<!– This year’s show presented a vibrant and diverse cross-section of the industry
John R. Joyce, Ph.D.
Pittcon completed its current Orlando run with another successful show in the Orange County Convention Center. The venue moved back to the older section of the convention center, which many people seemed to prefer anyway. This was accompanied by a pleasant climate warm-up, both from last year’s show and the frigid temperatures that much of the rest of the country was experiencingThis year’s show presented a vibrant and diverse cross-section of the industry –>This year’s show presented a vibrant and diverse cross-section of the industry
|Figure 1: The diversity that is Pittcon is captured this exhibition hall photo. The wide range of vendor promotions can be seen to include the very popular Laboratory Informatics Zone.|
convention center, which many people seemed to prefer anyway. This was accompanied by a pleasant climate warm-up, both from last year’s show and the frigid temperatures that much of the rest of the country was experiencing.
While the weather likely had little influence on attendance, the conference committee should have been pleased that their attendance estimates were right on the money. Forecasting an attendance of 20,000, the posted attendance was 19,872. This was down slightly from the 2005 attendance of 20,947 reported on the conference Web site, but obviously well in line with the conferences efforts to build attendance. It will be interesting to observe the continuing impact that hurricane Katrina has on these expansion plans since, instead of moving back to New Orleans next year, Pittcon 2007 will be held in balmy Chicago. To make the impact even more interesting, scheduling conflicts forced the conference to move to an earlier date of February 25 through March 1. Current plans are still for Pittcon 2008 to be held in New Orleans, pending sufficient recovery of their infrastructure.
The overall conference was still busy, although the floor didn’t seem as packed as usual. I don’t know if that was just due to the organizer taking advantage of the extra room to spread things out a bit or if there were that many fewer exhibitors. Note that, while a number of these vendors may not have had a booth, this did not mean that they didn’t have a presence. If you were to look around, you’d see that a number of them, such as CSols, were well-represented in terms of papers, poster presentations and personnel just wandering around. However, even with this cutback, there were still a number of new vendors making their appearance at the show.
t 1The computer programs that we frequently think of as laboratory informatics are only one part of the whole that is laboratory informatics. To be able to use those programs with maximum efficiency, we need to be able to readily identify the samples and retrieve related information. There are a variety of ways of doing this, but two of the most
popular are barcoding and the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.
• A perennial Pittcon exhibitor, Brady featured their BradySoft 8 barcode label design software, complementing their extensive line of barcode labels, printers and readers.
• An interesting twist on labeling was introduced by Dimatix with its cartridge-based Dimatix Materials Printer (DMP) system. This allows high-precision jetting of functional fluids, including biological materials, on many surfaces including glass, plastic, silicon and paper.
• Joint Analytical Systems (Americas) (JAS) exhibited their SCOTTI (Sample COding Tracking Tracing and Identification) system for allowing active sample and method tracking in the laboratory via RFID.
• Shamrock Scientific Specialty Systems exhibited their extensive line of barcode materials for healthcare applications.
• Tracking Solutions continued to feature a broad range of barcoding and labeling products.
Chromatography data systems
t 1As stated last year, the chromatography data system (CDS) market continues to expand and evolve. While there have been some mergers and consolidations, this appears to have been principally to solidify marketing positions and allow companies to produce enhanced products. It seems that a number of vendors are working to enhance their CDS offerings by integrating them with full scientific data management systems (SDMS).
• While also featuring the EZChrom Elite CDS from their Scientific Software acquisition, Agilent Technologies continued to demonstrate their ChemStation Plus and Cerity NDS for Pharmaceutical QA/QC CDS.
• Ampersand International exhibited the latest version of their Chrom&Spec CDS for GC, HPLC, and GPC/SEC, which includes a 24-bit ADC. They indicated that the product release currently under development included support for size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and for capillary electrophoresis (CE) applications.
• Bruker Daltonics’ Compass OpenAccess client/server software system allows the guided use of LC/MS systems via a simple user interface to select appropriate analytical procedures based on prepared SOPs.
• While Dionex primarily focused on their new LC systems, they continued to promote their Chromeleon 6.8 Chromatography Management System software, which supports over 260 instruments from more than 25 manufacturers.
• Chrom Perfect chromatography software remained the primary focus for Justice Laboratory Software. Specialty modules include Chrom Perfect SimDist 2000 for petroleum boiling point distribution determination, Chrom Perfect SEC Size Exclusion Chromatography software package for molecular weight determination, and Chrom Perfect for Natural Gas Analysis chromatography data system for determination of natural gas properties.
• PerkinElmer Life and Analytical Sciences exhibited the latest enhancements to their TotalChrom CDS. This is available in both client/server and workstation versions.
• In addition to all of their other products, Shimadzu Scientific Instruments featured their CLASS VP7 Client/Server Software for GC and HPLC. They also exhibited their LCsolution Workstation for HPLC.
• SRI Instruments exhibited their PeakSimple chromatography acquisition and integration software for Windows. No hardware is installed on your computer, so a portable laptop may be used instead of a full-sized desktop PC.
• Thermo Electron exhibited the Atlas 8.1 CDS. This version uses Thermo’s GAML data converters to import the chromatogram trace and peak results from a variety of other manufacturers’ systems.
• In addition to enhancements to their chromatography hardware, Waters was promoting enhancements to their Empower 2 Enterprise Data Manager software. Particular focus was placed on the release of their Method Validation Manager add-on option.
National Instruments (NI) exhibited as diverse a line of data acquisition and control components as you could possibly want. These systems ranged from
cards that you could drop into your PC, to remote systems capable of running over an Ethernet cable or serial line. A number of them contained components that allowed collection of data totally independent of your PC for significant periods of time. While only present as a pilot prototype device, a particularly interesting measurement platform was code-named QBX.
The QBX platform is designed to be an ultra-small, wireless measurement platform. The QBX circuit boards are a mere 4 by 4 cm. The boards are stackable; so, depending on the number of cards, you can end up with a block 4 to 6 cm in height. Inter-card communication is primarily handled over the 4-wire serial peripheral interface bus. Available interfaces include MIO, MMC, RS-232 and Bluetooth.
In terms of hardware specifications, the main board uses an AT ARM7 processor, which can run with a clock speed ranging from 3 to 68 MHz. Available memory includes 256 kB of SDRAM operating over a 32-bit bus and 2 MB of Flash memory operating over a 16-bit bus. While power can be supplied to the device by an external adapter, it is normally set up to use an external Li-ion battery pack attached to the bottom of the stack.
While these other interfaces allow it to be used in a broad range of applications, it appears to be intended more to use the Bluetooth interface to link to PDAs and other devices for remote monitoring and control. The QBX platform, as well as all of NI’s other acquisition systems, can be graphically programmed using their LabVIEW 8 development environment.
Interfacing instruments with your Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) or Laboratory Information System (LIS) is still the key to maximizing the productivity gains of installing such a system. Of course, there are other benefits, such as reducing transcription errors, which should particularly appeal to those working in a regulated environment.
• The e-corder data acquisition system was the featured product of eDAQ. Their line of data acquisition modules support 16-bit data acquisition with input ranges from 2 mV to 10 V. Units come in 2-, 4-, 8- and 16-channel configurations. They also sell an XP Professional ‘brick’ PC that can be inserted into any of the e-corders. This is supported by their PowerChrom, Chart and Scope software, which mimic-traditional instruments to simplify training.
• KoreaDigital exhibited their ScienceCube Pro for data acquisition, which runs either as a stand-alone device or connected to a PC. It is capable of acquiring and storing more than 50,000 data points and is heavily targeted at the laboratory education market.
• While best known for their LimsLink software, now complimented by LimsLinkExpress and LimsLinkCDS, Labtronics exhibited a wide range of other interface products. These included various versions of BalanceTalk, Collect and NAP. The latter is a Windows-based software and hardware package that collects and analyzes analog signal data from continuous flow analyzers.
• Lawson Labs displayed their line of high-resolution data acquisition systems, including a number that featured 20- to 24-bit resolution. Supported interfaces include serial, parallel, USB, TCP/IP and wireless.
• A line of I/O rich C-programmable embedded controllers was exhibited by Mosaic Industries. These are optimized for use in instrument and process automation. An example of this is their QCard, a tiny low-cost single-board computer that fits any hand-held or space constrained applications.
• In addition to its widely used LabVIEW 8 graphical development software, National Instruments was also exhibiting its diverse range of data acquisition hardware. A particularly interesting entry was their ultra-small wireless measurement platform pilot program line code-named QBX, which uses Blue Tooth to link to PDAs and other devices.
t 1When we talk of laboratory informatics, most people think of CDS or LIMS systems. However there is much more to it than that. The following section will give you a taste of the diversity that this simple term attempts to cover.
• Advanced Chemistry Development (ACD/Labs) exhibited their broad range of software products designed to systematize scientific knowledge in chemical, biochemical and pharmaceutical R&D. A major focus was their release of ACD/IntelliXtract, designed for automated molecular weight determination from LC/MS data, for which they received a Pittcon Editor’s Award Honorable Mention for Best New Product.
• BioRad Laboratories, Informatics Division exhibited a wide range of lab informatics tools. Principle among these was their KnowItAll system for spectral data management and processing. The KnowItAll Metabolomics edition also received an Honorable Mention for Best New Product. ChemWindow and other tools also were displayed for specialty cheminformatics manipulations.
• Bruker Biospin exhibited a number of informatics products, including their SampleTrack system, which handles instrument control and data acquisition, data archiving and robot control, as well as sample preparation and transfer.
• Bruker Daltonics informatics tools were quite diverse, although most fell under the general classification of bioinformatics. These included the ClinProTools 2.0 for extracting biomarkers from complex protein profiles and MALDI BioTyper for microorganism identification.
• CambridgeSoft exhibited a wide range of products for manipulating and storing chemical and biological information. These included ChemOffice and BioOffice, as well as ChemDraw, Chem3D and BioDraw.
• While a new start-up, Cerno Bioscience launched such an innovative product in their MassWorks program that it won the Bronze Pittcon Editor’s Choice Award! This application for post-acquisition processing can improve the mass accuracy of conventional unit mass resolution mass spectrometers by a factor of 100.
• Recently acquired by Agilent, Scientific Software Agilent was exhibiting their recently released OpenLAB SDMS. This is planned to be the core on which most future Agilent and Scientific Software applications are built. It enables collaboration across sites, with direct control of instruments and management/control of all resulting data and documents.
• The LIMS Institute demonstrated no products in the classical sense, but was present to promote laboratory informatics in general, particularly LIMS. These are the people, frequently working behind the scenes, that have been responsible for the existence of the Pittcon Informatics Island, the Laboratory Informatics Conference and the LIMS Conference. They are currently promoting their Laboratory Informatics Summer School, scheduled to be held on June 5-9, 2006, in Indianapolis, IN.
• In addition to exhibiting their CDS and plethora of LIMS, Thermo Electron discussed how the technology from their former eRecordManager product was being incorporated into their other data systems, both CDS and LIMS.
• NuGenesis SDMS 7 was another software package being promoted by Waters for managing all of the data, reports and other documents generated by a laboratory.
• P-Wave featured their fully U.S. FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliant LabCORE system. It is designed to handle the complexities of document management and workflow within the laboratory environment.
With the imminent release of Origin 8, OriginLab was enthusiastically exhibiting the diverse and powerful capabilities of this application. While it is commonly
promoted as scientific graphing and analysis software, it is far more than a simple plotting program. It contains a diverse library of import routines, starting with basic ASCII, running through Thermo Galatic SPC data files, and even allowing you to execute ODBC queries against relational databases. It can display a wide array of 2-D and 3-D plots and contour graphs, as well as apply a wide range of statistical functions and filters against your data, but that is only the start.
It includes a built-in C compiler, Origin C, allowing you to write your own functions and processing filters. What is not as obvious is that Origin C includes support for the Microsoft COM interface. This allows you to control other applications as if they were an extension of Origin. Applications are diverse and include Excel and Crystal Reports. You can actually set up Origin as a data acquisition system by incorporating ActiveX controls, so that it can acquire the data it plots! In addition, it includes Automation Server Support, so that applications that support COM programming can control it and use it as a graphics server.
The usefulness of the processed Origin files took a big jump right before Pittcon with the release of the free Origin Viewer. This is a VisualBasic application that allows anyone to view and copy information contained in Origin Project files. Think of this as something similar to the Adobe Acrobat Reader. This allows you to include people without Origin in the data review process. Another big plus is the new Origin Project file format itself. This provides a repository for consolidating all of the information about a project into a single file. It can contain such diverse information as raw and processed data, analysis results, spreadsheets, meta data and notes. The built-in Project Explorer allows you to manipulate the data in a hierarchal manner, much like Windows Explorer. A number of instrument companies, such as J Y Horiba, have already adopted this format.
Origin 8 should be extending these capabilities even further, while further simplifying the writing of Origin C programs and functions.
Despite the breadth of topics the term encompasses, many people still think of LIMS when they hear laboratory informatics. The truth is that LIMS and LIS systems are still the workhorse of the laboratory. While some of the frequent LIMS vendor attendees did not show this year, there was still a good representation. If anyone still thinks that the LIMS market is rapidly shrinking from consolidation, check out lims.scimag.com to become familiar with the hundreds of vendors from around the world.
• In addition to their Sample Master Pro LIMS, which is designed as 10 separate modules to maximize user customizability, Accelerated Technology Laboratories was also exhibiting their ScreenIt Manufacturing Quality Processes Solution for those laboratories that must implement SPC charting.
• Complimenting its other hardware and software offerings, Agilent Technologies also exhibited their QC Client LIMS.
• Astrix Technology Group, in addition to implementing data collection and processing strategies for their clients, also supports the design of custom LIMS for those operations with unique workflows.
• Autoscribe discussed their new Matrix Gemini LIMS, now in final testing. It is a total rewrite in C# for .Net, not a port of the existing product, although it does maintain its unique set of configuration tools. ‘To Go’ configurations of Matrix LIMS include Stability Express for shelf life studies, Rutherford for nuclear laboratories and Neptune for water labs.
• In addition to their WebBLISS statistical analysis tool, Baytek International exhibited their WinBLISS LIMS, designed to support the refining, petrochemical, chemical and bulk pharmaceutical industries.
• Bruker Daltonics displayed a range of informatics products. One of these exhibiting LIMS functionality was their ProteinScape product. This tool organizes all of the data collected in large proteomics projects, which can include such diverse data sources as mass spectra, gel data and process parameters.
• ChemWare exhibited their Horizon LIMS, which can be found in highly automated environmental, clinical, public health, industrial hygiene, utility and other mission-critical laboratories. Horizon supports multi-site laboratory networks and subcontracting, HL7 messaging standards typically used in public health, clinical and hospital-based labs, and all GALP, NELAC, HIPAA, CAP, CLIA, SAMHSA, Part 11 and related regulatory standards.
• EKM exhibited their LABTrack product. They describe this as a Knowledge Notebook, combining the features of electronic laboratory notebook (ELN), LIMS and cGMP functionality. Their goal is to add context to raw data.
• Not a LIMS, but a tool to make test results accessible over the Web, ESI Services’ TestShare application is designed to interface with all LIMS.
• H&A Scientific, in addition to their statistical and chromatography packages, was promoting SLIM, their Stability Laboratory Information Manager.
• Hanson Research announced the availability of Bill, their new Dissolution Data System (DDS), developed in partnership with Labtronics. While designed to interface with other LIMS, it is quite capable of collecting and storing information on its own.
• In addition to their full line of dissolution testing equipment, Icalis-US was specifically promoting their IDIS EE Universal Dissolution Software Platform. This is a networked 21 CFR Part 11 compliant software solution for dissolution testing. It can store dissolution data in its internal database or transfer it to an external LIMS.
• Laboratory Data Solutions featured their Labnotes product. Developed by Terrington Data Management and configured by York Bioanalytical Solutions, it combines the features of a sophisticated ELN with an extensive assortment of configurable forms that are compliant with the requirements for regulated analytical groups.
• LabPlus Technologies introduced LabPlus. This software includes enhancements such as Workflow and QA/QC management, audit and history tracking, and a complete Event Planner and Monitor module. The enhanced user interface is now delivered via a Web services application.
• LabTech promoted their Kuiper LIMS, an ISO17025-compliant system. This LIMS may be obtained in a standard configuration or customized to the client’s specifications.
• Along with their various instrument interfacing packages, Labtronics featured their NEXXIS laboratory integration platform. This included the NEXXIS qELN, their Quality Electronic Laboratory Notebook designed specifically for QA/QC laboratories.
• LabVantage Solutions was present, promoting their Sapphire R4.4 LIMS. This is a thin-client solution tailored to manage an organization’s critical laboratory information across its worldwide R&D pipeline. A variety of enhancement modules, including their BioBanking, Clustering, Evergreen and Stability Modules also were displayed. They provide an ‘out-of -the-box’ solution as well, called LVL.
• LabWare exhibited their LabWare LIMS client/server LIMS. It is available in a number of server configurations, including Windows 2000 and UNIX. This application includes a sophisticated bi-directional integration to the Waters Empower CDS, the NuGenesis SDMS, mySAP and the NWA Quality Analyst, and is fully compliant with the ASTM’s Standard Guide for LIMS E 1578 93.
• Moda Technology Partners was promoting their Moda EM product, targeting environmental monitoring in the pharmaceutical industry. Moda EM bundles the products Moda Mobile Field Data Capture; Moda Enterprise Information Management, a departmental LIMS; and Moda Visual Information System, which can overlay LIMS data onto a CAD drawing of the facility.
• Complementing their other laboratory informatics products, PerkinElmer Life and Analytical Sciences exhibited their LABWORKS LIMS. Particularly featured was the LABWORKS Enhanced Security (ES) version, designed to simplify the data security requirements of regulated environments. Version 5.9 received an Honorable Mention for Best New Product.
• Quality Systems International (QSI) exhibited their WinLIMS 6.0 product. Installed in over 600 sites, it contains all the core functionality for LIMS and LIS installations. It includes Windows, Web and Pocket PC (via an RF network connection) clients. The integration between form (client/server) and Web interfaces has been improved to eliminate any lingering inconsistencies in operation.
• In addition to heavily promoting their Sunrise public health LIMS initiative, STARLIMS announced the general release of STARLIMS 10. This version is an entirely Web-based LIMS with built-in support of SOAP-based Web services. It received an Honorable Mention for Best New Product.
• Bringing together ELN, lab execution and experiment analysis was the key item being emphasized by Symyx Renaissance Software. Their Symyx Software suite allows scientists to design experiments, execute them and analyze the data all in one application.
• VelQuest was promoting their purpose-built ELN for GMP compliance applications, called the Automated GMP Compliance Electronic Notebook System. They also demonstrated the availability of plug-in modules to optimize for different applications, such as SmartLAB for SOP compliance workflow management and SmartBatch for batch workflow management.
• While no longer marketing the LIMS acquired with their Creon acquisition, Waters did indicate that this technology was being incorporated into their other products. One of these products, which they were displaying at Pittcon, was their eLab Notebook 3 ELN.
t 1Imaging remains an import aspect of laboratory informatics. Whether this involves image capture or the visualization of numeric results, it is critical for the proper documentation and understanding of the experimental results. The following are some of the companies that supply these critical products.
• 4pi Analysis was demonstrating their imaging package for X-ray microanalysis and digital imaging. It is designed to support all types of EMs and TEMs.
• Analtech featured a variety of products, including their ChromaDoc-IT Digital Documentation System, CycloGraph, and TLSee. Also featured was Doc-IT LS Image Analysis Software from UVP. Analtech specializes in thin layer chromatography imaging systems.
• Brightwell Technologies incorporates their Micro-Flow Imaging technology into their software for automated image acquisition and analysis for particle/cell analysis.
• In addition to their full line of microscopes and optical scanners, Carl Zeiss MicroImaging was promoting their AxioVision 4.4 imaging software for digital microscopy.
• ChemImage is a company that focuses on applying their imaging expertise to pharmaceutical, forensic, biomedical and bio-threat applications.
• Clemex Technologies demonstrated a variety of optical-based imaging systems. These included their Clemex Vision, Maestroscope and their newly announced PS3 system for Particle Size Analysis.
• Fluid Imaging Technologies demonstrated the pattern recognition features incorporated into the interactive scattergram software used to process data acquired by their FlowCAM imaging particle analyzer and flow cytometer.
• GE Healthcare was promoting their medical imaging and information technologies.
• While primarily promoting their MOSIR 950 NIR image intensified spectroscopy camera, Intevac also exhibited their VSpec Pro spectroscopy and image analysis software.
• IXRF Systems distributes an X-ray microanalysis and X-ray fluorescence software package which includes spectral analysis, imaging and quantitative analysis support that can be interfaced with any SEM/TEM.
• In addition to their ProgRes digital microscope cameras, Jenoptik Laser, Optik, Systeme exhibited their ProgRes Capture Pro image capture and manipulation software.
• Media Cybernetics presented a diverse range of image analysis products. These ranged from the IQbase enterprise image database to Image-Pro Plus 2-D/3-D image processing software. For those developing their own applications, they also featured their IQstudio imaging development environment.
• In addition to their line of microscopes and digital imaging products, Motic Instruments also exhibited their 3.2 Advance Software for image analysis, documentation and measurement.
• OriginLab promoted the advanced features of the imminent release of Origin 8. Particular emphasis was placed on its X-Function technology, allowing users to build and share custom tools, and the Origin Viewer, enabling users to access Origin Project files without having to own Origin.
• Silk Scientific demonstrated the latest version of their digitzing software to convert scanned images to (x,y) data at full scanner resolution. These products include UN-SCAN-IT 6.0 and the new UN-SCAN-IT gel. These programs appear deceptively simple, until you start considering all of the factors that have to go into converting a variable width line into a unique string of coordinates.
• In addition to their popular SYSTAT 11 program, Systat Software exhibited a number of their other data analysis and graphing packages, such as SigmaPlot 9 and SigmaScan Pro, as well as TableCurve 2D and TableCurve 3D.
• TeraView provides a variety of terahertz imaging systems. Their software allows the generation of 3-D volumetric tomographic imaging.
t 1Statistics plays an exceptionally important role in the sciences and laboratory informatics. Unfortunately, it is probably the one tool least understood by most people. The following vendors provide a wide range of tools to help us do it right!
• Academy Savant, a developer and distributor of interactive computer-based training programs for the laboratory, also featured a number of statistical analysis training programs.
• In addition to WinBLISS LIMS, Baytek International was promoting their WebBLISS Web-based statistical analysis tool.
• Along with their other informatics products, H&A Scientific was demonstrating their drug shelf-life projection statistical package, SLIMStat +.
• With the imminent release of version 8, OriginLab was promoting the statistical analysis capabilities of their Origin data analysis and display package.
• In addition to their STATISTICA family of products, StatSoft exhibited a broad range of other statistics-based products. These included statistical process control, STATISTICA Enterprise-wide SPC System; and data analysis, STATISTICA Enterprise-wide Data Analysis System.
• Complementing their other data analysis tools, Systat Software, was featuring version 11 of their widely used SYSTAT application. Much of this same technology is incorporated into their PeakFit program for non-linear peak fitting.
t 1Consultancies were present at Pittcon in innumerable sizes and varieties. You could find people to help you select and install a LIMS, design your hardware and even run your analysis for you. If there was any difficulty at all, it would be in deciding which of the consultants to use. The following is a selection of some of those specializing in the informatics area. Keep in mind that many equipment vendors also provide consulting services.
• In addition to their WinBLISS LIMS product, Baytek International was promoting their consulting services to integrate SAP QM, AspenTech IP-21, OSI-PI, Honeywell and other systems.
• Center for Process Analytical Chemistry is a consortium of industry and government researching the areas of process analytical technology and process control. Much of their work involves chemometrics and image analysis.
• Specializing in regulatory compliance analysis of computerized systems and lab equipment, International Quality Consulting (IQC) was promoting their expertise in the execution of 21 CFR Part 11 compliance projects.
• Spectroscopic Solutions provides consulting and training in the field of process analytical technology, spectroscopy and statistics.
• Taratec is a life science consultancy that uses its broad expertise to help companies leverage technology to improve their manufacturing and R&D efficiency of innovative pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device organizations while achieving compliance with U.S. FDA regulations. They are particularly focused on Business Process Improvement.
• Technology Networks produces and maintains scientific portal Web sites. They primarily focus on drug discovery and related topics, which can include microarrays, RNAi and proteomics.
t 1Many overlook computer-based training (CBT) for the laboratory when they are thinking of laboratory informatics. However, CBT can be a very cost-effective approach to providing your people with the training they need. The following are some of the vendors promoting these products.
• Academy Savant is a developer and distributor of interactive CBT programs for the laboratory. Featured areas included chromatography, spectroscopy and biotechnology.
• Motic Instruments exhibited their Digilab digital-lab teaching software.
• The Center for Professional Innovation & Education provides training to those seeking to enhance their technical and professional skills in the life sciences.
Short courses and workshops
t 1For those who felt that walking the exhibition floor was just a warm up, or perhaps were looking for an excuse to escape the trauma of this walking, Pittcon also featured a full quota of short courses and workshops, many of which counted for continuing education credits. Some of the diverse topics covered included:
• Technical Implementation of Staged Electronic Data Deliverable (SEDD): Part I&II
• Analytical Information Markup Language (AnIML)
• Laboratory Systems Integration [CSols]
• LIMS for Laboratory Managers: Strategy and Tactics [McDowall Consulting]
• Implementing Laboratory IT Projects – A Workshop [Labformatics]
• Validation of Chromatography Data Systems – Meeting Business and Regulatory Requirements [McDowall Consulting]
• PDA Based Instrument control and Wireless Connectivity [NI]
Signing up for one or more of the informatics short courses is an excellent way to get up to speed for implementing a laboratory automation project. Even if you’ve worked on one before, with the caliber of instructors that put on these presentations, you will come away with an even better understanding.
t 1The future of Pittcon currently appears very bright. While it is facing fiercer competition from online conferences, there is room for both, as they have different strengths and tend to complement each other. The conference committee appears willing to make adjustments to the structure of the conference to pull in more attendees. The biggest question right now is where future Pittcons will be held. Thanks to Katrina, the only thing certain is that Pittcon 2007 will be in Chicago. We may not know until then whether Pittcon 2008 will be in New Orleans. Meanwhile, I suggest you check the end-of-season clearances for a good coat. As I recall, it gets rather chilly toward the end of February around the Lakes there. Meanwhile, make sure you check out www.scimag.com for the latest on laboratory informatics.
|For more information…|
|Accelerated Technology Laboratories||www.atlab.com|
|Advanced Chemistry Development||www.acdlabs.com|
|Astrix Technology Group||www.astrixsoftware.com|
|BioRad Laboratories, Informatics||www.knowitall.com|
|Carl Zeiss MicroImaging||www.zeiss.com/micro|
|Center for Process Analytical Chemistry (CPAC)||www.cpac.washington.edu|
|Center for Professional Innovation & Education||www.cfpie.com|
|Fluid Imaging Technologies||www.fluidimaging.com|
|International Quality Consulting||www.iqc.de|
|Jenoptik Laser, Optik, Systeme||www.progescamera.com|
|Joint Analytical Systems||www.jas-usa.com|
|Justice Laboratory Software||www.justiceinnovations.com|
|Laboratory Data Solutions||www.labnotes.com; www.yorkbio.com|
|Moda Technology Partners||www.modatp.com|
|PerkinElmer Life and Analytical Sciences||las.perkinelmer.com|
|Quality Systems International||www.limssoftware.com|
|Scientific Software Agilent||www.informatics.agilent.com|
|Shamrock Scientific Specialty Systems||www.shamrocklabels.com|
|Shimadzu Scientific Instruments||www.shimadzu.com|
John Joyce is the LIMS manager for Virginia’s State Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services. He may be reached at [email protected]
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