View from the Trenches

Tue Jul 18 21:38:42 EST 1995

Kathy (U27111 at UICVM.UIC.EDU) suggests that lab certification is need for cases
in which labs are "outside areas of their expertise and cites "an immunology la
b winging it on PCR" as an example. I would think that if one could not learn t
echniques like PCR from (a) literature (b) experts in nearby labs (or via the "
net") and (c) ones own trial and error--then any kind of formal certification p
rocess would not be of any help.  Furthermore, requiring certification for any
tecnique "outside of the field" would discourage researchers from learning new
techniques--not good science there. I am quite familiar with immunology labs
(to use your example) who were quite competent in many fields including genetic
s, molecular biology (I learned much about PCR from them) cell biology, protein
 chemistry etc etc. Certification may work well for clinical labs which (correc
t me if I am wrong here) tend to do fewer techniques than research labs and are
 not generally in the process of working new techniques and solving new problem
s than are research labs.  I do agree with you that there are problems, but I t
hink the solution has to be in the training, not "certification"  Arthur Wohlwi

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