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Researchers regularly grapple with the necessary evil of overcapacity. Their work is not possible without specialized and often very expensive pieces of equipment: sophisticated microscopes, spectrometers, centrifuges and other high-end infrastructure that make a lab capable of obtaining results worthy of publication. Nevertheless, much of this equipment will end up being used only part-time or just for brief periods.

Brandon Aubie saw this harsh fact of scientific life for himself soon after he completed his PhD in 2013 and joined McMaster University’s Biointerfaces Institute. This facility, dedicated to investigating the interaction between biological systems and inert materials, is home to a wide variety of cutting-edge research tools. Most of them, Aubie found, were not being heavily used much of the time and some were duplicates of equipment found elsewhere on campus.

Read the full Chemical Institute of Canada piece on QReserve here!


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