Sustainable Labs 360
GoGreen Nucleic Acid Stain for DNA/RNA Electrophoresis
Ethidium bromide is an intercalating agent most commonly used as a fluorescent tag (nucleic acid stain) in electrophoresis applications. It was a great invention of its time (1950's) and is still the most highly utilized chemical for visualizing DNA post PCR. It's relatively cheap and works great.
Like many great inventions, human health risks and end of life properties where not part of the original development plans. Ethidium bromide has long been regarded as a nasty bit of business in molecular laboratories. The health concerns associated with it's mutagenic properties have made it necessary for institutions to put guidelines in place for safe usage. Unused ethidium bromide and electrophoresis gels containing more than or equal to 0.1% are often collected for expensive hazardous waste disposal. Additionally, contaminated gloves, test tubes, paper towels, etc., contribute to higher waste disposal costs. Cost of disposal can be 3x-5x more than the cost to purchase the product. Demand for safer nucleic acid staining options has lead to innovations that are better for the consumer and environment, but lack the necessary sensitivity of detection and may require purchasing of new equipment.
Mt. Baker Bio takes the lives of researchers and the environment seriously. GoGreen is one of what we hope to be many innovative new technologies that combine safety with environmentally friendly end of life prospects including green packaging.
For more information on GoGreen or to request a sample - Click Here
In vivo RNAi Gene Knockdown Solutions for Liver Studies
RNAi is a powerful experimental tool for knockdown expression of selected genes. Finding a reagent that meets the performance features of low toxic side affects and superior gene silencing is no easy task. Mt. Baker Bio is proud to announce a new solution, InvivoFect II., a proprietary reagent formulated for siRNA delivery to the liver. InvivoFect II exhibits extremely low toxicity, requires minimal expertise for handling, no special equipment and is extremely easy to use. The siRNA is mixed with the delivery reagent and is then ready for intravenous dosing. The in vivo delivery kit is suitable for liver gene functional validation and siRNA screening.
For those of you who need more assistance with siRNA optimization and design, Mt. Baker Bio services include: In Vivo RNAi formulation, Identify drug targets and validate gene functions using RNAi in vivo and in vitro: Silencing gene of your interest: analysis.
Screening potent siRNA and shRNA: siRNA transfection optimization
Mt. Baker Bio’s mission includes finding new technologies that reduce waste and help you achieve results quickly and efficiently. Our in vivo and in vitro products and services combine high quality sustainable product development with economical scientific expertise.
Earth Day Gets Personal
by Rob Voice, VP of Business Development
As far as I’m concerned it all started on January 28, 1969, 6 miles off the Santa Barbara coast. It was Union Oil’s Platform A. In over a week an estimated 100,000 barrels of crude oozed from the Dos Cuadras Offshore Oil Field, through the Channel Islands and onto the shores, fouling the coastlines from Ventura to my sister’s back porch in Goleta. Perhaps 1969 seems ancient now, but please note this debacle still ranks third largest in US history after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon and 1989 Exxon Valdez spills. It remains the largest oil spill to have occurred in California waters.
Sadly the spill had a devastating impact on the Channel’s marine biosphere, snuffing out thousands of sea birds, as well as countless elephant seals, dolphins and all things adorable and photogenic.
Happily it brought the press. Lots of press and heaps of cameras. The press distributed front page photos straight from hell and sparked national interest. The attention generated local/state/federal action and most notably the Herculean efforts of Wisconsin’s Senator Gaylord Nelson.
Senator Gaylord Nelson delivered us April 22, 1970. With the cooperation of California’s Pete McCloskey they launched the great National Teach-in on the Environment. “Teach-in’s” for those of you under the age of 50 was lexicon akin to today’s modern usage of “call for action”.
We now call it “Earth Day” but the name change means nothing. Today is no different than it was 42 years ago. Once again we have an opportunity to raise awareness on the impact of human activity on the environment . This event has certainly led to monumental change in past years. Just consider the ripple effect from that historic Teach-in on April 22, 1970…. The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, bolstering the budgets of the EPA, along with countless smaller victories fostering environmental stewardship.
It wasn’t easy. It never is. Many iterations and organizational evolutions have occurred throughout the years, some productive, some stalled but still alive. However 1990 brought a new milestone with the registry of 2 Million “believers” in over 140 countries. This en-mass produced the political power to introduce recycling on a large scale. The creation of 1992’s UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro along with the support of the Clinton administration led to our current UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (i.e. Kyoto Protocol, Bonn, Durban…).
So in celebration of Earth Day 2012, I reflect upon Senator Gaylord Nelson and Congressman Pete McCloskey. They, along with countless others involved throughout the decades were fearless. We all should be so bold. Let us approach this years’ opportunity that Earth Day presents with a renewed commitment to step back, re-evaluate our behaviors, assess the downstream consequences of our actions and work to produce positive steps to improve human and environmental health.
I invite you to submit your opinions on the environmental consequences and effects of life science research. Our industry presents many serious challenges requiring difficult solutions. However together, all of us, across lab benches, across departments, across institutions and disciplines can accomplish the same degree of success as our previous mentors have attained. Senator Nelson would be proud of us if we did so.