Lab automation or robotic scientists: Dr McClymont and Professor Freemont share their views in Nature Biotechnology
- Posted on 12 April, 2017
Dr David McClymont, head of automation at the London DNA Foundry, and Professor Paul Freemont, Co-director of the London DNA Foundry and the EPSRC Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation at Imperial College London, have co-authored an article appearing in April in Nature Biotechnology. The article, entitled ‘With all due respect to Maholo, Lab Automation isn’t anthropomorphic’, will discuss the virtues of building on existing automation technologies in lab research over humanoid robotic lab infrastructure. That is to say, automating the process rather than the scientist.
The view that anthropomorphic robots are the future of laboratory research is based on the assumption that using human-friendly hand tools is the optimal way to carry out experiments. However, this is not necessarily the case, as Dr McClymont and Professor Freemont discuss, citing both the challenges and benefits of non-humanoid robot automated processes.
Laboratory automation has matured over the past 30 years to solve specific problems, carrying out experiments in efficient ways that do not mimic human movements. What we need now is to alter our perception of automation by providing accessible, open source and inexpensive hardware solutions to routine ‘wetlab’ protocols and assay measurements.
The full article is available at Nature Biotechnology (http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v35/n4/full/nbt.3795.html)
Share this article:
People also read
The SynbiCITE ‘4-Day MBA, More Business Acumen’ Course
The SynbiCITE ‘4-Day MBA: More Business Acumen’ Course, 8th-12th December 2019In 2015, 35% of employers in engineering and technology-based business s...
Data-driven design and the opportunities it presents for biotech companies
Professor Paul Freemont, Co-Director of SynbiCITE, discussed the synthetic biology industry and the opportunities it is creating in a recently paper published in The Emerging Topics in Life Sciences entitled “Synthetic biology industry: data-driven design is creating new opportunities in biotechnology”.
The Cell Factories of the Future
Professor Paul Freemont, Co-Director of SynbiCITE, is the lead author of a recent article published by the World Economic Forum on this subject, entitled “How scientists are turning living cells into the tiny factories of the future”.