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I was working in the lab late one night

Scientists might still work late nights like in Bobby Pickett’s classic Halloween song “Monster Mash,” but their labs today play music newer than the 1962 hit. So Verb reported after customer Elemental Machines’ Biotech Connect event in Cambridge, Massachusetts last month.

Folks at Elemental Machines coined the term “LabOps,” for laboratory operations, to describe the tools and methods they offer to help researchers speed up scientific discovery.

At the event they introduced the LabOps maturity model, which maps the initial discovery stages that are irregular, inconsistent, and chaotic to the optimized stage where teams and processes are continually improving and adapting.

Along the way, scientists can use Elemental Machines’ powerful IoT sensors to gather operational data intelligence and connect it to the cloud where others can use it.

The combination of complementary tools to streamline previously manual and error-prone methods is the key to data fidelity and reproducibility.

The impact in the ability of researchers to reproduce experiments and ensure technical quality is already having a profound effect in science.

The tune at the Bertozzi Lab

2022 Nobel Prize winner Carolyn Bertozzi

Stanford’s Carolyn Bertozzi won the Nobel prize in chemistry on October 5th on her lab’s invention of bio-orthogonal chemistry. “This is a chemistry that allows two molecules to form a bond even when they are surrounded by all the stuff that you would find in a human cell, and even in the human body,” she explains. Her lab’s work lets researchers look at living cells without destroying them, as you can see in our featured image, and could change medicine by enabling treatments to target specific proteins in a cell.

Dr. Bertozzi shared the painstaking history of her lab’s maturity model in a (relatively) simple Twitter thread. Tom Morello of the rock band Rage Against the Machine posted there about an unexpected musical connection: Bertozzi was his bandmate when they won the Ivy League Battle of the Bands in 1986 “with her in keyboards and me in spandex,” said Morello. Their band was called “Bored of Education.”

Other labs ring the bell

The Wall Street Journal analyzed the market for biotech startups

Biotech company Third Harmonic went public last month at $17 a share, raising $185 million. It was one of only 18 IPOs in biotech so far this year, down from 111 in 2021, says The Wall Street Journal. Weak numbers in small public biotechs and the market’s downturn have kept other companies away.

Third Harmonic’s successful IPO shows that companies with good financials, strong management, and drugs in clinical trials can change the music. It’s in the lab where the biotech industry will discover how to grow again.