Biologists and biomedical scientists are highly qualified people. They work together doctors and health professionals in medical or research laboratories and must be competent in various scientific techniques and methods.
Sample preparation and analysis may seem easy to the outside person, but every scientist knows how difficult it can be. Proper handling of samples requires a stable hand and eye for detail.
Even with the vast array of machines that have been invented to help scientists perform their daily tasks, lab workers still need to be skilled and talented to properly organize, prepare, and analyze samples.
Each laboratory task involves an advanced set of skills, whether it involves the use of high-tech equipment or the pipetting of small and precise quantities of sample into a Petri dish. Some techniques are less common than others, but there are a few tasks that lab staff will perform each day.
Here are three of the most common biological techniques and methods you will need to know if you want to work in a medical or research laboratory.
- Samples for incubation and freezing
Biological samples must be stored at certain temperatures. Depending on the type of sample you are working with, you may need to use an incubator or freezer to store the sample at its optimum temperature.
When dealing with live cell cultures or microorganisms, you will need to know how to store them properly and what type of equipment to use. Organisms are sensitive to temperature and it is your job to ensure that they are happy.
Using an incubator can promote cell growth by helping the organisms in your sample to thrive so that you have more work to do in your analysis. Using LN2 freezer will stop the growth of your sample and will also prevent the growth of unwanted microbes by preventing contamination.
Most biological research and sample analysis involves pipetting. Whether you are preparing chemical solutions to mix with your samples or transferring cell culture from one agar plate to another, you will need strong pipetting skills to work in a biological laboratory.
Pipetting the wrong amount of solution or the wrong cell culture can disrupt your analysis and can lead to errors in the data obtained. Pipetting is an easy-to-learn technique, and you will find that the more you practice, the better and more accurate pipetting will be.
When you need to break down cells into their constituent organelles and proteins, you will need to use centrifugation. The centrifuge is part of the equipment that rotates your samples at high speed to divide its components into individual parts according to density.
It is important to set the centrifuge to the correct speed setting so that it does not destroy the sample, but also separates the components correctly. There are several different types of centrifuge machines, so you will need to learn how to use each one properly if your lab uses each type.
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