Have you ever wished that you had quality comparison information on a scientific product before buying it? I certainly have, and so have many of my colleagues.

If I want to buy a vacuum cleaner for my home, I can go to Consumer Reports for a clear and concise summary of the models on the market, how they are rated in unbiased trials, and a cost comparison. Scientists, unfortunately, have no such luxury. When we purchase a centrifuge or a power supply, we make our choice based on price, product reputation, and, more frequently, what our friend down the hall uses. Is this a wise way to spend the tax dollars allocated for equipment and supplies in scientific research? I think not.

A product evaluation service for scientists is sorely needed. The competition in the industry is keen, and products are many times rushed to market before they are thoroughly...

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