One of the most significant areas of science being studied today is the category known as life sciences. The life sciences can be difficult to define because they encompass all fields of science that study living organisms, including plants, animals, and humans. However, in common usage, the term “life sciences” refers chiefly to the fields of biology and medicine, although technological advances have created new, interdisciplinary fields as well. Life science products, then, are the technology and innovations created specifically for use in these fields. They expand the possibilities of what the researcher can analyze and speed up processes that previously took long periods of time to complete. Here is a look at a few different types of life science products:
Cell signaling and the technology based around it are extremely important for the life sciences. Cell signaling is part of the system of communication that dictates basic cellular activity and organizes cellular action. Development, immunity, tissue repair, tissue homeostasis all depend on the ability of cells to interpret and respond to their environment. Illnesses such as cancer, autoimmunity, and diabetes are caused by errors when cells are trying to process information. The goal of understanding cell signaling is to be able to more effectively treat diseases and create artificial tissues.
Typically, life science products intended for use in cell signaling come in two forms: reagents and assays.
A reagent is essentially just a substance used in a chemical reaction to test, detect, measure, or produce other substances. Life science technology companies sell different types of reagents meant for use in specific types of experiments. This simplifies the doctor’s job by making it easier to produce whatever substance he needs.
An assay is a chemical analysis set. An assay kit will come with a specific substance (the researcher chooses which) that can be used for examination. These kits give analysts exactly which protein, chemical, etc. they would like to research.
The phenomenon of oxidative stress occurs when there are any number of reactive oxygen species present that the cell cannot counterbalance. Oxidative stress results in damage to one or more biomolecules including DNA, RNA, proteins, and lipids. Oxidative stress has been cited as a cause of aging along with a few different types of diseases, such as hematological and solid tumors, obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases.
Life science products in this category help researchers learn all about oxidative stress. They may examine the extent of oxidative stress in a sample, or study the mechanisms at work behind it.