More and more companies are beginning to categorize themselves as being a part of the life sciences industry, including big pharma, biotechs, CROs, and even computer and software companies. Companies that can be included in the life sciences sector include those that sell products, instruments, and services to scientists. The life sciences market includes thousands of products, ranging from advanced instruments to standard laboratory chemicals. In trying to define the branches of industry, particularly such a large and diversified market, it is difficult to define the boundaries of adjacent markets and to define where one product category ends and another begins. The life sciences branches can be defined by the techniques they focus on and the products they manufacture.
Protein Separation Products
To gain a full understanding of the function and regulation of proteins, researchers must separate the proteins and identify and characterize the proteins expressed. One-dimensional or two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and, occasionally, one- or multi-dimensional liquid chromatography have been the predominant techniques for protein separation.
The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) has rapidly evolved to become a powerful technique for silencing gene expression in eukaryotic cells. From an evolutionary point of view, RNAi helps protect cells against viruses and transposable genetic elements, in addition to performing more common cellular tasks essential for development and growth.
Cell Biology Instrumentation (based on flow cytometer and microscope)
By optical means, flow cytometers distinguish cells by size and shape, as well as the presence of many different molecules within and on the surface of cells. Biologists are increasingly using new and more powerful technologies to visualize the inside of living cells. Exciting developments in microscopes and associated dyes, staining protocols and preparation techniques help scientists better understand the structure and function of cells.
Kits and Reagents In Cell Biology
Advances in kits and reagents have allowed cell biology researchers to understand the fundamental processes that cells undergo.
Media and Reagents In Cell Culture
One of the least known of all life sciences branches, cell culture media and reagents includes products used for the cultivation and maintenance of cell lines or strains under laboratory conditions. Without quality pillars such as cell culture, media, and media supplements, the daily functioning of cell life and scientists would be difficult.
Despite innovations in the field of manufacturing biology, a bottleneck in the integration and analysis of data has made personal computers, workstations and minicomputers important equipment in the laboratory. Scientists around the world are acquiring genomic data using techniques such as amplification, microarray expression, genotyping, real-time PCR, RNA interference and sequencing. As scientists gather more and more data from unparalleled sources and instrument platforms, instrumentation and information technology (IT) vendors are challenged to come up with solutions that incorporate these tools.
Plastic Laboratory Equipment
Plasticware is one of the most important of life science branches and incredibly essential to any life science laboratory. Plastics combine lightness, strength, flexibility, safety, and convenience, which has supplanted glass in most laboratory applications, including the study of tissue and cell culture.