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Metabolomics is helping scientists understand the biological picture through completion. As a result, the study of metabolomics allows for advancements in research into the life sciences.

Through a more complete understanding of the human biological picture, scientists can develop biomarkers that show how different external and internal influencers affect different genes. These influencers can be drug exposure, disease, diet, lifestyle, genetics, and the microbiome.

If you are running a metabolomics study, you hope for its validity and success. There are five key elements to a successful metabolomics study, and this article explores these elements:

Clear objectives

Any successful scientific study needs to have a clear objective. The same applies to a successful metabolomics study. To ensure your objectives are clear and obtainable, you need to make sure you have a hypothesis you aim to validate. This hypothesis could be a common thought shared by the scientific community, or you could be hoping to discover the biomarkers for a disease.

To set up clear objectives successfully, you also need to define your approach. There are three main approaches to a successful metabolomics study, and your aim will determine which approach you employ.

Strong study design elements

To make a strong study, you need to employ strong study design elements. This includes choosing the right sample matrix. The sample matrix will depend on what you aim to prove, and you will need to find the matrix that is as close to the system that you are attempting to study as possible.

It is also essential to collect enough samples over a variety of exposures. Collecting only one sample in one condition is not sufficient for a strong study. You need to make sure you have quantitative and qualitative data to render your study more reliable and repeatable.

Push for success

You do not want your metabolomics study to be a waste of time. By setting clear and measurable objectives and making sure your data collection process is clear and adequate, you are already halfway to success. You need to ensure your study can be repeated and credited by the scientific community.

In this endeavor, record every step of the process and write down why you chose to take those steps. Make sure your process and findings are above reproach so that your study can be valid. While there may come a study at a later time that disproves your study, ensure your study is valid for the present.

Use the right technology

The skilled builder wouldn’t use a hammer to insert a screw, and you shouldn’t use the wrong tools in your study. Your technology tools and instrumentation should be precise and sensitive to render quantitative results. In conjunction, you should use sophisticated informatics to process the metabolites.

The instruments you choose should be directly related to the objectives of your study. In addition, when implementing your informatics tools, make sure you record every data point accurately even if the outcomes seem unrelated to the objectives of your study. This will ensure you do not miss important information.

Data interpretation

The final aspect of a successful metabolomics study is having a strong data interpretation plan. If your study is going to produce large amounts of raw data, you may need to spend a large amount of time processing and interpreting the data. 

Planning how you will go about interpreting the data from your study before you even start your study will help you sort through data faster.

In addition, having a data interpretation plan can help you stay focused and can ensure you don’t miss important information. You may need to set aside time to conduct additional studies if the data calls for it.

Posted by Emily Dawson on Mar 15, 2020 2:37 AM GMT

Perhaps you have worked towards getting a chemistry degree or you’re still considering your career options. In any case, there are vast opportunities in the chemistry career field and sometimes the decision may be overwhelming. 

Depending on the skills and abilities you have as well as your preferences, there are several careers you can choose from. The opportunities vary according to the job description, salary and qualifications required. What are these opportunities? Here are 4 career ideas for chemistry majors that they can pursue:

Chemical engineer

The chemical engineering field is responsible for designing and developing products from raw materials. The responsibilities of a chemical engineer are gathering data on raw material and determining if it is fit to be transformed into another state. 

For example, making aluminum from bauxite ore requires the oversight of a chemical engineer. Job vacancies of chemical engineers may arise in any industry where they can help the research and development team. 

Wherever raw materials are involved in creating certain objects, the need for a chemical engineer arises. You can study chemical engineering in a good accredited educational institution to build a promising career and advance in your life.

Forensic Scientist

Chemical majors can also be forensic scientists that are required in police department labs and other facilities where biological substances need to be analyzed. Part of the analysis includes DNA, bodily fluids, hair strands and also non-biological substances such as ink and paint. 

Some forensic scientists work for the FBI identifying ink used to write falsified suicide notes. The analysis of forensic scientists is used as admissible evidence in court and sometimes they may be asked to testify or present the evidence. They can also collect evidence themselves from a crime scene and then analyze it at their labs to help investigating officers crack the case.

Hazardous Waste Chemist

If your idea of the best career is wearing a ‘hazmat’ suit, it means the hazardous waste chemist job is for you. Above wearing the interesting personal protective equipment (PPE) when doing their jobs, these chemists work hard to ensure that dangerous chemicals don’t get airborne or waterborne. 

For example, if there is nuclear waste that could be dangerous to human beings, hazardous waste chemists will prevent it from spreading and negatively affecting them. 

Their core job description is containing hazardous gaseous or liquid chemicals and disposing of it safely. 

They can be asked to work for organizations such as the CDC and other government entities involved in collecting and destroying chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Pharmacologist

Pharmacologists have the responsibility of developing and testing various drugs that are intended for human use. The tests they conduct include testing how certain drugs react with biological entities that involve testing drugs on animals and human volunteers

Being a pharmacologist requires a pure passion for this because you might need to work irregular hours monitoring the test subjects. Vacancies of pharmacologists might open up in pharmaceutical companies that develop and test drugs before distributing them. 

Toxicologist 

Toxicologists have a job description that is similar to those of pharmacologists because they also study the effect of chemical substances on biological subjects. However, they differ because they don’t only study man-made chemicals like pharmaceutical drugs, but they also determine the effect of natural substances and biochemical compounds. 

When they do these tests, they determine how dangerous these chemicals are and also rule out the dosages that could be deadly. Toxicologists also work at a lab and monitor the experiments and interpret the results. The work of toxicologists also helps other people determine how to avoid those toxic substances.

Posted by Emily Dawson on Feb 1, 2020 2:20 AM GMT

Four out of five people dislike something about their job, and this is a pity really, because liking your job is important for success. There are a couple of reasons why so many people don’t enjoy their jobs and one of them is not being clued up.  

When you don’t know your job well, you make mistakes, you have to be asking questions all the time or getting help from colleagues and your self-esteem is at an all-time low.  

We need to feel we are actually accomplishing something, and educational workshops can equip you with knowledge in a short space of time. Most times, these workshops are designed for people working together and are often held at your workplace. 

Here are some tips for traveling to educational workshops. 

Form a lift club for the workshop 

One of the workshop’s most practical innovations for transport issues is to form a lift club or carpooling if the workshop is in another part of town. The roads to the workshop are no doubt highly congested and traveling in one car is environmentally friendly.  

The 4 or 5 people that travel together can contribute to petrol to get to and from the workshop. A carpool is a wise way to eliminate everyone attending the workshop driving in their own cars.  

Also, if the driver of the vehicle is smart and responsible, they will see that everyone leaves together at the same time and gets to the workshop on time and in a relaxed manner.  

Walk or ride over to the workshop 

Many companies nowadays opt to conduct a business event or workshop inside their own premises to save money and to encourage attendance. They also want to create an atmosphere that will be successful and productive and where workers don’t have to stress about getting there.  

There’s nothing like a close-by location to encourage attendance and to encourage discussion between colleagues as they stroll over to the venue. Staff members with disabilities and who are in wheelchairs can simply ‘drive over’ without any kind of disruptions.  

Medical mobility scooters from Scooters ‘N Chairs can easily be popped into a car. Still, if you don’t want to be traveling with a medical scooter, you can use these nifty powered mobility aids to transport you to the workshop.  

Hire a luxury coach  

To plan a successful workshop, it is important to define the workshop’s goal. Many workshops fail because some team members can’t reach the destination, particularly if the workshop is a 2-day sleepover. These kinds of workshops are designed to build team spirit too. 

Once you have defined the focus of your team workshop and have a list of the people who will be attending, consider what will be required to make it a success. Essentially you want to start building your team spirit while on the road and that is why hiring a luxury coach to accommodate the entire team can be such a wise more.  

The coaches come with comfy seats, music, large, tinted windows and plenty of place for luggage. The coach hire companies provide all the logistics-planning to get your entire team safely to the workshop venue in one piece and all relaxed. 

A Luxury coach removes all the stress and hassle out of organizing transport for a group of people. They do single, or return trips. You can choose a coach with a driver, and these drivers know the quickest, safest roads to your venue. They are licensed and vetted.

They get your entire workshop team swiftly, safely and comfortably to the workshop venue, ready to brainstorm and enhance the company’s productivity. 

Posted by Emily Dawson on Feb 1, 2020 1:43 AM GMT

Intermittent fasting is rapidly becoming a very popular method of weight control. However, the benefits of intermittent fasting extend far beyond weight control. Humans evolved for millions of years under a fast and then feast pattern of eating. The current regimen of three squares a day plus two snacks is very unnatural and has unfortunate metabolic effects like insulin resistance. Intermittent fasting can re-set these metabolic effects.

Resets the genome

It has long been known that fasting and calorie restriction while consuming adequate amounts of essential nutrients can significantly prolong lifespan. However, the exact mechanisms of this effect have been unclear. One hypothesis is that fasting and calorie restriction re-set epigenetic changes to the genome.

Normally, epigenetic changes accumulate throughout life, altering gene expression patterns, which seems to cause many of the symptoms of aging. Mice and monkeys subjected to calorie restriction were found to have genomes that appeared to be much younger than they actually were.

Human studies

However, the results of animal studies don't always correlate well with human studies. In a recent study in Japan, a group of volunteers fasted in a laboratory, and their metabolic changes were examined in detail.

Glucose to ketone bodies

The most obvious and immediate effect of fasting is that the body switches from burning glucose for energy to burning ketone bodies, which are chiefly derived from fat. This state can also be initiated by consuming a very low carbohydrate diet.

A major advantage of utilizing ketones instead of glucose is that glucose metabolism produces harmful inflammatory products while ketone metabolism does not. Inflammation has been linked to every major chronic disease associated with aging, including heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Cleaning house

The next major metabolic change during fasting is that your body starts to "clean house," namely, removing misfolded proteins and damaged organelles and recycling them. They are used to repair damage throughout the body and are also used for producing energy. In a well-fed state, the body doesn't generally bother to scavenge waste products. The accumulation of misfolded proteins in the brain is a well-known phenomenon in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Many molecular changes

Surprisingly, the experimenters in Japan found that the mitochondria, which produce energy, had gone into overdrive during fasting. In addition, they identified 44 different molecules that dramatically increased during fasting. Many of these molecules had previously been identified to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory roles, but they had never been linked to fasting before.

Reversal of insulin resistance

During fasting, your body also dramatically reduces its levels of insulin, which allows cells to reset their responses to insulin. A major problem in today's constantly eating society is that the resulting constant supply of insulin induces cells to turn off their response to it, producing insulin resistance, which can then turn into type II diabetes. Fasting can reverse insulin resistance and some individuals with diabetes who intermittently fast have reported that their diabetes was cured.

Preserves muscle mass and slims your waist

Fasting also alters the hormones in your body. Everyone is familiar with the aging process: muscle mass is gradually lost while fat levels increase, especially around the abdomen. However, fasting alters the hormonal state in your body and partially reverses this effect, preserving muscle mass and burning off that abdominal fat.

The bottom line

Intermittent fasting is one of the easiest ways to improve your overall health. It may even make you physically and mentally younger.

Posted by Emily Dawson on Jan 27, 2020 5:43 PM GMT
If you're in the manufacturing business, you know how important it is to keep costs to an absolute minimum. Skyrocketing manufacturing costs kill your profit margins and lead to losses and employee layoffs.

In today's competitive market, it's never been more important to keep costs as low as possible. In this article, we'll take a look at three ways you can work to reduce your manufacturing costs as soon as possible.

1. Keep Track of Your Numbers

If you aren't already tracking your key expenses, it's time to start. It's impossible to reduce costs that you're not properly recording. You'll see here how important this is, especially when it comes to new product development.

You don't necessarily need an accountant to do this. With cloud accounting software technologies such as Quickbooks, the average Joe can keep a close eye on all relevant numbers.

To start out, begin tracking all of the key numbers that relate to:
 
  • Used capacity
  • Production capacity
  • Labor cost
  • Material cost
  • Overhead
  • Labor efficiency
  • Cost of goods sold
  • Carrying inventory cost
  • Cash in and cash out
  • Stock in and stock out
  • Overtime costs
If you'd rather not use accounting software to do this, record all your numbers in an excel file. Even the simplest number's recording will give you a much better idea about what's going on in the factory.

2. Reduce Your Carrying Cost of Inventory

Your carrying cost of inventory is the expense you incur when you hold, maintain and store product inventory over time. Raw materials and work-in-progress materials are also considered inventory.

Most of your components in the carrying cost of inventory are included in your overhead. These include:
 
  • Shrinkage and pilfirage costs
  • Opportunity cost
  • Staff cost
  • Warehouse maintenance and electricity cost
  • Stock-taking cost
  • Stock insurance cost
For example, let's say you've incurred $100,000 of carrying cost of inventory for a year on 10,000 stored units. This means that your carrying cost for each unit is $10. This would be a significant loss that requires reduction.

3. Keep Overhead Under Control

Overhead is typically a non-value expense that should be avoided whenever possible. To reduce your overhead, look at doing some of the following.

1. Set an overhead budget and regularly review it. Take steps to keep it under control.

2. Depreciation costs are time-based. Decide whether you want to own assets or acquire them on lease.

3. If possible, look to reduce your headcount. If one of your supervisor's roles could easily be re-delegated, is the expense of their position worth it to the business? Of course it's difficult to let people go. But sometimes, you just have to.

4. Avoid outlandish packaging that isn't necessary.

5. Work to reduce product features that don't add value.

6. If you can, avoid using air conditioning or other electric installations that aren't necessary for your production.

7. Check and update your machines to help avoid expensive repair costs.

Although some of these may be difficult, you have to put business before emotion.

You Can Reduce Your Manufacturing Costs

It's time to get serious about reducing costs. With these three methods, you'll start putting the profit back into your business.
Posted by Emily Dawson on Jan 15, 2020 3:40 AM GMT
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