Laboratory technicians are the people behind the mountains of research we have today, but they’re also the individuals who tirelessly search for answers. They’ve made some of the most incredible scientific discoveries, such as decoded DNA, but scientists are regularly trying to find answers in several industries. Of course, many labs are currently searching for answers around COVID-19 and trying to develop a vaccination. While laboratories are discovering amazing things, many of these discoveries wouldn’t be possible without analytical tools. If you’d like to learn about the analytical tools found in a laboratory, check out our list below.
Many laboratories specialize in a particular industry or research topic—some might focus on forensics, while others focus on pharmaceuticals. It’s not uncommon to find DNA-related equipment like blood analyzers in forensic or medical labs. A blood analyzer allows scientists to survey and count the white and red blood cells, hemoglobin levels, and more.
Everyone knows what a microscope is. In fact, you probably used one in your high school chemistry class. However, even professionals rely on these tools to analyze minute particles and cells by magnifying them enough for the human eye to see them. Microscopes are a staple in all labs because they’re beneficial in research for every industry, including biochemistry, botany, forensics, and medicine.
Of course, there are several other pieces of lab equipment that are much more specialized, often referred to as analytical instruments. One of the most common of these instruments is a mass spectrometer, which is prevalent in pharmaceutical and forensic labs but is also useful for specific fields like proteomic research. A mass spectrometer produces charged ions and measures the weight of particles with magnetic fields.
Various methods of chromatography
Most labs will have chromatography machines because their results are widely relevant in different industries. While there are several methods—such as paper chromatography, liquid chromatography, or high-performance liquid chromatography—the most common is arguably gas chromatography. Industries like medicine and pharmaceuticals have benefited from the many advantages of gas chromatography. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, but in general, chromatography is the process of separating a substance mixture into its respective components.
Without the analytical tools found in a laboratory, science wouldn’t be where it is today. These tools have made groundbreaking findings in multiple industries possible. Without the analytical instruments discussed, we wouldn’t have safe and reliable medicine. We also wouldn’t know the nutritional value of foods or beverages. In other words, we can’t deny that labs are essential for the overall health and wellness of a society.