Whether they are using a specialized piece of medical equipment or they are pipetting samples with high precision and accuracy, biomedical scientists must have a highly specific skillset. Working in a biology lab requires you to have a great level of scientific knowledge while also possessing great practical skills.
If you’re considering a career in the biomedical field, there’s no better time than now to start perfecting your skills and gaining work experience. The medical scientist role is becoming more and more important in healthcare as the pharmaceutical and biotech industries expand.
As a biomedical scientist, you can work in a variety of healthcare settings. Most commonly, you’ll find vacancies in medical, pathology, or microbiology labs.
Your main roles will involve processing and analyzing biological samples or cell cultures using a variety of lab techniques. You will also need to prepare various chemical solutions and used highly specialized pieces of equipment, such as those from PHC Europe.
If you want to succeed as a biomedical scientist, there are some key skills that you’ll need to possess. Knowing how to use various biology equipment or being aware of the best preparation methods for live cell cultures are just two of these vital skills.
Luckily, many of the core biomedical skills can be learned fairly quickly with practice. Here are three important techniques that you need to work in a biology lab.
When you are preparing chemical solutions that need to be a very specific concentration or you are transferring delicate cells from one test tube to another, your pipetting skills become extremely important.
Failure to properly use a pipette can lead to loss of resources, inaccurate results, and contaminated or damaged samples.
For example, if you fail to pipette the right amount of solution, you can end up overdiluting your sample or destroying it with highly-concentrated chemicals. If you accidentally damage your cell cultures, you might have to obtain a brand-new sample, and this wastes your time, energy, and resources.
When you are analyzing the purity of a cell sample, you may need to use a technique known as gel electrophoresis, which uses an agarose gel and electrodes to separate proteins according to their molecular size.
Most commonly, gel electrophoresis is used to separate DNA and RNA using an electrical current. It enables you to compare multiple samples of DNA to determine similarities and differences, which is why this technique is commonly used in paternity testing and forensics.
Smaller molecules move through the agarose gel at a faster rate, so will move further down the gel than larger molecules. This creates a ladder of protein fragments that can be compared to a ‘standard’ ladder to determine the exact molecular size of each DNA fragment.
Centrifuges use an electric motor to spin biological samples at a high force, causing the individual components of the sample to separate according to density.
Although centrifuge machines are fairly simple to operate, using the right speed setting and loading the test tube samples properly is vital to get the results you want. You will need to know the type of sample, type of rotor, relative centrifugal force, and type of centrifuge to successfully use the machine.