financing options, outsourcing could well be the right solution for your business. Here are some of the main ways in which OEM partners can make your automation project more cost-effective.
One of the steps in DNA sample preparation that is often overlooked when moving from manual to automated methods, is the quantification and normalization of nucleic acid samples that are destined for downstream analysis in different techniques and applications such as genotyping and NGS.
Applications based on next-generation sequencing (NGS), and more recently third-generation sequencing, play a central and ever-growing role in disease research. There is a concurrent need for reliable, high-throughput nucleic acid purification systems to feed samples into the analysis workflow for these applications. To meet this need, laboratories must either invest in more manpower to process samples manually, or transition to a liquid handling platform that can automate the workflow in a manner appropriate for the downstream application.
Next-generation sequencing (NGS*) has revolutionized genomic research, allowing entire genomes to be sequenced in a single day. This has led to massive advances in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, answering genetic questions from a wide spectrum of applications and biological systems. Today, NGS is an essential tool for any biologist. Ultra-high throughput NGS solutions have a wide range of applications and are fully scalable—from rapid SNP genotyping of a single individual, to whole genome sequencing (WGS) of entire populations. The explosive demand for NGS often creates pressures upstream to process many more samples and prepare high quality DNA to feed into library prep and analysis. In this article we explore the ideal DNA requirements for NGS and look at some of the most critical parameters for developing an automated nucleic acid extraction workflow.
With the advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS), the field of metagenomics has exploded in recent years, as scientists are now able to study microbes as communities instead of individual organisms. This has revolutionized our understanding of the relationships between microbiota, human health, and the environment.
Innovating, developing and bringing a new automated liquid handling product to market quickly, before requirements and needs change, is no easy feat. A software development kit (SDK) supporting your platform and components enables your developers to spend less time worrying about how to control robotic components and more time creating optimal interactions between the end-user and their application. Let’s look in more detail at what a robotics SDK is, what features it should have, and what benefits the right SDK can bring to your development timeline.
Lab automation and liquid handling solutions are evolving rapidly, shaped by many of the same forces and disruptive technologies that define the fourth industrial revolution. Alongside Industry 4.0, you could say that the era of Liquid Handling 4.0 has arrived. In today’s fast-paced environment where engineers need to develop and adapt analytical platforms rapidly to address new markets and ever-changing applications, the choice of core robotics architecture and components can be crucial for success. Here are some important questions to ask when selecting OEM components and robotic platforms for automated liquid handling.
Analytical instrumentation is evolving so fast that engineers run the risk of their robotic platforms becoming obsolete before the development cycle can be completed. The competitive life science instrumentation market is expanding at an impressive 8.2% CAGR and is projected to be worth $85 Billion by 2022.¹ To keep ahead of the rapid rate of change, having a strategic OEM partner that is committed to continuous innovation and improvement is crucial. How can you be sure that your automation components provider or OEM partner has what it takes to help you deliver your automated liquid handling solution with the reliability and performance your customers expect? Here are some important questions to consider.
What happens when lab automation projects are unsuccessful? One out-take is learning what creates a stronger process and methodology. That's exactly what we found at Tecan after working with several hundred customers on lab automation for multiple projects. This presentation reveals the top 5 pitfalls of custom automation based on real experience.
With high-throughput genomics impacting every corner of biology, the demand for more efficient Next-generation sequencing (NGS) workflows is growing rapidly. Automating the process of NGS sample preparation is crucial to avoid inaccuracies due to human error, bottlenecks that delay sequencing results, and the additional expense of re-running sequences. What are the most important factors for an engineer to consider when selecting a pump to meet the stringent performance required for an automated NGS library preparation system?
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is driving dramatic progress in many fields of research. However, the value of NGS data is often limited by factors such as poor analysis pipelines and poor library quality. One way to improve the quality of your libraries is to optimize your NGS library prep, but this can be challenging, as the process involves multiple steps that can introduce user-user variability and the risk of contamination.
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has generated a raft of new developments and discoveries. However, NGS is a complex process, and scientists face many technical difficulties throughout the workflow. NGS sample preparation, for example, can be a significant source of inefficiencies that could hinder your research and stifle your progress by wasting resources and increasing costs. So, what can you do to improve your sample preparation efficiency?
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is helping to advance genomics research at an unprecedented rate. However, the process can be technically challenging, and any errors can significantly impact the reliability and accuracy of your results. NGS library preparation and QC can have a major impact on your success, especially as poor-quality libraries can skew your results and reduce the accuracy of your data.
Automated lab analytics solutions are increasingly taking to the cloud to give labs real-time visibility of instrument and consumables usage. This is valuable information – for example to understand what throughput is available to scale up and complete programs in weeks and hours rather than months. But what about the worry of data security when implementing cloud-based software? Here are seven steps you can take to make sure your data stays safe in the cloud.
Research and technology development focused on synthetic biology (synbio) and systems biology are expanding, as are its real-world applications. Even as more traditional synbio approaches, which involve engineering microbes to produce novel drugs or chemicals and creating entirely new microorganisms, continue to advance, synbio innovations are driving the technology into advanced biofuels, biosensors, diagnostics, and other promising application areas.
The "first" genomics era began with the landmark Human Genome Project, which launched in 1990 and was completed in 2003, leading to the sequencing of the 20,000-25,000 human genes. It gave birth to an omics revolution and, by necessity, a series of increasingly sophisticated technologies and techniques for performing shotgun and whole genome sequencing with greater accuracy and efficiency.
Improving lab procurement processes involves more than just putting e-procurement or lab management software in place. In most cases accessing, managing and analyzing the data that you use to support purchase decisions and feed into e-procurement tools is still a big challenge. In previous articles, we explored the value of automated collection of usage data from lab instruments and robotics. What capabilities and features should you look for when deciding which tools will best support your needs? Here are our top picks.
As labs face tighter profit margins and the need to minimize cost of goods, there is increasing pressure to implement more efficient and responsive mechanisms for procurement and inventory management. A large proportion of annual spend goes towards consumables like disposable pipette tips, microplates and kits. Procurement strategies based on lean and ‘just-in-time’ principles can improve cost-efficiency by reducing overhead and warehousing expenses. However, this often comes with a significant risk: without enough data about both availability of consumables and what you have in stock, you could run into costly unexpected out-of-stock scenarios. Here are three essential questions to ask when looking to reduce the risks of creating leaner, ‘just-in-time’ procurement processes.
As a procurement planner in the competitive life sciences sector, how do you ensure your organization adapts swiftly to the rapidly changing demands of customers and stakeholders? Whether supporting a CRO, pharmaceutical company, clinical lab, biotech business or academic department, procurement teams are under constant pressure to manage risk, reduce costs and keep their organizations profitable. Advancements in technology and business practices are widening the influence of procurement on business operations, requiring procurement teams to collaborate even more closely with other functions, including lab management. Here are three major trends that are transforming procurement management:
Congratulations. It took you quite some time and effort to convince your management or institution on the value of investing in automating your experimental or clinical workflow. The applications were submitted, the presentations were made and the wheeling and dealing to secure the budget resulted in you and your team landing the investment. You've arrived. Now all you have to do is choose the robot and get it up and running.
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology continues to advance at a high speed, and a growing range of new applications is constantly being developed. Microbiology and antibiotic susceptibility testing is one such application area where greater process efficiency and sample throughput are essential to reap the benefits of NGS. Major bottlenecks in NGS for translational research and clinical diagnostic applications often occur through failure to integrate processes upstream of the actual sequencing step. While automation brings clear benefits, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works because each lab has its own unique demands. Here we take a closer look at how a pioneering clinical microbiology lab found the right solution for their challenging application.
The demand for advanced medical and diagnostic testing continues to accelerate. Laboratories, hospitals, and emerging consumer genomics companies are demanding quicker test sequences resulting in the design and development of new innovative and responsive test protocols. These new tests include the handling of a wide array of fluids. The measurement, monitoring, mixing, and controlling of solvents, salts, detergents, acids, bases, reagents, and additives is critical in all liquid handling lab environments.
When it’s time to move your biotechnology breakthrough towards commercialization, your specific application workflows may require a custom approach to lab automation. If your requirements are uncommon, there may be no off-the-shelf products available for you to compare and test. Even custom configuration of off-the-shelf components may not be suitable. What is the best approach to finding a custom solution that meets your unique needs?
The answer is to use a defined process that ensures each step is thoroughly explored and evaluated. Consider these four “I’s” of custom engineering: Investigate, Ideate, Invent and Integrate.
With next-generation sequencing (NGS), the combined use of different instruments, workstations, manual approaches, and software can lead to unnecessary, time-consuming complications and errors, especially in high-throughput environments. NGS workflow automation is helping to streamline the process and produce faster results, yet there are still a number of practical challenges that can impede implementation and efficiency of NGS. Read on to learn 5 steps you can take to improve next generation sequencing applications in medical microbiology.
You’ve done your testing on the benchtop and proven that your new biotechnology innovation works in your hands. Now comes the exciting part – turning your solution into a breakthrough product that is ready for broader use and commercial launch. To get there, you need to optimize your processes so that you can ensure they are robust, operate within defined tolerances, and facilitate scale-up. What’s the fastest and most efficient way to get this done so that you can focus on your next bioscience advancements?
With biotechnology advancing at an astounding rate, last year’s innovations often become routine tools for today’s breakthroughs. For example, next generation sequencing (NGS) is now an integral step in CRISPR/Cas9 constructions. The interplay between hardware, software, and biotechnologies is continually in flux, as some developments see payoff more quickly than others, and emerging breakthroughs can suddenly change the game altogether. With such constant and unpredictable change, how can you ensure that your own innovations move smoothly from concept to solution as quickly as possible?
Clinical and public health microbiology laboratories reduce the burden of infectious diseases by detecting and characterizing pathogens in infected patients and communities. Next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis can improve clinical and public health decisions through more accurate and rapid determination of the sources of infectious diseases, as well as the epidemiology and evolution of infectious pathogens in hospitals. NGS is already used to make decisions in diagnositics.
It is estimated that every six months the world’s laboratories generate more biological data than has ever before been created in human history. Even in non-scientific publications, we read about synthetic biology, gene editing, gene sequencing, non-invasive prenatal testing, liquid biopsies and many more such buzz words.
Previously, we looked at what differentiates a competent genomics scientist from a ”rock star”, and learned that the true geniuses are both fast and productive, but nevertheless always focus on quality. Similar to a conventional rock star, the genomics scientist needs high quality instruments that work in concert—at the same time and with great precision. In a perfect world, your equipment and automation solutions are integrated and have excellent precision, enabling high throughput genomics applications. But in practice, what does it really take to rock productivity in the genomics lab?
In this post we take a look at four of our clients to see how Fluent® laboratory automation solution has transformed their productivity and helped them become real rock-stars in the genomics lab.
Cost-efficient application of advanced technologies such as next generation sequencing (NGS) and liquid-chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS) demands sophisticated automation solutions that can handle complex protocols and evolving applications. However, if you are working in a clinical lab or other highly regulated environment then increasing instrument flexibility can make meeting compliance standards a real challenge. Before you buy, here are 5 key considerations to ensure you get the best of both worlds in terms of flexible functionality and compliance with your automated liquid handling system.
It’s an exciting time to be working in genomics. The explosion of sequence data and library preparation methods along with big advances in areas like gene editing and bioinformatics, is paving the way for breakthroughs that seem more like science fiction than science fact. But behind the scenes, day-to-day activities in the genomics lab can be a real drain on your resources and your patience, leaving you little time or energy to focus on the things that really matter. We all have only 24 hours in the day, so how is it that some genomics scientists are chronically stressed out and barely managing to stay afloat, while others seem to produce the goods with ease?
(Part 2 of 2). The effect of one's lifestyle on the epigenetic steerage of future generations, reviewed in Part I of this series, is a sobering thought. But these insights in epigenetic-based gene regulation are also opening up new possibilities in the development of novel drugs to combat, for example, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, neurological disease and cancer.
Much of the work done in a genomics lab is repetitive, labor-intensive, and just plain boring. Is this really the best use of highly skilled scientists? How do you keep staff motivation up when another couple hundred samples roll into the lab? Most importantly, all this manual labor creates huge problems in terms of human error and amplified costs. Here are some major sources of tedium and error in the genomics lab where improvements can make a big impact—reducing costly errors, increasing productivity, and possibly even saving your sanity.
The trend towards more automated workflows in research is helping to significantly improve data quality as well as laboratory productivity. But when it comes to choosing an automated system for liquid handling and dispensing, it can be difficult to decide between the large range of technologies and platforms currently available. Here are a few pointers to help you select the features that are most important for your lab.
Always a great forum for networking and sharing information on the latest developments and trends in laboratory automation, SLAS didn’t disappoint this year. The biggest buzz in 2018 focused on the increasingly important role that genomics is playing in the discovery of therapeutic proteins and the ability to target those drugs to specific gene mutations.
They say that the era of the $100 genome is upon us, but is that true for you? While cost analyses of DNA sequencing indicate that this landmark is finally within reach, the reality is that most NGS labs are still spending far more than that. Here we explore some hidden costs of NGS that occur upstream of sequencing. How many of them are culprits in your lab?
We are constantly bombarded with advice on what to eat and drink, and how to exercise. Pregnant women are particularly in the spotlight, being told to avoid exposing their developing fetus to alcohol, tobacco, chemical pollutants, and stress. Who can avoid the repeated warnings about how the environment affects our health, including provoking asthma, heart disease, and metabolic disorders?
In this dizzying maze of risk and uncertainty, scientific research and the pharmaceutical industry are striving to find new ways to combat disease. Rapid progress is being made on all fronts and a relatively new field,epigenetics, is often in the spotlight.
Rapid advances in molecular diagnostics, including the application of advanced methods such as next generation sequencing (NGS) in clinical diagnostics, are revolutionizing healthcare. But this puts a lot of pressure on clinical labs to develop, optimize, validate and gain regulatory approval of high throughput assays. The secret to successful automation in the clinical regulatory environment lies in anticipating potential pitfalls.
An automated liquid handler for sample processing can significantly increase your productivity. It becomes even more powerful when integrated with other workflow components to enable you to create fully automated walkaway processing for applications such as sample and library prep for next generation sequencing (NGS), or cell-based assays. The question is how to choose components and integrate them.
Automated pipetting is among the most effective ways to minimize human error, increase precision and accuracy, and speed up a lab workflow. However, deciding what the ‘must have’ components are that you need for successful automated liquid handling depends greatly on your goals and applications.
Next generation sequencing (NGS) and the related applications for cell-based assay development are poised to be a powerful combination in the field of genomics. SLAS 2018 dives into this topic in the track "Assay development and screening" which includes the session "Utilizing the power of NGS and genomics in screening," chaired by David Piper, Ph.D., Director, Research and Development, Cell and Synthetic Biology, Thermo Fisher Scientific. We spoke to Dr. Piper about the key topics, highlighted trends, and target audience for the talks and presenters he has prepared.
Biomarker discovery and development depends critically upon the accessibility and quality of biospecimens. Higher throughput and more integrated approaches for biospecimen management and biobanking are becoming increasingly important to avoid industry bottlenecks, as the number and diversity of samples expands rapidly. The track entitled "Biologics Discovery" at SLAS 2018 will include the session "Biobanking: At the Intersection of Biospecimens and Discovery." We interviewed the chair of the session, Dr. Andy Zaayenga of SmarterLab, to find out more.
In the rapidly evolving, data-driven life sciences sector, it is increasingly common to see labs developing their own in-house solutions to enable scale-up of novel methods, and to bridge technology gaps not yet filled by automation providers. The track "Automation and High-Throughput Technologies" at SLAS 2018 includes the session "In-House Automation: Devices and Software Developed Internally," which will explore this growing trend. We interviewed the session chair, Louis Scampavia, Ph.D., of The Scripps Research Institute to learn more.
From phenotypic assays to 4D cell tracking, high-tech methods are of increasing importance for complex screens. This expanding area will be a main presentation track at SLAS 2018 entitled "Assay Development and Screening" and co-chaired by Dr. Ralph Garippa, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Dr. Edward Ainscow, Carrick Therapeutics. Dr. Garippa provides more insight on this timely and broad-ranging track, which will highlight case histories in assay development, implementation for high throughput screening (HTS) campaigns, and triaging for hit confirmation.
High throughput screening methods for phenotypic drug discovery are in demand, as novel disease models arise and increase in complexity. A main presentation track at SLAS2018 entitled "Automation and High-throughput Technologies" will include the session "Automating Target-Based and Complex Phenotypic Drug Discovery," chaired by Shane Horman, Ph.D. of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation. We spoke with Dr. Horman to learn more about the key topics, highlighted trends, and target audience for the session.
Automated liquid handling can eliminate many tedious tasks, improve your productivity and free up valuable time for better things…but only if you implement the right solutions. Whether you are working in genomics, cell biology, drug discovery, molecular diagnostics or something completely different, the right liquid handling system can make your life a lot easier. We’ve collected some of the most important questions to consider before taking the plunge with a new automated liquid handling system.
Like gravity, some phenomena are so integral to our existence that we’re barely conscious of them. Maybe that’s why the research community was largely taken by surprise when it was announced that this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three American scientists for their seminal work on circadian clocks ¹. But consider the synergies with next gen sequencing (NGS) and gene editing technologies, and it becomes clear that the implications of their work are far-reaching.
The repeatability of biomedical research has become a major issue, and the ability to achieve reproducible research results can only be as good as the liquid handling performance. Automation has become a given step in the drive to generate reproducible data so how well can automated liquid handling perform in, for example, genomics applications?
Cognitive computing and artificial intelligence have the power to save us from drowning in the vast and growing sea of data needed for precision medicine, but what will it take to achieve a timely return on investment? Experts from multiple disciplines will gather to share their perspectives on this challenging problem at the upcoming Tecan Symposium in Salt Lake City on November 14th.
Data driven decision-making depends on generating reliable data in a timely fashion. But the reproducibility of biomedical research results, or rather lack of it, has become a big issue. A recent Nature survey¹ revealed a “reproducibility crisis” in the research community, with 70% of respondents having failed to reproduce the work of other researchers, and over half even failing to reproduce their own results.
The drive to make healthcare more targeted and more personalized has accelerated the application of increasingly sophisticated technologies, such as next generation sequencing (NGS). The result has been the introduction of some NGS-based tests to be used to direct targeted therapies to the right patient. The power is great, but the challenges are many, including how to standardize for routine use.
In an increasingly regulated industry, clinical laboratories and manufacturers of in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests are feeling the pressure to ensure regulatory compliance, while at the same time striving to increase productivity and bring innovative technologies on stream. At times, this balancing act can seem like a losing proposition.
Hospitals are becoming the new centers of innovation for novel clinical diagnostic tests. While this is enabling more sophisticated and personalized approaches to disease prevention, early diagnosis, and targeted treatment, it also has the potential to create major headaches for regulatory management of clinical labs.
Human genetics and drug discovery are now inextricably linked. Large pharmaceutical companies, small biotech and even academic laboratories are sequencing data to identify potential targets for new therapies. But is this information being used to the best effect?
Why would you want to miniaturize your PCR experiments if they are working well as they are? Because manual PCR setup is tedious and hand pipetting is error-prone. Miniaturization allows for automation, minimizing the labor- and time-intensive aspects of PCR setup and the risks of manual error and cross-contamination.
As we have seen in the previous posts in this series, developing validated analytical methods becomes more cost- and time-effective when solutions with guaranteed compatibility are incorporated into the analytical system.
A long-term clinical lab study lasting over 10 years showed that more than 60% of all mistakes in the stat lab (the lab that receives high priority samples) can be attributed to the pre-analytical phase. This figure has not changed much from 1997 to 2007,1, 2 despite advances in the technology.
Well-documented reliable, accurate data that meets regulatory demands is crucial for success The key is to develop robust analytical methods based on instruments and other components that perform well together to ease the way forward through Installation Qualification and Operational Qualification (IQ/OQ) and method validation.
You may be convinced that your academic research laboratory is humming along just fine and cannot benefit from, take the time to consider, and perhaps most of all, afford adding automation to your workflow.
Manual colony picking is a highly labor-intensive task that is slow, tedious, and error-prone. Cost-effective automation makes the process more consistent and reliable, as well as considerably faster, enabling hundreds of colonies to be picked per hour, with secure sample tracking throughout the whole workflow.
SLAS2017 Presentation by Joy Rae-Radecki Crandall, Ambry Genetics
Ambry Genetics operates a CLIA-licensed genetics testing laboratory that processes clinical samples primarily using next-generation sequencing (NGS), followed by Sanger sequencing to verify clinically relevant results and reduce false positives.
Scinomix, Inc., founded in 2001, creates customized solutions for labeling tubes, vials and plates in many life science applications. We took the chance to ask Nigel Malterer (CEO) and Jonathan King (Automation Software Engineer) at Scinomix about how automated barcode labeling solutions are helping to improve productivity, reduce errors and costs, and increase control over lab workflows.
Barcodes play a central role in minimizing the risk of error in lab automation by providing secure tracking of components throughout the workflow. Barcode-guided lab automation can be simple and cost-effective, with significant paybacks thanks to productivity increases.
As we have learned in previous posts in this series, only pipette tips marked ‘sterile’ are guaranteed with a sterility assurance level (SAL) of 10-6. Pipette tips labeled as ‘Pre-sterile’ do not give such sterility assurances.
The life science industry is constantly fighting to improve throughput and reduce costs through the ‘industrialization’ of research and development. You have to strike a balance between moving quickly (productivity) and ensuring that you are actually moving in the right direction (quality). Lab automation, including automated liquid handling, plays an essential role in ramping up productivity. Ensuring high quality liquid handling is therefore the key to securing the reliable data you need to meet your program goals.
If you’ve decided to take advantage of next generation sequencing (NGS) for HLA typing, your timing couldn’t be better. With the recent introduction of more affordable bench-top sequencers and targeted HLA sequencing panels, NGS is more accessible than ever. Of course, integration of a new technology into a busy lab takes careful planning to avoid teething problems, so now is the time to consider the impact an NGS system will have on your lab, and what you can do to make the transition as smooth as possible.
With multiple tests to perform on a tiny volume, samples are getting more precious. And as Next Generation Sequencing pushes the envelope on cost and throughput, scientists are looking for ways of reducing reagent volumes without compromising on quality. Tecan has a tip.
For patients in need of vital transplants, fast and accurate tissue typing can mean earlier treatment and a better chance of survival. Next generation sequencing (NGS) is revolutionizing human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing by providing allele-level resolution in a single high-throughput step.
They don’t take up much room in your DNA – a mere 4 megabases on the short arm of Chromosome 6 – but Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genes play a defining role in whether you will develop an autoimmune disorder, fend off an infectious disease, or have an adverse reaction to potentially life-saving treatments.
The industrialization of biology has become possible thanks to the automation of repetitive tasks such as liquid handling, providing several benefits. It allows customers to extend their window of operations, achieve greater assay consistency and refocus expertise away from repetitive processes. In addition, moving manual steps, such as pipetting into the control of robots also enables secure downsizing of formats, including sample and reagent volumes.
Robotics and automation have become essential to the future plans of drug discovery and clinical diagnostic companies. Executives are looking to increase productivity and reduce costs, and automation fits the bill in every respect.
It is becoming increasingly clear that at least some medical conditions previously ascribed only to genetic and biochemical changes in the brain, including neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders, are linked to alterations in the gut microbiome. Metagenomic research is underway using next-gen sequencing (NGS) and microarrays to characterize the healthy gut microbiome and to identify and quantify aberrations in the types and levels of microbes inhabiting the intestines of patient populations at various stages of disease.
Urban planning, urban warfare, urban decay..., and next up, urban metagenomics. If you had any doubt that we are living in the genomics era, consider this: On June 21st 2016, the International MetaSUB Consortium began collecting and mapping the genomes and epigenomes of microbial samples from 54 cities worldwide.
The term genomics might at first lead you to think of the human genome and the new micro-industry subsectors it has spawned, from prenatal genetic screening for heritable diseases (and one day perhaps to select for "desirable" traits) to companion diagnostics for personalized medicine, and nutraceuticals targeted to correct imbalances in the gut microbiome.Those same types of genomic applications and many, many more can translate directly to the plant and animal world, in which agrigenomic technology is transforming traditional approaches to breeding of commercial species and monitoring and protection of wild populations.
As Product Manager for Liquid Handling and Robotics at Tecan, I had the opportunity to introduce the power of the Tecan D300e Digital Dispenser at SLAS2016. You can view the presentation here. Without giving too much away, all you need to do is add your liquid and the dispenser does the rest.
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is poised to become a decisive tool in diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic applications in oncology. In the first part of this two-part series, we saw that sequencing tumor-derived DNA alone can risk incorrect diagnosis by misinterpreting somatic alterations as being tumor-specific. This pinpoints the need to sequence normal tissue in parallel to map out the somatic alterations already present in the patient, which clearly has implications for the future of NGS-based diagnosis and workflows in the clinical laboratory.
Massively parallel sequencing has rapidly become a must-have tool of the trade in molecular biology and drug discovery research. In recent years, the cost of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has declined exponentially, while throughput, accuracy, and read lengths have soared, and multiple regulatory-compliant sequencing technologies have achieved commercial success.