Dogs, Diagnostics and Driver-less Cars

Dogs, Diagnostics and Driver-less Cars

Remember the TV show where a dog apparently drives and steers a moving car around the city streets to the shock and amazement of other road users? Of course, it was just a prank; yes, the dog stands in the driving seat with front paws on the steering wheel, but the real driving is done by a human concealed within the noticeably larger-than-usual driver’s seat.

Until recently, it was an accepted fact that controlling a car safely, with all the complicated observation-taking and decision-making that entails, could only be performed by a human driver. That, it seems, is no longer the case.

An increasing number of experimental vehicles

The technology for driverless cars is already cruising our streets in an increasing number of experimental vehicles operated by motor manufacturers and computer software designers. Advances in artificial intelligence and information processing, backed by a government keen on the science as a way of reducing accidents, congestion and vehicle emissions, means the pace of development is set to accelerate.

Just one of many concerns for those sceptical of driver-less technology is the responsiveness of control systems to sudden and unexpected events; such as a dog emerging into the path of a moving car. But with thousands of dogs, cats, deer and other animals killed or injured annually on Britain’s roads, plus the additional damage and injury caused by motorists attempting evasive action, it seems likely that driver-less cars could only improve matters – for people, property and animals.

Driver-less vehicles may have other, unforeseen, impacts on the lives of dogs and other pets. Pets are regularly delivered and collected from veterinary surgeries in their owner’s cars. With artificially guided and directed vehicles, there might be no reason why an animal couldn’t be placed in a car pre-programmed to navigate its way to the vets and, eventually, home again.

The benefits and convenience for owners, and in scheduling for vets, are obvious. Less obvious, perhaps is the effect on animal welfare from the reduced opportunity for vet-owner interaction. A key factor in Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine (EBVM) is the evidence given by pet owners about their pet’s history, condition and behaviour. Combined with evidence from veterinary examination, expertise, and diagnostic test results, vet-owner interaction is vital to selecting the course of action most appropriate to pets, owners and their circumstances.

The needs and aspirations of dog owners, veterinary professionals and possibly dogs themselves may yet have other, unexpected, influences on the development and introduction of driver-less cars. It remains to be seen whether or not, on the aspiration dogs themselves, this includes the revival of the motor industry’s ‘Rover’ marque… possibly.

Perfect Microscopy Doesn’t Need An Expensive Microscope

Perfect Microscopy Doesn’t Need An Expensive Microscope

Perfect veterinary microscopy doesn’t need an expensive microscope, just the right microscope for your veterinary laboratory.

Identifying a parasite, diagnosing a disease or visualising a histological condition requires a combination of veterinary expertise, skill with an optical microscope and the right microscope for the task. There are many dealers in laboratory microscopes willing to sell you an expensive light microscope, but fewer with the necessary veterinary laboratory experience to advise you on the right instrument for your purpose.

Building evidence for the most appropriate and effective treatment

Specialist veterinary microscopy, used in conjunction with veterinary diagnostic tests, equips the veterinary practitioner with an evidence base on which to build the most appropriate and effective treatment. However, in the real-world, factors of cost, time and client expectation impact on how and when microscopy is employed, whether in the investigation of symptoms or the diagnosis of a pathological condition.

Affordability, ease of use and every-day robustness are every bit as important to the busy vet as high magnification, optical quality, mechanical precision and chromatic accuracy. Veterinary laboratory staff need a microscope that is simple to set up and stable in use whether it’s used frequently or only on those rare, but important occasions.

Lab staff are much more likely to get accurate results and precise diagnoses if the instrument has clean, modern lines and conveniently placed controls and adjustments. An efficient-looking piece of equipment attracts good practice in use and inspires confidence in clients who expect to see a well-equipped laboratory.

What to look for in a new veterinary microscope

When considering a new microscope for your diagnostic, research or teaching laboratory there are some key features you need to check on before making such an important purchase.

Make sure your microscope has a binocular head with interchangeable, wide-field eyepieces for fatigue-free operation and a built-in photographic facility. Objective lenses should be specified as achromatic and turret mounted with magnification options of 4X to 40X, the highest being suitable for oil immersion when necessary.

True colour and aberration free illumination

The focusing adjustment should feature coarse and fine control, and the mechanical stage should be vernier-scale calibrated with a spring-loaded slide-retainer. Variable intensity lighting from below the stage should include a field diaphragm and Abbe lens light condenser for true colour and aberration free illumination.

If your veterinary laboratory supplier understands what they – and you, are about, you should be able to get all of this and more in a warranty supported package for somewhere close to just £500.

Seeing is Still Believing – The Veterinary Microscope in Diagnosis

Seeing is Still Believing – The Veterinary Microscope in Diagnosis

In cases of disease, injury or invasive infection – resulting in physical change to an animal’s tissues or organs, diagnosis might still be more quickly and conclusively obtained by veterinary microscopy, even when a diagnostic test might be available.

Microscopic examination may take the form of inspecting a tissue preparation for abnormal cells or the changes often associated with various cancers. Alternatively, diagnosis may depend on observing the presence of invasive organisms such as bacterial, fungal, protozoan or multicellular parasites.

Microscopic examination

Sampling for microscopy depends on the type of sample required and from where on, or in, the animal it’s collected. Scrapings and swabbings from surface tissues and body cavities are obviously the easiest to collect, with blood samples probably the next and most routine.

Fine needle aspirate (FNA) samples might be taken from subcutaneous tissues as may needle core biopsies, where only small scale samples are required. Larger samples may require an excision of tissue under anaesthetic from a living animal, or from post mortem material.

Preventing the sample becoming distorted 

The first stage of microscopic examination is fixing and clearing the sample to halt further degradation and prevent the development in the sample of distortions that might adversely affect the diagnosis. Next, the sample must be transferred and bound to a suitable substrate, usually a glass slide, and protected with a further, thinner slide or coverslip.

Generally, the sample is required to be no more than one cell thick between the slide and the coverslip, and there are various ways of achieving this; from crude squashes, through various smearing techniques to accurate mechanical slicing using a sharp-bladed, histological microtome. Visualising cellular anomalies or foreign invaders can be enhanced by a combination of chemical stains with different affinities for the different tissue and cell structures.

Veterinary microscopes

Now the sample is ready for transfer to the instrument itself. A binocular veterinary microscope offering a range of magnification options, variable illumination, strain-free optics with smooth mechanical movement makes examination straightforward and easy on the eyes. A built-in photographic facility means that results can be preserved and shared with ease.

With pre-prepared microscope stains and consumables, affordable and easy to use veterinary microscopes, diagnostic microscopy remains an essential investigative tool in the veterinary laboratory.

Vetlab Premiere 125 – The Simple Serious Microscope for Schools and Colleges

Vetlab Premiere 125 – The Simple Serious Microscope for Schools and Colleges

When it comes to inspiring and educating the next generation of scientists, the ready availability of reliable, robust and simple to use instruments is essential. The Vetlab Premiere 125 microscope for schools and colleges will help you release in your pupils’ and students’ a passion for discovery that will last a lifetime.

Technology Needs To Be Readily Available

For young scientists, an early encounter with the fascination of discovery is essential. Sparking that lifelong interest in science and scientific study requires access to modern laboratory technology. But with today’s pressure on teaching time and classroom budgets, that technology needs to be readily available, simple to use, long lasting and affordable.

The Vetlab Premiere 125 microscope is created for cash-strapped and – equally importantly today, time-limited schools and colleges. The instrument’s easy to use features and robust construction means that even those who’ve never encountered a modern microscope can be promised a fascinating and encouraging experience without time-consuming instruction and direction.

The 125 is a serious scientific instrument. Where many microscopes sold for education bear only superficial resemblance to industry standard microscopes, Vetlab microscopes are professional instruments used every day in real-world scientific and diagnostic applications. Skills learned on a Premiere instrument are readily transferable to identical microscopes in hospital, veterinary and commercial labs.

A Fascinating Window Into The Microscopic World

Vetlab’s 125 is capable of extremely high magnification even without oil immersion. This is good news as immersion oil is difficult and time-consuming to manage with inexperienced users and can irreversibly damage lenses. With its included set of 16x eyepieces, and 40x dry objective, the 125 provides up to 640x dry magnification and a fascinating window into the microscopic world.

Bright And Even Illumination

Applying the 125’s high power magnification is made simple and straightforward through precise focusing dials. The individual eyepiece adjustment for strength and comfort makes this microscope adaptable to all uses and users without causing tiredness and eye-strain. Bright and even illumination, provided the powerful halogen lamp, can be dimmed and focused while the smooth movement of the double-layer mechanical stage allows accurate positioning of the sample under examination.

Equipped with Vetlab 125 microscopes for school or college laboratory, pupils and students at any stage of their scientific education will be using a professional quality instrument capable of revealing all the fascination the microscopic world has to offer and stimulating a curiosity and passion for discovery that will last a lifetime.

Getting Started in Microscopes and Microscopy – A Beginners Guide

Getting Started in Microscopes and Microscopy – A Beginners Guide

The microscope is a vital instrument in laboratory investigation, medical diagnosis and scientific discovery. But it’s also a fascinating and educational device that anyone can master and use to obtain greater pleasure and understanding from the world around.

Suitable for the budding or amateur scientist

Modern microscopes, such as the simple and affordable Vetlab Premiere 125, offer the budding or amateur scientist an easy and economical way to enhance their enjoyment of the natural world. Many are put off acquiring their own microscope because they’ve been told it’s merely a self-indulgence or because they think it’s wildly expensive. Neither is true.

The microscope was first invented simply for interest and curiosity, and used for little more than entertainment. Once its power to explore and enlighten was realised its use was quickly popularised by serious scientists. For a long time, microscopes were handmade, but as industrialisation progressed production and availability rapidly increased. Today, the cost of a highly capable instrument has fallen to a level where a professional quality microscope costs no more than an average laptop computer.

A few things you should look for when purchasing your microscope

When you’re looking to buy your first microscope, there are a few things you should look for. The first is value for money. You need a professional quality, fully featured instrument – not the kind of toy sold in your local hobby shop. But neither do you want many of the commercial lab extras that, in all probability, you’re never going to use. The same is true if you’re looking for a classroom microscope for your school or college.

Look for an instrument with an angled, binocular head and carrying eye-strength adjustable eyepieces. You’ll need a range of magnification from about 40x to 600x. The lower magnification will help you find what you are looking for before you zoom in with the higher power. You also want built-in illumination with an Abbe condenser and a moving, mechanical stage for your samples.

The Premiere 125 is already a firm favourite in schools, veterinary and medical laboratories. With all the features of a much more expensive microscope, Vetlab’s instrument is an education in how a microscope works, as well as what it does. Smoothly geared coarse and fine focus controls, a generous sample stage and bright clear illumination let you quickly find your subject – whether it’s as large as a bug or as small as a single cell and, with pin-sharp magnification, you’ll soon be enjoying the wonder of making your own new discoveries.

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The History Of Affordable Microscopes And Practical Microscopy For All

The History Of Affordable Microscopes And Practical Microscopy For All

The microscope we know today with its high power magnification, perfect optics and simplicity of use, was once the exclusive instrument of society’s elite celebrity scientists. Now, thanks to popular and affordable microscopes such as the Vetlab Supplies Premiere 250 and Vetlab Premiere 1600, the fascinating world of scientific discovery is open to anyone with the curiosity to take a look beyond.

The microscope as we know it is a far more capable instrument that anything those early pioneers ever imagined. The first instrument in a form we would recognise was created toward the end of the 16th century in the Netherlands. Basically, a tube with a lens at each end, Hans and Zacharias Janssen used the handmade lenses from their Dutch spectacles business to make a simple device that magnified objects only about 10 times.

Examining And Recording Things Never Previously Observed

Used for little more than entertainment, it wasn’t until the next century that the power of the microscope was put to serious scientific study. Another Dutchman, Antony Van Leeuwenhoek, set himself and his handmade device to the task of examining and recording things never previously observed: including bacteria, blood cells and the microscopic ‘animalcules’ in a droplet of pond water.

Leeuwenhoek’s microscope was actually just a single, high-quality lens; little more than the magnifying glass known and used since the invention of the material in the first century. However, by applying his instrument and his mind to serious study, Leeuwenhoek invented the discipline of microscopy and opened the way to scientific discoveries that would fascinate and change the world.

A light Source To Illuminate The Specimen

The British scientific all-rounder, Robert Hooke, brought the science of microscopy to public attention in the first ever book on the subject Micrographia. Although Hooke’s microscopes were actually made by Christopher Cock of London, Hooke influenced the design of all future microscopes with the adoption of screw-focusing, a cupped eyepiece, fixed specimen holder and a light source to illuminate the specimen.

Strong And Even Illumination Required By Powerful Microscopes

Advances in the understanding of optics and in the manufacture of lenses followed. Chester Moore Hall solved the problem of ‘chromatic aberration’ – the coloured fringes around magnified images, and Ernst Abbe invented of the ‘condenser’ essential to the strong and even illumination required by powerful microscopes.

Tracing their heritage back to Hooke’s classic design, and with the dedication to the quality of the Janssens and Leeuwenhoek, modern microscopes such as the build in the refinements of Abbe and Hall to create an optically advanced and intensely practical instrument for teaching, study and discovery. All that’s required is your curiosity and fascination to take a look beyond.

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A Microscope in Every Classroom

A Microscope in Every Classroom

Revealing The Wonder of What Lies Within

Today’s affordable and reliable microscopes, such as the Vetlab Supplies Premiere 125, could bring high-quality microscopy into every classroom and laboratory. The truth is, without access to such an easy to use high magnification microscope, tomorrow’s budding scientists are missing out on the wonder of the world that lies within.

Just as the telescope provides a simple and practical means of revealing ever more about distant objects beyond our world, so the microscope opens to the curious mind so much more of the things that lie within. It’s because the young enquiring mind has so much to gain from an early introduction to the wonders of the microscopic world that Vetlab Supplies has made it’s popular and affordable Premiere 125 Microscope readily available to schools and colleges.

The opportunity to examine the world of things too small

The opportunity to examine the world of things too small to see is a necessary introduction to scientific education and study. A droplet of pond water, a simple preparation of a plant leaf or a part of an insect is certain to spark wonder and fascination in even the most casually interested young mind. And for some, this will be the start of a lifelong fascination with microscopes and microscopy.

Discovery and the drive to discover is at the heart of all budding and professional scientists even after many years of involvement in microscopic investigation. Just one microscope in a classroom allows a large number of future professionals to make that first discovery for themselves; discoveries that will change their young lives and, in time, possibly the world.

Bright and even illumination from the built-in halogen lamp

The Premiere 125 brings into the classroom an easy to open window on the microscopic world. The angled head with its binocular eyepieces are comfortably positioned and adjustable for even the smallest user. Each individual eyepiece can be set for strength avoiding tiredness and strain. Small and inexperienced hands will find the focus and mechanical stage dials easy to turn; making that fascinating sample easy to find and view in the bright, even illumination from the built-in halogen lamp and its optical condenser.

Trying to explain, and excite young minds, about the world within our world, but without a microscope, is a bit like trying to talk about the stars without the aid of a telescope; much remains hidden and unknown diminishing the limitless excitement and fascination that the universe offers. Vetlab’s affordable 125 complete microscopy kit is already a firm favourite with schools and colleges. In your classroom, this simple and reliable microscope will open.

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