Some Christmas viewing... courtesy of SP Scientific and Linkam.

SP Scientific, a synergistic  group of four leading scientific equipment brands is hosting some free lyophilisation seminars.  As a company that strives for superior qulity and service: something very close to our hearts at Linkam we anticipate these seminars will be both entertaining and enlightening. As part of the audience you will have the opportunity to talk to leading scientists in the field and ask all your awkward questions.

Older seminars can be viewed in the archive while the next instalment is on the 24/1/12 at either 7am or 12 noon NY time.  In this one entitled “freeze-drying of human red blood cells” Dr Kevin Ward, PhD from Biopharma Technology Ltd, will be talking about blood preservation and refrigeration. This is a crucial topic as blood cells preserved by refrigeration only survive 35-42 days. Drying cells, so that they maintain both structure and the capacity to carry blood is a tough challenge. Past seminars have included a talk by our very good friend  Ruben J Nieblas from McCrone Microscopes on “'The practical application of freeze drying microscopy in product thermal characterisation'.

Ruben Nieblas

In January Dr Kevin Ward will be talking in detail about his findings and experiments and it is certainly going to be worth the wait, so book it in your diary and check out the prior webinars. I have certainly have...

Posted by Caroline Feltham


Equipment without Training is Inventory

National Guard white powder identification training

As much as I would like to, I can’t take credit for the title of this piece. This catchy little phrase came from one of our U.S. National Guard Bureau students.

We train the National Guard in the identification of white powders and other suspicious materials. I think the above catchphrase sums up nicely the value of training - and I’m including the training one gets from a sales rep - as well as more formalized instructor-led hands-on training.

I can’t tell you how many times we would arrive at a customer’s laboratory and see equipment still in boxes, even years after the purchase, because the end user couldn’t justify the funds for training to their immediate supervisor.

National Guard white powder identification training

Let’s stop building up our inventory and start actually using the equipment for its intended purpose — to solve problems. Of course using the hardware properly is just one half of the equation, the other half resides between your ears. Being able to make informed analytical judgments is more powerful than the equipment itself. That’s an investment in yourself—probably the most important piece of equipment in today’s laboratory. 

Guest Posted by Chuck Zona, Vice President and Dean of Hooke College of Applied Sciences, IL, USA 


Hot Rocks and Cool Fluids at PACROFI 2010


Fluid inclusion geologists are a pretty cool bunch of scientists.  I can't quite put my finger on what separates them from many other scientists we come into contact with.  The research is highly complex and yet they just seem a little more laid back and easy going - noted by the high proportion of sandal and short wearing attendees.


Maybe it has something to do with spending a lot of time outside gathering samples in exotic locations or maybe they just know something we don't.

What I do know is that we had a great time at the recent PACROFI (Pan-American Current Research On Fluid Inclusions) conference hosted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Not only because Fluid inc researchers are a great bunch of people to be around, but because we had the chance to show off our new TS1400XY stage.....ok, it didn't hurt being a couple of blocks from the strip either.

Prof. Bob Bodnar of Virginia Tech GeoSciences, has had one of our prototypes for a few months and he was on hand with his colleague Dr. Rosario Esposito to show off some nice melt inclusion pics they had taken using the high speed quench cooling feature.

Prof. Jean Cline and Dr. Adam Simon, PACROFI hosts and organisers, recently received their new TS1400XY and though they had some initial issues with imaging at temperatures above 1200C, this has now been sorted out and we hope to hear some good reviews pretty soon.

It was also great to meet up with Dr. Jim Reynolds, legendary fluid inclusionist and inventor of the USGS Fluid Inc stage, who also had some nice compliments for our TS1400XY stage.  The Fluid Inc stage was a major competitor to our THMSG600 stage and to receive a compliment from a former competitor is high praise indeed.

Many thanks to Jean and Adam for hosting a fantastic show and allowing us to exhibit our hotstage.  Why all conferences don't end with a poster session lubricated with something like 15 different types of beer is a mystery to me.

Also thanks to Jeff McGinn and Sam Cortes of McCrone Microscopes and Accessories  fame - our preferred U.S distributor, for setting up the booth, shipping out their demo TS1400XY and Imaging Station and sorting out the logistics.  Hope you guys have some better luck at the tables next time!
Not that I would ever advocate gambling of course.