How to get optimal use from your non-contact infrared (IR) thermometer

Posted by Karen Danko & Cindy Gisler on 10 June, 2020


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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

What’s The Fuss About Humidity?

Posted by Mike Blazes on 29 September, 2017

In order to understand why monitoring humidity is important, you need to understand what humidity is. Humidity is the amount of water vapor present in the air referred to as absolute humidity. Water vapor is the gaseous state of water and is invisible to the human eye. Relative humidity is how saturated a space or a gas is with water vapor. It is the most commonly used measure of humidity and is generally expressed as a percentage with the symbol “%rh.” 

When people say the humidity bothers them more than the heat, they are referring to the fact that when there is a lot of water in the air, it feels thicker and hotter and less comfortable. Relative humidity is affected by the dew point temperature which is basically a measure of how much moisture is in the air. You have probably heard meteorologist talking about the dew point in weather forecasts.

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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

Humidity Monitoring Buyer's Guide

Posted by Sarah Sameei on 21 August, 2017

Have you ever wondered why your hair becomes frizzier and curlier in humid weather? The answer to the question above is humidity. Apparently, chemical makeup of human hair is very sensitive to ambient hydrogen. So sensitive, in fact, some gadgets used to measure humidity -- called hygrometers -- rely on hair for their readings. 

So why does humidity make hair frizzy? When hydrogen bonds form between the proteins and water molecules in your hair, it will become curly and frizzy.

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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

5 Steps to Protect Liquid Nitrogen Dewar Contents

Posted by Mike Blazes on 05 July, 2017

 For the long-term storage of sensitive biologicals, the liquid nitrogen dewar is a system that provides the optimal environment of a stable, low-temperature necessary to maintain the life of delicate cells. The dewar is a non-pressurized vessel that is specifically designed and made of materials that have the ability to withstand the extreme temperatures associated with liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is odorless, colorless, tasteless, and nonirritating; therefore, it has no warning properties and must be carefully handled. With a boiling point at a low temperature of -196˚C, liquid nitrogen is considered a cryogenic liquid and can be used to store organisms with limited life spans.

 With cryopreservation being possible due to liquid nitrogen, medical procedures and research can be further advanced with biologicals like stem cells, tissues, and other samples being kept alive forever in liquid nitrogen dewars.

Here are five steps to protect your liquid nitrogen dewar and its contents:

  1. Use a reliable temperature monitoring system. In order to stop any biochemical reactions that could result in cellular degradation, most sensitive biologicals should be maintained at very low temperatures within the dewar. Lower storage temperatures such as -196˚C enable organisms with limited life spans to remain alive forever. The most effective method to guarantee the safety and consistently low temperature of the dewar’s contents is to implement a dependable liquid nitrogen temperature monitoring system.
  2. Always Keep the dewar upright. The dewar should remain in an  upright position at all times to ensure safe storage. Tipping the dewar over or laying it on its side could result in spillage of liquid nitrogen. Damage to the dewar or to any materials stored within could occur as well.
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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

LN2 Dewars: Covering Your Cryo-needs

Posted by Mike Blazes on 27 June, 2017

Dewars and Cryopreservation

Liquid nitrogen is a unique substance that can be both harmful and helpful to mankind. As a liquid that exists at a very low temperature of -196˚C, liquid nitrogen has the ability to freeze human flesh rapidly. Despite the dangers of frostbite, over-pressurization, and asphyxiation, liquid nitrogen can be used for various other needs such as medical procedures, food preparation, and cryogenics. Liquid nitrogen can be stored in a dewar, a non-pressurized vacuum container that can maintain a consistent temperature allowing the nitrogen to remain in liquid form. Dewars range in capacities from 3 to 300 liters.

When liquid nitrogen is placed within a suitable dewar, the process of cryopreservation is possible. Cryopreservation allows for the preservation of biological constructs at very low temperatures used to form cryogenic liquids. At such low temperatures, any chemical activity that might cause damage to delicate biologicals is halted. Reaching low temperatures without the formation of ice halts any additional damage to the living organism, allowing the organism to live forever and be used as needed.

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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

The Importance of Properly Storing and Handling Vaccines

Posted by Sarah Sameei on 07 June, 2017

Measles. Mumps. Smallpox. Polio. Diphtheria. Tetanus. Yellow Fever. Influenza. Hepatitis.

Imagine a world where all children of the present day commonly suffered from these diseases. The vast majority of them would be blind, deaf, or unable to live independent lives due to various disabilities resulting from these and other diseases. Great care would have to be taken in this hypothetical world to not get sick. And still that probably would not be enough to prevent illness.

The world would look vastly different.

Thankfully, these eliminated diseases are no longer a major concern in an ever-increasing share of our present world thanks to one of the most important inventions of all time: the vaccine.

People rely on vaccines to ensure that they will not have to endure many diseases or resulting disabilities in their lifetime. A bothersome scenario is a population that thinks it is receiving immunization, but is left further vulnerable to diseases. This is what happens when a population thinks it is being safe and a vaccine, that could have been either improperly stored or mishandled, is no longer effective.

Properly Storing Vaccines
Technology has had a huge impact on the effectiveness of vaccines. Thermometers have especially undergone the shift from consumer technology, simple digital home devices, to healthcare technology, information technologies used to enhance and optimize processes and improve care.

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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

Checks and Balances of Measurement and Monitoring in a Modern Lab

Posted by Mike Blazes on 04 May, 2017


Something I learned early on in my career was in order to create a lasting and important impact, you need to validate it. Whatever it may be in your life— personal with family or friends or in your profession with your work— if it is really important to you, test it, try it and make it happen. For me, this is an idea I carry with me every day that I am in the lab because my mission is to impact science and research for the better of society, for people, for you and for me. And so, I approach each challenge, each issue with tenacity and optimism. To quote William Hickson, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” 

In his annual letter for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates emphasized the importance of measurement and monitoring.  He said, “Given a goal, you decide on what key variable you need to change to achieve it. [You use the measurement as feedback to make adjustments.] He went on to say that he believes a lot of efforts fail “because they don't focus on the right measure or they don't invest enough in doing it accurately.”

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Topics: Measuring and Monitoring

Technology evolving in Measuring and Monitoring Devices 

Are you embracing technology to avoid mistakes in measuring and monitoring?

  • Is measure and monitoring boring?
  • Is your data accurate?
  • Is your process laborious?

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