Media Release - 4/9/2014

The price of everything

Thursday, 04 September 2014

Anyone who runs a farm, business or household is only too aware of the high costs of materials and consumables, and it’s no different in the laboratory. After wages the cost of reagents and consumables is by far our greatest expense.

All research laboratories will highlight the acquisition of an important new piece of expensive high tech equipment needed to expand and enhance the research effort and rightly so , but it’s often the more prosaic reagents needed to feed the machines were the real day to day expenses are incurred.

If you buy new printer cartridges you will know exactly what I mean.

Almost all of the work done at FECRI relies on the use of dye labelled monoclonal antibodies, enzymes and cytokines which are eye wateringly expensive. For example a typical antibody with an attached florescent dye can cost anything from 250-600 dollars for 100 micrograms or 0.0001 grams, far more than its weight in diamonds.

However, a little goes long way and at FECRI as in most other research labs its common practise to test and dilute out reagents so reliable results are achieved using the absolute minimum amount of reagent, often at concentrations far below the manufactures recommendation.

It is only through your sustained and generous support that we are we able to keep buying these increasingly sophisticated and expensive tools which are essential for modern research.