Date: September 27, 1999Laboratory Database Systems

The collective mantra of the scientific community seems to be "Data! Data! Data!" New high-throughput devices generate mountains of data in a matter of minutes. Without some way to manage this information, a researcher can be quickly mired in "information overload." Laboratory database software systems provide a convenient way to centralize, archive, and secure data generated by many sources. These systems can reduce clutter, speed communication, and serve as a direct link to ongoing projects for all parties involved in the investigation.

A centralized information management system can make a laboratory run smoother in at least two ways. First, as data comes in, it can be read by the principal investigator (PI) without his leaving the office. The PI can quickly modify research plans based on the results and not waste time pursuing deadends. Internet access can allow the PI attending meetings to...

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