Words From Our Clients

19 February 2016
Here at SeqGen, customer happiness is the highest priority. In efforts to ensure we are performing at the highest level of customer service, a series of testimonials were executed to evaluate client case studies. The following is one company's testimonial of their service with SeqGen.
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We Want your Old Equipment!

17 February 2016

SeqGen, purchases used 3130’s and 3730’s and we want to make it worth your effort.Receive a FREE iPhone 6 when we purchase your old equipment.

We can help you earn a return on your investment or help fund your new equipment.

Give us a call to determine the value of the equipment (877) 561-3002.

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Love Your 3130? Keep it!

17 February 2016

We at SeqGen realize that the 3130 equipment is soon approaching obsolescence with Life Technology/Thermofisher, but we plan to maintain this Genetic Analyzer well into the future.

Our experienced engineers are among the best in the industry and our customers rave about the value they receive from us.

Please feel free to give us a call or complete this form. We will make sure to get a quote out to you immediately.

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Can You Prolong the Life of Your Capillary Array?

17 February 2016

Can You Prolong the Life of Your Capillary Array?

Frequently we hear from customers who are seeing less than optimal results in their sequencing data.  After ruling out mechanical problems, we often come to the conclusion that there are sample, reagent, or array related issues with the data.  When we finally narrow down the problem to the capillary array, the question inevitably arises “do I need to purchase a new array or can I do anything to bring this array back to life?” The simple answer to this question is “maybe”.

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Cost Saving Polymer Tips “They” Won’t Tell You

17 February 2016


My mama used to tell me “you learn something new everyday”. That certainly seems to be the case for me, even after almost 10 years as Manager of SeqGen.

The clever ideas I hear from our talented group of engineers never ceases to amaze me! Just the other day, James was sharing with me about the tips he gives our customers so that they can reduce their expenditure on polymer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A few words about 10x dilution buffer

17 February 2016

I guess I would not be thorough if I did not include a few words about 10x dilution buffer to go along with our polymer and array discussions of late.  Some of this information may surprise you!

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Water or Hi-Di Formamide? Some Interesting Information!

17 February 2016

 

We love hearing from you!  After sending out our recent communication on polymer cost saving tips, we received a great question from one of our end users concerning Hi-Di. 

After digging into it, we discovered some great information that we thought might be helpful to others.  Here is the background information and also our research findings.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Use a Third Party Service Provider Anyway???

17 February 2016

An email from a recent addition to the growing SeqGen family of customers reminded me of a topic near and dear to my heart – third party service providers! I wish I had a nickel for every time I have responded to this question list or similar renditions of it.  If you’ve been lucky enough to receive “the list”, I would like to take a moment to address many people’s concerns.

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Preventative Maintenance – Is it time?

17 February 2016

With the onset of Spring this year, I decided that is was time to clean out my closet. I think I literally have clothing in there from high school! You can believe me when I say that was a LONG time ago.

In the same way – it may be time to do some Spring-cleaning in your laboratory. Unlike my closet, which can survive many decades of grossly outdated fashion, your sequencer or PCR machine requires a good tune-up every year.  Do the pictures above look all too familiar?

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Pump and Lower Block Cost Saving Tips

17 February 2016

My teenaged son has accused me of being OCD because we have to vacuum the entire house each week and remove our shoes before entering the house.  The jury is still out on my mental health, but I do know the life of my carpet is being prolonged! 

You may also be able to prolong the life of your pump and lower block with simple “housekeeping” techniques.   Both parts can leave a huge dent in your budget if you have to replace them.  Fortunately, with a little time and care, both can last for years. 

We sure hope your pump does not resemble this one!

 

 

 

 

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Journey to the “Almost Center” of Africa

17 February 2016
 


During the month of June, SeqGen was hired to send an engineer to Uganda.  While we are an international company, this is our first experience dispatching onto the African continent.  Aaron checked and rechecked what he planned to bring with him, knowing that he would have less than a week to complete the tasks at hand and no time to have additional parts shipped to him. 

He had to wait 10 days for the yellow fever vaccine to become effective and also needed to obtain the appropriate visa. “Why?”  you may ask, were we going to Uganda?  Interestingly enough, we were hired to repair four ABI Prism 377 DNA Sequencers.  While at first glance this seems like a daunting task, it is all in a day’s work for one of SeqGen’s engineers.

 

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Our Love/Hate Relationship with Automation

17 February 2016
 

 

This past school year my son’s high school robotics team made it to the divisional finals of the World Robotics Championship in St. Louis, Missouri. Robots from all over the world competed and were designed to stack plastic tote bins and trashcans in the fastest, most efficient way possible. The thrill of victory was sweet, yet the agony of defeat was felt when a robot arm fell off, or the robot malfunctioned causing the match to be lost.

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The Pain of Moving

17 February 2016


I hate moving!  That being said, I have made three major cross-state or cross- country moves in the last 10 years.  All that planning, packing, loading, unloading, and then unpacking just wears a person out. 

As difficult as it is to move a household, moving a lab presents an entirely different set of challenges.  Workflow must be halted and many times, revenue streams have to be put on hold until the machines are back up and running.  This means the move must be completed as expediently as possible, with little room for error.

 

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For Want of a Nail

17 February 2016

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

Beyond a mild appreciation for the historical value of the 14th century proverb, how does the above text relate to life in the molecular biology lab?   An interesting case study follows that may shed some light on the subject.

A couple of weeks ago, SeqGen was hired to perform the annual preventative maintenance on a 3130 Genetic Analyzer.   The engineer completed the required service, but unfortunately discovered that the recently relocated machine had a broken right door sensor, that, at the time, was not affecting the operation of the instrument. The end user was alerted to the potential problem, the issue was notated on the report, and the engineer closed out the job.

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When Your Machine Takes a Vacation

17 February 2016

 When Your Machine Takes a Vacation

After three years it is finally time for a vacation! Yes – the teen and I are headed for some relaxation on the beach before all the pandemonium begins in the fall.

Judging from the number of “Out of Office” replies we are receiving these days, it seems that many of you are enjoying some well-deserved time off too.

If this is the case, don’t forget to also give your sequencer, PCR, or qPCR machine the proper vacation it needs.

 

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The Standard for Standardization

17 February 2016

While on vacation last week, I had the opportunity to rent a 2015 Ford Expedition, which, believe it or not, reminded me of a recent service visit we performed!  Now I am most definitely not a car person and personally drive an older hybrid, so I have to say I was most impressed by all the new features this SUV offered. 

There was one feature however that I could have done without – the smart key!  The key had a top speed programmed into it, would constantly alarm when the vehicle’s speed approached that user defined limit, and would actually stop the car from accelerating past that set point.  Thankfully we were given two keys and I had to make sure NOT to use the “smart” key.

 

 

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The Truth About Air Filters

17 February 2016

I recently had the unpleasant experience of purchasing a used, higher mileage, older vehicle for my teen son. Everything has functioned flawlessly on the car, but it did need a routine oil change. I, of course, am a firm believer in third party service providers, so I sent my son to a local mechanic’s shop. Unfortunately, my bargain $19.95 oil change turned into a $250 routine maintenance visit! Apparently the previous owner had not done the proper preventative maintenance and everything needed flushing or replacing, including all the air filters.

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Spatial Calibrations (not SPAM)

17 February 2016

Ever had one of those days? After sitting at your desk for 12 hours, you still cannot seem to clear out the day’s “To Do” list. This entire week was one of “those” days for me. I’ve even received three friend requests, allegedly from me, to friend myself! I just want to say that we at SeqGen consider ALL of you our friends, but please do NOT accept any “friend” requests from SeqGen or me personally. Somehow one of your emails has been hacked and those cyber crooks are using SeqGen’s and my name maliciously. Rest assured that the hosting service has received the appropriate “hate” mail from us. Please check the email sender very carefully and never click on any suspicious links – even from SeqGen!

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Our Array Cleaning Procedure Can Save Your Lab Up To $6000!

12 February 2016

One of the most common complaints we hear from our customers is they are seeing less than optimal results in their sequencing data. After making sure your machine is working properly, we often come to the conclusion that the issue is related to the capillary array.

Most of the time, the problem is simply a dirty capillary array. Over time, dried and degraded polymer will accumulate on the inner walls of your capillary array. This can adversely affect the resolution during sample runs and cause your results to suffer. Some common symptoms of a failing array are:

  • Loss of resolution
  • Broadening or “fat” peaks
  • Delayed DNA peaks
  • Blue or yellow bands in some, but not all of the capillaries
  • One or two capillaries showing no peaks at all
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Leak Detect Error? Don’t Panic!

05 February 2016

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On a hot steamy June day in The-Middle-of-Nowhereville, Wisconsin, a SeqGen field service engineer was on his way to a routine preventative maintenance service call. As he hums along with the radio, suddenly he hears the sickening flop, flop, flop, of a flat tire. No problem! This is a field service engineer right? Well it would not have been a problem had there been a spare tire in the trunk of the rental car! Ok – call for roadside assistance. Oh no – no cell signal! To make a long story short – after a 30-minute hike along a deserted, hot, asphalt highway, he finally gets a cell signal, calls for roadside assistance and is soon back on his way.

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qPCR “Base”ics

05 February 2016

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Two weeks ago, during an unusually warm spell on the east coast, I received a text message from a friend who was suffering through the misfortune of a failed air conditioner. I was of course more than sympathetic as I sat in my nice cool home and insisted that she move her family into my guest bedroom. She politely declined and suffered through the calamity until she could get the unit replaced. Unfortunately she did not have a service contract and had to fork over a hefty chunk of her hard earned savings to replace the heat pump.

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qPCR – The Rest of the Story…

05 February 2016

If there is a 50-50 chance that something can go wrong, then 9 times out of ten it will.– PAUL HARVEY, AMERican Journalist

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When It’s Time to Retire Your Machine

05 February 2016

Y2015 and Windows 7 Workstations

05 February 2016

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Do you remember what you were doing on December 31, 1999? If you bought into the conspiracy theory drama, you were stockpiling food and water stores, emptying your banks accounts to store under a remote mattress, as well as confirming that your storage closets were completely filled with extra batteries, candles, backpacks, firearms, and fuel reserves. We all waited with apocalyptic expectation as the countdown to midnight began. And then… nothing happened!

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Yes, We are that company...

04 February 2016

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Last week was such an exciting week in Dallas at Promega’s 26th International Symposium on Human Identification.  Exhibitors and participants alike were treated to a week packed full of exciting presentations and announcements.  Promega is the ultimate host! 

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To Compress or Not to Compress...

04 February 2016

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Have you ever had one of those annoying garden hoses that leaks no matter what you seem to do?  You change that little washer a zillion times but water is still erupting from one end or the other!  Similarly, this seems to be the topic of the month at SeqGen for our qPCR and thermal cycler customers.  Several calls and emails have come in detailing customer frustration over sample evaporation around the edges of their plates or lids cracking on the 9700 thermal cycler.

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Tiny Tips From the Field

04 February 2016

How can something so small, cause so many problems? The other day Charles, one of our field service engineers, shared some observations that he frequently makes in many of the labs he visits.  Here is an excerpt from his email that you may find interesting:

“Recently, I realized our customers were having pump system issues on the 3130/3730 because of over-twisting the capillary array knob. The knob can even break the capillary if it is adjusted improperly.”

Here are Charles’ suggestions for pump system maintenance:

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Those Pesky Autosamplers Again!

04 February 2016

I do not know why this happens, but service issues seem to run in cycles at SeqGen. Lately we’ve been hearing quite a bit about your 3730 autosamplers. Maybe your machines are still “falling back”! At any rate, we would like to share some interesting tricks that may help you get those “pesky” autosamplers working again.

Let’s dig into two of the more common issues and discuss what might be the possible problems.

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A Failure to Communicate

04 February 2016

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We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and the pleasant memories are still looming with each bite of leftover turkey. For those of us that spent our holiday with our teenagers, we are well aware of that vacant blank stare when attempting any kind of communication at times! I think I will start texting my kid when it is time to clean up the dishes after the meal. Seems to be the only acceptable form of communication these days…

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Spring Cleaning for Your Sequencer/qPCR

04 February 2016

Ok, so I know it’s not Spring just yet. I was quickly reminded of this fact this morning as my teeth were chattering while I brushed the snow off my car. But, warm weather is just around the corner and with it are many spring-cleaning projects.

The weather may still be cold, but now is a great time to do some cleaning around the lab. Your sequencer requires a good tune-up every year to make sure it is working properly. So to help guide you through this cleanup, we’ve listed some of the most common problems you may run into.

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