Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Lab fairy is reporting from the field

Lab Fairy has returned from the first visits to labs, and reports from the field are showing up.
Lab Fairy visited the laboratory of Prof. Shlomo Magdassi at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem!  (Who is Lab Fairy?)
Lab Fairy found a bunch of chemical bottles to label and also made sure to properly catalog them with LabSuit.


One lab had just transferred many chemicals from one room to another, leaving more than 500 items to be taken care of.

An old proverb says: "He works best who knows his trade".

First, Lab Fairy analyzed 600 research labs already using LabSuit and learnt what inventory management best practices are best suited for each type of lab.
Secondly, the Lab Fairy arrived at the lab equipped with solvent-resistant labeling stickers and different sized and colored markers for making notations.


Having discussed the goals with the lab manager, the decision was to give every chemical a serial number. This method is quite popular among Organic Chemistry labs. Another variation of that method is to restart numbering for every letter a chemical begins with. For example, acetone is A-1, aniline is A-2, bromine is B-1, and so on. 


The work process includes several steps, some more obvious and some less. The required, non-obvious step was to organize all bottles on the bench, and to make sure the items of the same category get a subsequent serial number.



This lab presented a special case, as it had transferred a big portion of its chemicals from one room to another. This transition required a number of checks to be performed. Nevertheless, in just 4 days, our Lab Fairy helped the group organize these items, while making sure to catalog all of the chemicals with Labsuit, and labeling every single bottle with a solvent-resistant label. The label is our guarantee that the chemical will be identifiable and trackable for years to come.


Our Lab Fairy was very excited to help Prof. Shlomo Magdassi’s research group organize their chemicals in a new room. Thanks to the Fairy's vast experience, the project was handled promptly. We're sure that many researchers would also enjoy this fruitful makeover!   

It's easy to stay updated with Orders Discussions


For about a month we've been running Orders Discussion in Beta mode. Now, having received many feedback and improved it accordingly, we're officially releasing Order Discussions.

Every order details page has three parts:
  1. Order details
  2. Attachments
  3. Order discussion


What is new here is that order discussion panel which infinitely goes down, is capable to accommodate any comment or update you, or your lab members have to make.  


How other labs are using order discussion updates:

"Which budget/grant should I use for this purchase?"

"This item is available at a local chemical storage" 

"I attached a price quotation" 

"This item ships in 14 days" 

"The right catalog number for this item is 139753-200gr"

Monday, January 2, 2017

CAS numbers aren't just for chemicals, but also for antibodies, peptides and others

CAS pelotonia.jpg

If you look close enough at this picture you can spot two happy Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) members exiting the building. They have just generated 4 new CAS numbers for the very new organic compounds.
This building is where they dwell, while we in research and particularly in LabSuit can happily use their fruitful work.

CAS numbers

In this blogpost I'll be talking about CAS numbers in LabSuit.
Many of us use CAS numbers on the daily basis. They help us uniquely identify chemical compounds and avoid moments of frustration.

Not a long time ago, in LabSuit, we prescribed CAS number fields for chemicals only. While this may be theoretically fine, for practical purposes that may not always be the case. 

CAS numberS have richer context

There was a trigger that helped us to drive the change in LabSuit - we talked with Yifat Abramovich from Rapport, Medicine Department of Technion. Ifat is using CAS number for antibodies! Then we analyzed a bigger sample of compounds across different labs and realized there were numerous cases when items were categorized as chemicals, while could have been categorized in a more narrow category. 
Therefore we decided to bring CAS number field into other categories as well. From now on, antibodies, peptides, etc. can have CAS numbers.
We are grateful to Yifat for this valuable feedback which lead us to this solution!


An image courtesy of Jack B108 - Own work by uploader--from a friend w/permission, CC BY-SA 3.0Link