Gadget Watch

Fun With Luciferase
Aileen Constans | Jul 18, 2004 | 1 min read
Courtesy of RobmarCommon sense says that biotechnology is not child's play, but to former surgeon Bruce Bryan, it is. Bryan founded Pinetop, Ariz.-based Prolume to develop a line of glow-in-the-dark toys based on the luciferin/luciferase reaction, the same process behind firefly light and chemiluminescent assays.The idea dates back to Bryan's childhood, when he observed sea creatures lighting up the water during a scuba diving excursion. As an adult he tinkered with bioluminescence and eventuall
Encore! VistaLab's Ovation Goes Multichannel
Aileen Constans | Jul 4, 2004 | 1 min read
Courtesy of VistaLab TechnologiesMt. Kisco, NY-based VistaLab is bringing ergonomics to the high-throughput laboratory. Like its single-channel predecessor, the new, fully motorized Ovation BioNatural 12-channel pipettes are designed to place the user's hand, arm, and elbow in the proper ergonomic position.Company president Richard Scordato points out that standard multichannel pipettes, both manual and electronic, require a great deal of force for tip acquisition and eje
And They Even Tell Time!
Aileen Constans | Mar 1, 2004 | 1 min read
Courtesy of ThinkGeek, Inc.This week's Gadget Watch features ... watch gadgets. The Antidote Watch, manufactured by Android, features a pill-sized "secret" compartment for storing pharmacologics, breath mints, small insects, or whatever suits your fancy. As an added plus, this analog time piece's face changes color according to body temperature, offering a convenient alternative to bulky, uncomfortable mood rings. A great gift for a tense coworker: an accessory that diagnoses anxiety and treats
The UV Light You Can Take With You
The Scientist Staff | Feb 15, 2004 | 1 min read
Courtesy of TechnikaImpatient molecular biologists who need to know – now! – if their gels are done, have a new, pen-sized ally. Rather than carrying their gel trays to the dark room, they can whip out the diminutive UV Light Pen ($17, US), from Technika, for on-the-spot gel analysis.The light pen uses LED (light-emitting diode) technology. Instead of filaments, LEDs use low-power semiconductor chips. As a result, the Light Pen "virtually uses no electricity, so the batteries last a
Letting the Air Out
Aileen Constans | Jan 18, 2004 | 1 min read
Unless bombarded with noxious fumes or blowing dust, we don't usually think about the air we breathe. But biologists working with sensitive samples such as anaerobic bacteria don't have that luxury.Essex, UK-based Optiglass' GL14 series of spectrophotometer cells for anaerobic samples offers a convenient way to prevent exposure of samples to the surrounding environment.The cuvettes are sealed with a septum top through which liquid samples or gas can be injected and removed without the need to op