Sunday, December 18, 2016

How to fight zombies and stay safe

Casual old Jaffa

Last Friday we were casually strolling along the pier at old Jaffa. It was getting dark and drizzling weather made people find a closest cover. Despite the weather we enjoyed the views and watched late fishermen coming back from the sea.
Then, a nicely dressed guy approached us and asked: "Do you want to fight zombies"?


Invitation

As a zombie movies lover, I found it interesting, though assuming the circumstances the invitation sounded at least strange. There some happy voices behind his back, and a person with a cup of coffee emerged form the building.  So we decided to plunge in!


Unexplored playground

Inside we found a playground for virtual reality lovers. There were several options, while I followed the host's advice to try a "zombies staff". To fully experience the fusion into virtual reality, I put on a virtual reality glasses. 
Usually, I wear spectacles therefore I was a bit sceptic about the outcome. Nevertheless, with a headset on I felt pretty comfortable and it didn't bother me much! 
When Hi-Fi headphones were added, in a fraction of a second I got submerged in a completely new world where I was at the deserted construction facility full of zombies. 


The new reality

From that point, my imagination has gone wild! WHOOOO! I was in the middle of classical zombie scene! WOW!
Shadows mingling in the corners of a factory halls, weird whistling, someone is roaring, and only a flash-light on my pistol is my best friend in this situation!


The whole experience took about 5-7 minutes, while clothes that I wore  got wet! I think, my pulse was much above the average and the breathe pace just sky-rocketed!
As a result, I took out dozens of zombies!!! 
My sergeant at the boot camp would be proud of me!

I had so much fun! The toy-pistol weighted as a real one and the ambience was skillfully copied from the best zombie movies. 
I think, I got to love the virtual reality games!

Special thanks to Vortex - Enter the game, for that super cool experience!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Solvent-resistant labeling stickers is our guarantee that the chemical will be identifiable for year to come



As long as barcode is not a feasible solution for many labs yet, LabSuit has it's own solution for chemicals labeling! 

Meet solvent-resistant LabSuit labeling stickers! 

LabSuit stickers will last for years and won't fade in the sun. 
LabSuit stickers are solvent-resistant and if used with a proper marker-pen will save you hours of painful search for chemicals!

LabSuit stickers play a role of connecting chain between your actual inventory and its digital representation! Having every bottle in your lab labeled with or stickers ensures you don't loose your chemicals tracks!  

Did I say that we have a specially trained team of lab-fairies that will deploy LabSuit labeling stickers at your lab?

Learn more about LabSuit lab fairies!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Planning to upgrade your lab? LabSuit team gives you a hand with that!

We recognize the difficulty of keeping your inventory organised, so we have come up with a new feature that will really simplify things!


New lab at LabSuit?

If you’re an academic lab and new to LabSuit, we invite you to import an existing inventory spreadsheet. LabSuit ensures that everything on your list is retained and easily accessible for your advantage. However, there might a chance that your existing list is already out-of-date, and does not reflect the actual inventory on your lab shelves. Then what do you do?


Your lab is eligible for inventorization by LabSuit professionals 

In that case, we offer you a LabSuit team member that will come to your lab and help you list your inventory. Over the past years, we have learned a lot about best practices for processing inventory, and our representative will pass along that knowledge accumulated, at the same time as actually listing your inventory!


The tool kit is on us

Our team member will bring with them all of the materials needed to do an efficient and thorough job of listing your inventory. Unless your lab is using printed bar codes to label the bottles, the work cannot be done in a more efficient way!

Our team's experience spans over chemical, biological, medical and biotechnological labs, so no matter what kind of research your lab is doing, we have a solution for you.

We guarantee our rep will leave your lab with a perfect inventory order. Your lab might even win a place on our Top Organised Labs list!


Free of charge

The service offered is absolutely free of charge! 
It aims to ramp up your lab by having a perfectly organized lab, corresponding to a perfectly organized digital inventory, managed by LabSuit software.

Currently, the service is, available in Israel only.

So don’t hesitate, drop us a line just below this post.
We will be happy to schedule a meeting at your lab.



Getting excited at the Controlled Release Society Conference


Gala Dinner Party, ICRS meeting 2016. Photo by Amos Bar-Zeev. All rights reserved to ICRS. 
What are friends for?


Exactly three weeks ago, we had a spontaneous diving trip to Eilat with a good friend of ours, Eugene. Along with having fun in Eilat, we got some valuable feedback about LabSuit, since Eugene is a devoted user of our services. Having talked about many things, he mentioned that he is going to the Controlled Drug Release Society conference (ICRS). We picked up our friend’s excitement and decided to tag along to the conference too.


What is ICRS?


This biannual conference takes place in one of the most beautiful places in the north of Israel. To be more exact, in the very north of Israel, in Maalot- Tarshiha.
Although, we’ve been running LabSuit for more than three years, it was the first time that we attended this unusual meeting. One of the pleasantly surprising things was that the organizing committee gave us a hand in admission and ticketing. Special thanks to Dalit Landesman from Dan Peer lab (TAU).
We were very excited to get a booth at such short notice.


Taking place in Hacienda Forestview Hotel, it was the 10th conference of the Israeli chapter of the controlled drug release society. The conference lasted three days, from September 15th - 17th.

Day 1 - The way to someone's heart is through their stomach


September 15th, noon.
The 250 excited conference participants, among them researchers, students, PI’s (Principal Investigators) and pharma company representatives - all chatting, mingling and networking. The conference program started with a delicious lunch (a smart move!)  - even before the beginning of the lectures.
The first keynote presentation was by Philip S. Low (Purdue University, USA). Everybody came with a good mood and full stomach. The atmosphere after the lunch was relaxing and people looked like they’d  be happy to take a nap in their comfortable hall chairs.
Luckily, the fluorescent surgery videos were able to wake up the audience from their food comatose and bring their minds back to the lecture room.


The anti-cancer therapy lectures continued until late night. Every speaker passionately presented his research, aiming to share as much as possible information with his peers.


Students’ pitch! My favorite!


The students’ flash presentations finalized the scientific marathon of the first day with almost 20 talks. Each discussed project brought my heart back to the days I was a thrilled student presenting my research. The students followed their supervisor's enthusiasm and dedicatedly presented their work.
What I admired the most in the students’ talks is the honest devotion to their research. They want to share their knowledge with the world. The students are doing the RESEARCH and they are the best science ambassadors. There are no politics involved, the atmosphere is friendly and fruitful. l know that every student presenting a poster will go home with a bunch of valuable take-aways.


LabSuit’s footstep in Drug Release community


By the end of the day I’d met dozens of researchers, students and PI's who’d never heard of LabSuit. Many researchers shared with me their desperation for managing the thousands of materials in their labs - the same pain that urged us to kickoff with LabSuit several years ago. It was excited to hear that LabSuit can help these labs to ease their everyday lives. It was great to enter this new community of interesting people.


Day 2 - No time for rest


The second day’s sessions were dedicated to very diverse topics of the release field. Starting from fundamental chemistry, through gene therapy to tissue engineering. In a  special session companies presented new tools and technologies in their fields.


The highlight was undoubtedly the intriguing discussion panel. Panel members came from academia, industry and even from the VC (Venture Capital) field. Panel members were Chezy Barenholtz (HUJI), Simon Benita (HUJI), Dan Peer (TAU), Pini Orbach (Arkin Holdings), Yoram Sela (Sela Pharma) and Adi Elkeles (Ramot, TAU). The discussion was to evaluate technology transfer from academia to industry and vise versa. The breathtaking discussion didn't leave anyone impassive. The audience continued the discussion way after its formal end.


ICRS guys know how to party!


The beginning of a pastoral Gala dinner didn't leave a hint to what was going to happen next.
Prizes for Outstanding Achievements and for Best Poster award were announced.
Finally the audience got the chance to indulge themselves in delicious dinner.
To everyone's’ surprise, the official part over,  an energetic DJ stepped in. He swiftly turned the volume up, and diners made their way from around the tables to the dance floor.
I couldn't just sit there watching them having fun - after all I needed a break from our everyday life as well. I joined the fabulous Ronit Stachi-Fainaro (TAU) dancing group!  
The guys in the lab have not only a tremendous success in scientific work but they know how to dance too!


Day 3- we’re all friends now


In the morning of the last day, the tension drop was felt everywhere. The presenting companies stayed with a single representative, if at all. The students were passing by the lecture room but not everyone actually inside.
People enjoyed the last breaths of cool northern weather before going back to the heat of the cities.
Most of the chatting was casual “life stuff” not necessary about liposomes, cancer and fluorescent markers.


We met a lot of wonderful and enthusiastic people who are busy doing amazing things and saving our planet from cancer and other incurable diseases.
The organizing committee staff were very cooperative and helped greatly with booth logistics and registration. Thank you Keren Hochberg and Liat Avraham from Kenes Events.
Special thanks to Prof. Roza Azhari from Ort Braude.
Thanks to everyone we met.
I'm looking forward to the next conference, and wish it was be every year - not once in two years.

See you in two more years,
Helen

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Periodical inventory backups by email

Following the feedback from LabSuit users in Talinn, Estonia, we have simplified the way  LabSuit works in certain situations.

Pavel Starkov, a PI from Tallinn University of Technology says: "Once in a while an Internet outage may occur,  but we need our inventory at LabSuit to be available offline as well". Impossible to overrate being said, we realized something has to be done.

What we did is added automatic emails, that are sent out periodically and include your inventory back-ups (Excel file). To start off, there will be two options for emails periodicity: WEEKLY basis and MONTHLY basis. It's recommended to use the MONTHLY option, just not to blast you inbox, though if your inventory is updated often, for example daily, you may want to take back-ups on WEEKLY basis.
The good thing about periodic inventory backups is that it's not limited just to lab managers, but every lab member can have inventory backups delivered to his/her email.
https://www.app.labsuit.com/dashboard#preferences/export



This how it lands into your mailbox. It's recommended to use a proper folder within your mail account for your inventory snapshots. In case you're using GMAIL, mail labels might become very handy
.


In addition, periodic inventory backups may be used as historical logbook: the  inventory  history can be viewed  6 months back or even a year back from now!

Another handy feature is the historical inventory import. Please see the import procedure attached/’below

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keeping your digital inventory synchronized with lab closets, drawers and boxes

LabSuit is out of sync with your inventory

Uh Oh! It’s been a while since you last updated your LabSuit inventory, so it no longer reflects an accurate picture of your lab’s closets, boxes, and drawers. No worries! We’ve seen this many times, and it’s easily fixed. No way around it: it’s time to take a short break and rearrange your inventories.
In this article I will describe how to do so in an efficient and quick manner.


Update LabSuit inventory with Excel


First of all, I assume we already have our inventory with LabSuit.
We want to leverage that fact and build up our renewed, updated inventory on top of an existing one.


There are two options
  1. The inventory can be updated directly in LabSuit
  2. The inventory can be updated in Excel and then re-imported into LabSuit.
We will focus on second option.

Download the inventory Excel file.
After opening the Excel file you will see at least one spreadsheet. The  exact number of spreadsheets will depend on how many different item types there are in your inventory.


Preserve the serial number

An exported Excel file would look similar to the one above. Make sure you don't change the serial numbers.
Every item in your inventory has its own unique serial number. (Read more about LabSuit serial numbers)
LabSuit will use this column to fetch a right inventory item from its database and update it based on the values from your Excel file.
Now, go ahead and edit the other fields according to your needs.


If you want to add a new item, add it at the bottom, and do not specify any serial number. LabSuit will recognize it as new item, and will allocate a new serial number for it, automatically.


Managing types










You may also add your own item types simply by creating a new spreadsheet. Make sure to name the spreadsheet after your item type.


Re-import your Excel

The last step is to re-import your Excel file once again into LabSuit.
Make sure the file you upload is the updated one! :-)


Important to know, that if an item has attachments, they will preserved after import. Feel free to ask questions just below that article!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Search in LabSuit from any other site on the web


I love that very much!
From now, we support Open Search, which enables our users to search their LabSuit inventory from any other site on the web!
No matter what part of the web you are browsing right now, you can search your lab inventory in LabSuit directly from the current window. How?
  1. Type 'lab' in Chrome address bar and press TAB key on your keyboard!
  2. Where is my TAB key?
  3. Your address bar will change indicating, your search will be performed in LabSuit
  4. Go on typing your desired chemical, and click enter!
    Chrome will take you directly to LabSuit while searching for 'benzene'
What if I'm using Firefox?
In Firefox it can be done with the same ease.

This is another way of making your work even more efficient!

Labsuit Presents at Israel’s National Institute of Biotechnology in the Negev

Another Step Toward Integration in all Israel’s Universities

IMG_20160518_110956.jpg
Helen Domeshek presents LabSuit to staff of Israel's National Institute of Biotechnology
Beer Sheba, Israel - May 2016

This week, laboratory workers, PhD students, and administrators from Israel’s National Institute of Biotechnology (NIB) at Ben-Gurion University attended an introductory presentation of Labsuit - with a view to integrating its comprehensive management tools into their laboratory administration. The Institute, a core part of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, is overseen by a Scientific Advisory Board whose members include, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Sir Aaron Klug OM FRS, and Prof. Raymond Dwek, Founder and Director of Oxford University’s Glycobiology Institute and its spin-off biotechnology company, Oxford GlycoSciences.

“Being invited to such a prestigious organization is vindication of the potential of our tools,” explains Helen Domeshek,” join owner, and founder of Labsuit. “By using our cloud-based inventory system, the Institute and its many laboratories will experience a huge increase in efficiency, saving time, money, and energy - while contributing to environmental preservation.”

The invitation to the NIB came at the request of the VP for R&D at BGU who heard about Labsuit from an acquaintance. “Realizing how our platform could benefit the Institute, he put us in touch with the appropriate people and we organized our presentation.”

About 450 laboratories around Israel and abroad have already joined Labsuit in the two years of its operation. Use of the platform to Universities is free, and offers sharing of valuable chemicals among labs.

During the visit to the Ben-Gurion Campus, Labsuit also presented to the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Head of Acquisitions.

Many thanks to Michael Diamond for his contribution to this article.
For more great technological news visit:

Monday, May 30, 2016

Case study: social media comes to help to accelerate one's research

Even Lab Researchers have their WOW! Moments


“Labs-Around-Me” is a sharing economy concept for the world of research laboratories. Such labs can share chemicals, antibodies, plasmids and more, with other labs around them.


As LabSuit's concept of “Labs-Around-Me” has evolved, more and more researchers have experienced  amazing WOW! moments when they begin to understand the benefit of our platform.


True Story
This is a story of something experienced by a LabSuit subscriber not so long ago.


As we all know, “Labs-Around-Me” allow facilities and researchers to participate in a special LabSuit community. The community includes hundreds of labs - and, through a simple interface, allows them all to collaborate in locating and exchanging chemical reagents.


Events begin in December 2015
Every day LabSuit delivers hundreds of messages between universities - as well as internally, within the same campus. Researchers ask questions about chemicals, buffers, and sharing protocols. Most often, they courteously request small amounts of some hard-to-get reagent.


May I borrow a little phosphorous trichloride?
This banal message was the first to be seen by a masters student from a lab at Tel Aviv University, while eating her breakfast. A post-doc from Ben-Gurion University (Southern Israel) courteously asked to share a few milligrams of reagent called phosphorous trichloride, (PCl3). This chemical compound is used in preparation of herbicides, plasticisers and more. The post-doc explained that he urgently needed PCI3 for his research - since his post-doc position was coming to an end, and he urgently needed to finish his work.


More requests for PCl3
The event was nothing unusual - until two weeks later when the same lab received another request for PCl3! This time the message was from a desperate post-doc at Israel’s Technion, in Haifa. Apparently, he had contacted every chemical supplier in the country, but none had any PCl3!


Well, such coincidences happen, and it's not that rare that two labs need the same reagent almost simultaneously.


Help me complete my thesis!
To LabSuit’s surprise, it happened again one week later! This time a PhD student needed a small amount of this mysterious PCl3 for his final thesis experiment.


Then, we at LabSuit began to wonder. What’s so special in PCl3 and why does everyone suddenly need it?


We decided to contact the PCl3-friendly lab at Tel Aviv University and ask the principal investigator what was so unique about this reagent.


"When I launched my lab not a long time ago, I knew I would require phosphorous trichloride throughout the whole of next year for my research. PCl3 cannot be shipped by air transport but only by sea! Therefore, each delivery may take up to six months. My lab ordered enough PCl3 in advance, that's how, I think, my lab has become a primary source of PCl3 for other labs  :-)"  



LabSuit Turns the Model Upside Down
Usually the opposite is more common; when a new investigator joins a faculty and starts his/her research, Labs-Around-Me helps him/her get the reagents from nearby labs. However, this case was different: the Tel Aviv lab was headed by an enthusiastic young professor who became the only source of PCl3 in Israel for an entire half year - while commercial suppliers were waiting for it to arrive by sea.


During the next several months more PCl3 messages filled LabSuiters's inboxes and all of them got their own special happy-end - often, in the form of a published paper!


Just WOW!
Being able to share and exchange resources so easily was a WOW! moment for so many of the researchers involved. That’s when they realized the full benefit of LabSuit’s services.


Web-Based Platform for Increased Efficiency
Labs-Around-Me cooperates with ICS (Israel Chemical Society), to create a web platform, where labs can find and exchange reagents they need. It’s highly efficient, time-saving and resource-friendly. Often labs, need a small amount of reagent, to conduct a preliminary experiment, kind of proof-of-concept before buying a large amount of the reagent.


Here, at LabSuit we felt great satisfaction, since we helped several labs get what they needed in the shortest time possible, eliminating long delays. Moreover, LabSuit tightened the relationship with these labs, leading to even more fruitful collaboration.





Sunday, May 15, 2016

New at LabSuit! Budget Consumption Reports!

 
LabSuit has rolled out a new feature that helps labs control their budgets!
Which in its turn, makes budget balancing easier.

Every lab has funds related to different budgets/grants.
Sometimes, the grant money is dedicated to specific research, which means that every expense made for this research has to be logged and attributed by its grant number.

And LabSuit makes sure no hassle is incurred!
Every time a lab manager receives an order request he verifies the grant number.
In case the item needs different budget/grant or it's missing, the grant number can be updated with a single click!

Thus, at the end of the day/month/quartile it becomes very easy to see the total amount spent for every budget/grant.


LabSuit accurately sums up the amounts spent, while the items with no grant/budget specified will be categorized under "Unspecified Grant".

In the second column  we can see a number of items procured from respective budget.

In addition, you can apply your own date range and get the report for your specific time period.

If you are a lab manager, LabSuit Budget-Report is likely to save you hours of spreadsheet work to get the budget consumption report done!

Try it now! https://app.labsuit.com/dashboard#orders/reports

As the Budget-Report is quite a new feature, we would love to hear your questions!
Have questions about this feature? Drop us a line just below this blog-post!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Submit order request to your lab manager

Tell your lab manager what you want to order by submitting new order requests in your group. Once you build up an order history, you can search through it and request items you've ordered before.
1. In “Orders Request” tab. Click the green button: “+Order Request”

2. Fill in the necessary fields, and click “Submit Request”. Your lab manager can receive a mail notification about your request and start process your order immediately.
3. Congratulation! Your order request is submitted! Now, wait until your lab manager approves it and place actual order for you.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Why should one specify sub-location for inventory items?

Sub-locations is a convenient way to keep account of your items. Your lab may have numerous inventory locations such as closets, liquid nitrogen racks, desiccators and so on. 
How do we keep track of all items inside?



Tracking by one location field is just not enough! 
Often location has several dimensions, for example: "The bottle is located in 1) yellow closet (location field) 2) top shelf (sub-location field)" 
In this case, "sub-location" concept becomes very useful

Labeling biological samples

In case of biological samples, which are stored in racks, sub-locations become crucial. The sub-location may look look that box5-4-7, which stands for box number 5, 4th row, and 7th column. Sub-location drop-down is sorted, therefore it's very easy to find the next free slot inside the box.
The rack identifier may be stored in location field.



Labeling chemicals

Often, chemical bottles and containers are marked  with A-123, A-124, A-125, when the substance begins with A.
When a chemical name begins with B, it goes B-1, B-2, B-3, etc. So the marking convention is very to use! 

Adding new inventory items

Every time you need to add new item to your inventory, LabSuit helps you to find out which sub-location was used last. Having picked the location, the sub-location drop-down list will be narrowed down to  relevant location. LabSuit automatically sorts existing sub-locations from Z-A, or from high to low, so you know what sub-locations are occupied and what sub-location should be inserted next.