Posted on

BaneBio To Host BioBeers At New Location on November 22nd

biobeers in frederick md

Mark your calendars! On November 22nd from 4:30-7:30pm, BaneBio, your favorite scientific supermarket, is hosting BioBeers in our new location at 4845 Governors Way in Frederick, MD. Join us for a fun evening of great conversation, your favorite beer, and delicious food – all served with a smile and a side of networking and socializing. The more, the merrier – so invite your friends and coworkers and head on over for happy hour, BaneBio style!

Posted on

Testing Hemp: Your Next Revenue Stream?

cannabidiol testing laboratory

As demand for Cannabinoid (CBD) Oil skyrockets, traditional farmers are making room in their corn and soybean fields for cannabis sativa. Because keeping the oil extracted from the plants at or below 0.3 percent is required to comply with Maryland state guidelines, accurate analysis and testing of the harvest is key. Established laboratory professionals are seizing the opportunity to create laboratories for the processing and analytical testing of industrial hemp.  

Agriculture rarely makes the news, but the rush to plant industrial hemp– a variety of the cannabis sativa plant– is a recent exception. Since the 2018 Farm Bill helped clarify the differences between industrial hemp and its party-hearty relative, marijuana, hemp has been touted as one of the most important cash crops of the future. Positioned for use in everything from personal care products to biofuel and dozens of other products in between, one of the most intriguing and potentially lucrative uses of industrial hemp is as a source of cannabidiol (CBD)– a product used to treat everything from anxiety to headaches to chronic pain.

A durable crop that grows well in varied climates and conditions, industrial hemp was grown profitably in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia areas in the 1700-1800s before a falling demand and strict federal regulation caused it to fall out of favor. Now that demand for CBD oil is high and restrictions on its cultivation have been relaxed, growers of conventional crops are bringing their experience and knowledge to bear on the growing of industrial hemp. 

Likewise, established laboratory professionals have begun to seize the opportunity to create laboratories for the processing and analytical testing of industrial hemp. Here are 6 important considerations for those interested in diving into this new and potentially lucrative market?:

Start at the macro level. Examine your motives. Why are you considering this venture? How solid is your knowledge of product testing in general? What exactly do you plan to test? How will you establish credibility?  Do you have a resource you can contact when you have questions or issues? 

Get your ducks in a row. In most cases, you’ll need support from a business advisor or legal professional to secure the capital, apply for licenses, certifications, and accreditations, and maintain compliance with applicable laws and regulations. BaneBio is always looking to accommodate financial needs and funding options for our clients. Contact us to explore financing opportunities through BaneBio for your testing equipment needs.

Plan Your Set-up. Research and plan all the elements of your lab set-up carefully, especially from where you will source the equipment and resources you’ll need. Decide the scope of work you’re willing to do. For example, prior to analysis, the cannabinoids must be extracted from the source material. Are you also in the extraction business, or will you limit your lab’s capabilities to the analysis of liquid samples only? 

Securing the equipment. Laboratories involved in comprehensive testing typically test for residual solvents, physical and microbial contamination, potency, and terpenes. A quality, refurbished instruments vendor like BaneBio can help outfit your lab at a fraction of the cost of new. For example, filters, evaporators, distillers, and other equipment needed for each step of the process are all available at lower price points through BaneBio, your scientific supermarket. See equipment list for details.

Potency Testing. In potency testing, a panel of cannabinoids (CBDs) is typically requested along with suggested analytes. For example, the THC level of industrial hemp grown in Maryland cannot exceed 0.3 percent. All instruments used to determine a crop’s  potency testing must adhere to Maryland’s guidelines and standards. 

Get Training. Because the scientific testing of cannabis is still its infancy, you can expect training programs to vary widely by state. For those with Bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, or who already have experience with general-use lab equipment, technical institutes may offer training on specialized instruments needed for hemp testing. Check for hands-on training for equipment operation, testing methods, troubleshooting, and more.

As more is learned about cannabis sativa, procedures associated with it for cultivating, harvesting, extracting, testing, and manufacturing will change and evolve– an important thing for potential lab owners and technicians to bear in mind.

Posted on

Lab Logistics: Steps to Take to Relocate Your Laboratory

packing up a science lab

At first, the thought of relocating your whole lab can be rather overwhelming. You may have been working in the same space for a number of years, and you know exactly where everything is right off the top of your head. With that said, laboratory relocation is a common experience, as change is inevitable in just about every industry. If you are facing an upcoming move and don’t know how to get started, we hope the tips below will help.

Start with Inventory

This should be the first step you take, and you should get going as soon as you know that the move is going to occur. By definition, a lab is going to have a lot of things that need to be inventoried, so this is quite possibly going to take a lot of time and effort. First, you’ll have the physical equipment that you use for your experiments – some of which is sure to be quite expensive. You may already have some form of inventory in place for all of your gear, but make sure it is up to date and accurate.

Also, there are the materials you use in the lab that will need to be counted and tracked. Depending on the focus of your work, it may be that some of these materials are hazardous, so keep that in mind and be working on a plan to safely and legally transport them to your next location.

Reduce the Size of the Move

One of the nice things about a relocation is that it can serve as an opportunity to pare down the size of your inventory and get rid of a few things that you no longer need. Maybe there are some materials which are used up and simply need to be disposed of in a responsible manner. Or, there might be a few pieces of equipment that are no longer required in your lab and can be sold on the used market. Reducing inventory will make the move easier and it will also help you to avoid cluttering up your new space unnecessarily.

Create a Comprehensive Plan

When you move from one home to the next in your personal life, you can afford to take a more casual approach, knowing that you’ll eventually find everything you need, like your toaster or blender. Such a relaxed approach is not appropriate for a lab move, however, as you need to get back up and running right away in your new location. With that in mind, create a detailed plan for how everything is going to be moved, when it will be moved, and who will do the moving. Including even the smallest details in your plan will help everyone stay on the same page from start to finish.

Be Flexible

Finally, remember that it’s nearly certain that something will go wrong along the way. Despite your careful planning efforts, something will go off-track – and that’s okay. Use your plan to get straightened out and be patient while working toward a successful conclusion.

As an expert laboratory logistics service provider, BaneBio offers multiple services to help simplify your laboratory relocation needs. Contact us today to learn more about packing, delivery, installation and much, much more!

Posted on

Tips for Starting an Academic Research Laboratory

university research laboratory
Great things can be accomplished in a quality academic research laboratory. Of course, before any groundbreaking work can be done, the lab will have to be up and running – and making that happen can be quite a challenge. There are plenty of hurdles between the first thought of opening a lab and actually bringing it to life, so we hope the tips below will be of assistance.

Establish a Focus

First and foremost, before a single piece of equipment is purchased, you need to determine what this lab is going to set out to do. In some cases, the answer will be obvious, and you’ll quickly move to the next step. That isn’t always the case, however, so take some time (if necessary) to figure out what you want your lab to accomplish in the years ahead. With clear goals in mind, some of the decisions that come later will be far easier to make with confidence.

Every Dollar Matters

All labs have a budget when they are first being established, but those creating an academic research laboratory tend to have tighter limits than those in the commercial world. It’s important to note that not all equipment needs to be purchased new in order to build a quality lab. There is excellent used lab equipment on the market today and opting for some previously used pieces is a great way to keep your costs down while still setting up exactly what you need to be successful.

Labs Run on People

Yes, the new or used laboratory equipment you bring in is important – but it is not nearly as important as the people who use that equipment. Spending as much time as possible to get exactly the right person in each role is critical. With the right team in place, everyone will be working toward a common goal, and the experience along the way will be far more enjoyable. When you look back on what you have accomplished in the lab years from now, it will be the people that worked alongside you that will be more memorable.

Don’t Work in a Vacuum

You may accomplish great things in your lab, but those breakthroughs will only be meaningful if they are known by others. Even from the start, make connections and let others know what you are working on. You might find that you get helpful tips from others in related fields, or you may even make deep connections that wind up leading to collaborative projects. It’s hard to accomplish anything of note in a lab that never reaches out to the outside world, so don’t make the mistake of isolating yourself from the start.

Starting a new academic research laboratory is an exciting time, and it may wind up being one of the great achievements of your career. With that said, labs don’t just build themselves, and you’ve got a lot of work to do before your first experiments are up and running. With the right people and the right equipment in place, who knows what is possible. Good luck!

Posted on

BioHealth Capital Region Aiming for Top 3 in U.S. Biopharma Clusters by 2023

biotechnology near washington dc

Those in the biopharma industry already know what the rest of the world is just starting to find out – the BioHealth Capital Region is a huge player in this field, and the cluster is only expected to grow moving forward. The goal of becoming one of the top 3 biopharma clusters in the U.S. by 2023 seems within reach, as more than 1,000 life-sciences companies already call this area home. With so much activity and so many brilliant people working so close together, great things are possible.

All the Pieces in Place

When you look at what it takes for a region to become a major player in the biopharma world, it quickly becomes obvious that the BioHealth Capital Region has everything it takes to move into the top three. For starters, there are great academic institutions such as the University of Maryland and The Johns Hopkins University. From there, you also have the presence of the FDA and the NIH, along with many other notable organizations. And, with more than 22 million square feet of lab space in the region, the capacity is certainly in place to make things happen.

Tons of Jobs

For a region to grow in terms of its prominence in biopharma, it’s necessary for there to be an abundance of quality jobs. This can be a bit of a ‘Catch 22’, as it takes jobs to attract good people, but there needs to be people in the first place to fill the initial jobs. Fortunately, BioHealth Capital is already beyond that initial stage, and there are presently plenty of opportunities to draw top talent to this part of the counter. While the exact number of jobs in the industry in this region vary based on the report you use, it’s safe to say that there are well over 40,000 – and perhaps in excess of 60,000.

A Hub of Innovation

For those just starting out in their careers, or for those with some experience who are looking for a new challenge, it is often innovation that draws their attention. In BioHealth Capital, there is plenty of that innovation taking place, and the funding to support it is here, as well. Between the venture capitalist investments and the government funding, there are abundant resources here and the sky is the limit for achievement.

Plenty of Reasons to Stay

Outside the lab, this is simply a great place for talented professionals to call home. When work is done for the day, or when the weekend arrives, the Maryland-Virginia-DC area offers an incredible amount of recreational opportunities. Whether it is exploring the vast history of the region, or getting outside to enjoy the natural beauty and great weather, it’s easy to fall in love with living here. So, in the end, not only does BioHealth Capital have a great chance to be in the top 3 by 2023, it also has a great opportunity to hold that spot over the long run as professionals in this field build their lives in the region.

Posted on

The Benefits of Preventive Maintenance for Your Lab Equipment

lab equipment repair
Most things you own require some degree of preventive maintenance. In your personal life, your vehicle is a perfect example – you need to have preventive maintenance performed from time to time in order to improve the odds of reliable performance. The story is the same with laboratory equipment. If you keep up with the recommended preventive maintenance for your lab equipment, it’s far more likely that you’ll get a long useful life from each piece.

Let’s take a closer look at why preventive maintenance is a good idea. When you are ready to schedule this kind of work, please contact BaneBio for assistance!

Avoid Wasteful Downtime

In a busy lab, downtime simply is not acceptable. When you are without key pieces of equipment unexpectedly, you will have a hard time catching up – and falling behind in this way can have all kinds of other ramifications. While you’ll obviously have to stop using equipment for it to be serviced, the benefit here is that you can schedule the downtime at a point in the schedule which is convenient for the operation as a whole. Looking out ahead on your calendar and picking out spots to have service completed is the best way to reduce the productive time you lose to service work.

Save Money in the Long Run

It’s true that you will need to spend money to have preventive maintenance performed on your lab equipment, but that money is likely to be a wise investment when all is said and done. It’s usually more cost effective to get out in front of a problem than to let it get to the point where the piece of equipment needs major repairs – or needs to be replaced entirely. Try to see the big picture on this point and understand that investing in your lab equipment now should not be seen as an optional expense.

Remain Accurate

One of the most important reasons to keep up with preventive maintenance is to help your equipment stay on track from an accuracy perspective. Inaccurate equipment is virtually useless in a lab, so this motivation alone should be enough to pay attention to your maintenance schedule. A properly working piece of lab equipment is one you can rely on to offer the kind of accurate performance that your business or organization demands.

Keep It Simple

By working with BaneBio to handle your maintenance needs, you can keep things simple with regard to your equipment care. By having a go-to vendor for all of your preventive maintenance needs, you won’t need to waste time tracking down help when you realize that some type of work needs to be done on a piece of equipment. Build a relationship with BaneBio through consistent maintenance visits and we’ll be ready and able to handle many various issues that could pop up along the way. In the end, you don’t want to be bogged down with equipment maintenance when you should be focused on the work that your organization is trying to complete. Reach out today to learn more about what we can offer!

Posted on

About the Maryland Green Registry & Why BaneBio is a Member

Maryland green registry member

Sustainability is an extremely important topic. For a business to have a positive impact on its community overall, it needs to not only offer great products and services, but also operate in a sustainable way. For that reason, BaneBio is proud to be a member of the Maryland Green Registry. We are committed to operating in a sustainable manner, and our membership in this program is a demonstration of that commitment.

What is the Maryland Green Registry?

In support of developing sustainable business practices, the Maryland Green Registry is a free program for organizations to join and contribute to the community as a whole. The idea is quite simple – organizations of all shapes and sizes share information with other organizations regarding environmental practices they already have in place. By sharing that information, the other organizations which take part in the registry will be able to learn about sustainability options and decide which to implement for themselves.

At its core, the registry is really about making it easy to share ideas and information regarding sustainability. There are many great ideas already in action throughout Maryland, but businesses and organizations may otherwise have trouble spreading those methods. Now, thanks to the use of this registry, there is a central location for sustainability practices to be published and shared.

Why BaneBio Is Proud to Participate

We think so highly of the Maryland Green Registry because of how well the program aligns with the core values of our company. Our business is committed to not only meet current environmental regulations, but to go a step beyond and do our best to protect the environment around us. That means taking steps like reducing the production of pollutants, minimizing energy waste, training staff properly on environmental practices, and more.

Thanks to our membership in the registry, we can benefit the environment in a couple of different ways. For one thing, we can share our current practices with others, hopefully inspiring them to take further action toward a sustainable future. In addition, we can learn from our peers, finding ways to implement their sustainability practices within our operations. We can all improve, and there are plenty of innovative ideas just waiting to be put into action.

The Big Picture

At BaneBio, we are grateful for the presence of the Maryland Green Registry, as it offers a valuable opportunity to improve on the sustainability of our business. That’s important in the present, and it’s also important as we look forward to a long and successful future. We want to have a positive impact on our community in as many ways as possible, and that certainly includes the impact we have (or don’t have) on the environment. Even small steps can make a big difference for the health of the environment as the years go by. We look forward to working with many of the other organizations in the Maryland Green Registry to become more and more sustainable moving forward.

Posted on

What is Microscopy? An In-Depth Look

life sciences microscope

As a very basic definition, microscopy is the use of microscopes to view samples. These are samples which would not be visible to the ‘naked’ eye, so the microscope is used to dramatically magnify the objects in question. Most people are familiar with the use of a microscope from a science class they had in school along the way, even if that was years ago. Of course, the microscopes used by professionals in this field are a far cry from what is used by the average class of school children.

A Long History

While it is a decidedly high-tech field these days, the use of microscopes actually dates back many, many years. Humans have been attempting to magnify small items for viewing for centuries, and the microscopes available today represent the best of what mankind has been able to develop. If not for the considerable efforts of individuals hundreds of years ago, microscopy may not have developed into the advanced field that it has become.

The Basic Concept

So, how does a microscope work? For something so technical, it is a decidedly simple concept. The idea is to move light through a sample, either sending it directly through the sample or reflecting it, and then through one or more lenses in order to be viewed. Once a magnified image of the sample is created, it can be utilized in many ways. It may simply be viewed by the microscopist, it may be captured digitally for viewing later, or captured with a photographic plate. No matter what the specific plan may be, the magnification makes it possible to view things on a scale that simply isn’t achievable with the human eye alone.

Understanding the World

The uses of microscopy are too diverse to even attempt listing in this article. There are virtually countless potential uses for a microscope, but they all come back to the same basic idea – seeking a better understanding of the world and how it works. Microscopes are used extensively in the medical field, of course, but that is just the start. Anytime meaningful research is being completed in a scientific field, it is virtually certain that microscopes are playing some kind of role along the way. So much of what we know about the world is owed to the use of microscopes, and only time will tell what other discoveries microscopy will make possible.

Just Another Tool

At the end of the day, microscopes are incredible tools – but they are just that, tools. And tools need to be used by capable, knowledgeable people if they are going to be effective. So, as a field, microscopy depends just as much on the people looking into the microscope as the device itself. Without the well-trained scientists and other individuals who have learned how to use the equipment, and learned what they are looking for, the microscope itself wouldn’t hold much value. It’s the bringing together of human and machine that makes great things possible in this field.

Posted on

How to Set Up a Basic Homebrew Laboratory

home brew equipment
If you are interested in beer beyond just having a couple drinks from time to time, you might decide to take up a homebrew project. After all, what better what to get to know the ins and outs of beer than to brew it yourself? Not only will this provide you with a thorough beer education, but it will also leave you with something unique to drink when all is said and done.

There is certainly a lot of educational ground to cover if you’d like to get started brewing your own beer – more than we can fit in this article – but we’d like to quickly touch on the basics of setting up your home brewing lab equipment.

Getting Started Simply

It’s tempting when getting into the world of homebrew to throw a bunch of money at the project, buying all of the latest and greatest gear on the market. Don’t fall into that trap. For one thing, you don’t know if you are going to like this hobby, even if you are excited about it at the moment. Also, you don’t yet know if you’ll have time for it, or if you will enjoy the results of your work. With that in mind, do your best to keep it simple – and cheap – at the start. There will always be more expensive gear to buy later if you really get into it, but don’t rush to that stage just yet.

The Right Thermometer

Measuring temperatures accurately is one of the most important capabilities in your lab. You’ll find that you need to measure temperatures regularly, so you don’t want to be doubting the accuracy of your thermometer. Fortunately, you can purchase a quality lab thermometer for a relatively modest price.

The Right Scale

Just as is the case with temperature, you also need to be able to measure weights accurately as you prepare your materials. You’ll want a quality scale that is capable of measuring in grams. For supreme accuracy you’ll probably want to opt for a digital scale, although that option will be a little more expensive. To save money, look for a good counterbalance scale.

A Variety of Other Supplies

It seems that the list of various tools and pieces of equipment you need to homebrew properly just keeps going and going. The exact list of what you need to acquire will depend on the specific process you are going to use and the level of accuracy you wish to achieve. Fortunately, most of the items that you can use in this process are relatively affordable. Some potential shopping targets include a triple-scale hydrometer, 50-mL plastic tubes, test tube rack, coors plate, spray bottle, and more.

Taking on the challenge of a homebrew project is no small feat, but it can be tremendously rewarding when the final product works out just right. Take your time developing a proper lab space so your efforts are not wasted as a result of an insufficient workspace and the wrong equipment. Good luck!