In the realm of science, it takes a special place to perform certain research. There are very few one-size-fits-all laboratories.
Instead, most laboratories are built to accommodate a specific type of research.
One such type of lab is the biochemistry lab, which, as its name implies, is focused on facilitating our understanding of the chemical processes that sustain life.
At OnePointe Solutions, we are dedicated to helping you build the research facility of your dreams. We know that all laboratories aren’t built the same, which is why when it comes to designing lab furniture we design and manufacture it to fit your specific needs.
If you’re ready to learn more about the characteristics of a biochemistry lab, then join us! Keep reading to see what goes into making an amazing biochemistry research space.
What Is a Biochemistry Lab?
Let’s start with the basics.
A biochemistry lab is a dedicated laboratory space for researching and studying biochemistry. This means that it must be equipped with durable lab furniture and equipment, plenty of working space, and secure storage areas.
However, every biochemistry lab is different!
The equipment that you’ll find in a lab will depend upon what kind of work is being done. Many laboratories are dedicated to researching specific areas of interest.
In some cases, a whole laboratory may be built to specialize in a singular research topic.
What Do Biochemists Do?
Because biochemistry revolves around the study of the substances and microscopic reactions that promote life and sustain our bodies, most biochemical research is classified as medical science. This means that much of the research is dedicated to formulating new medicines and treatments for what ails us.
Biochemistry is behind many modern treatments for diseases such as cancer, degenerative conditions, and genetic disorders.
Biochemists often work closely with medical professionals, geneticists, biologists, and veterinarians on an academic and practical level. Depending on their line of research, biochemists may even find themselves consulting epidemiologists and pathologists.
What Happens in a Biochemistry Lab?
Within a standard biochemistry lab, you might see studies that investigate topics such as:
- Cellular transport
- Enzyme reactions
- Genetic diseases and disorders
- Infectious disease spread and containment
- Molecular interactions
- Sequencing of DNA
Once completed, biochemical research is often utilized across many different scientific disciplines. In addition to the standard medical applications of biochemistry, the information gathered from this amazing area of study is also used in agriculture and environmental science.
Outside of their experiments, biochemists also spend their time recording the results of their work. Compiling these results into useful peer-reviewed research reports is an essential part of a biochemist’s job.
Moreover, a good laboratory should have plenty of space for offices and computers, with which researchers can create and maintain comprehensive proposals to acquire grant money.
What Kinds of Biochemistry Labs are There?
Because of its wide range of topics, biochemistry is no longer limited to a singular “type” of laboratory. Each subset of biochemistry has its own needs and equipment.
To accommodate this, many biochemistry laboratories will further classify themselves into one of the subsets of biochemistry. In doing this, they allow themselves to effectively utilize their budget and space to accommodate the equipment that they truly need.
Fans of police procedurals have likely seen one of these labs on television! Forensic biochemistry labs will be stocked with plenty of DNA analysis equipment and toxicology supplies.
In these labs, you may also find some epidemiological researchers and infectious disease experts.
A medical biochemistry lab will have a few things in common with a forensic laboratory. DNA sequencing machines, imaging equipment, and biosecure storage solutions will be a common sight in a medical biochemistry lab.
These facilities are ground zero for the development of the medicines and therapies that many people take for granted today.
Depending on the precise field of study, a medical biochemistry lab will also be shared with other scientific professionals. Doctors, veterinarians, neurologists, and geneticists are just a few of the researchers you may spot in one of these laboratories.
Nutritional biochemists focus on the chemical processes that occur when we eat. This subset of biochemistry heavily overlaps with epidemiology, physiology, and biostatistics.
In addition to advancing our understanding of the human body, nutritional biochemists investigate ways in which the things we eat can be optimized to improve our health. A few lucky biochemists even get to work alongside NASA, with whom they devise and develop new nutritional solutions for our astronauts!
The field of research biochemistry is dedicated to analytical studies of what we know now and pushing the boundaries of our knowledge. In addition to their laboratory work, these teams will often spend plenty of time at a desk, as they also manage the creation of research proposals and grants.
To accommodate for this, many research biochemistry labs will include attached offices or partitioned work spaces.
What Equipment is in a Biochemistry Lab?
To facilitate their studies, biochemists use many different types of machines, analytical tools, and equipment. Many of the technologies and techniques that are commonplace within a biochemistry laboratory are highly specialized.
Standard Scientific Equipment
Some of the equipment that you’ll find in a biochemistry laboratory will be standard fare for any scientific research facility. In addition to the stereotypical beakers, flasks, and vials, you’ll likely find commonplace equipment such as:
- Fridges and freezers
- pH meters
- Scales and weighing stations
To support the specialized research that happens within a biochemistry laboratory, facilities will also need to stock-specific types of machinery and supplies. Many of these items are specifically designed for biochemical experiments.
Some examples of the more specialized technology that you’ll see in a biochemical laboratory are:
- Chromatography machines
- DNA sequencing equipment
- Electrophoresis equipment
Safety and Storage Equipment
Obviously, that’s a lot of equipment and material to leave laying willy-nilly in a laboratory! To keep everything tidy and safe, biochemistry labs must have plenty of storage and properly designed layouts to keep all of their experiments and tools safe.
Some of the commonplace safety and storage solutions that you’ll see in a biochemistry laboratory include:
- Biosafety cabinets and secure storage solutions
- Cabinets and casework
- Countertops and durable workbenches
- Fume hoods
- Lab Chairs
- Safety equipment, such as eyewash stations
- Industrial tool storage solutions and other lab furniture
Need Help Designing a Biochemistry Lab?
If you’re thinking about designing, expanding, or remodeling your existing biochemistry laboratory, then it’s time to call the experts at OnePointe Solutions. Our team of experienced designers, installers, and contractors have the knowledge and know-how that you need to truly optimize your research space.
No matter the size or layout of your laboratory, the OnePointe Solutions’ design team can help.