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1996 U.S. Laboratory Product Usage Survey20 pages, 20 graphs and tables.
Published: March 22, 1996
We conducted a survey involving Nature subscribers working in the United States and received 650 responses from 3,000 surveys mailed in early January 1996. The majority (92.5%) are actively working or soon planning to work with laboratory products. We estimate that the total U.S. population of life scientists working with laboratory products is 91,150 and we assume that Nature subscribers are no different from life scientists in general.
Respondents were spread throughout academia, in hospitals and medical schools, as well as in industry and government laboratories and private research foundations. Most often, they have backgrounds in the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology, biological sciences, and neuroscience as well as numerous technical specialties.
As a group, these life scientists most frequently mentioned using electrophoresis (88.2%), autoradiography (74.8%), light microscopy (73.8%), cloning (73.2%), amplification (73.1%), oligonucleotides (71.0%), and sequencing (68.1%).
As a group, they are estimated to handle mean instrumentation budgets of $13.3 thousand per doctoral-level researcher annually, with an additional estimated $22.7 thousand per doctoral-level researcher to spend on chemicals and biologicals, and $63.3 thousand per doctoral-level researcher to spend on personnel.
Among the entire population of U.S. life science laboratory workers, the most commonly used chemicals and biologicals (out of the 42 categories studied) include: electrophoresis gel reagents (89.7%), molecular biology reagents (83.0%), restriction enzymes (77.9%), DNA markers and standards (75.2%), radioisotopes (74.7%), autoradiography supplies (73.5%), synthetic oligonucleotides (72.9%), DNA purification kits (71.9%), transfer membranes (70.5%), and laboratory-scale filtration membranes (69.2%).
The most commonly used instruments and apparatus among respondents working in the laboratory (out of the 91 categories studied) include: laboratory balances (94.8%), centrifuges as a group (94.5%), table-top centrifuges (88.4%), electrophoresis systems as a group (87.4%), microscopes as a group (84.7%), analytical balances (81.5%), high speed centrifuges (79.0%), incubators (78.2%), water purification systems (74.2%), blotting equipment (74.0%), and pH/specific ion meters (73.9%).
Rates of growth for all product categories were also measured. Among all U.S. life science laboratory workers, the three fastest growing chemical/ biological products are projected to be: library construction products (+12.3%) in situ hybridization systems (+11.6%), and non-isotopic labelling kits (+10.0%). The four fastest growing instrument categories are projected to be: electrophoresis products as a group (+20.5%), microscopes as a group (+16.6%), densitometers and image analysis equipment as a group (+12.8%), and chromatographs as a group (+11.1%).
The U.S. laboratory product usage dataset, available at a modest
cost to all subscribers to this report, contains a wealth of additional
information that will be of further interest to clients. In the
remainder of the report, we introduce clients to some of the many
types of further analyses that are possible.