In the science world, genetics and DNA labs show enormous promise. You’ve seen some of the results yourself. From the on-demand genetic testing boom to the current research on genetics and COVID-19, genetic and DNA laboratories are creating innovative solutions to unexpected demands.
DNA labs are needed now more than ever, which means that now is an ideal time to start up a DNA lab. That said, however, running a DNA lab is far from simple. As a matter of fact, there’s an entire world of technology, laboratory software, and specific tools and equipment that genetic labs need to run smoothly. These tools can make or break a genetics laboratory, so make sure that you do your research and pay careful attention to your options. You can start with the essential items that we’ve listed below.
Genetics and DNA Laboratory Tools
You could have the smartest team in the world, but that team won’t get anything done without the right laboratory tools. Not all laboratory tools are the same, though. Keep an eye out for quality. Lab tools are a lot like transportation. Some tools are more efficient and effective than others. You could theoretically bike 100 miles, but you’d get to your destination much faster in a car. When it comes to your lab tools, you’ll want the options that will help your team get where they need to go.
Ask anyone to picture a genetics lab, and then ask them what they envisioned. Most people will probably mention microscopes. DNA labs have to examine biological tissue all the way down to its molecules, and that’s where microscopes come in. The more advanced the microscope, the more your team can do with it. For example, many microscopes can take photos, letting researchers preserve their records.
Polymerase Chain Reaction Machines
When you can create copies of a DNA segment, you can open up a world of testing possibilities. For instance, you can run one test after another without damaging the original sequence. You can create a control segment and then use that segment for comparison to other segments. The test subject can submit a single tissue sample and receive multiple test results in return.
All of this is possible thanks to the polymerase chain reaction machine, which is why this machine is a staple in DNA labs. PCR machines copy DNA segments, allowing for multiple tests.
If PCR machines help researchers see the bigger picture, restriction enzymes help them zoom in. When a researcher needs to examine a single DNA segment, that researcher can use restriction enzymes to separate that segment from the rest of the DNA sequence to study it more closely. If there are any mutations in that DNA segment, restriction enzymes make it easier for the researcher to see it up close.
Gel Electrophoresis Machine
PCR machines give the big picture. Restriction enzymes zoom in. A gel electrophoresis machine develops the film so that researchers can see those pictures. PCR machines and restriction enzymes can alter DNA sequences, but they don’t provide clear pictures of DNA mutations on their own. A gel electrophoresis machine provides those clear pictures.
Software for Medical Laboratories
The above tools can handle a lot of work, but when it’s time to analyze and work with results, your DNA lab will need excellent software. When it comes to medical laboratory software, you’ll deal with the same concept as the laboratory tools principal we mentioned above. The more efficient your software, the easier it will be for your team to do their work. Psyche Systems offers two top choices for DNA and genetics labs.
NucleoLIS E.finity Medical Laboratory Software
NucleoLIS E.finity Medical Laboratory Software can handle workflows and specimen tracking for laboratories of all sizes. The software includes automated rules that you can apply across the board. It has several genetic testing uses, including immunology, FISH, karyotyping, and PCR. Plus, users can customize their NucleoLis experience, so your researchers can optimize their workflow according to their research needs.
Laboratory software isn’t just about the test results. It’s also about organization and communication, both of which become simpler with E.xtension Modules. These Modules provide simple and secure ways for laboratories to communicate with their clients, including documentation attachments and direct order forms.
Medical laboratory software is the backbone of the DNA laboratory, so you’ll want to make sure that software is straightforward and reliable. By researching your medical laboratory software options, you can help your laboratory thrive.