This article appeared first in BioNews, Eppendorf’s customer magazine since 1993.
Particularly in the area of cell culture, the required knowledge, along with practical skills, is frequently imparted by more experienced colleagues to those just starting out. This important method of knowledge transfer has a long history and is used to quickly train new aspiring scientists in the laboratory. After all, experimental data should be generated, and new methods established, without delay, and as independently as possible. After a while, the lab will fall into a routine, which often brings with it a certain level of complacency when it comes to cell handling. Very soon, data generation takes absolute priority, and the interpretation of experimental results becomes the centerpiece of the work.
“We’ve always done it this way”
In contrast, the improvement of techniques, in particular those geared towards contamination prevention or the perfection of data reproducibility, are increasingly put on the back burner. Very quickly, when training a novice in the laboratory, one may hear oneself say: “We’ve always done it this way.” Publications from recent years, however, bring home the fact that urgent action needs to be taken, specifically with respect to the unsatisfactory reproducibility of data. It will help us to pause for a moment and question supposedly well-established routines in order to correct and improve processes. It is exactly here that the formats introduced in this article come into play – for cell culture beginners and experts alike.
Training webinars with live Q&A session
Eppendorf regularly holds training and troubleshooting webinars – live with participants from all over the world. Webinars with a cell culture focus include topics such as contamination prevention, enhancement of the reproducibility of cell-based assays (in collaboration with Promega), or the correct use of different pipetting techniques and instruments.
The webinars include anonymous participant surveys on specific topics. The results of these surveys allow the participants to take a good look at the position of their own laboratory. At the end of each webinar, our cell culture experts are available live to answer questions. Our monthly newsletter “Inside Cell Culture” (see box on the right) will keep you updated on all cell culture events.