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Archive for October, 2016

Hypoxystation In The Lab – Sequestration In Speckles

The HIF (hypoxia-inducible factor) family of oxygen-sensing proteins are a crucial element of cells’ responses to alterations in their immediate environment, kicking off a signaling cascade involving more than 1000 genes. Hypoxystation users Taylor and See at the University of Liverpool describe novel insights into the subcellular localization of some of the HIF proteins and why the “where” determines the “how”.

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HIF-2α and HIF-1α both form heterodimers with HIF-1β, and while similarities abound between the isoforms, the two subunits are differentially expressed and regulated and have distinctly separate target genes. Taylor and See triggered HIF activation using microscope stage incubators and the Hypoxystation by Don Whitley Scientific to incubate HeLa cells in hypoxia (1%). They found that while HIF-1α distributes homogenously in the nucleus, HIF-2α diffuses freely through the nucleus but is concentrated in speckles that are tethered to nuclear structures close to active RNA polymerases. This distribution is not significantly altered by low oxygen levels.

The Hypoxystation provides physiologically relevant, in vivo conditions for cell culture and manipulation to ensure authentic behavior of cells. User-defined parameters for temperature, CO2, O2 and humidity, plus the workstation format, where cells reside throughout the entire duration of the assays, minimize the extra-physiologic shock that is known to negatively impact metabolism and growth. As the degree and duration of hypoxia are among the factors controlling HIF activity, the customizable oxygen atmosphere inside the Hypoxystation can contribute to deciphering the functionality of oxygen-sensitive signaling pathways.

Win an iPad Air by reviewing a Don Whitley Scientific product with SelectScience

SelectScience are giving the chance of winning an iPad Air® or Amazon Vouchers (worth £250) to anyone who writes a review for a product on their website. Why not review your Don Whitley Scientific product and give yourself a chance in this fantastic competition?

As well as product reviews on the Don Whitley Scientific SelectScience page, you can view our testimonials and product videos. These offer an interesting insight into our customers’ work and how our products are used in the laboratory. There is also a section for the press releases that have accompanied our product launches in the last few years.

By submitting a product review on SelectScience, which describes itself as “the leading impartial website for laboratory products and techniques”, you will be able to share your unique knowledge and experience, and be entered into the SelectScience prize draw to win                                                                              an iPad Air® or £250 in vouchers.

The competition closes on 30th November, with the winner announced on 1st December.


Paper highlights advantages of automated digital colony counters

A paper has been published that investigates the difference between manually counting bacterial colonies and using automated digital colony counters. The automated digital colony counter used in the study was the ProtoCOL3, manufactured by Synoptics and available in the UK from Don Whitley Scientific. 

ProtoCOL3 is an automated colony counter and zone reading system with a high specification digital camera and LED lighting. The system comes with a touchscreen PC on which to analyse sample counts. This data can then be transferred via USB.

The paper in which the ProtoCOL3 is featured is entitled “Evaluation of heterotrophic plate and chromogenic agar colony counting in water quality laboratories(Elsevier. Hallas G, Morris P. Crossref DOI link: Published: 2015) and was published by Gary Hallas (SA Water Corporation) and Paul Monis (The University of Adelaide). Their abstract can be read below and the full paper can be read here.

The enumeration of bacteria using plate-based counts is a core technique used by food and water microbiology testing laboratories. However, manual counting of bacterial colonies is both time and labour intensive, can vary between operators and also requires manual entry of results into laboratory information management systems, which can be a source of data entry error. An alternative is to use automated digital colony counters, but there is a lack of peer-reviewed validation data to allow incorporation into standards. We compared the performance of digital counting technology (ProtoCOL3) against manual counting using criteria defined in internationally recognized standard methods. Digital colony counting provided a robust, standardized system suitable for adoption in a commercial testing environment. The digital technology has several advantages:

• Improved measurement of uncertainty by using a standard and consistent counting methodology with less operator error.
• Efficiency for labour and time (reduced cost).
• Elimination of manual entry of data onto LIMS.
• Faster result reporting to customers.



This paper acknowledges that digital colony counters like the ProtoCOL3 remove the need for manual counting and manual data entry, which can be laborious and time consuming tasks.

If you would like more information on the ProtoCOL3 visit this page or Contact for further information.




Biomedical Scientist_Clinical Microbiology of Anaerobes Course

Interactive Flip-book Brochures From Don Whitley Scientific

Interactive brochures from Don Whitley Scientific offer a novel way to find out about anaerobic, microaerobic and hypoxic workstations. 

The Anaerobic and Microaerobic Workstations guide features information on Whitley Workstations that are suited to clinical environments, contract laboratories and research institutions. The guide also provides information on the features that make these systems unique, offering in-depth detail on the options available to tailor-make a workstation to a user’s requirements.

The Hypoxia and Cell Culture Workstations brochure provides information on how Whitley Hypoxystations provide the fastest oxygen control on the market. This document introduces the range of workstations that allow researchers to grow and manipulate cells in                                                                                physiologically relevant conditions.