Core Concept

At a Guardian blog, Richard Wintle discusses the benefits of core labs.

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The establishment of core

The establishment of core facilities for undertaking specialized analyses that require expensive equipment, specialized reagents and high expertise can make a lot of financial sense, especially because this minimizes redundancies in resources for biomedical research. Funded through governments and sometimes charitable agencies, such core facilities could significantly advance the research of academic and industrial laboratories if researchers were interested in undertaking higher throughput studies. However, such core facilities are often under utilized, because there are still significant cost barriers to accessing their services for the vast majority of university and small biotech company scientists.

As a consequence, these core facilities become public-funded contract research organizations (CRO's) that actually complete with privately financed CRO's that must have full cost recovery to survive as businesses. Moreover, because there may be insufficient local business, these core facilities often undertake contract work from clients from other countries. The operators of such government-funded core facilities like to argue that they are bringing in funding from other countries to maintain their operations. However, in reality, the taxpayers of the country are really subsidizing the research costs of academic and industrial laboratories in foreign countries by the core facilities offering highly competitive pricing.

Local research scientists could benefit from core facilities and adopt the new technologies to take their research to higher levels if the cost of accessing these core facilities was much cheaper for academic researchers from the same area from which the government funding was procured. Such heavily discounted rates should also be provided to industrial laboratories that are also based in the same jurisdictions, if these governments truly wish to cultivate their local biotechnology industry.

Being very close to this core

Being very close to this core lab, I find this amazing. Some scientists need a reality check, you need to take a look at all the fat checks you have been giving out and the return per base call my friend...