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


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Did You Know DWS Distributes Tuttnauer Autoclaves?

Tuttnauer autoclaves have been specifically designed for laboratories in the microbiology, pharmaceutical, food and chemical industries. They have also been designed to provide high quality, repeatable performance and documentation for laboratory applications and quality assurance processes.

Don Whitley Scientific is proud to distribute these machines in the UK, offering both vertical and benchtop models. The vertical range caters for volumes between 31-160 litres and the benchtop range between 28-160 litres.

As the name implies, benchtop autoclaves are designed to fit neatly onto the laboratory workbench, whilst vertical autoclaves are larger, freestanding devices that come complete with castors for ease of movement.

A range of options are available to tailor your autoclave to your specific needs, including fast cooling (up to 75%), super-fast cooling (up to 90%), efficient air and moisture removal, efficient heating, complete drying and a biohazard and waste system.

Optional fully comprehensive maintenance and service contracts are available to prolong the life of your investment and reduce downtime, and optional calibration and UKAS validation is also available.

For more information, please refer to the brochures on our website, or if you would like to speak to a Product Specialist to discuss your requirements please contact us here.

vertical autoclave

Tuttnauer vertical autoclaves

benchtop autoclave

Tuttnauer benchtop autoclaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clostridium difficile studies can be done in a Whitley Workstation

Anaerobic Workstations; Why Bigger is Better!

Anaerobic workstations offer precise and reliable atmospheric control, more stringent anaerobic conditions and consistently low running costs. One of their greatest advantages is that culture plates can be inspected at any time without disturbing the incubation conditions. In clinical laboratories, this has been proven to increase the isolation rate of anaerobic pathogens and also provide the earliest possible indication of their presence in a patient’s sample.

Don Whitley Scientific has excelled in meeting the needs of microbiologists for over 40 years, and as our customers’ needs have evolved, so too have our products. The unique Whitley Internal HEPA Filtration System is an extremely attractive feature, particularly when used in conjunction with research applications as it ensures that all of the atmosphere inside the workstation is passed through the filter hundreds of times an hour.

Over the past few years, an increased demand for using microscopes and other instruments such as the Workstation WASP Touch under anaerobic conditions resulted in the introduction of the A135 HEPA (pictured below); currently our tallest, widest, deepest workstation with a huge internal volume of 560L. The A135 is fitted with a removable front to facilitate thorough cleaning, easy replacement of the HEPA filter, and the transfer of bulk samples and larger pieces of equipment for use in the workstation. Other features include a built-in rapid airlock, integrated gas control and automatic commissioning cycle. To read the full specification and see the extensive list of factory-fitted options, please click here.

KU Leuven in Belgium were one of the first customers to purchase an A135 HEPA, and we asked them to describe the work they are doing and how this workstation has benefited their research:

A135 HEPA

“One of the key research activities in the Raes lab involves the isolation and culturing of gut anaerobes to study their metabolic and genomic properties and, ultimately, to unlock their biotherapeutic potential in human health and disease. In order to scale up these isolation efforts, we aim to move beyond conventional approaches based on agar plating and explore the application potential of novel, miniaturized, and high-throughput technologies. For testing a recently developed millifluidics-based single-cell sorting device, we soon realized that the operational space in our current DWS A35 HEPA anaerobic workstation would be insufficient. Therefore, we brought together product specialists from millifluidics and DWS to constructively discuss technical details on required dimensions, operator access, power supply, connection to an external PC, possible interference of the workstation’s pressure and the device’s heat output as well as safety aspects. This guided us towards the purchase of the DWS A135 HEPA, which is probably one of the best options currently on the market for the anaerobic integration of medium-sized pressure-controlled devices while still offering sufficient operator space and incubation volume.”

– Geert Huys, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Rega Institute, KU Leuven & VIB Center for Microbiology, Leuven, Belgium

For one of our UK customers, however, 560L was still not big enough. They approached us in early 2018 and asked if we could build something even bigger! Always keen to rise to a challenge… Don Whitley Scientific is pleased to announce that in early 2019 we will release the first A155 HEPA Anaerobic Workstation. This exciting new product will offer all the same advantages as the A135, but with the added benefit of over 1000L of capacity. More information on the A155 will be made available in due course.

If you would like to speak to one of our sales team about our range of anaerobic workstations, or to arrange a demonstration, please contact us here.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Charity Fundraising Update for 2018 & 2019

Yorkshire Air AmbulanceEvery year Don Whitley Scientific chooses a local charity to support, and in 2018 we put our efforts to raising money for The Yorkshire Air Ambulance. With the help of a variety of raffles and bake sales held throughout the year, we are delighted to announce that we have raised £1,200 for this wonderful organisation and a cheque is now on its way.

For 2019, we have decided to support the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Charitable Foundation, in memory of our friend and colleague, Steve Whitley, who tragically and very unexpectedly passed away at the end of 2018 whilst being treated at Leeds General Infirmary.

The son of our chairman, Don Whitley, Steve was the mastermind behind the renovation of our new facility in Bingley, and his efforts over the past few years to create a truly state-of-the-art facility for us leaves behind a legacy which will benefit the company for many, many years to come. We miss him greatly, and hope that the money we raise in his name this coming year will assist The Leeds Teaching Hospitals in continuing to provide high quality patient care, and research in all fields of medicine.

Whitley Workstation stress toy in Notre Dame

2019 Photo Competition Announced

Would you like to win a £100 Amazon Voucher? Then you need to take part in the Don Whitley Scientific 2019 photo competition! You may have seen, or may already be the proud owner of one of our anaerobic/hypoxic workstation stress toys which we give out at exhibitions – to be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is take a picture of your mini workstation in an impressive location (e.g. Notre Dame!) and send it to us.

There will be a Summer prize awarded on June 3rd 2019, and a second chance to win the Winter prize which will be awarded on 2nd December 2019. In addition to each receiving a £100 Amazon voucher, the two winners will also have the unparalleled honour of seeing their winning photos framed and displayed on our reception wall for all to see.

Pick up your mini workstation from a Don Whitley Scientific exhibition stand, or ask your Sales Representative to bring one in on their next visit. Get creative, and get started!

Upload your photo to Twitter, follow and tag us @dw_scientific or email it to us at sales@dwscientific.co.uk and tell us your name, where you work, and where the photo was taken.

 

Please ensure that all images submitted are decent, respectful, obtained legally, do not infringe copyright and do not result in any damage to a structure or object. DWS staff are not permitted to enter this competition. Maximum 3 entries per person, per competition. 

Whitley i2 Instrument Workstation in use

Whitley Workstations Used in Novel Research Approach to Neurodegenerative Disorders

Efficient energy production is primarily driven by oxygen and is crucial in the brain, which consumes 20% of the body’s total energy whilst weighing only 2% of the total body weight. Loss of oxygen in the brain (hypoxia) can result in brain damage, which can contribute to dementia including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and can influence amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, commonly known as motor neuron disease) disease mechanisms. Those mechanisms are often poorly understood, however, the cellular consequence of hypoxia including disruptions to energy supply are often observed in the brains of patients with these neurodegenerative disorders. The ability to model a hypoxic environment and study the effects on AD and ALS in the laboratory has historically been limited by the lack of available technology.

The SITraN laboratory takes the gold standard approach for measuring the effect of hypoxia on energy generating pathways in cells by using an XF metabolic bioanalyser (which measures energy generation in a non-invasive manner in cells, Seahorse Bioscience/Agilent), housed within an i2 Instrument Workstation and H35 HEPA Hypoxystation. The i2 chamber has been designed specifically to house and run metabolic flux assays using the XF bioanalyser in a hypoxic environment. The H35 section of the chamber is HEPA filtered and gas, temperature and humidity controlled allowing us to perform cell manipulation on our ALS and AD cell models.

Using this novel combination of technologies – SITraN aims to measure how hypoxia affects the energy generating pathways in brain cells. Their novel approach will allow the identification of the pathways involved in the cell response to hypoxia, which lead to energy disruption in patients with AD and ALS and will allow therapeutic hypoxic markers of disease to be identified for future clinical studies.

Article provided by Dr Scott Allen, Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), University of Sheffield. 

Dr Allen will be presenting at the ALS/MND Symposium in Glasgow held from 7-9 December 2018.

Clinell Manufacturers Choose A35 Workstation

We recently installed an A35 Anaerobic Workstation at GAMA Healthcare’s new state of the art
facility in Halifax, West Yorkshire. The company are best known for manufacturing Clinell
disinfectant wipes; one of the largest wet wipe suppliers to the NHS in the UK, and also exported to
over 50 countries worldwide.

Along with a growing number of our Anaerobic Workstation users, GAMA Healthcare is seeking to
cultivate Clostridium difficile – a harmful bacterium which infects the bowel and causes diarrhoea.
Growing these bacteria will allow the team to test the efficiency of the cleaning regime offered by
the Clinell wipes.

Pictured below with their new A35 are Mark Hallinan, Natalie Maguire and Evelina Cesnauskyte.

GAMA Healthcare Install photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nottingham iGEM Team Win Gold Medal!

Words and pictures provided by the University of Nottingham:

iGEM Team

The University of Nottingham’s 2018 iGEM team have been awarded a prestigious Gold Medal and were nominated for ‘Best New Composite Part’ at the recent International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition in Boston, USA.

It is the first team from Nottingham to win a Gold Medal, which was awarded at the iGEM Jamboree event in Boston on Sunday 28th of October 2018.

iGEM

The iGEM competition began in January 2003 and currently attracts over 400 teams, from more than 45 countries and annually exceeds 5000 global undergraduate and post-graduate student participants. Teams use the principles of synthetic biology, the “Engineering of Biology”, to design biological parts, devices or systems to address a real-world problem or to perform a novel, previously unseen function. The best ‘parts’ of every project are then submitted in the form of a ‘BioBrick’ to the iGEM BioBrick registry for use by others.

University of Nottingham's iGEM team

University of Nottingham’s iGEM team

The Team

Nottingham’s team was composed of ten undergraduate students drawn from the Schools of Life Sciences, Biosciences, Computer Science, Mathematics and Social Sciences. For the duration of their project they were embedded within BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) at Nottingham, under the overall guidance of Nigel P Minton and Philippe Soucaille and under the close supervision of a dedicated multidisciplinary team comprising Louise Dynes, Daphne Groothuis, Dr Christopher Humphreys, Dr Carmen McLeod, Dr Michaella Whittle and Dr Craig Woods.

Clostridium dTox

The team’s innovative synthetic biology project, Clostridium dTox; it’s not so difficile, aimed to develop a novel therapy for the treatment of disease caused by the superbug Clostridium difficile, colloquially known as C Diff.

C Diff infection is the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea in the Western World and is a big problem in hospitals and healthcare-facilities. The disease symptoms are caused by the release of two major toxins, TcdA and TcdB by the bacterium. Under normal circumstances, a healthy gut microbiota prevents the proliferation of C Diff. However, when these good bacteria are obliterated by the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, C. difficile proliferates and causes disease. One way to counter the expansion in numbers of toxin producing C Diff is to use competing strains that are not producing toxin as a probiotic.

The project’s aim was to engineer a C. difficile bacteriophage to produce factors that would suppress toxin production. The strategy adopted was to repress expression of both toxin genes (tcdA and tcdB) by targeting their mRNA using either antisense RNA (asRNA) or CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) technology (dCas9). The ultimate goal is a C. difficile-specific bacteriophage therapeutic which ablates toxin production in those cells that are infected with phage, converting them into health promoting probiotics. Unlike antibiotics, phage cause no collateral damage to the native gut microbiome.

The team was also nominated for ‘Best New Composite Part’. A composite part is a functional unit of DNA consisting of two or more basic parts assembled together. These must include all characterisation information and be added to the Registry.

Human Practices and Public Engagement

The team devised a number of activities that explored how Clostridium dTox could impact society. This included mining and carrying out a sentiment analysis of data from hundreds of social media comments on an online phage therapy video and exploring the current legislation surrounding phage therapy. They also researched what makes C. difficile such an important issue to society and how their project can help make a positive impact on communities by working towards the development of a novel therapy for its treatment. Finally they held a discussion group with non-scientists, and interviewed five leading scientific experts in the field, including the UK Public Health England lead on C. difficile infection, to understand how the team could make their project as effective as possible.

Public engagement was an important focus for the team, which developed hands-on workshops to communicate the project in local schools, libraries and to staff and students at the University. The team members have also been busy promoting their project via a range of social media platforms as well as by publishing articles in a local newspaper and in the University of Nottingham’s Impact Magazine.

Gold Medal

All of these aspects enabled the team to produce a project of high enough quality to win a Gold Medal at the Giant Jamboree, recognising the fulfilment of all the competition criteria. The Gold winning team members were; Lucy Allen, Hassan Al-ubeidi, Ruth Bentley, Sofya Berestova, Eun Cho, Lukas Hoen, Daniel Partridge, Varun Lobo, Fatima Taha and Nemira Zilinskaite.

“This was a tremendous achievement considering the short time that the team had to design, build and test the parts needed for the innovative project they devised. We broke new ground for iGEM by engineering a strict anaerobic bacterium, rather than the more traditional chassis other teams focus on. This was made possible by the extensive skills and expertise available through the involvement of SBRC researchers who gave so much of their free time to supervise the team”. – Nigel P Minton, SBRC Director, Nottingham

“Doing iGEM has given me a holistic understanding of the synthetic biology process. Coming from a Computer Science background, I had no knowledge of the science prior to iGEM, but working alongside talented team-mates meant that I left with a much better understanding of our project. I feel that my communication skills have improved since starting iGEM, as it has allowed me to interact with students and experts from many disciplines”. – Hassan Al-ubeidi, UG Computer Science.

“iGEM was an exciting challenge. As the sole modeller for our team, I improved my ability to work independently to research and solve problems. I learnt how to communicate my work in a way such that those with less technical knowledge can understand. Attending the Jamboree and seeing other projects made me appreciate the power of synthetic biology to build a better world”. – Ruth Bentley, UG Mathematics.

What the Judges Said

“Great project, great wiki!! You just light up so many questions in my mind and actually this is the key of synthetic biology! Thank you so much for your effort and all hard work!”

“Super interesting idea to use temperate phages for this! …. You are clear on your achievements and reasoning throughout, which is super refreshing. Great effort!”

“Really terrific modelling efforts! I really liked how thoroughly your work was documented on your wiki; everything was very clear.”

“Overall the project idea was very innovative, and you have great characterization on your parts. Good job!”

“Very impressive! It is very inspiring that your project used phage therapy, RNA interference and the extended application of CRISPR/Cas technology.”

“Amazing job, I hope that you continue this project.”

Sponsors

Nottingham’s iGEM team was generously supported by the University of Nottingham’s Research Priority Area in Industrial Biotechnology, through grant funding from the Wellcome Trust, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) via the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre, by generous cash donations from Don Whitley Scientific Ltd, LanzaTech and Seres Therapeutics and through in-kind support from Qiagen, Millipore Sigma, Promega, Eppendorf, New England Biolabs, LabFolder and Snapgene.

Collaborators

The team also wishes to acknowledge support provided by the following collaborators: Team Biomarvel Korea and the teams from Imperial College London and the University of Warwick.

sponsors for Nottingham iGEM

Range of Large Hypoxic Workstations to Accommodate Laboratory Instruments

Abrupt changes in temperature and oxygen levels can significantly alter the many oxygen-sensitive signalling pathways that sense and react to the cellular micro-environment. Don Whitley Scientific have developed a range of hypoxic workstations large enough to accommodate many instruments which would previously have been confined to the bench; minimising the need to transfer cells between bench and workstation which would result in exposing them to raised levels of oxygen.

The H135 HEPA Hypoxystation and i2 Instrument Workstation have larger footprints and optional shelving to provide ample space for both instrumentation and culturing. The removable front facilitates transfer of equipment in and out of the workstations. Precise control of temperature, oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity mimic the physiological environment, ensuring true in vivo cell behaviour.

Working with manufacturers of diverse laboratory instruments, Don Whitley Scientific have validated a number of options for analysis and imaging of cells:

Whitley H135 HEPA Hypoxystation

* Incucyte® live-cell analysis: the Incucyte ZOOM comfortably fits inside the H135, enabling real-time quantitative study of growing cells inside the hypoxic incubator environment

* Microscopes: a range of microscopes can be placed inside the controlled workstation environment, allowing users to image cells during incubation

* Seahorse XFe Analyzer: a modified version of the H135, the i2 Instrument Workstation, has been customised to accommodate the specific requirements of the XF Analyzer for metabolism assays.

We are happy to discuss your unique sizing and environmental needs; please contact us today to discuss any custom requirements.

What our users are saying:

“Due to the utility of having the Incucyte S3 live imaging system inside our H135 Workstation, we have expanded our collaboration portfolio exponentially. We have performed cancer biology, immunology, neuro and vascular physiology, and many other types of experiments in our system under controlled atmospheric conditions. The large volume of the H135 is key to having enough room for both the imager and sufficient workspace to carry out experiments.”

– Dr Adam Case, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Cellular and Integrative Physiology,
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE.

 

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 4 remaining spaces 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.

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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