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Dr. Ilka Ottleben ♥ LAB Worldwide

Dr. Ilka Ottleben

Vogel Communications Group

Ich bin Diplom-Biologin, Schwerpunkt Molekularbiologie, und seit 2009 Redakteurin beim Fachmedium LABORPRAXIS.

Articles of the author

Fig. 1: In many laboratories, multiple sacks of consumables such as cell culture flasks, pipette tips, laboratory gloves and packaging are accumulated every day. Do we really need all of this? (©luchschen -
Plastic Waste in Life Sciences Laboratories

Tackling Waste: 5 Steps to Less Plastic Waste in the Lab

Life sciences laboratories are another area in which plastic waste can be reduced. Approximately 5.5 million tons of plastic waste are produced every year in life sciences laboratories alone, including items like pipette tips, nitrile gloves, cell culture flasks. In the age of global waste pollution and the ubiquity of plastic in the world around us, this is definitely too much. It can’t all be changed, but improvements are possible in some areas.

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1 Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid from female hemp (cannabis) (©cendeced -
Cannabis Analysis

Cannabis Under (Moisture) Control

The determination of moisture in cured cannabis is an indicator of microbial contamination, a key variable used to calculate other constituent results on a dry basis and required for the pressing process of extracting CBD oil from cannabis. Thermogravimetric moisture determination can provide valuable services here.

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Sartoclear Dynamics Lab is an innovative solution for laboratory-scale prefiltration and sterile filtration of mammalian cell cultures.  (Sartorius AG)
Clarification and sterile Filtration of Antibodies

Fast Cell Harvesting Without Using a Centrifuge

Whether employed in basic research or the production of biopharmaceuticals, monoclonal antibodies are used in an exceptionally wide range of applications. Until now, harvesting of mammalian cell cultures used to be time-consuming, especially at laboratory scale, and usually involved a centrifugation step. A new diatomaceous earth-based filtration solution now improves and accelerates this process significantly.

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Fig.1: Food testing laboratories have to deal with ever larger amounts of data due to increased regulatory requirements. (©Andrey Popov -
Food safety

Right Data for Real Food

Food testing laboratories need reliable data management systems in order to comply with the ever increasing regulatory requirements. LIMS platforms play an important role in terms of compliance with HACCP and ISO 17025 as well as in the implementation of comprehensive security mechanisms.

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The coralberry currently once again adorns many living roomsFor pharmacists, however, it is interesting for a different reason: It contains an act as a beacon of hope against asthma and certain types of cancer. (©nahhan -

Bacterium produces pharmaceutical all-purpose weapon

For some years, an active substance from the leaves of an ornamental plant has been regarded as a possible forerunner of a new group of potent drugs. So far, however, it has been very laborious to manufacture it in large quantities. That could now change: Researchers at the University of Bonn have identified a bacterium that produces the substance and can also be easily cultivated in the laboratory.

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Fig. 1 When a weapon was last fired and whether it was involved in a crime, can be determined by gunshot residues. (© Bjoern Wylezich –
Determining if and when a handgun has been fired

Gunshot Residue Dating

To clarify whether and when a handgun was fired, forensic scientists search for and analyze Gunshot Residue (GSR) deposits. One highly interesting aspect of GSR is the presence of volatile organic chemical residues, which can offer clues as to when a weapon was fired. An innovative extraction technique based on Headspace Sorptive Extraction (HSSE) and Gerstel Twister has now been shown to extract additional information from spent cartridges.

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It is a long way from motorization to true automation in imaging. (Zeiss)
Microscopy & Automation

Long Way from Motorization to True Automation

Rapid developments at all levels of microscopy, such as contrast, illumination, resolution, signal detection and data processing have occurred over the last decades and there is reason to expect that these advances will continue. However, severe limitations in accuracy, reproducibility and throughput are caused by the involvement of humans in all steps of the imaging workflow. It also poses a significant burden and workload for the researcher. To improve this situation is the biggest challenge in automation.

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Fig.1: There are several therapeutic Antibodies currently in late stages of clinical trials (representative picture). (©psdesign1 -
Size Exclusion Chromatography and UHPLC

Chromatography: Size Matters

Quick and straightforward, aqueous size exclusion chromatography (SEC) has become a mainstay for the analysis of protein aggregates in the biopharmaceutical industry. Coupling SEC with advanced detection, such as mass spectrometry, light scattering or surface plasmon resonance, makes it a versatile tool for numerous applications beyond aggregate analysis.

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Fig. 1: Scientists from the Federal German Institute for Risk Assessment and Consumer Safety have analysed healthy risks by tattoo removal using laser radiation. (Gerstel/Fotolia - Africa Studio [M]_Scheer)
Pyrolysis GC/MS

Tattoo Ink: A Closer Look

Tattoo removal using laser radiation can carry health risks depending on the breakdown products formed. Scientists have now shown that pyrolysis GC/MS can be used to simulate the breakdown process and determine the compounds formed from a given ink during laser treatment. Phthalocyanine blue (B15:3), for example, was shown to form a cell poison in the process.

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Abb. 1: Zwischen 1947 und 1971 hatte die Montrose Chemical Corp. hunderte Tonnen DDT über die Kanalisation in den Pazifik eingeleitet, über dessen Verbleib ein interdisziplinäres Projekt nun Aufschluss geben sollte. (© oporkka -
Unverfälschte Schadstoffanalyse

Umweltgifte im Meeresboden nachweisen

Entnahmepraxis und Behandlung einer Probe beeinflussen die Aussagekraft und das Resultat deren Analyse. Je weniger manipuliert wird, desto genauer spiegelt das Messergebnis die Wirklichkeit wider. Dies gilt insbesondere auch, wenn der Ort der Beprobung am Grund der Meere liegt. Ein Praxisbeispiel untersucht die Belastung des Meeresbodens mit DDT und ähnlichen umwelt- und gesundheitsschädlichen Verbindungen.

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