In September of this year, a sudden and unexpected explosion at a vast Soviet-era virology campus in Siberia (called Vector) caused widespread panic, as various buildings were set ablaze and windows were torn from their frames. At the heart of the most immediate concerns was the potential spread of dangerous viruses, and while it’s still not clear whether or not the explosion was the result of a deliberate attack, there has been a renewed focus on reinforcing safety structures and minimising the impact of future breaches. Make no mistake; the creation of safe and secure science laboratories is crucial to the environment and the general public as a whole, while this also guarantees the accuracy of findings and drives numerous, high-profile industries.
Simply put, a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is software that allows the effective management of test results, and samples (and their associated data) to improve lab productivity. By adopting the use of a LIMS, your lab can integrate instruments, automate workflows, and manage samples and associated information. Plus, as well as producing reliable results more quickly, you can also track data from sequencing runs over time (and across experiments) to improve efficiency. This kind of software helps standardize tests, workflows, and procedures. At the same time, it allows the provision of accurate controls (such as test limits) of the process itself. You can also integrate instruments into the LIMS to automate the collection of test data. This eliminates the need to manually transfer results between the instrument and the LIMS solution, eliminating typographical errors. Entering numbers by hand typically results in a 1-3% error rate, and forces all results to be manually validated and approved, taking additional time and resources. The LIMS can be set up to ensure that only results from calibrated instruments may be recorded in the system and, via unique login, to check that the person, entering the results, is adequately trained in the operating procedures to…