DON WHITLEY SCIENTIFIC – THE LEADING INTERNATIONAL SUPPLIER TO THE MICROBIOLOGY AND TISSUE CULTURE INDUSTRIES


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PaCMAn Course Photo

Practical and Clinical Microbiology of Anaerobes Course 2019

A 2 day residential course delivered by The UK Anaerobe Reference Unit, Public Health Wales, Cardiff

11-12 June 2019

Is it time to refresh your knowledge on the culturing, identification and clinical importance of anaerobes?

Do your staff want to learn from experts about the latest technologies and techniques?

• Recognised by the IBMS & RCPath CPD approved (11 credits)
• Invaluable preparation for FRCPath

Only 26 places available. 

Cost: £375 + VAT (£355 + VAT for SAM members) which includes: one night’s accommodation at the Jurys Inn Hotel, Cardiff, breakfast, lunches and refreshments plus dinner on 11th June.


Feedback from previous delegates has been very positive with the majority rating it ‘excellent’ overall. Participants particularly enjoyed the friendly and informative course atmosphere with comments including:

“The course was brilliant and really informative. Staff were knowledgeable, helpful and friendly”

“I really liked the practical sessions and was very impressed with the lectures”

“I have acquired new and improved knowledge to take back to my laboratory”

“The mix of lectures and lab practicals added variety and interest”

“Great course, will be recommending to fellow colleagues”


Practical Session

Practical Session at the 2018 Practical and Clinical Microbiology of Anaerobes Course

For more information, please visit the Don Whitley Scientific website
www.dwscientific.co.uk/practicalmicrobiologycourse/

To reserve your place on the Anaerobes course, please request a booking form by contacting:
Deborah Robinson at Don Whitley Scientific Limited on 01274 595728/sales@dwscientific.co.uk

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

iGEM_Fatima

Second Interview with Nottingham iGEM Team

You may have read our previous article that explained how Don Whitley Scientific Limited became involved in sponsoring a team from The University of Nottingham that have entered The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation competition.

iGEM is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to education and competition, the advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of an open community and collaboration. iGEM runs the iGEM Competition – an international team competition made up of predominantly undergraduate students interested in the field of synthetic biology.

We spoke to another member of the team – Fatima Taha (pictured left) – to find out more about what the competition means to her and how she believes it might help in her future career. Fatima is a 3rd year Human Genetics student and we asked her:

What role do you play in the iGEM team? I have 3 roles really: I’m part of the wet lab team, part of the fundraising team, and also team leader – so the person to go to if there are any problems or issues that require bringing to the attention of the supervisors.

Have you used the Whitley Workstation and what did you use it for? I use the Whitley Anaerobic Workstation all the time. We grow up Clostridium difficile and take time points, pick colonies, etc inside the workstation. The cabinet works really well for us.

What do you think you will get out of the competition personally?

I was taking a gap year and worked for a year in a laboratory at a hospital. I fell in love with the hands-on process in that lab and decided I really want to continue working in the research sector – in a clinical application or in academia.

It’s more than just a synthetic biology competition – there’s so much more to it. We are encouraged to collaborate with other teams and with other people generally. It’s about getting the word out there. I enjoy the whole exercise of looking to engage with people about synthetic biology; getting involved with schools on the subject.

I’m really enjoying the communications side of the whole project and have written four articles for a university website and student magazine. The multi-disciplinary teams involved have such different strengths and weaknesses but it all comes together – and that’s fascinating. Going forward I am sure this whole process will have enhanced my own skill set.

What are you most looking forward to about going to Boston?

Meeting the other teams and seeing what they are doing. We have been working on our project for so long now, I’m excited to see what the others have been doing.

Don Whitley Scientific is proud to help sponsor some of the students to attend the finale in Boston, which we hope will provide the additional networking, team-building and general interaction to help the students in their future careers.  We wish Fatima and the team the very best of luck in the competition and hope that The University of Nottingham team brings home the grand prize.

More About iGEM

iGEMers state that they are building a better world by solving problems with the help of synthetic biology. The iGEM Competition inspires nearly 6,000 students each year to work in teams to address unique challenges in their local communities.

They celebrate team achievements at the annual Giant Jamboree (24-28 October) by showcasing projects from participating teams and awarding medals, prizes, and the grand prize, the BioBrick trophies.

Their aim is to inspire responsible innovation through efforts in biosafety, biosecurity and public outreach.

iGEM Community

The iGEM community is made up of international trailblazers from over 45 countries around the world.

In 2017 iGEM launched the After iGEM program. This program supports over 30,000 iGEMers – students and instructors – who have gone through the competition since its inception in 2004. This global network is leading the field, taking what they learned in the competition and expanding it to continue to build a better world.

 

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Distributor Meeting Held at New Factory

Last week, DWS welcomed 38 representatives from over 20 different countries for the first International Distributor Meeting to be held at our new factory in Bingley. On the first night we held a welcome dinner, and as part of the evening there was a presentation to four of our distributors who had excelled in certain areas. Our special thanks and congratulations to VWR (Sweden), Lab Technologies (India), Cold Spring Biotech Corp (Taiwan) and Hua Yue Enterprise Holdings Ltd (China). Another award should go to our colleagues from AS1 Limited in New Zealand, who travelled over 11,000 miles to be with us!

It was a busy few days packed with sales and installation training on the WASP Touch and our hypoxic, anaerobic and microaerobic workstations. The meeting provided an invaluable opportunity for the distributors to get hands-on experience with our whole product range and to receive training from the people who design and build our equipment on a daily basis. One of the attendees commented: “Our thanks to you and all your colleagues for a brilliant couple of days and a superbly structured meeting which I’m sure will be very fruitful.”

As with our past meetings, we felt it was important to balance out the hard work with some fun and offer our guests a chance to socialise after the training sessions. Our evening entertainment included lots of delicious food and activities such as bowling, cheese-tasting, a magic show (courtesy of our wonderfully multi-talented sales rep, Stuart) and a musical performance from a local brass band.

Distributors_Oct18_Group PhotoWe are very grateful to the distributors who took time out of their busy schedules to attend, and for all of their hard work during the week. We hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did and look forward to our next meeting!

Hollins_Oct18_Award_Labtech India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calibrating a Workstation to UKAS standards

UKAS Calibration and Temperature Uniformity in Whitley Workstations

ISO 15189:2012 Medical Laboratories- Requirements for Quality and Competence requires medical laboratories to have documented procedures for the calibration of equipment that directly or indirectly affects examination results. Equipment calibration is also beneficial for laboratories  without specific accreditation. For example in research institutions it demonstrates compliance with internationally recognised quality standards and increases confidence in test results. This principle is particularly applicable to temperature controlled equipment, such as incubators and anaerobic workstations, which may be used during the isolation, enumeration or identification of bacteria.

Benefits

The benefits of temperature calibration, and temperature homogeneity throughout the working volume of an appliance, are well understood for conventional incubators because variability in performance can affect the numbers, sizes and other visual characteristics of bacterial colonies growing on agar plates, as well as bacterial growth rates in liquid culture. Microbiologists are also beginning to appreciate the influence of temperature and other environmental parameters on the growth and viability of anaerobic bacteria.

Fastidious Anaerobes

An increasing number of our customers use anaerobic workstations to grow highly fastidious, poorly characterized anaerobes, which have been identified in complex ecosystems using molecular techniques but, until recently, have not been cultured. For example, there is considerable current interest in the bacterial species which constitute the normal human gut microbiota and the role of these organisms in human health. The growth requirements for many of these species are not yet fully understood. Ensuring temperature stability and homogeneity throughout the working area of an anaerobic chamber provides an additional level of assurance when working with fastidious anaerobes and removes a potential variable when attempting to optimize their growth and study their physiology.

Temperature Mapping

If your laboratory must demonstrate that temperature performance could directly or indirectly affect results, the temperature mapping process provides independent, UKAS-accredited testing and supporting certification. It confirms that the workstation temperature is controlled and displayed within specified tolerances. This process comprises calibration of the workstation temperature sensor and a comprehensive temperature profile of the entire working and incubation area. Data is collected from up to 12 sensors, traceable to national standards, positioned throughout the workstation chamber.

How we achieve a uniform temperature gradient in Whitley Workstations?

This is achieved through careful design of the product, optimising air flow and temperature control to achieve the lowest possible temperature gradient. Don Whitley Scientific has been designing and manufacturing modified atmosphere workstations for over 40 years so have a wealth of experience in this area.

DWS UKAS Service

In order to save you the cost of expensive call outs and project delays, we can often provide essential maintenance, schedule routine servicing and carry out your UKAS calibration/ validation work in the same visit. Whilst onsite, our engineers will not only take the time to explain the calibration procedure and why it is necessary but they will endeavour to provide your certification within 5 working days. This helps to make sure the whole UKAS process is as painless as possible for you and your staff.

Even if your laboratory doesn’t necessarily need UKAS accreditation, the cost is comparable with that of standard calibration. This means that for added peace of mind, UKAS calibration/validation could be a very shrewd investment. And because we can carry out any repairs or servicing at the same time, this can help avoid the cost of additional call outs and reduce down-time in your laboratory.

The technical expertise employed within Don Whitley Scientific for designing and manufacturing our own microbiology equipment provides an ideal background for our UKAS-approved calibration engineers.

Your queries answered – no obligation

If you have any additional questions about UKAS or would like any additional information about the benefits that this service could bring to your laboratory, please contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.

T: 01274 595728  E: sales@dwscientific.co.uk  W: www.dwscientific.co.uk

 

What is UKAS?

UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) is the sole accreditation body recognised by government to assess organisations that provide reliable data and results for a defined set of tests. All assessments are made against internationally recognised standards.

DWS Accreditation

DWS is accredited to BS EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for calibration activities. This means that we have been assessed by UKAS and are able to provide calibration and validation services for heat sterilisation equipment, temperature controlled processes and temperature indicators.

Dan Partridge, iGEM participant

DWS Supports Nottingham iGem Team

Don Whitley Scientific Limited were recently approached by Professor Nigel Minton from the University of Nottingham requesting some sponsorship to enter a global competition. The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to education and competition, the advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of an open, collaborative community. iGEM runs the iGEM Competition – an international team competition made up of predominantly undergraduate students interested in the field of synthetic biology.

We spoke to one of the team – Daniel Partridge (pictured below) – to find out more about the competition and what it means to him personally. Dan is a 3rd year BSc student studying Biotechnology. We asked him:

Can you explain the project you are working on? Our project centres on the Clostridium difficile bacteriophage. With the increase in antibiotic resistance, we need to develop a more precise method to attack the pathogen C. difficile, as this bacterium can cause unpleasant and sometimes serious bowel problems.

Do you play a specific role in the iGEM team? There are 10 students and five supervisors in the team. We started out with specific roles. There are three lab teams: two are trying to reduce toxin production of C.difficile using genetic engineering techniques – RNA interference and CRISPR dCas9 – and the third group is the promoter team (contribution). The non-lab teams look at human/outreach, financing, computing and modelling.

How many teams are in the competition? There are about 400 teams across the world.

What do you think you will get out of the competition personally? I am going into my 3rd year so the opportunities this competition will provide to get into problem solving and thinking-on-the-spot will be invaluable in my future career. With the sheer number of scientists that will be in Boston, it will be a fantastic networking opportunity. I understand that we may also be given the chance to look round the laboratories of some organisations in the area.iGEM team photo

Don Whitley Scientific recognises the importance of initiatives like this that strive to further scientific breakthroughs and we are happy to support the team. We wish Dan and the team the very best of luck in the competition and hope that their project brings home the grand prize. Click here to learn more about SBRC Nottingham.

More About iGEM

iGEMers state that they are building a better world by solving problems with the help of synthetic biology. The iGEM Competition inspires nearly 6,000 students each year to work in teams to address unique challenges in their local communities.

They celebrate team achievements at the annual Giant Jamboree by showcasing projects from participating teams and awarding medals, prizes, and the grand prize, the BioBrick trophies.

Their aim is to inspire responsible innovation through efforts in biosafety, biosecurity and public outreach.

iGEM Community

The iGEM community is made up of international trailblazers from over 45 countries around the world.

In 2017 iGEM launched the After iGEM program. This program supports over 30,000 iGEMers – students and instructors – who have gone through the competition since its inception in 2004. This global network is leading the field, taking what they learned in the competition and expanding it to continue to build a better world.

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Whitley Hypoxystation

The Leukemic Stem Cell Niche: Adaptation to “Hypoxia” Versus Oncogene Addiction

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are responsible for constantly maintaining and replenishing the supply of new blood and immune cells. They give rise to both lymphoid and myeloid progenitor cells, which then proceed to differentiate down their respective paths to form various specialized cells such as erythrocytes, macrophages, B and T cells, to name a few. Within the body, HSCs are found to reside in extremely low oxygen environments called stem cell niches (SCN). Like all other regulated cell cycles, HSCs can lead to cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma if cell division becomes uncontrolled.

MEL (a), Kasumi-1 (b), or NB4 (c) cells were incubated in atmosphere at 0.1% O2 and lysed at the indicated times, and total cell lysates were subjected to immunoblotting with the indicated antibodies. GAPDH, H4, or ARD1 were detected to verify loading equalization. Migration of molecular weight markers is indicated on the left (kDa). For each cell population, one out of three independent experiments with similar outcome is shown.

Figure 2: Suppression of oncogenic proteins driving non-CML blood neoplasias in the course of cell “adaptation to hypoxia.” MEL (a), Kasumi-1 (b), or NB4 (c) cells were incubated in atmosphere at 0.1% O2 and lysed at the indicated times, and total cell lysates were subjected to immunoblotting with the indicated antibodies. GAPDH, H4, or ARD1 were detected to verify loading equalization. Migration of molecular weight markers is indicated on the left (kDa). For each cell population, one out of three independent experiments with similar outcome is shown.

In this paper, Cheloni et al. primarily focused on chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

The authors hypothesized that suppression of the BCR-Abl oncogene is likely a key positive regulator of LSC survival within “hypoxic” SCNs. To analyse the various mechanisms and responses that CML cells demonstrate within SCNs, the authors studied correlations between varied oxygen and glucose concentrations with the amount of BCR-Abl produced. All tests were performed using two human CML cell lines, K562 and KCL22. Testing conditions were precisely controlled to mimic the SCN environment as close as possible. Using a Hypoxystation supplied by Don Whitely Scientific, a water-saturated atmosphere comprising of 0.1% O2, 94.9% N2 and 5% CO2 was generated and maintained.

The research conducted and documented by Cheloni et al. has provided great insight into several key regulatory mechanisms associated with leukemic stem cells as well as an explanation for their notorious reputation for having high relapse rates. Additionally, they established that the triggering of oncogene suppression associated with CML is due to severe energy restriction rather than simply the “adaptation to hypoxia.”

The Don Whitley Scientific Hypoxystation provides the user incredible flexibility as it can control oxygen down to 0.1% while providing a temperature and humidity controlled environment with ample working space. The extreme precision provided by the Hypoxystation was critical to the collection of accurate and reliable data when recreating the demanding environment that comprises SCNs. The atmosphere is constantly monitored and adjusted by the real-time feedback system to ensure accuracy and ISO class 3 clean room HEPA filtration is also available for long term cell culture applications.

Choose your atmosphere with the Hypoxystation hypoxia chamber. Accurately control O2, CO2, Temperature and Humidity.   

Hypoxystation is the only hypoxic chamber purpose built for physiological cell culture research. Specifically designed to create normoxic, hypoxic and anoxic conditions within a controlled and sustained workstation environment, this hypoxic incubator is ideal for research requiring the ability to accurately control O2, CO2, temperature and humidity. The Whitley Internal HEPA Filtration System provides a particle-free internal environment that exceeds ISO 14644 class 3 clean atmosphere.  With such accurate control and the ability to manipulate cells in situ without altering the incubation environment, research into cell biology can be performed over a comprehensive range of oxygen tensions with precision. Don Whitley Scientific offer the following range of Hypoxystations:

                                                                                   

Hypoxystation H35

Hypoxystation H45

Hypoxystation H85

Hypoxystation H135

i2 Instrument Workstation

Application possibilities for Hypoxystation are endless; it is being used for research into tumour microenvironment, hypoxia pathways and HIF signalling, in vitro modelling of in situ environments, cancer cell metastasis, angiogenesis, and many other fields where cells may benefit from a more physiological atmosphere.

 

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Supporting the Scientific Community

As well as manufacturing and supplying equipment for microbiology and cell culture applications worldwide, Don Whitley Scientific also makes an extensive effort to support the scientific community. For several years we have supported science through various means, these are listed below.

 

 

 

Workstation Poster Grant

If you have used a Whitley Workstation or Hypoxystation in your work and have mentioned it in your poster or published paper, let us know and you could be entitled to a grant of £250. All we ask in return is a copy of your poster/paper so we can use it on our website to help promote the range to others. Payment will be made in good faith after receipt and approval of the draft poster/paper to enable you to travel to the event to present it.

To apply for this grant, please send a copy of your draft poster or paper along with your contact details to steve_robertson@dwscientific.co.uk. If you are presenting a poster at an event, don’t forget to let us know the title of the event and the date you will be making your presentation.

 

Read more

Picture of Helen Inns in The Mould That Changed the World

The Mould That Changed the World

Don Whitley Scientific has some very talented customers, not least Leeds Biomedical Scientist, Helen Inns. Helen is usually to be found at the WASPLab, working with bacteria including MRSA and Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae. This month, instead of just looking for “Superbugs”, she’s making a song and dance about them – at the Edinburgh Fringe in a show called The Mould That Changed The World.

Helen is part of a chorus of healthcare professionals performing in the world premiere of a brand-new musical, called The Mould That Changed the World. The show is a fun educational production which tells the story of Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, the development of antibiotics, and the looming crisis of antimicrobial resistance which now threatens healthcare as we know it.

Banner ad for The Mould that Changed the World

The Mould That Changed the World is receiving rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe, where it’s showing daily until 25th August.

After that, a free resource pack will be available, so primary schools can put on their own production and empower children to learn about and spread the message of antimicrobial stewardship.

Follow on Facebook and Twitter:  https://www.facebook.com/mouldchangedtheworld/

https://twitter.com/ThatMould

Find out more, or sign up for the schools production, at www.mouldthatchangedtheworld.com

 

 

Whitley A95 Workstation for Jin Sung on final test

End of an Era for Don Whitley Scientific

Production comes to a close in Shipley

The last Whitley Workstation to be manufactured by Don Whitley Scientific in Shipley has now rolled off the production line. This particular order was an A95 Anaerobic Workstation ordered by Jin Sung Unitech, Republic of Korea.

JS Unitech LogoAccording to Junghoon Hong of Jin Sung, “We had no idea that in placing this order, we would be commissioning the last ever workstation to be built at Don Whitley Scientific in Shipley. We have been distributing Whitley Workstations for 19 years and are very proud to have ordered the last one from the Shipley production line.”

Paul Walton added, “I am extremely happy that we are moving to bigger and better premises that will provide the opportunity to improve our production processes. Victoria Works will provide considerably more warehousing capacity plus new offices, a bespoke production area, service centre, R&D mezzanine and improved staff facilities including a large, fully fitted, air-conditioned canteen. There will also be a new product showroom where customers can view demonstrations of the latest anaerobic and hypoxic workstation technology.

“An element of nostalgia is, however, creeping in as we draw close to the move date. We have been manufacturing in  Shipley for over 40 years and I have seen many changes in those four decades. We will, however, focus on the positives and move the business forward to face the challenges of the next 40 years!”

When Don Whitley Scientific began making workstations, it was purely for the UK market. We now have over 4,000 workstations in over 50 countries.

It might be the end of one era but another, exciting one begins at our new premises in Bingley.

Clostridium difficile studies can be done in a Whitley Workstation

An exciting opportunity to join our sales team

Anyone interested in an exciting opportunity to move into sales?

Don Whitley Scientific now has a vacancy for a Technical Sales Representative.

The Role

As a Technical Sales Representative you will promote an exciting range of laboratory equipment and service contracts. Brands include Whitley Anaerobic, Hypoxic and Microaerobic Workstations, Whitley Automated Spiral Plater plus products such as the automated specimen processor WASPLab, media/sample preparation equipment and other niche laboratory equipment.

This role will provide an opportunity for the successful candidate to further develop an established customer base and build a long-term, lucrative career in the UK as well as the possibility of overseas travel.

Candidates with no previous sales experience will be considered as training will be provided. A high level of support will also be available from senior colleagues.

 

Core responsibilities include:

  • Maximising sales potential and business growth by establishing relationships and collaborations with customers.
  • Working closely with marketing to ensure relevant promotions are delivered to customers and that feedback from customers is relayed back to inform future planning.

Essential Requirements:

  • Highly motivated and ambitious.
  • Hands-on approach and comfortable with daily travel.
  • Articulate, confident communicator able to engage with people at all levels, including technical managers and procurement/finance personnel.
  • Independent and decisive, using creative thought and sound logic to identify, prioritise and maximise opportunities.
  • Based in the north of England to serve a territory that extends into Scotland.

Our sales team comprises of successful people with and without a science background, so experience in a scientific discipline is not a prerequisite.

 

Remuneration

Package includes:

  • Basic salary dependent upon experience
  • Attractive bonus scheme
  • Company car

How to apply

Please email Steve Robertson, Sales Director on steve_robertson@dwscientific.co.uk attaching a current CV.

STRICTLY NO AGENCIES