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From:"Bonnie Whitaker" <>
To:"R.Wadley" <>, <>
Date:Tue, 25 May 1999 09:55:59 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Well, for what it's worth, my opinion on instrumentation is that as long as
you are using an open system, you can put whatever reagents on that you
want, program it to duplicate your manual procedure, and I find that the
instrument is less likely to put the wrong antibody on the wrong slide than
I am.

Maybe you have the luxury of not being responsible for everything else, as
well, but I am constantly interrupted, which can lead to mistakes.

I agree that automation can foster ignorance, but it's up to us to see that
that doesn't happen.  Insist that a new tech show proficiency in manual
immunos before moving to automation.

I can turn out immunos faster than the instrument too, if that's all I'm
doing.  The point is that instrumentation performs repetetive tasks for you,
freeing you up to take care of something else.  (Or to do another run of
manual immunos.)

Bonnie Whitaker

-----Original Message-----
From: R.Wadley <>
To: <>
Date: Tuesday, May 25, 1999 2:00 AM

> Dear All,
> How can anybody possibly learn anything from immuno-staining in a machine?
> How do they know it worked?  If it didn't work then which step created the
>cock-up?  I worked in a hospital histo lab for 2.5 years, for most of that
>time we had a brand new automated immunostainer sitting in the corner
>unused.  Our Scientist who did our immuno could work faster than the
> I have been to 3 or 4 immuno training courses of various types over the
>past few years & the only one that even mentioned using a machine was a
>product demo of the automated immunostainer.
> I suppose its like using kits, you have to trust the quality control of
>the kit maker instead of knowing exactly what you (or your co-worker)
>actually did.  What happens when the kit dies, or runs out, every body sits
>around looking silly until the next order comes in?  Modern technology, &
>the perception that outsourcing saves money is leading to a serious dumbing
>down of health & research laboratories all over!
> I'm guilty too, I let people run thier samples through the instruments in
>my lab with just enough knowledge to get them through.  But how do you
>squeeze years of knowledge & practical experience between someone's ears
>when they only want a set of results to justify their thesis or paper?
> In time there will be a drastic lack of appropiately skilled technicians &
>scientists, then all of a sudden we will be the most important people on
>Earth until the next time people forget what we do.
> Regards
> Rob W.
>R. Wadley, B.App.Sc, M.L.S
>Laboratory Manager
>Cellular Analysis Facility
>School of Microbiology & Immunology
>UNSW, New South Wales, Australia, 2052
>Ph (BH) +61 (2) 9385 3517
>Ph (AH) +61 (2) 9555 1239
>Fax +61 (2) 9385 1591
> (Under development)

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