Testing… Testing…


Testing… Testing…

With the world’s largest sporting event currently taking place in Rio, and all the controversy about performance-enhancing drugs that inevitably follows, we dug up a few interesting facts about doping and some surprising banned substances in sports.

  • What, no coffee?! Caffeine was banned until 2004, due to it’s ability to temporarily increase speed and stamina. However, since it was nearly impossible to distinguish casual use of caffeine from a doping attempt, the ban was lifted.
  • Horses also go through drug testing for equestrian events! Capsaicin, the active chemical in hot chilies, can be found in horse topical creams to alleviate pain and/or increase their leg sensitivity, particularly when jumping fences. Because of this, capsaicin is a banned substance for these 4-legged athletic partners.
  • Some athletes have resorted to blood doping by using blood transfusions to increase red blood cell count, thereby improving endurance.

Image: Muscular arm implying performance enhancing drugs

Bonus fact!
Sports federations only started to test for
performance-enhancing drugs in the mid

If you’re like the IOC and storing frozen samples for the long haul, make sure they’re securely labeled with NEW Cryogenic Storage Labels!

  • Organize and label samples for short or long-term cold storage
  • Ideal for -80°C to -196°C environments
  • Dot and rectangle shaped labels sized for 0.5 to 2.0ml cryogenic tubes, or 15ml centrifuge tubes
  • Available in sheets or rolls; sheets can be fed through a standard ink jet or laser printer utilizing the appropriate template

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Blue in the Face (or Tooth)


No More Wires!

Bluetooth? What’s a bluetooth? Yes, we know it’s open wireless technology that shares data using short-wavelength radio transmissions, but what we didn’t know was why it came to be called ‘Bluetooth’ (which frankly sounds a little bit more like the name of a band playing on campus)!

So, why is it called ‘Bluetooth’? – The idea was inspired by 10th century King Harald Bluetooth. He united Danish tribes into one kingdom; Bluetooth technology unites communication into one universal standard.

And, why exactly was King Harald called ‘Bluetooth’? – Rumor has it, he may have had a bad tooth that appeared ‘blue’ – Ouch! (blue actually meant dark back then!)

Image:  King Harold aka "Bluetooth"

Image: Bluetooth logo

Bonus Fact! The Bluetooth logo contains the Nordic runes (aka letters) for the initials “HB”! Now that’s serendipitous!

Image: Bluetooth logo

Need to monitor temperature and humidity without disrupting the environment?
Try the new DURAC® Bluetooth Thermometer Hygrometer!

Image:  DURAC® Bluetooth Thermometer Hygrometer!

Available with or without hygrometer, these units broadcast readings to any Apple or Android smartphone or device with Bluetooth 4.0 or better, utilizing the free THERMSmart app.

  • Monitor critical environments without a physical connection
  • Record temperature or temperature and humidity data for 30 days; hourly data for the first 7 days
  • Alarm sounds if temperature falls outside of the set parameters
  • Data viewable as a chart, graph, or on a calendar

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In a Tight Spot


In a Tight Spot?

Have you ever found an animal or rodent in your house and wondered how they got in? You might be surprised to learn that many animals can fit into impossibly smaller spaces. In fact, if a #2 pencil can fit inside a hole or crack, so can a mouse!

Don’t let the fluff fool you! Most of these animals are much smaller than they seem, and their only limitation in squeezing through holes is actually their head! Here’s how small of an opening these animals can fit through:

  • Mice – 1/4″ (0.64 cm)
  • Bats – 3/8″ (0.95 cm)
  • Rats – Young, slender rats need only 1/2″ (1.27 cm). Older, fatter rats need 1″ (2.54 cm)
  • Squirrels – 1.5″ (3.81 cm)
  • Cats – 3″ (7.62 cm)
  • Raccoons – 4″ (10.16 cm)

Image:  Mouse in Outlet to emphasize tight spots

Need to clean a tight spot, like a clogged nozzle, spray bottle, or tubing?
Try the
Smorc® – the small orifice cleaner!

Smorc - small orifice cleaner from SP Scienceware-38125b

  • Ultra thin (0.152, 0.254, 0.508mm) stainless steel wires are 2″ long and ideal for micro openings
  • Wire assortment stores conveniently inside the hollow handle
  • Pin vise securely holds a stainless steel cleaning wire in place

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Watch Your Step


It’s Safety Month – Watch Your Step

Did you know that falling down is not only the most common office accident, but that it is also responsible for causing the most disabling injuries? Here are some common ladder accidents and how to prevent them!

    1. Using the Wrong Ladder– Keep in mind weight capacity and the necessary height. If the ladder is too short, get a different one!
    2. Using Old, Worn, or Damaged Ladders  – Like food, ladders have a shelf life. Older ladders are more likely to break and should be inspected.
    3. Using a Ladder Incorrectly – Human error is the leading cause of ladder accidents! Place the ladder on firm, level ground. If possible, have a helper support the base.
    4. Not Using a Ladder When You Need to – People sometimes use a chair, box, bucket, etc. to stand on to reach something stored in a high place. This increases the risk of injury.

Image:  Falling off a Ladder

A good rule, this month and every month, is if you can’t reach it without standing on something, get a ladder. Or, if that’s TOO large, try a Safety Step Stool!

Image: Safety Step Stool from SP ScienceWare

  • Three (3) spring-loaded, swiveling casters make it easy to kick or push out of the way or into position
  • When weight is placed on the stool a non-skid vinyl bumper rests directly on the floor to prevent movement
  • Passes EN 141183 Testing Standard
    Maximum weight load: 150kg (330lbs)

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Get Your Guard Up – It’s National Safety Month


It’s Safety Month – Get Your Guard Up

June is National Safety Month – an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. One of the oldest and most instinctual ways to protect yourself from injury is with a physical barrier, or shield. Did you know there were 6 types of medieval shields for different purposes and battles?

  • Kite Shields – Rounded top and tapered bottom (like a reverse teardrop) to protect the legs
  • Heater Shields – Smaller than a kite shield; for jousting knights
  • The Buckler – Small, round, metal shield hung from a belt for hand-to-hand combat (Bonus fact: this is where ‘swashbuckler’ came from!)
  • The Pavise – Provided protection for soldiers reloading crossbows
  • The Targe – traditional Scottish round shield for close fighting
  • The Bouche – included a lance rest cut into the upper corner for combat or tournament

Image:  Medieval knight in full armor on horseback at a jousting competition.

To protect yourself from debris in the lab, check out our Large Weighted Safety Shields!

Image: SP Scienceware - Large Weighted Safety Shield

  • Highest impact resistance of all transparent shield materials
  • 3-sided construction – provides front and side protection from flying debris
  • 4.7mm (3/16″) thick clear polycarbonate

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Shop our entire assortment of safety shields, on Belart.com
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