We were delighted to be asked to join the panel last night at the One Nucleus event hosted by LBIC at the RVC.
The topic, ‘Staffing the 21st Century Life Sciences R&D Industry.’
As an employer of several graduates, undergraduates and summer placements in our 5 years of business, we were interested to be part of the discussion and hear other people’s point of view.
We have found the quality of students coming through to be excellent and a real asset to us. In a business like ours they receive a very hands on and varied approach to the commercial world of bio-science. (A hugely different experience from starting out in a Big Pharma Organisation!)
Discussion topics resonated around what the future looks like for graduates and post graduates; what skills employers and recruitment professionals are looking for: risk takers, lateral thinkers, commercial acumen; what could be taught, what should be taught and the changing foot print of career paths.
For a business like ours, people skills are essential, along with self motivation and common sense.
We pride ourselves in offering an excellent technical and customer service. Our HPLC and LC-MS training can be combined with method development and bespoke consultancy to help advance your Research and Development. Once trained, clients can come back and use the equipment to continue their research projects.
As a business and an employer, we have a lot to offer so please get in touch.
The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the Bio-Analysis Centre are now conducting testing for atypical myopathy as part of the RVC’s work towards improved treatments and management of this disorder, and to enhance the welfare of affected horses. Atypical myopathy of horses is a severe and life threatening equine muscle disorder that is caused by the ingestion of Sycamore tree seeds, leaves or seedlings by horses that are kept at pasture. Risk factors for horses remain unclear. It is, for example, not currently known whether some trees are more toxic than others or whether the amount of toxin varies at certain times of the year or with certain climatic conditions. The RVC is working to help horse owners to gain a better understanding of the condition.
Following research that was supported by The Horse Trust and the RVC’s Animal Care Trust (ACT), the Comparative Neuromuscular Diseases Laboratory at the RVC is now offering testing of seeds, seedlings and leaves for the hypoglycin A toxin known to cause this disorder. To find out if plant samples from your property contain the toxin known to cause atypical myopathy, you can now send samples directly to the lab where they will be tested at a subsidised cost of £50. In addition, the Comparative Neuromuscular Diseases Laboratory is also offering testing of horse blood and urine samples, submitted by your vet, if they suspect atypical myopathy or in field companions. This should help to establish a much more rapid and accurate diagnosis, and subsequent treatment, than with previous tests.
Professor Richard Piercy, Professor of Comparative Neuromuscular Disease, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to launch our testing service for owners who may be concerned about their horses. With the support of the Horse Trust and ACT, and through working with owners in this way, we hope to be able to improve the understanding of atypical myopathy and improve the welfare of horses with this severe condition.”
Full details, including prices and packaging instructions are available here.
2018 Update: The work carried out by Carolyn and Imogen in developing this assay has recently been published in Plos One, along with two others from the Neuromuscular Research Group at the RVC. You can read it here.
The Bio-Analysis Centre offers High Performance (label free) Capillary Electrophoresis (HPCE) system from deltaDOT to its clients.
Whilst electrophoresis is the process during which ions undergo movement in a fluid or gel under the influence of an electric field, capillary electrophoresis is a technique that separates these ions based on their electrophoretic mobility with the use of an applied voltage. This mobility is dependent on the atom’s radius, the charge of the molecule, and the molecule’s viscosity. The rate at which the charged particle moves is directly proportional to the applied electric field – as the field strength increases the mobility increases also.
Chromatographic analysis is often an indispensable technique for a life scientist.
The gadgetry and the skills required, for the successful application of such techniques, are less so common. Having spent the summer months of 2017, working for the Bio Analysis Centre, I have been a very keen observer of the company’s modus operandi. I have been most impressed by the assembly of systems, developed and maintained by the laboratory manager, Dr. Hyde. This framework for the BAC ensures the smooth running of the services it provides.
As the global population continues to grow exponentially the demand for food becomes ever more pressing. In order to supply this mounting demand, the world’s crop production must increase through optimised methods, fertilisers, agrochemicals and pesticides. Nonetheless, with strict regulations regarding contaminants including pesticides, mycotoxins and heavy metals the manufacturing of food and drinks must be monitored vigilantly. Analytical instrumentation technologies and methods on a mass spectrometer alongside gas chromatography allow this food safety promise to be guaranteed.
Analytical scientists utilise a range of sample preparation tools to aid their method development, how they approach this challenge can significantly impact their success.
Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) is a type of sample preparation technology that uses solid particle and chromatographic packing material to chemically separate the different components of a sample.
Samples are usually in a liquid state and are run through stationary phase particles in a cartridge. The chromatographic bed can be used to selectively remove interferences to ensure subsequent analytical testing is more successful.
Liquid-Solid Phase Extraction carries the same basic principles of liquid chromatography used in HPLC, but for different reasons. In SPE, chromatography is used to prepare a sample prior to analytical testing.
Samples used in SPE can originate from a wide range of sources. They can be biological fluids (eg. Plasma, saliva, urine), food products (eg. Grain and meat), environmental samples (eg. Water, air, soil), pharmaceuticals, beverages or industrial products.
There are numerous benefits to using SPE:
- The procedure can simplify a complex sample matrix and aid in purifying the compound. If there are a large number of interfering constituents or substances in the sample matrix, it makes analysis extremely difficult.
- SPE can reduce ion suppression or enhancement in MS applications. With an appropriate method this effect will be minimised by cleaning the interferences from the compound, resulting in a more accurate reported value.
- It has the ability to fractionate a sample matrix to allow analysis of compounds by class. If a sample contains many compounds, separating them by class can be useful so that further analysis can be carried out much more efficiently.
- SPE allows better analysis of trace concentration of very low level compounds. The chromatographic packing material has retention capabilities which allow the ability to trace concentrate. This would be very difficult with other sample preparation techniques.
Welcome to the Bio-Analysis Centre based in the London Bioscience Innovation Centre (LBIC).
Our Bio-Analysis Centre has over 20 years experience in LC-MS and HPLC analysis.