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We're Thinking Open Concept

Starting up a lab can be a daunting prospect, but the folks over at Bitesize Bio have broken the process of designing a new lab up into a few key steps.

The first is to consider how it'll be used, whether it's a teaching, basic research, or analytical lab as that'll influence what needs to be included in the design. For instance, Bitesize Bio's Zack Hades notes that an analytical lab often needs a way to control humidity and air-conditioning. Before ordering all the equipment you need, she advises that you look at what your core lab and institute have on offer, so as not to duplicate what's already around if you don't need to.

Another important aspect of setting up a lab, she says, is its layout. Hades suggests thinking about the lab setup in terms of zones that relate to use, traffic level, and any risks. For instance, she says that a piece of equipment that'll be used a lot probably shouldn't be in a high traffic or hazardous zone. She emphasizes safety that the lab should have multiple exits and be stocked with fire extinguishers and other safety equipment.

At the same time, Hades says not to forget about all that paperwork involved in getting a lab up and running, especially if you're performing animal studies or using infectious agents.

The Scan

Less Than Half

An effort to reproduce key findings from high-profile preclinical cancer studies finds less than half could be replicated, according to the Scientist.

Still Some SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing Holes

The Wall Street Journal reports that viral genomic surveillance has improved in the US, though says there are still gaps.

Avoiding Passing Them On

People with known disease-linked genetic variants are turning to in vitro fertilization so as to not pass those variants to their children, the Washington Post says.

PNAS Papers on Long Cell-Free DNA in Maternal Plasma, Genetic Propensity for Voting

In PNAS this week: long, cell-free DNA of maternal and fetal origins identified in maternal plasma, and more.