Sidebar: Selected Suppliers of Liquid-Handling Equipment

Liquid-handling equipment has always been central to biomedical research. Pipettes and pumps must be accurate and resist contamination, yet work quickly and comfortably in repetitive procedures. While pipettes and pumps will remain key components of experimental protocols, new types of large-scale research will require more automation and miniaturization in liquid-handling capabilities.

Both the Human Genome Project and combinatorial chemistry experiments will be sending many new chemical compounds into the drug discovery and development pipeline. These compounds include genes, antisense oligonucleotides, and peptides. "The number of compounds that will be tested for potential activity in understanding a disease state or providing a diagnostic or therapeutic tool will continue to increase at a massive rate," predicts Charles Powell, group leader in robotics/DNA at Beckman Instruments Inc. in Fullerton, Calif. "There will be a great need to handle a larger number of compounds dissolved in liquids and...

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