The Evolution of an NGS Lab

by on October 9, 2014 in Genomics
Preview of Infographic - Evolution of a Lab | Clarity LIMS

It took Australopithecus almost 4 million years to evolve into Homo Sapiens.

During that time, our ancestors did their fair share of knuckle dragging, hair pulling, and chest beating. After a while, our steadfast ancestors (some more than others) learned to use tools to make their lives easier, and we eventually turned into the evolved creatures we are today.

The notion of evolving applies to labs as well. Indeed, there appears to be a new species of lab evolving right in front of our very eyes. Adapting to provide specialized diagnostic and genetic tests to personalize medicine, many smaller labs are now dotting the landscape. Yet these labs still have much of their evolution in front of them: they must overcome many business, technology, and scientific challenges. These challenges include limited funding and resources, implementation of new technologies, validation so that payers will pay, and regulation. If we had our druthers, these labs would do no hair pulling, and all chest beating would be a victorious and playful reaction to important milestones met. We think the best way for these labs to confront their evolution is with the use of the right tools.

Oldowan stone choppers

Oldowan stone choppers, image from Wikipedia

Homo ergaster was our first ancestor to embrace the idea of tools. As the working stiff of its time—ergaster derives from the Latin “work” —Homo ergaster was the first to create a tool set, begin to cooperate with other ergasters, and communicate. Ergaster’s tool of choice was the Oldowan, a stone tool used to chop, scrape, and pound. As simple and primitive as it sounds, this one tool was a multi-purpose marvel that really kicked things into high gear for our ancestors – enabling them to become more efficient, use their resources more wisely, and ultimately evolve.

Fortunately, NGS labs don’t face such a lengthy evolution. And by taking a cue from Homo ergaster, they can use tools to carve out their destiny. For these labs, a laboratory information management system (LIMS) is a good place to start. BaseSpace Clarity LIMS can help labs get to where they want to go more quickly, efficiently, and without growing pains. BaseSpace Clarity LIMS is easy to implement and use and helps labs reduce turnaround time and errors, improve efficiency, and adapt to new technologies. Additionally, it can scale to any sized lab, regulated or not, making it the marvel of its time.

We’ll leave you with our humorous take on the evolution of a lab, pre-and post-BaseSpace Clarity LIMS.

Evolution of an NGS Lab | GenoLogics

 

Interested in how our LIMS can help you accelerate your NGS research? Then download our white paper, here.

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