This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
laboratory informatics

Discovering the tools that aid innovation

The shift towards collaboration and ‘externalisation’ is placing increased importance

on managing and sharing data

Work in the R&D laboratory starts with an idea and an

experiment, not a sample. Sophia Ktori investigates how informatics packages are tailored to make life easier for scientists in the discovery laboratory


rising paper notebooks out of some researchers’ hands and replacing them with a laptop or terminal can be a traumatic exercise, and nowhere is this

more true than in the drug discovery laboratory. Reasons for not embracing the soſtware tools that have been developed specifically to make scientists lives easier and maximise value from data are predictable, suggests Graham Langrish, sales manager at LabWare. ‘We hear things like, “Our work isn’t regulated, so we don’t need a laboratory system or an audit trail for every experiment”, or “Te soſtware isn’t


flexible enough to capture and manage the huge breadth of both unstructured and structured data that we generate”.’

Inefficient and inconsistent Yet we all know that writing on paper is a highly inefficient way of recording and storing data, Langrish points out. Pen and paper generate effectively dead data that can’t be queried or searched, ‘Everyone has their own way of jotting things down, and there is no consistency. Handwritten notes are also subject to misinterpretation, and scientists who leave

the company will effectively take a huge amount of their accumulated knowledge with them. Consider two laboratories that are working on different aspects of the same project research at geographically distinct sites. Expecting them to pass around scanned pages from a paper notebook or emailing Microsoſt Office files or Excel spreadsheets between sites, is totally impractical.’

Share and share alike It is also false economy not to invest in an informatics infrastructure, Langrish maintains. ‘At the very least, scientists need an electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) so that all their experiments and processes are logged systematically and are searchable. Results can be shared, and data mined and revisited to avoid repetition. A laboratory information management system (LIMS) adds more value by providing an overall management framework

@scwmagazine l


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41