Recently I spoke with Dr. Aman and Todd Pelham at IBT Bioservices, I was blown away by the care and consideration they put into their work.
IBT Bioservices is an early stage drug discovery company that knows the research process doesn’t always go as expected. The lab work isn’t simple; it’s filled twists and turns along the way. As a result, IBT Bioservices is a new version of CRO that has increased expertise and communication to navigate all the bumps in the road.
IBT Bioservices is dedicated to infectious disease research. With expertise in immunology, virology, bacteriology, and animal model development, they’ve established a core of services focused on adding value to early R&D programs. Read the rest of this entry »
We are proud to announce that we have just launched our largest product update ever – our newly designed Laboratory Storefront platform which consolidates lab management tools in order to optimize project management and internal workflow for Science Exchange laboratories.
Our vision for Science Exchange has always been to improve the efficiency of scientific research through tools that promote collaboration. We’ve spent the past three years towards this goal, building a marketplace for researchers to search and order over 2000 experiments, and helping labs to promote and manage these services online. The Laboratory Storefront is a critical step towards streamlining and improving our laboratories’ internal processes.
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Recently I talked with uBiome, a Science Exchange laboratory that specializes in microbiome sequencing. What makes them spectacular is more than just their sequencing services. It’s their unique perspective on science, the microbiome, and the cycle of research. There are tons of amazing facets to uBiome, but to name a couple:
- They are the largest crowdfunded citizen science project to date – they raised more than $350,000 on indiegogo.
- They have a fully automated, scalable robotic next-generation sequencing pipeline that can handle 10,000 samples as easily as 10 samples.
uBiome was founded by Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, who came together to start something different – a place where researchers can work with citizen scientists to create a game-changing dataset of microbial information.
According to Jessica, “We are excited about the process of collaborative citizen science around the microbiome. The idea is to involve the public, ask questions, and include the public in the researcher’s process.”
It’s this approach that helped them amass the largest dataset of human microbiome info. As a result, they can offer something unique to researchers, the chance to compare participants’ data to each other.
“If you’re studying anything, from heart disease to autism, we can sample and sequence your participants and compare them to our dataset. If researchers are sampling something that’s not one of our existing sites, we can still sequence anything they’re interested in – feet, noses, worms, animals, environmental samples, anything that has bacteria on it. We can run those through our pipeline and give data back about what’s in them,” said Jessica Richman.
They make the process as simple as possible for the researcher. They can be hands on and take care of sample collection, participant surveys, and sequencing. Or they can leave the details to the researchers and simply sequence the samples in their lab. In addition, researchers can compare their samples with groups of interest in the uBiome dataset.
uBiome is making is making microbiome sequencing easier than ever. Check out their services on Science Exchange.
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When the stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) stem cell papers were published there was tremendous excitement in the scientific community. The papers described a seemingly simple method to reprogram differentiated somatic cells into pluripotency – a process that usually involves the addition of multiple transcription factors.
The controversy around the papers comes from two separate issues. The initial controversy concerns the images submitted by the authors. First, an image used in Dr. Obokata’s doctoral thesis may have also been used in the Nature papers. However, the image from her thesis was from different experiments and time periods than those reported in the Nature paper. Secondly, a lane in their genomic analysis gel seems to be spliced. Lastly, images from two different placentas look nearly identical. Questionable images are a red flag, and this may be what causes the papers to be retracted.
But the larger issue brought up by these papers is reproducibility, which is much more complex. While it is terrific to see the crowdsourced replication attempts reported on the Knoepfler blog, the attempts did not use the same cells as those reported in the original studies, thus limiting interpretation of the attempts as replications. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve written recently about our impending redesign, and how Science Exchange is streamlining your lab’s workflow to make your experience more efficient. Now let’s talk about the impulse to be a part of Science Exchange in the first place.
We are growing every single day. In fact, each month continues to be our “best month ever” for orders and revenue through the site. We are actively recruiting the best labs in the country to be on our platform. The best part, however, is that we also get an increased amount of labs applying of their own accord on a daily basis.
The directors and sales teams realize that there has been a tipping point, and they’re actively losing out on revenue for their lab by not being on Science Exchange.
The feedback we consistently receive from labs on the site includes:
- Our billing process is incredibly swift.
- Their reach has increased; they are working with researchers they wouldn’t otherwise had the opportunity to work with.
- They are guaranteed payment within 30 days of order completion because Science Exchange pay labs directly.
Long story short: your expertise is valued and valuable on Science Exchange. Listing as a lab on Science Exchange enables you to reap the rewards from the thousands of researchers on the site looking for expert labs to perform their research.
If you’re already listed or plan to, make sure to pay it forward to colleagues that could no doubt benefit from the Science Exchange network.
Some of the Science Exchange team recently went to AAAS – the American Association for the Advancement of Science. While there, I went to several sessions that talked about the composition of research teams and the dedication they have to have applying for grant after grant, and often times not hearing back for months at a time, only to then see those months of hopes dashed when they are denied funding.
The NIH reports that the average research grant success rate for fiscal year 2012 was 18%. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo by Jackson Solway features Fraser Tan (left), Bilal Mahmood (center), and Conria D’Souza (right).
This week Science Exchange was lucky enough to be part of Jackson Solway’s first ever job portrait! Jackson and his partner spent a day with our Science Solutions Manager, Fraser Tan, and documented what life on the Science Exchange team is like. We’re currently hiring for another Science Solutions Manager, so be sure to check out all the details at the link below!
Below is a quick peek into his fantastic article, read the rest here: http://sciex.co/jobportrait
Q: Fraser, what is most satisfying about this job?
FRASER: I am a scientist at heart, and here I’m at the forefront of changing science. That’s one of the reasons I considered the company in the first place. I derive a lot of satisfaction from knowing that what we do is really, really important, and from knowing that no one has ever done this before. We’re really charting new territory. That’s what brings me into work every day. The other part is the awesome people I work with! My teammates are fun and supportive, and we all believe very strongly in the mission of Science Exchange.
The Science Exchange team’s vision is the democratization of science where any researcher can access the expertise and equipment they need to perform their research in a quick and efficient way.
In January, WIRED wrote an article about the new Illumina HiSeq X Ten, the first system capable of sequencing the human genome for $1,000. The machine consists of ten concurrent sequencers capable of producing 1.8 terabases of data every 3 days. This means it can sequence up to 18,000 genomes per year.
WIRED cautioned that the system designed for population-scale research with a $10 million price tag would be affordable for only a few.
The post also listed the only 3 institutes who already have the system in place including the Broad Institute of MIT (Boston, MA), the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Sydney, Australia), and Macrogen (South Korea).
Last week, the Garvan Institute’s Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics listed their Illumina HiSeq X Ten on Science Exchange.
Our vision is coming true. This amazing technology that was previously ‘affordable for only a few’ is now available to all researchers.
You can visit the Kinghorn Centre’s Science Exchange storefront to access the Illumina HiSeq X Ten. It’s an exciting time to be a scientist!
Science Exchange employees all have a common goal – to improve the way science is done. But, we don’t all have the same scientific backgrounds. Some of us are biologists, some are computer scientists, and there’s even one geologist (me). In an effort to learn about the many experiments performed through Science Exchange, we have begun bi-weekly science fairs.
Our first science fair featured Customer Experience Manager Conria leading hands-on DNA extraction from SciEx employees!
All you need is gatorade, detergent, alcohol, and some test tubes (directions here) – it’s the perfect rainy day activity. Read the rest of this entry »
Shawn Carbonell, MD, PhD and wife Anne-Marie Carbonell, MD, OncoSynergy’s new VP of Clinical Development
This week I got to catch up with our user Shawn Carbonell and his biotech company OncoSynergy, who has made exciting progress in the 2 months since we last talked. They were honored with the Children’s Humanitarian Award from the Children’s Tumor Foundation at their annual Gala in New York City and have just announced they are the Social Media Sponsor of the 2014 Race for Hope for brain cancer research held in conjunction with Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) and the National Brain Tumor Society. However, perhaps most importantly, Shawn Carbonell’s wife, Anne-Marie Carbonell, has joined the OncoSynergy team as Vice President of Clinical Development.
To put it in his words, “When I found out she was single and was no longer in neurosurgery I made it my mission to both marry her and hire her. Last month both became reality.”
There are so many fascinating elements to Anne-Marie. Both Shawn and Anne-Marie successfully matched into neurosurgery residency only to find new career tracks; they’re now making the fight against brain cancer the family business. That’s only a small fraction of the incredible story, read the rest below! Read the rest of this entry »