Monthly Archives: December 2011

30 Dec

Ultraviolet Light

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Ultraviolet light also referred to as UV light can be used as a germicidal agent to sterilize surfaces where sensitive microbiology techniques are being performed.  UV light is nonionizing short wavelength radiation that falls between 4nm and 400nm in the … Continue reading

28 Dec

Fluidizied Sand Bath

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If you’re looking for a spa or hot tub to relax in after work, this is not it.  All kidding aside, the Fluidized Sand Bath is for heat treatment testing and high temperature reaction experiments.  Objects are immersed in the medium … Continue reading

26 Dec

Tube Furnace

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A tube furnace is designed for high temperature chemical processes in the presence of a stream of gas.  The sample is placed in a ceramic or alumina combustion boat at one end of the tube in the furnace and a … Continue reading

23 Dec

Water Availability

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Water availability, defined by water activity, can have a large effect on the growth of bacteria.  The value of water activity is between 0 and 1.0.  The closer the value is to 1.0, the more water is available to a cell … Continue reading

21 Dec


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In working with many of my laboratory customers under the topic of “Protection”, it’s important that one’s eyes, hands, skin and head are all taken into consideration.  I recently started to review the large offering of earplugs and was amazed as to what is available.  … Continue reading

19 Dec

Inductively Coupled Plasma

Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) torches are used in atomic emission spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectrometry, and Mass spectrometry.  Plasma is considered the 4th state of matter.  A Plasma is charged particles of gas and can reach extremely high temperatures; a star … Continue reading

16 Dec

pH and Growth

It is important to understand the relationship between pH and growth of microorganisms. Cells can be greatly effected by changes in pH. Proteins maintain a specific charge based on the pH of the surrounding solution. If the pH changes, the … Continue reading

14 Dec

Laboratory Cleaning Compound

So, you’re in the lab and find yourself faced with the tedious task of cleaning those utensils and glassware.  You try rubbing, scrubbing and scraping but they’re still not clean enough.  What’s a tech to do?   NOW!  An extremely easy, quick, and … Continue reading

12 Dec


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Calibration of scientific instruments such as thermometers and hydrometers refers to comparing the measurement performance of the test instrument to the measurement performance of a reference standard instrument.  The reference standard instrument has been determined to be accurate or has … Continue reading

09 Dec

Thermal Death Point and Thermal Death Time

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When I think of thermal death point and thermal death time I think of the week I spent in Sicily in August of 2006.  I walked through some of the rolling hills in my grandfather’s hometown and did not have … Continue reading