- Laboratory automation
Laboratory automation is a multi-disciplinary strategy to
research, develop, optimize and capitalize on technologiesin the laboratorythat enable new and improved processes. Laboratory automation professionals are academic, commercial and governmentresearchers, scientistsand engineerswho conduct researchand develop new technologies to increase productivity, elevate experimental data quality, reduce lab process cycle times, or enable experimentationthat otherwise would be impossible.
The most widely known application of laboratory automation technology is
laboratory robotics. More generally, the field of laboratory automation comprises many different automated laboratory instruments, devices, software algorithms, and methodologies used to enable, expedite and increase the efficiencyand effectivenessof scientific research in laboratories.
The application of technology in today's laboratories is required to achieve timely progress and remain competitive. Laboratories devoted to activities such as
high-throughput screening, combinatorial chemistry, automated clinical and analytical testing, diagnostics, large scale biorepositories, and many others, would not exist without advancements in laboratory automation.
Some universities offer entire programs that focus on lab technologies. For example, [http://www.iupui.edu Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis] offers a graduate program devoted to Laboratory Informatics. Also, the [http://www.kgi.edu/ Keck Graduate Institute] in
Californiaoffers a graduate degree with an emphasis on development of assays, instrumentation and data analysis tools required for clinical diagnostics, high-throughput screening, genotyping, microarraytechnologies, proteomics, imagingand other applications.
In 2004, the [http://www.nih.gov/ National Institutes of Health] (NIH) and more than 300 nationally recognized leaders in academia, industry, government, and the public completed the [http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/ NIH Roadmap] to accelerate medical discovery to improve health. The [http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/ NIH Roadmap] clearly identifies technology development as a mission critical factor in the Molecular Libraries and Imaging Implementation Group (see the first theme - New Pathways to Discovery - at http://nihroadmap.nih.gov).
* [http://lab-robotics.org Laboratory Robotics Interest Group web site]
* [http://labautomation.org Association for Lab Automation web site]
* [http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/ NIH Roadmap for Medical Research]
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