What is Life Science Technology?
Just what is life science technology? To be able to answer that question, we must first understand what life science is. Life science is essentially the study of all living things. This involves a vast range of different scientific disciplines, since that can include any field involving the study of plants or animals. Biology and medicine, however, are the most important fields within the life sciences. For our purposes, then, life science technology refers to the equipment and innovations invented for use in these fields. Two extremely important examples are the technology used for cell based assays and for signal transduction.
Cell based assays
An assay is a procedure for testing out a drug or biochemical on an organism or organic sample. Cell based assays, then, are packages of cells for testing, meant to aid in research for a variety of different purposes, including cancer, immunology, and stem cells. Doctors and researchers can purchase many different types of cell based assays for their examination, such as various tumor research kits:
- Tumor cell isolation kit: This useful tool facilitates the formation of cell colonies from tumors. The normal and cancerous cells can then be separated for more accurate research. A large proportion of solid tumors contain populations of both cancerous cells and normal cells. Because the assessment of the differences between normal and cancerous cells depends on their proper separation, this assay kit is vital for research.
- Tumor sensitivity assay: This assay kit is used for examining the effects of anticancer compounds. Traditionally, the process of cell proliferation would take anywhere from three to six weeks. Now, however, new tumor sensitivity assays have been developed that cut the process down to 6-8 days, allowing cancer treatment researchers to work faster than ever before.
For our purposes, signal transduction refers to the process by which a signaling molecule outside a cell activates a membrane receptor that alters molecules inside the cell to create a response. The various different signal transduction processes can last only milliseconds, or days, depending on the process. Signal transduction is important to the life sciences because it is a crucial component of the research for many disease states. Life science technology relating to signal transduction includes different types of assays and reagents that will speed up cell signaling, allowing the researcher to work more efficiently.