Upcoming Conferences Highlight Lab Informatics and Regulations
Article May 14, 2012
The regulatory scene is changing. It's becoming more global in scope with comparable, more universal regulations being introduced worldwide such that R&D and production processes must adhere to safe, clean operations and products. More regulations are being introduced that require detailed reports of chemical/material location, volume, content, storage, and disposal. Regulations, such as REACH, are beginning to focus on what those chemicals are and whether a green, less toxic alternative can be substituted. All this information needs to be tracked, managed and reported to a myriad of regulatory agencies, from the local to the federal and now often global regulatory body: a herculean task that is virtually impossible without an informatics solution.
Getting a handle on what to report, when, and to whom means not just assembling the report, but ensuring that the methodology used is accurate and quick to perform. Automation is the only way to go. To that end, the European Lab Automation congress in Hamburg, Germany from May 30-31 will highlight and showcase the latest in automated instruments and workflows. In particular, the track for Informatics in Automation will address emerging techniques and technologies, cloud computing, Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), and other methods for automating laboratory information and streamlining associated workflows.
One of the most significant regulations affecting laboratories is REACH, which will have a major impact on the worldwide chemical industry. Launched in 2007, REACH (which stands for registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals) is intended to protect consumers and the environment from hazardous chemicals. It shifts the responsibility of safety from governments to companies–including all producers and importers of chemicals into Europe–which are now required to demonstrate the safety of their products. The objective is ultimately to phase out or ban the most hazardous chemicals from Europe. From May 24-25 in Helsinki, Finland, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will host the third Helsinki Chemicals Forum (HCF 2012) to highlight the current status of the REACH roll-out.
Chemical management starts in the lab, since most R&D laboratories have some 5,000-10,000 chemical containers (and different size containers have different handling and storage requirements) on site to conduct their research and analyses. Sometimes the informatics capabilities available with the LIMS can manage this information, but often the regulatory reporting falls outside the lab's purview and into the realm of the organization's Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) professional who must work closely with the Lab Manager to ensure the accuracy of the regulatory reports. Staying current on the requirements of managing a lab well isn't becoming any easier: get thee to a conference!
Case Study: Improve your lab’s efficiency and data compliance with a chromatography data systemArticle
In this Case Study, Peter Zipfell of Thermo Fisher Scientific explains how Broughton Laboratories, an analytical laboratory that supports method development and validation projects across pharma, implemented and upgraded a chromatography data system (CDS), increasing lab efficiency and improving data verification processes for overall time savings.READ MORE
The Quest for Exascale: Have the Goal Posts Changed in HPC?Article
The High-Performance Computing community has in recent years been dominated by the quest for Exascale systems, capable of a billion billion calculations per second. However, the interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities has pushed exascale off the front of stage. In this article, David Yip, HPC and Storage Business Development Manager at OCF, asks whether the quest for exascale is truly over.READ MORE
"Uber for Academics" Announces a Blockchain Token for ScienceArticle
Blockchain payment systems are in vogue right now, finding applications in everything from stock market transactions to air fares. Peerwith, an online peer-to-peer marketplace has announced a new blockchain currency with a grand aim: to solve the problem of payment transfers in academia.