Monthly Archives: February 2019

research notebook

Biotech 101: History and Various Types of Biotechnology

Biotechnology is the use of biological processes for industrial and other purposes, especially for the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, hormones, and more. Biotechnology is a complicated sector, but it’s a crucial one to understand for those in the scientific community.

Being able to understand the history of this broad area is extremely important and a little intimidating — hopefully, this guide will help you better understand this subsection of biology.

For centuries, humankind has utilized biotechnology in agriculture, food production, and medicine. Biotechnology traces its roots back to 1919, as Hungarian engineer Karoly Ereky coined the term, but it wasn’t until the late 1960s that scientific researchers performed the first successful recombinant DNA experiment.

Biotech relies on all sorts of tools and applications and often overlaps with related fields of molecular engineering, bioengineering, biomedical engineering, molecular biology, biomanufacturing, and more.

Simply put, “Biotechnology is technology based on biology,” according to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “[Biotech] harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet.

It’s important to note, however, whether you’re a biotech student working towards a career in this field or have been studying and researching for decades, biotech requires a lot of research and diligent note-taking. That’s where quality research notebooks come into play. Biotechnicians of all experience levels rely on dozens and dozens of research notebooks that are filled with formulas, notes, ideas, quotes, experiments, and so much more.

Here are some of the most popular types of biotechnology:

  1. Medical Biotech — This involves the study of DNA to get to know how to manipulate the genetic makeup of cells to increase production of beneficial characteristics that humans might find useful such as the production of insulin. Additionally, this field typically leads to the development of new drugs and treatments.
  2. Agricultural Biotech — This focuses on developing genetically modified plants for the purpose of increasing crop yields. Agricultural biotech involves pest-resistant crops, plant and animal breeding, and more.
  3. Industrial Biotech — The industrial applications of biotech range from the production of cellular structures to creating biological elements for all kinds of uses. For example, industrial biotech leads to the creation of new materials within the construction sector, as well as manufacturing alcohol, washing detergents, and other personal care products.

If you want to learn more about the importance of using quality research notebooks, give Scientific Notebook Company a call today!

The Significance of the Simple Scientific Notebook

scientific notebook

Science impacts an astonishing array of things in our lives — and we may not even realize the full extent to which this is true! Any genetically modified food we eat, for example, is the work of scientists and researchers. Our medicine, fuel, and manufacturing processes are also impacted by the work of scientists. Much of this work has been going on for years. For example, genetic modification started almost 10,000 years ago, when farmers began to save seeds to more selectively breed crops. And biotechnology can find its roots in 1919. But one thing is a common thread — scientists need to record their hypotheses, experiments, and outcomes. Today, there are special scientific notebooks for just that purpose. There are laboratory notebooks, research notebooks, and even specialized student lab notebooks available. 

What are the Primary Kind of Scientific Notebooks? 

Scientific notebooks tend to be rather plain and practical — no-nonsense looking and made for a singular purpose. Most are slim volumes that have a quarter inch grid and signature block. They often come with an issuance page, an instruction page, and table of contents page. 

They’re also usually chemically resistant, to keep any spills or accidents in the lab from ruining data, and are permanently bound and paginated for the best possible data security and traceability. 

Though there are certainly digital scientific notebooks out there, many scientists still use a hard copy notebook — it’s harder to tamper with or alter, and serves as physical proof for what you’ve accomplished in the lab, should you need to defend your claims. 

For those that come after you, they may use your scientific notebook as groundwork for their own experiments, or to try and replicate your experiments. 

What are Some of the Main Principles of Setting Up a Scientific Notebook? 

Your scientific notebook is not the place for personal thoughts, even if they pertain to your work. Above all, you should consider it a legal document that can be used as such. You want a complete record of what you’ve done in the lab, the observations from your actions, and then items that would help another scientist replicate the work. However, brainstorming or a variety of hypotheses that are not substantiated by a specific experiment do not belong in the notebook. 

Nor should you be jotting down conversations or ideas with your colleagues or keeping protocols from product manuals there. Do remember too, that your notebook while in your possession, belongs to the place you work, not you. 

You should include your name and the year, the name of the project you’re working on, the mailing address of the lab, and then, of course, the necessary table of contents and entries. Entries should include the date and title of the project, a statement of purpose, and the background. Then the way in which you went about trying to attain this purpose, observations, data, data analysis and processing, and future experimentation ideas should follow. 

Where Can I Find Scientific Notebooks? 

In some cases, your lab or institution may provide the notebooks for you. In that case it might be as simple as going to the stockroom or asking someone who handles supplies for extras. 

However, if you need extra or are required to provide them yourself, there are many places online — both on bigger retailers and on specifically scientific retailer sites that provide these notebooks. 

Your institution may also be able to direct you towards the specific kind of notebook they want used or places to find them, as many colleagues who work with you. 

Scientific notebooks play an important role in the recording of data and are used by scientists everywhere. It can play a major role in the issuing of a patent, defend you in the case of fraud allegations, and cement your legacy and work at the lab, even if you’ve moved on.