Research labs repair their own equipment to save money

When the gas chromatograph spectrophotometer broke late last summer, it was Grant Wallace’s job to fix it.

The instrument, which the University of Minnesota graduate student is using to measure the tiny products of pesticide reactions, is more than 10 years old, and its manufacturer no longer offers repair services.

With the help of a local technician, Wallace has figured out what’s wrong with the costly lab device. But he’s still trying to track down the part he needs — all the while losing valuable time for his research.

Scientists like Wallace, facing a stubborn squeeze on federal research funding, have found that repairing their own lab equipment is one creative way to make grant money last. READ MORE


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