LabCollector “Give laboratories safe and efficient scientific management tools!”

8th Symposium / AFEM 2017

(Francophone Association of Microbial Ecology) in Camaret sur Mer, France.

AT AFEM 2017 Anne-Laure Sauvadet, Head of Support & Consulting at LabCollector, gave a talk on “How to give laboratories safe and efficient scientific management tools”.


But first let’s explain what AFEM Colloquim is:

Microbiomes : from Natural Environments to Man


The purpose of this VIIIth AFEM Symposium is to facilitate the exchange of ideas, tools, approaches, analyses, results and theories between microbiologists interested in different microbiomes and different fields of research. (bacteria and / or archaea and / or micro-eukaryotes, and their associated viruses) and to initiate or strengthen collaborations. The topics covered are intended to be very broad and aim to better describe, understand, control and value the microbial communities of the biosphere, from a fundamental point of view but also applied. Subjects will be grouped into 5 half-day sessions, each one introduced by an expert lecturer. A round table discussion dedicated to the problems of culture will close this colloquium.


Environmental microbiology in the era of “omics”

The aim is to discuss recent results obtained by conventional approaches and new technologies, in particular the omics tools (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics, metabolomics but also culturomics), applied at the atomic level, the molecule, the gene, the micro-organism, the communities or the ecosystem.”

You can find the article in French by following this link.

LabCollector v5.3 Tip1

LABCOLLECTOR v5.3  #Tip1

LabCollector has created, improved and changed many key features just for you in its version 5.3! Every week, we will discuss some of these changes and give you a few tips on how to become more comfortable using LabCollector v5.3.


Let’s talk about the newly redesigned import function!

We have redesigned the ImportData function to make the process easier.

    • Instead of having to write out the names of the fields/columns you want to import there are ready-to-use files with all the field names available and you can just populate the ones you need (Name and Owner are mandatory).

  • You can also choose to automatically assign storage to your newly imported records all in the same step by navigating to the Advanced Options.

Find out more here.

Advanced Options:

Go to our article to find out more about v5.3 …

Stay tuned for more tips!

Also, remember to check your RSS news feed on your LabCollector Home Page – we’ll be posting other tips to help you get the most out of your LIMS.

If you would like to see an article on a particular subject, do not hesitate to ask for it via our social network pages!

Win LabCollector Mugs!

We love LabCollector and to share the love we’re giving away some of our brand new LabCollector mugs!

Let us know your thoughts about LabCollector on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. If you’re lucky one of these mugs could be winging its way to you soon!

You missed our LabCollector day? No worries, you can find an overview of the event here

A LabCollector day?!? Where? When?

In Paris, on the 13th of June 2017.

Who attended the event?

LabCollector fans (or simply users) and anyone interested in our solution working in academic institutes, biotech and pharma companies.

This year, we also invited two great speakers: Christian Siatka (CEO of Ecole de L’ADN in Nîmes and consultant for the European Commission) and David O’Callaghan (Director, INSERM U1047, Université de Montpellier).

Ecole de l’ADN, what’s that? Click here to see the Christian Siatka’s activity

And check out David O’Callaghan’s lab here! 

What about a third edition of the LabCollector?

Of course 🙂 Due to its growing success we are already planning to do a third workshop. Please, send us your feedback if you have any location preference! And stay connected… several new features of LabCollector will be released soon!

You want to see the LabCollector team?

A « Team » section on our website will be available soon. In the meantime, you can watch the video of the event and see us!

The LabCollector Community Team

New Mobile app: LabCollector stock manager

LabCollector Stock Manager

A Complete solution for quickly managing your stock

Manage the stock of your items and update the status in your LabCollector.
Includes barcode scanner from mobile camera or embedded scanner (PDA).
Has modes IN, OUT or unit replacement. Easily and quickly send stock movement files, by email or file download. The app works offline.
Barcode reader decodes both 1D or 2D codes.

Barcode Scanner

Simple to use

Use of the app is very simple.
From the screen scan a barcode (uses your mobile’s camera).
Then enter the quantity of item and indicate if the item is moving into or out of storage.
There is also an option to replace the existing amount of a scanned item with a new quantity.
Before sending the list of stock changes the list may be reviewed and edited.
Then the csv file for updating your stocks can be saved to your mobile or sent by email so the file can easily be used to update your LabCollector inventories.

LabCollector Stock Manager

The LabCollector Stock Manager will allow you to scan barcoded items to easily track movements into and out of your stock.
After scanning items just connect to LabCollector and the inventory is updated in a a few clicks.
Available on

 

 

#2 Tips to boost your LabCollector

Keep boosting your LabCollector

 Here are some interesting tips we have for you today:


New types of custom fields

New types of custom fields are now available with the updated interface in custom fields:
• NCBI autocomplete: to include terms/names from NCBI databases such as taxonomy, biosamples, gene and many others
YES/NO select list with the possibility to be a category field
Tracking link: to tracks shipments or to link information from another database based in a variable field
Read more

Derived samples option action button

From Strains & Cells, samples, animals, chemical structures and custom modules records, you can directly create derived samples by clicking on 
A form will open to create a sample derived from the record you have selected. A new record is automatically created in the samples module with the name of origin field from the main record derived and a link tab appears on the record file to mention the link between those samples.

Choose your default fields and enable new functions as Multi owners!
LabCollector comes with default fields ready to be used. But, peharps in your lab some of those fields are not useful, you can now deactivate those fields. You also have NEW advanced options such as Multiple owners and Reagents Automatic Link to facilitate your daily use of LabCollector!

Getting your lab rolling: Lab management how to spend less time with administrative tasks?

Management is a difficult task, even more so when you are talking about a lab. There are many diverse tasks including: directing experiments, analyzing data, managing conflicts, writing papers/reports.  It is easy to find yourself also caught up in other administrative tasks, such as ordering reagents, managing your lab workflow so everything can run more smoothly.

In this article in Nature they reiterate the importance about time management, maintaining good organization, and communication in the lab to better collaborate and enhance productivity: “A well-functioning lab is a productive lab”.  And a key to being well-functioning is good organization and management of all aspects of the lab.

Although this seems obvious on paper, the daily routine of life in the lab can be different. Do any of these situations sound familiar to you?

  • Were you or any members of your lab stuck for minutes of even hours trying to find the correct protocol, samples, reagents, or any product needed to run your analysis?
  • Someone in your lab needed to do an experiment only to discover on the day that a reagent is missing?
  • The reagent you have requested two weeks ago has not been ordered? But then discover that it was ordered, but someone has stored it in a different place!
  • Have you ever ordered the same reagent twice because members of the lab did not know where the previous one was?

If you said yes to any of the question above, it is time to think about implementing a lab management platform to support you in these daily tasks and to better keep track of your “lab wheels” to keep it rolling: enhancing your productivity while also reducing costs and most of all spend less time in these kinds of tasks!

LabCollector is an all-in-one lab management platform,  giving you the best quality/price ratio on the market.

How can LabCollector help in your lab management?

When we asked our clients how LabCollector has helped them, the most used words turn around team work: database, information, useful, team, laboratory:

Keywords

 

 

 

 

 

 

For example a staff member that is using LabCollector, when looking for a primer, instead of chasing the lab manager to ask where it is, can go into the LabCollector inventory of his lab, type  the name of the primer and see the details of the record with the storage location.  That’s it! One simple search to find information and storage details.

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You can also find the list of reagents with risk and safety information. With just one click you can place them in the order list. The lab manager or PI will get an alert that items are in the order list and can validate the purchase. The person in charge can edit the Purchase Orders directly in LabCollector or export the list to send to the proper department. When the ordered items arrive in your lab, you can mark them as delivered with the batch or lot number, expiration date and even print the barcode labels for your product if you want to. LabCollector provides a single place where you can centralize your invoices according to your P.O.s, follow up your budget and more! You keep track of everything from the beginning to the end, from purchase through use of your supplies in one system.

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LabCollector provides a readily available inventory to anyone in your lab.  The information is searchable and easy to print or export.  You can now easily communicate and collaborate with your team, spending less time in routine tasks and spending more time on science!

Take you lab management to a new level. Tasks as simple as that, can be now handled smoothly.

Lab Storage, ELN and Temperature monitoring at University of Luxembourg

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Presentation

The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) is accelerating biomedical research by closing the link between systems biology and medical research. Collaboration between biologists, medical doctors, computer scientists, physicists and mathematicians is offering new insights in complex systems like cells, organs, and organisms. These insights are essential for understanding principal mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and for developing new tools in diagnostics and therapy.

Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, metabolomics and disease network analysis are in the focus of LCSB’s research. Within Luxembourg, the LCSB is building upstrong partnerships with all major biological and medical research units. Key strategic partnership has been set-up with the ISB in Seattle. This cooperation is enabling a rapid scientific evolution. The LCSB fosters collaboration with industrial partners and will be a focal point for developing a knowledge based economy in Luxembourg.

The LCSB has put in place a support group to enable the researchers to focus on their research. All the logistics of about 250 researchers is organized by the Support biotech team using the LabCollector LIMS software. A reagent to buy, equipment to book, a sample to find… everything runs smoothly in a few clicks.

Equipped since 2011 with a full version of LabCollector and the Electronic Lab Notebook, we have progressively developed the software by adding:

Equipment and monitoring

LabCollector has helped us to list all the equipment in laboratories, from the pipette to the microscope, and in particular to manage their maintenance and reservation. Via the Equipment module, we have listed a thousand of equipment, including 150 machines for cold storage. Directly via this module, researchers can find the equipment needed for their experimentation and reserve it. Link to the Scheduler add-on, all reservations can be centralized and are accessible by all the members.

Since recently, we finished the monitoring of cold storage equipment and begin to monitor our incubators. We are now about 200 devices equipped with sensors for temperature, humidity, pressure, etc. The persons responsible for the maintenance of these facilities are directly alerted by email and GSM if temperature is outside thresholds.

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Purchase order management

Our logistic group is responsible of purchase order management, shipment organization, common disposables ordering, delivery and dispatching, and budget follow up, among many others tasks. That’s why use LabCollector for all these time-consuming but indispensable processes helps us to better manage the large number of orders: more than 6,000 for 2015 with 84 different budgets.

Moreover, in 2016, our university changes all the system of budget management. We are no dealing with about 150 budget codes and AgileBio team has been responsive to their implementation.

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News for 2016 and more

ELN – Even if we purchased the Electronic Lab Notebook in 2011, it’s only now that researchers attempt to deal with it. First, the passage of the paper version to the electronic version is not easy for all, and the first version of the ELN from AgileBio did not get the vote of all members. Since 2016, a new version is, in our opinion, more accessible and easy to use. We will try again!

Zebrafish Aquarium – Our Zebrafish breeding responsible is currently evaluating the Aquarium add-on to manage all the aspect in this type of breeding: management of racks, fish identity card, fish in/out, and documentation… Some adjustments will probably be necessary but the add-on already meets many of our criteria.

 

Using MSDS and Safety Documentation with LabCollector

Safety has always been a critical part of working in any lab.  Anyone who has worked in a lab has stories about accidents and near misses.  C&E News has an entire section dedicated to lab safety.  One of my own personal favorite stories involves a near miss during my time as a graduate student when I was working with a summer undergrad.

The student’s first bit of lab work involved the purification of several organic chemicals by recrystallization and column chromatography.  The student came into the lab to weigh silica gel and sand wearing thick rubber gloves, safety glasses, a respirator and face shield.  I let the student clumsily weigh silica with obscured vision.  He then removed all the safety gear except his eyeglasses for the recrystallization.  Before he continued, I intervened and asked what was going on.  He said there was a very lengthy and detailed list of safety recommendations for silica gel, while the chemical he was using had a near empty MSDS stating the safety of the chemical has not been evaluated.  Of course this was a very new research student, but the same could happen with new workers in your own lab.

My student did something that was logical in his own head: just simply follow the safety information he could find most easily.  The basic idea was ok, except my student did not know MSDS and other standardized documentation are a good point to start with safety, but they have a habit of providing either too much information or almost nothing.  So, with LabCollector we decided to bring a fix by making it easy to combine safety information from regulatory bodies with your own documentation.  Regardless of the chemicals, samples, equipment, or protocols involved you can now have the most relevant information on safety available in just a few clicks.

With LabCollector it is simple to integrate standard safety documentation (MSDS, SDS, GHS, NFPA) with the records in your inventory as well as your own internal documentation.  We created a new section of our webpage to explain some of the details.  A few highlights are the incorporation of regulatory symbols used by GHS (the Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling Chemicals) and NFPA.  This means that simply looking at a record in LabCollector is similar to looking at a manufacturer’s label to see safety information, except better.  The better part comes from a few key advantages:

 1) LabCollector exists as a cloud resource and via intranet so it can be accessed anywhere

 2) The ability to create links to other documents within LabCollector provides quick access to additional safety resources.  This way you not only have basic safety data, you can also link to SOPs for your own institution’s policies on safety precautions, usage or disposal of lab materials. 

3) LabCollector allows for easy exporting and printing to make the information relevant to you available as a printout or offline. 

There is an additional concern that LabCollector addresses with safety regulations compliance that is mandated by OSHA, HAZCOM (Hazard Communication Standards) and GHS.

“Employers must ensure that the SDSs are readily accessible to employees for all hazardous chemicals in their workplace. This may be done in many ways. For example, employers may keep the SDSs […] on computers as long as the employees have immediate access to the information…. If the employer does not have an SDS, the employer or designated person(s) should contact the manufacturer to obtain one.”

LabCollector can help in an emergency situation.  Just find the chemical with LabCollector’s internal search bar and click on the safety tab.  The MSDS and other safety information is right there.  We have created tools to make it easy to retrieve electronic copies of MSDS if you don’t already have it.  This also helps facilitate OSHA, GHS and HAZCOM requirements on keeping documentation readily available and up to date.

Additional insight comes from a recent article by Trevor Laird of Organic Process Research and Development.  He wrote:

“Many universities and smaller companies may not know where to start to help engender the safety culture which has been common in industry for the past 40 years….. Once the culture is in place, then it is easy to maintain high standards, but only if there is commitment from the top management or, in universities, from top academic professors as well as administrators.  “

He goes on to note there is an enormous amount of high quality safety information that is readily available.  Much of this documentation is freely available (such as here, here and here) and can be linked to via LabCollector using external links in our documents module.  One such resource is a series of videos and articles from Dow (http://safety.dow.com/en).

And it doesn’t stop there.  Safety really is enhanced in other ways including storage.  By comparing samples and chemicals in a particular storage location it becomes obvious if there are potentially incompatible items in any location.  All told, LabCollector really can enhance the safety of your lab.

Author: James Morris, LabCollector Consultant

 

 

5 steps to go paperless: ELN and LIMs

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as academic institutions are investing more and more in digital solutions such as the electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) and laboratory management systems (LIMs) to support their R&D activities. Such labs are called paperless. These solutions can vary from sample and storage management, electronic laboratory notebooks to data analysis. By breaking down the ‘why’ and ‘how’ process for your lab to go paperless, this article will enable you to overcome the difficulties of choosing between all these different options.

  1. Why adopt a paperless laboratory?

Nowadays, most scientists still keep experimental records on paper notes, paper notebooks, and sometimes using some informatics tools like Excel, Word, Power Points files… Each one stored in different folders and computers. Still relying on the head of the lab or key staff to look where to search for that information… This unstructured way to keep your lab information leads to time consuming tasks and even loss of information across time!

This is far from being a new issue: a report published in European Pharmaceutical Review in 2015 reported that over the past 10 years, one of the biggest challenges in R&D is “to find the information when I need it”!

Decisions taken are based on lab information, hence having a reliable system to serve as your lab information repository can enable you to make better and faster decisions.

An article published in Scientific Computing in 2004 based on client cases lists the main goals of the adopters of a paperless laboratory:

Faster data manipulation of digital data
Increasing efficiency: by sharing data more easily and quickly
Speeding samples throughput: from electronic data entry in real time to automated data acquisition
Regulatory compliance
Reduced costs: doing the same work with fewer resources, or more work with the same resources

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2. What are the differences between ELN and LIMS?

Confusion is often made between lab information management software (LIMS) and the electronic notebook (ELN). Scientists see the immediate value of an ELN to search and document their experiments which helps them tracking and sharing their experiments. Lab heads can manage and follow more efficiently the current projects in the lab, which are accessible online and shared among colleagues. It is when researchers start using an ELN that they see the need of a LIMS, to recall their samples, reagents, chemicals and be able to find them even after being for years. It is not only important to annotate your experiments but also to build in the lab a collaborative network of shared resources, as well as having a full traceability of your research activities.

A properly managed inventory will: increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the laboratory, because it will provide an uninterrupted flow of needed materials and ensure products are available when they are required. This is also in compliance with ISO standards. Even in pure R&D labs, new quality standards are pushing into more structured information.

To meet regulatory compliance and really benefit from a real increased efficiency an ELN cannot exist without a LIMS. To meet the best of both worlds it is important to assess a system having an ELN with built-in a LIMS/inventory.

A LIMS together with an ELN is a more stable, searchable and sharable way to manage any information in a lab. An all-in-one solution is the wat.

3. A Step by Step Implementation

Michael Elliott, chief executive officer of Atrium Research & Consulting, clearly points out important features when choosing a LIMS in an article published in Science “Clients want scalability, a user-friendly interface, and outstanding global support”, he also talks about product transparency “However, products vary in these capabilities, don’t choose based on a presentation or brand name. Think carefully about your needs now and in the future”. So, a scalable system is key as your needs can grow in the future, and changing from a system to another would be a loss of time and money. The other point is the transparency of products; a presentation of a system without a real experience can be very deceiving.

By choosing a scalable system, you can start implementing today! A customizable LIMS/ELN can be implemented quickly with higher rate of adoption than waiting years for the development of a rigid system to be ready, using a big bang approach. A step by step approach allows users to see the benefits of a LIMS/ELN and slowly integrating the LIMS in their lab daily life.

A customizable LIMS/ELN such as LabCollector offers the possibility to adapt your entry data, your inventory modules, in addition to the basic frame of the LIMS, scale up your users at any time and you can choose the supplementary modules you need. Examples of these modules are the ELN, Data Logger (sensors Tracking), WorkFlow to set up jobs from repetitive procedures in the lab (e.g. next gene sequencing protocols) to clinical trials workflows or even modules based on client services like the Lab Service Manager, or the Sequencing Service Manager for NGS labs.

4. Full Automated Workspace

Imagine a world where scientists annotate their experiments with their tablets or iPads simultaneously keeping records. Reagents, samples and instruments with unique IDs labelled with barcodes allowing you to de-stock digitally, you can find quickly the information about a sample or box without any ambiguity. Knowing exactly what is in your inventory and where. A fully automated system to simplify research by capturing experimental details in an easy and efficient manner with the automatic retrieval of results from your analytical equipment’s to the right sample record in your database? Well, this world has finally arrived…

Several labs have moved to this digital era finding the efficiency, regulation compliancy they were looking for. Laurent Boulanger, Engineer at the French Agronomic Institute (INRA) lab has implemented LabCollector since 2010 says “I just have one piece of advice to give: Don’t just think about where to store your samples, but also where to find them in the future. If you use the database and the electronic lab notebook (ELN), you will have a very effective tool to follow your experiments, the samples generated and where they are stored.”

5. Changing minds

Trying to change an old lab management system can be tough and facing installed routine and conservative minds is challenging. The best way to make a change is to just try! Use the free version of LabCollector and try it in your lab (in parallel with your existing system). The results might be enough to convince all your team!

Time invested today will help gain quality results, professional and personal satisfaction, and peer recognition.

Everyone in the laboratory is responsible for quality performance:

– Laboratory leaders and managers must commit to meeting quality needs.

– Laboratory personnel must follow all quality assurance procedures and adhere to requirements and standards.

The time of digital labs has come. Electronic notebooks and online data are the new rule for efficient work on the bench.

LabCollector, first developed for Life Science applications, is an extensive solution to manage any R&D lab activities. LabCollector is an all-in-one solution with all the features needed in a modern laboratory, adapting to a simple usage to complexes workflows with equipment integration. It is also fully suitable to any type of lab, from research to analytical and diagnostic labs. LabCollector has 650 clients worldwide, being able to support and scale up organizations needs from start-ups to medium and large organizations.

For those who want to try LabCollector, you can download the FREE VERSION here. Perfect opportunity to try it and ultimately keep using it!