Scientific research continues to tackle some of the most challenging problems in medicine. Whether it’s a longstanding issue like multiple sclerosis or something newer like the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, there are labs all over the country and all over the world working diligently each day to resolve them.
Despite the incredibly wide variety of topics being researched, there are some commonalities across all labs that are essential to their successful operation. Without them, the work is either inaccurate, incomplete, or even dangerous. Let’s look at a few.
Proper Storage and Transport
Most scientific research is accomplished over a period of years, with the prospect of changes in both the personnel and the facilities involved. For that reason, it’s essential that all the specimens being used are correctly cataloged and stored, and that any need to relocate to a new building–either across town or across the country–is handled by a skilled biological transport company.
Why is this so important? First, every sample must be correctly identified throughout the process. This is the only way to confirm that a certain treatment has been administered to it and, consequently, to draw conclusions from the results. In addition, proper storage temperatures, humidity, and security must be observed.
Consistent Research Standards
Research around the world must be interchangeable among scientists all over the world. That’s why scientific names for plants and animals are in Latin, because a standard system was required. Without that agreed-upon standard, there would be dozens of naming systems in use, making it nearly impossible for scientists to understand one another.
Standards for personnel are much the same, especially in the case of highly specialized cases that are being worked on by only a few people in the whole world. If what is done in Johannesburg is held to a higher standard than what is done in Paris, the entire project suffers. The qualifications of personnel and standards for medications must be the same throughout the world.
Good Coordination and Cooperation
While much medical research is done by pharmaceutical companies that are seeking to protect their knowledge for the sake of profit, other topics are researched by governments and foundations that hope only to achieve a cure for deadly or debilitating conditions.
In the case of the former, it’s understood that information will rarely change hands, but when the work is being done for the common good instead of the bottom line, things are very different. With today’s fast data connections in so much of the world, it’s easier than ever for researchers to cooperate across international borders and share real-time information via email, video conferencing, cloud storage, and countless other means. The speed with which these exchanges can take place makes it very easy for distant colleagues to work in lockstep.
The number of lives impacted by scientific research runs into the millions, so it’s clear why this work must be carried out with the highest level of accuracy and standard procedures used worldwide. With diseases like polio and smallpox already conquered through these methods, they’re proven strategies that will give us a real chance to overcome the emerging health issues of today.