The advent of the Apple Watch (and other smart watches) represent another new device that has the potential to be a force that changes our behavior. At Labguru, we became intrigued by the opportunity to brainstorm what this could mean for researchers. While tracking your heartbeat, getting social media updates, and navigation are all interesting, we thought about what someone doing science could do with a smart watch. It's particularly intriguing because unlike smart phones or computers, it keeps your hands free. Disclaimer: this is a prototype.
Hands-free protocols. Now you can look at your wrist while your mixing chemicals.
With Labguru for the Watch, you can control your instruments on your wrist. Monitor the status of your microwave or adjust the heating ramp, from anywhere, anytime.
Principal scientists are often on the go. Review and approve reagent orders with the touch of a button.
Unfortunately this isn't built yet so for now you'll have to use Labguru in preparation. Read more from the Labguru blog.
Labguru lets you manage all kinds of inventory containers – from cabinets to bottles. The most popular container by far, though, is the tube. Our researchers have cataloged a combined 1.5 MILLION of them, and the average lab has 20,000 to deal with.
The standard tube is 10 mm. in diameter and 30 mm. high. It is destined to be stored in a freezer and live in boxes and racks with hundreds of other tubes.
Unless you have a side job writing names on grains of rice, hand-labeling these tubes is a nightmare. They’re small, slippery, and – let’s be honest – penmanship is not taught in school anymore. Trying to read the tubes you labeled is hard enough, never mind the tubes that were labeled by a researcher who left the lab long ago.
We wanted to improve this situation. We also wanted to play with cool hardware. So we created Labelguru. Labelguru is a printer + device that is connected directly to your Labguru tubes database, via your lab’s network.
Electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) were created to solve a number of limitations that scientists face when using traditional paper notebooks to track the progress of their research. Nonetheless, academic and government labs have not significantly shifted from traditional lab notebooks. On the other hand, about 1/3rd of the biopharmaceutical industry has reported that it has adopted the electronic notebook as its method for recording and maintaining data.
Though the familiarity of paper lab notebooks makes them attractive to scientists, many other reported advantages, such as portability, ease of use, and ability to include non-text images and drawing, are now capabilities of electronic lab notebooks as well. ELNs also have a number of added benefits that traditional paper notebooks do not have. So without further ado, here are 10 advantages of electronic lab notebooks over paper lab notebooks:
Google+ never became quite as popular as Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. So if you're already struggling to keep up with your social media accounts, it's easy to write Google+ off as just one more time waster. But if Facebook is the place to share family photos and Twitter is the spot to spout off witty one-liners, Google+ is the place for grown-ups to network, engage in substantive discussion, and capitalize on the fledgling social network's impressive array of features. Once you get the hang of things, you may just find that Google+ proves almost as invaluable as your electronic lab notebook...
“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
The open access movement predates the Internet (to about the 1950's), and various models were proposed to increase access to academic research. Self-archiving (the act of depositing a free copy of an electronic document on the Internet in order to provide open access to it) has been common for computer scientists since at least the 1980s. In physics, it has become the norm and some sub-areas like high-energy physics have a 100% self-archiving rate. Interestingly, the two major physics publishers, American Physical Society and Institute of Physics Publishing have reported that the free archive has had no effect on journal subscriptions in physics; even though articles are freely available, usually before publication.
In 1997 when the US National Library of Medicine made Medline available freely in the form of PubMed, the usage of this database increased ten-fold.