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Pathway of Discovery

A Student’s Journey in Science

Throughout the ages people have grown to discover new and exciting technologies to enhance humankind. Productions in soil nutrients and organic methods of bug repellant to molecular structures of the human body and cellular decomposition are just a few to name in this learning curve. As these fields of study grow, so does the need for educational facilities for the student to be taught and participate in scientific lab work. Universities are expanding their fields of study and increasing departmental staff to accommodate young minds eager to learn.

One of the enlarging divisions is the exploitation of biological processes which is the foundation of biotechnology. A student who is gathering a degree in this area will have multiple territories to endorse and loads of laboratory notebooks to maintain. As for the purpose of a biotech diploma, one primary use is in the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, hormones, and many other molecular structures. This helps physicians to better understand how the human body produces and processes products for a specific use.

Along the pathway of discovery and experiments comes the research and development department. As each student begins their journey in science, they may soon learn their passion is laying between the pages of their research notebook. Rather than moving towards building compounds and chemically structuring medicine, their preferred path is uncovering the mysteries of DNA structures and chromosomes. Also, applying the knowledge gained in previous courses to the research and reconstruction of organic compounds.

Continuing on the course with chemical components, another area of study belongs to pharmacy/pharmacists. Typically this area of study will take a student eight years of college education to earn their Pharm.D. Upon graduation, it becomes their responsibility to understand how each medication is chemically crated and how this coincides with the molecular breakdown in the human body. Each student will usually keep their science notebook(s) to remind them, and assist them, of different formulas and compound structures; gaining new knowledge as the years pass.

In research universities there are endless discoveries to unfold. Each facility containing the proper instruments, equipment, and bio-hazardous/biomedical samples so each individual student can gather and retain information. As their progression proceeds and mysteries become solved, they give advancements toward the medical and organic economic worlds. This creates a universal connection from one end of the spectrum to the other.

When you pause and think about how the world functions, how organic materials can be reused, how the human body processes food, how some animals heal faster than others, all are connected by research. It took a student, or multitude of students, to dissect a theory and discover a mystery; and then break down each component till there were no more questions. From those questions, either being solved or disproven, taking theoretical to possibility and developing the research. At this point a single student can crate massive change for the world we live in, possibly uncovering one of life’s greatest mysteries; how do we turn back our metabolic clock, our personal fountain of youth.

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How a Laboratory Notebook Can Protect Your Intellectual Property

For students who aim to become laboratory scientists or embrace other positions within the biomedical field, protecting one’s research and experimentation is vital. In an age when it’s never been easier to share information and refrain from attributing creations to their rightful owner, it’s perfectly understandable that you’d be concerned about safeguarding your original ideas. Ultimately, that could come down to the security of the lab or your ability to distinguish trustworthy individuals in your personal or professional life. But did you know that your choice of scientific lab notebook might make a big difference?

In 2016, there were 411 million metric tons of paper and cardboard produced worldwide. Just some of that paper and cardboard is used to create the laboratory notebooks that students and scientists utilize every day. But these notebooks can do more than allow you to keep track of pertinent observations and experimental results. Used correctly, laboratory notebooks can also ensure that you (or your company or school) can obtain and maintain patent approval associated with your documented research.

Laboratories often serve as the birthplace of incredible ideas. They’re where scientists investigate hunches, perform experiments, observe results, collect data, and potentially develop innovations that could change the world. But while you might be ethical enough to be concerned only with your own ideas, the same cannot be said for everyone within your industry. The unfortunate reality is that someone could be heavily influenced by your work to the point where they attempt to claim it as their own. If you fail to protect your ideas, your career could be jeopardized.

That’s why it’s so important for students and professionals alike to make a habit of using a laboratory notebook for all of the work you do. By documenting your research, observations, and other data in a bound notebook with numbered, dated, and signed pages, you’ll ensure your intellectual property can be properly attributed to you. That way, even if you have to defend your invention (and your ownership of it) in court years down the line, you’ll have the evidence necessary to show you should be the rightful patent holder.

To that end, you’ll want to use laboratory notebooks that are pre-printed in the proper page format in order to comply with patent law requirements. These notebooks should be bound so that pages cannot be added or taken out without leaving obvious traces. You should always use ink, rather than pencil, to record data in your notebook. Each time you record any information in your notebook, you’ll want to make a point to sign and date the pages you’ve worked on; it’s even better if you can have professors or coworkers sign and date those pages to provide additional evidence, if necessary. If you need to make any changes, cross out the incorrect information (rather than using white-out) before signing and dating those changes. Any unused notebook space should be crossed out with a diagonal line.

You should never document privileged or personal information in laboratory notebooks. If you need to discuss other patents or document information from your lawyer, you should keep track of this information in a separate document or notebook. When you make discoveries, test theories, or record results, you should also take care to document the importance of these findings with remarks. Memorializing these reactions in print can be of great benefit when attempting to obtain a patent. Documenting your progress and a general narrative within your laboratory notebook will be helpful for the same reason. It’s best for students and scientists to remember their lab notebooks should be treated as formal records, rather than as journals or notepads. To that end, inaccurate or incomplete ideas should not be included, as this could make it more difficult to obtain or defend patent protection later on.

By keeping these documentation tips in mind and making a point to always use a high-quality laboratory notebook, you can successfully safeguard your original ideas. For more information, please contact us today.

engineering lab notebooks

Why You Need Engineering Lab Notebooks In The Workplace

As of 2016, there were an estimated 9,550 biochemistry degrees awarded to graduating college students. These students are accustomed to using engineering lab notebooks to properly work on their research. There are many benefits to continuing to support their work ethics. As you begin to hire entry-level workers, keep in mind three key benefits to encourage its usage.

Paper Trail: Using engineering lab notebooks helps maintain the all-important paper trail. When you’re working in a development or research setting, there is always a risk of things going wrong. There must always be a plan if something happens. For instance, you may lose access to research because the system goes down. If that ever occurs, there is always other documents to use if you need to refer to previous information. Since many notebooks come in different formats, you can pick different styles for your needs, such as loose leaf or bound notebooks.

Aiding Future Research: A great benefit of engineering lab notebooks is how it can help future research. More often than not, the first experiment is not the best. There’s always room for improvement. As scientists and engineers further their research, they learn the ins and outs of their own experiments. It’s thanks to the failures recorded in notebooks that further projects to their success. Instead of constantly writing it in different places, keep it in one place. Best of all, if evidence of success is written in the notebook after multiple tests, then it can be used for other experiments outside the original.

Organization: Perhaps the most underrated benefit of engineering lab notebooks is organization. It’s very easy to lose track of your information and research once you use different sheets of papers. The last thing any scientist or engineer needs is to come up with a great idea to fix a solution, writing it down on a piece of paper, and then losing it. It’s a simple issue because the fewer documents there are, the easier it is to find what they’re looking for. Once engineering lab notebooks are filled and no longer used, they can be shelved and labeled accordingly. If there’s a system in place early on, everything will be simpler to find and reuse when necessary.

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4 Reasons Why Students Should Be Involved in Research

College is an experience, for better or for worse, that many of us go through. And while the work can be overwhelming, it can also be life-changing. For plenty of students, a career is only something they are tentatively exploring during young adulthood, while others have known what path they wanted to pursue since they were children.

For those who may be untethered to a career path, the right push from an attentive professor is just the nudge they need. And for those eagerly following their chosen paths, a professor’s encouragement is just the thing to launch their ideas to the next level. The benefits of having students involved in scientific research aren’t one-sided; certainly, there are many great reasons for students to get involved at the benefit of themselves, but it’s also in the professor’s best interest to have student assistants in their laboratory. Let’s explore four reasons why.

Students Offer a Fresh Perspective

The brain is limitless in its power to think, but oftentimes that power stagnates in repetitive thought patterns without the correct stimulus to advance beyond that rut. A fresh perspective from an eager mind is just the thing to expand a traditional way of thinking. It takes 10 to 15 long years to develop an effective medicine, and science and research play a huge part in that medicine coming to fruition, but without minds that can think outside of the box, it could take even longer to develop. A student asks questions that makes a professor think outside of their usual realm of understanding, which can lead to incredible discoveries.

A Student Is Eager to Learn

Some professors are experts in their field because they’ve worked very, very hard in it for countless years, but that tried and true method of working isn’t always very exciting. A student’s eagerness to learn can be a breath of fresh air that inspires their fellow students as well as faculty to look at problems and questions in a new light, and perhaps take on a bit of that eagerness for themselves. Human beings will never be at a point of knowing everything, and no one is ever too old to learn something new. Follow in that student’s example and find out something new.

Student Researchers are Exposed to a Lab Setting

Laboratories are different than traditional classrooms for a host of obvious reasons. What your student may not know before entering a research environment is just how cautious they must be for the sake of their experiments, their results, their peers, and themselves. By exposing a student to a lab environment sooner rather than later, and allowing them to work in an environment that more or less imitates the setting they’ll find themselves in after graduation gives them a huge leg up in the business, while keeping themselves safe from harm.

Interaction with Their Peers

Classmates and professional peers are in two different categories, and not every student understands this. By allowing student researchers the chance to interact with professors and assistant researchers, they are given to chance to learn how to collaborate, experiment, and simply learn in an environment that is extremely conducive to their success and to successes in the world of science and medicine.

The Importance of a Laboratory Notebook

lab notebooks

Lab notebooks? You have probably heard about them, right? If you have been conducting laboratory tests regularly, you have already realized that you could forget many discoveries and procedures without proper organization. Lab notebooks will play a vital role in organizing your life as a lab technician. The following are benefits of using lab notebooks.

1. Record Your Data

This is so obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that a lab notebook is a convenient place to record your data. In laboratory experiments, you will probably do thousands of procedures. Everything becomes chaotic around you, and you could be in serious danger of forgetting what you are doing. With lab notebooks, everything will be kept in check. You will be able to record all the necessary information around you. Your data will be kept safe, and you will remain in control of your business.

2. To Do List

In a laboratory, there are several procedures that you need to follow for an experiment to be successful. However, these procedures are very many, and most of the times they keep on changing depending on the experiment. A laboratory notebook will detail all the things that you need to do after entering the research room so that you can be successful. The notebook could be important, especially where there are innumerable tasks to carry out. Having a guide of what needs to be done and then creates a good course of action and helps in avoiding trouble.

3. Protocols

Every science experiment has everything to do with protocols. You cannot achieve reliable or authentic scientific results without following a laid down procedure. Each experiment has its protocol, and it’s difficult to substitute one protocol for another. If you are preparing to have an experiment in the future, you can have its protocol already lined up in your scientific lab notebook. If you need to repeat any experiment, you will only need to refer back to your notebook.

4. A Reference for Others

In most cases, scientific research is carried out by teams. However, some of the members are not conversant with scientific studies, and they highly depend on the guidance that comes from the experienced researchers. With a scientific notebook, other members can reference for important data, details, and protocols. You don’t have to keep answering hundreds of questions from amateur researchers. Just direct them to your notebook and the entire research will move smoothly towards its objectives.

5. To Support Future Publications

You may need to publish lab results, papers, patents, and findings of a particular research study. However, you need to justify and show evidence that you own the results before publishing. Without documented evidence, you cannot justify that the results you are likely to publish belong to you, and therefore, you’ll not have any merit. A notebook is, therefore, one of the most important books, especially to the researchers, who have the intentions of publishing their findings in the future.

6. Data Audit Trail

An experiment is characterized by hundreds of errors that need to be adjusted as the process continues. However, for the sake of data security, any changes made to the data need to be noted and highlighted on the notebook. This gives other team members a clue of what is happening and why you have changed data. Data integrity is an essential aspect of any scientific research.

7. Record Ideas

Besides everything that has to do with research and planning the experiment, you will also come up with your ideas. These thoughts are very useful in future as they could help make the experiment better. You need to make sure that you record them somewhere. Lab notebooks are the most secure area where you can record such ideas and harness them to find out whether they are beneficial in any way.

Current trends indicate that the pharmaceutical market will reach $1.12 trillion by 2022. However, before that time and figure are reached, thousands of experiments will have to be done to improve the drugs currently available in the market and the best area to record those experiments is on a lab notebook.

How to Safely Write on Archival Photographs

archival materials

Did you know that China, Japan, and the United States are responsible for over 50% of the paper being used globally?

When sorting or putting away photographs in archival materials, it can be tempting to scribble down notes directly onto the back of photos as you go through them.

And while you can do this, it’s only wise if you’re using the right kind of writing tool. (And, ideally, you really shouldn’t write on photographs, period.)

To learn how to write on photographs without damaging them, read on for four tips on writing on photos for archival purposes.

1. Do NOT Use a Standard Ball-Point Pen

Photographic evidence or documentation can have enough trouble staying intact during its lifetime in archival materials—especially if the photos are old. Honestly, photographs usually aren’t that sturdy. So it’s best not to add to its instability by writing on it with a standard ball-point pen.

While it’s perfectly appropriate to label photos with important relevant information, you should never do so with a ball-point pen. This is because the kinds of ink used in ball-point pens tends to smear on photographic surfaces, defeating the purpose of writing with them in the first place. Additionally, the non-archival oils and solvents used in the cheap ink can cause the ink to bleed through the photo paper to the front.

Obviously, it’s also unwise to use most kinds of markers, as they can smear, as well.

2. DO Use a Pencil

Instead of traditional ball-point pens, professional archivists often use soft #2 pencils to write on the back of fiber-based photographic prints.

Note that this applies to fiber-based prints specifically—results of a method no longer in use everywhere. More modern plastic- or resin-based prints have a shiny, slippery back to them, which can’t be written on effectively with a pencil. But for older photographs, using a pencil works well, and is commonly recommended.

One reason to use a pencil for fiber-based photos is that writing in pencil is easily erasable. Besides that, pencil leads are relatively inert—they contain none of the oils in ink pens that can ruin photographs.

However, even when using pencils, it’s necessary to use a very light touch when writing on the back of an important photo for archival materials. Pressing too hard can cause considerable damage to the photograph.

3. Use a Stabilo-All Pencil

Stabilo-All pencils are specially-designed for archival materials. They are water-soluble, and they can be wiped off of practically any smooth surface with a wet cloth. They are also highly erasable on paper.

Best of all, they allow you to write clearly on many surfaces typically resistant to writing, including modern photographs, film negatives, and even glass and metal.

Stabilo-All pencils come in three colors—black, red, and white—so you’ll always have one for any colored surface.

4. If Possible, DON’T Write on Photographs

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do. For some purpose or another, whether you’re a student or a laboratory researcher, there may be times when you need to write legibly on a photograph.

But in a best-case scenario, you should use other archival materials to avoid writing on photos altogether.

Some materials you can use instead of writing on photos are photo sleeves, bound lab notebooks, index cards and boxes, and acid-free envelopes.

As another quick tip, you should always write on the envelope, sleeve, or card before inserting the photo—just to be sure you avoid damaging the print.

student lab notebook

Why Encourage Pharmaceutical Studies in University Settings for Job Growth

Whether you own a pharmaceutical company, are in charge of research and development at your firm, or you have an avid interest in how the pharmaceutical and medical world works, your primary goal should be reaching out to recent graduates in related studies. With biomedical jobs growing by nearly 25% in recent outlooks, students are more and more leaning towards these types of studies, and your company can take advantage of new and fresh talent.

Why encourage pharmaceutical studies in university settings for future job growth? How do the tools, such as a student lab notebook and active laboratory studies, benefit your company today? Learn why you should be more invested in what the average student does now so you can take advantage of the modern skills they learn in the classroom right in your own business.

You Get Raw And Open-Minded Employees

When you encourage laboratory studies in universities by supplying certain equipment, such as research notebook supplies and other needed tools, you encourage students to work with your pharmaceutical or biomedical company upon graduation. The raw and open-minded talent you receive will help bring your company in a new direction and keep your research from becoming stagnant. Recently graduated students can even help jump-start projects that have hit standstills.

You Get Entry-Level Experience And Pay Accordingly

If pay is an issue, you don’t have to trade quality staff for lower employee pay. Many students fresh out of school are eager to get started with work and will happily work up the pharmaceutical ladder and get paid entry-level wages along the way. This works out great for your company if you are a non-profit organization or if you spend much of your money on scientific research.

You Get To Help The Pharmaceutical World Grow

Even a single donation of a student lab notebook can help grow interest in this important field of research and medical studies. Your contributions to biomedical and pharmaceutical studies in university settings allow students to stay motivated and helps keep your company in business as medical advances change and grow. As you keep pharmaceutical studies going strong by showing unending support, your business benefits in many ways.

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Why Do You Need a Laboratory Notebook?

With the U.S. accounting for about 45% of the global pharmaceutical market, there are numerous biotech companies, research labs, and pharmaceutical development programs throughout the country. And because of the importance of the work these companies and programs are doing, staying organized is a top priority. This is why anyone working in a scientific environment can benefit from great lab notebooks. Let’s take a closer look at a few reasons to use laboratory notebooks.

Keep data organized: One of the biggest benefits of utilizing a research notebook is being able to keep all of your data and information organized. Using a notebook compared to something like note cards or scrap paper can keep data in order. It’s important to have one single place for notes and data because then it’s easy to find what you’re looking for and look back at previous notes. When work gets busy and chaotic, you’ll know right where to look for your data.

Easily share information: Another big reason to use notebooks for laboratory data is that it makes it so much easier to share information. Sorting the data and information in the notebook by projects or even departments in work can help encourage teamwork and collaboration. Instead of only one person knowing where to find certain information, everyone can have access to it if need be. Fellow coworkers can clarify important details and aid in keeping notes on project progress.

Ensure you’re following protocols: When it comes to scientific research, following the proper protocols, like safety regulations and even budgets, is essential. This is why using a notebook can be so helpful — tracking notes and progress for a certain project all in one place can ensure protocols are being followed. This can be especially beneficial if experiments need to be repeated in the future because all of the steps were clearly written down.

As you can see, there are numerous reasons those in scientific settings should be using lab notebooks. Laboratory notebooks play an integral role in keeping track of important data and information. And with the right notebook, data can be easily organized, shared, and accessed as needed.

engineering notebooks

Why Aren’t Regular Spiral Notebooks Working For Me?

Although much of the world is running on digital technology, we’re still largely dependent on paper. In fact, the world produced up to 411 million metric tons of paper and cardboard in 2016 alone.

This may not come as a surprise considering the benefits of using paper notebooks compared to a standard laptop. But sometimes the average notebook isn’t enough for those in engineering and the biomedical fields.

Here are a few reasons why your average paper notebook may not be working for you and why engineering notebooks and laboratory notebooks may be the better option.

Regular notebooks don’t have the layout you’re looking for

One of the tops reasons why regular notebooks may not be working for you is because they don’t have the layout you need. Graph notebooks are more generalized so they can be used by students and workers in many different fields including graphic design and architecture.

But because graph notebooks are generalized, you need to draw out separate areas on the page to include information such as the date, project number, and researchers included in the project. That isn’t the case with science notebooks.

Science notebooks have a layout specifically designed with engineers, biomedical workers, and other science workers and students in mind. Science notebooks include the grid layout you need, but with the signature block included at the bottom for greater project control.

Regular notebooks fall apart easily

You remember from High School days when you would put all your notebooks into your bookbag. Over time, your pages of notes would start to pull away from the spiral binding and you’d be left with loose-leaf pages you’d need to put in a folder.

As a science student, this can be a major issue. The last thing you want to do is lose important data or get your pages mixed up.

You don’t need to worry about that with laboratory notebooks. Laboratory notebooks are designed with a soft black cover and smooth binding to keep everything in place and all your data safely secure.

Looking for engineering notebooks and other archival materials?

Paper notebooks are great because it’s impossible for data to get deleted and you don’t have to worry about your laptop’s battery dying when you’re trying to access information. However, a standard notebook doesn’t work for everybody.

If you’re looking for engineering notebooks, student lab notebooks, or research notebooks that have the layout and format you need for your classes or work, Scientific Notebook Company has what you need. To learn more about our engineering notebooks and other archival materials, contact Scientific Notebook Company today.

laboratory notebooks

3 Benefits Of Using Laboratory Notebooks Instead Of A Laptop

In a digital world, paper notebooks are still as relevant as ever. In fact, the U.S. is just one of the three biggest paper-producing countries in the world. China, Japan, and the U.S. account for more than 50% of the world’s paper production.

But why are bound lab notebooks still the optimal choice for both science professionals and students? As it turns out, scientific lab notebooks offer many benefits that your average word document on your computer can’t include:

  1. Paper is meditative. The problem with digital technology is that working on a screen can often make you feel anxious. This is because working digitally means you’re working quickly, so during those times when you need to think you may feel rushed and take more risks. This isn’t a good thing when you’re working in the sciences. When you’re writing your work down in a scientific notebook, it’s just you, the paper, and your pen.
  2. You don’t have to worry about losing your data. Professionals who own notebooks often say the important information is what gets written down. This is because computers, though they’re great for speed and efficiency, are also prone to security breaches and damage. If you drop your laptop or if there’s an unexpected power surge, all your hard work could be gone unless you have it on a backup drive. You don’t need to worry about power surges when you use laboratory notebooks. You just need to keep it dry and don’t lose it.
  3. Laboratory notebooks give you better project control. You can always try to work with Google Docs or another software program to get your scientific records in order. But scientific lab notebooks are specifically developed with your research and development activity in mind. These notebooks provide continuity in research and a source of information that can be independent of staff changes or software updates.

Looking for laboratory notebooks that can keep up with your work?

Scientific Notebook Company understands that you need laboratory notebooks that are dependable and aren’t easily damaged. That’s why we offer a variety of student lab notebooks, engineering lab notebooks, and research notebooks so you can get your work done efficiently no matter where you are in your career.

To learn more about our different science notebooks for professionals and students, or for information on our archival pens, contact Scientific Notebook Company today.