Automation: Controlled operation of an apparatus, process, or system by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human organs of observation, effort, and decision. (From Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 1993)Automation, Laboratory: Controlled operations of analytic or diagnostic processes, or systems by mechanical or electronic devices.Library Automation: The use of automatic machines or processing devices in libraries. The automation may be applied to library administrative activities, office procedures, and delivery of library services to users.Autoanalysis: Method of analyzing chemicals using automation.Robotics: The application of electronic, computerized control systems to mechanical devices designed to perform human functions. Formerly restricted to industry, but nowadays applied to artificial organs controlled by bionic (bioelectronic) devices, like automated insulin pumps and other prostheses.Automatic Data Processing: Data processing largely performed by automatic means.High-Throughput Screening Assays: Rapid methods of measuring the effects of an agent in a biological or chemical assay. The assay usually involves some form of automation or a way to conduct multiple assays at the same time using sample arrays.Catalogs, LibraryWork Simplification: The construction or arrangement of a task so that it may be done with the greatest possible efficiency.Minicomputers: Small computers that lack the speed, memory capacity, and instructional capability of the full-size computer but usually retain its programmable flexibility. They are larger, faster, and more flexible, powerful, and expensive than microcomputers.Laboratories: Facilities equipped to carry out investigative procedures.Software: Sequential operating programs and data which instruct the functioning of a digital computer.Library Technical Services: Acquisition, organization, and preparation of library materials for use, including selection, weeding, cataloging, classification, and preservation.ComputersInventories, Hospital: Materials and equipment in stock; includes drugs in pharmacies, blood in blood banks, etc.Computers, Analog: Computers in which quantities are represented by physical variables; problem parameters are translated into equivalent mechanical or electrical circuits as an analog for the physical phenomenon being investigated. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Clinical Laboratory Techniques: Techniques used to carry out clinical investigative procedures in the diagnosis and therapy of disease.Algorithms: A procedure consisting of a sequence of algebraic formulas and/or logical steps to calculate or determine a given task.Microfluidic Analytical Techniques: Methods utilizing the principles of MICROFLUIDICS for sample handling, reagent mixing, and separation and detection of specific components in fluids.Radioactivity: The spontaneous transformation of a nuclide into one or more different nuclides, accompanied by either the emission of particles from the nucleus, nuclear capture or ejection of orbital electrons, or fission. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Electrophoresis, Capillary: A highly-sensitive (in the picomolar range, which is 10,000-fold more sensitive than conventional electrophoresis) and efficient technique that allows separation of PROTEINS; NUCLEIC ACIDS; and CARBOHYDRATES. (Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)Aviation: Design, development, manufacture, and operation of heavier-than-air AIRCRAFT.Reproducibility of Results: The statistical reproducibility of measurements (often in a clinical context), including the testing of instrumentation or techniques to obtain reproducible results. The concept includes reproducibility of physiological measurements, which may be used to develop rules to assess probability or prognosis, or response to a stimulus; reproducibility of occurrence of a condition; and reproducibility of experimental results.Office Automation: Use of computers or computer systems for doing routine clerical work, e.g., billing, records pertaining to the administration of the office, etc.Workflow: Description of pattern of recurrent functions or procedures frequently found in organizational processes, such as notification, decision, and action.Chemistry, Clinical: The specialty of ANALYTIC CHEMISTRY applied to assays of physiologically important substances found in blood, urine, tissues, and other biological fluids for the purpose of aiding the physician in making a diagnosis or following therapy.Information Systems: Integrated set of files, procedures, and equipment for the storage, manipulation, and retrieval of information.Laboratories, Hospital: Hospital facilities equipped to carry out investigative procedures.Specimen Handling: Procedures for collecting, preserving, and transporting of specimens sufficiently stable to provide accurate and precise results suitable for clinical interpretation.Sensitivity and Specificity: Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Computer Systems: Systems composed of a computer or computers, peripheral equipment, such as disks, printers, and terminals, and telecommunications capabilities.Systems Integration: The procedures involved in combining separately developed modules, components, or subsystems so that they work together as a complete system. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Computer Communication Networks: A system containing any combination of computers, computer terminals, printers, audio or visual display devices, or telephones interconnected by telecommunications equipment or cables: used to transmit or receive information. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Time and Motion Studies: The observation and analysis of movements in a task with an emphasis on the amount of time required to perform the task.Cataloging: Activities performed in the preparation of bibliographic records for CATALOGS. It is carried out according to a set of rules and contains information enabling the user to know what is available and where items can be found.Equipment Design: Methods of creating machines and devices.Software Design: Specifications and instructions applied to the software.Combinatorial Chemistry Techniques: A technology, in which sets of reactions for solution or solid-phase synthesis, is used to create molecular libraries for analysis of compounds on a large scale.User-Computer Interface: The portion of an interactive computer program that issues messages to and receives commands from a user.Miniaturization: The design or construction of objects greatly reduced in scale.Methods: A series of steps taken in order to conduct research.Image Processing, Computer-Assisted: A technique of inputting two-dimensional images into a computer and then enhancing or analyzing the imagery into a form that is more useful to the human observer.Ambulatory Care Information Systems: Information systems, usually computer-assisted, designed to store, manipulate, and retrieve information for planning, organizing, directing, and controlling administrative activities associated with the provision and utilization of ambulatory care services and facilities.Colorimetry: Any technique by which an unknown color is evaluated in terms of standard colors. The technique may be visual, photoelectric, or indirect by means of spectrophotometry. It is used in chemistry and physics. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Hospital Information Systems: Integrated, computer-assisted systems designed to store, manipulate, and retrieve information concerned with the administrative and clinical aspects of providing medical services within the hospital.Database Management Systems: Software designed to store, manipulate, manage, and control data for specific uses.Expert Systems: Computer programs based on knowledge developed from consultation with experts on a problem, and the processing and/or formalizing of this knowledge using these programs in such a manner that the problems may be solved.Programming Languages: Specific languages used to prepare computer programs.Information Storage and Retrieval: Organized activities related to the storage, location, search, and retrieval of information.Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Drug Evaluation, Preclinical: Preclinical testing of drugs in experimental animals or in vitro for their biological and toxic effects and potential clinical applications.Quality Control: A system for verifying and maintaining a desired level of quality in a product or process by careful planning, use of proper equipment, continued inspection, and corrective action as required. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Computational Biology: A field of biology concerned with the development of techniques for the collection and manipulation of biological data, and the use of such data to make biological discoveries or predictions. This field encompasses all computational methods and theories for solving biological problems including manipulation of models and datasets.Libraries, MedicalImage Cytometry: A technique encompassing morphometry, densitometry, neural networks, and expert systems that has numerous clinical and research applications and is particularly useful in anatomic pathology for the study of malignant lesions. The most common current application of image cytometry is for DNA analysis, followed by quantitation of immunohistochemical staining.Fluorometry: An analytical method for detecting and measuring FLUORESCENCE in compounds or targets such as cells, proteins, or nucleotides, or targets previously labeled with FLUORESCENCE AGENTS.Microcomputers: Small computers using LSI (large-scale integration) microprocessor chips as the CPU (central processing unit) and semiconductor memories for compact, inexpensive storage of program instructions and data. They are smaller and less expensive than minicomputers and are usually built into a dedicated system where they are optimized for a particular application. "Microprocessor" may refer to just the CPU or the entire microcomputer.Computer-Aided Design: The use of computers for designing and/or manufacturing of anything, including drugs, surgical procedures, orthotics, and prosthetics.Indicators and Reagents: Substances used for the detection, identification, analysis, etc. of chemical, biological, or pathologic processes or conditions. Indicators are substances that change in physical appearance, e.g., color, at or approaching the endpoint of a chemical titration, e.g., on the passage between acidity and alkalinity. Reagents are substances used for the detection or determination of another substance by chemical or microscopical means, especially analysis. Types of reagents are precipitants, solvents, oxidizers, reducers, fluxes, and colorimetric reagents. (From Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed, p301, p499)Microbiological Techniques: Techniques used in microbiology.Pattern Recognition, Automated: In INFORMATION RETRIEVAL, machine-sensing or identification of visible patterns (shapes, forms, and configurations). (Harrod's Librarians' Glossary, 7th ed)Decision Support Systems, Clinical: Computer-based information systems used to integrate clinical and patient information and provide support for decision-making in patient care.Artificial Intelligence: Theory and development of COMPUTER SYSTEMS which perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Such tasks may include speech recognition, LEARNING; VISUAL PERCEPTION; MATHEMATICAL COMPUTING; reasoning, PROBLEM SOLVING, DECISION-MAKING, and translation of language.Equipment Failure Analysis: The evaluation of incidents involving the loss of function of a device. These evaluations are used for a variety of purposes such as to determine the failure rates, the causes of failures, costs of failures, and the reliability and maintainability of devices.Sequence Analysis, DNA: A multistage process that includes cloning, physical mapping, subcloning, determination of the DNA SEQUENCE, and information analysis.Efficiency, Organizational: The capacity of an organization, institution, or business to produce desired results with a minimum expenditure of energy, time, money, personnel, materiel, etc.Blood Specimen Collection: The taking of a blood sample to determine its character as a whole, to identify levels of its component cells, chemicals, gases, or other constituents, to perform pathological examination, etc.Solid Phase Extraction: An extraction method that separates analytes using a solid phase and a liquid phase. It is used for preparative sample cleanup before analysis by CHROMATOGRAPHY and other analytical methods.Proteins: Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.Centrifugation: Process of using a rotating machine to generate centrifugal force to separate substances of different densities, remove moisture, or simulate gravitational effects. It employs a large motor-driven apparatus with a long arm, at the end of which human and animal subjects, biological specimens, or equipment can be revolved and rotated at various speeds to study gravitational effects. (From Websters, 10th ed; McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Biological Assay: A method of measuring the effects of a biologically active substance using an intermediate in vivo or in vitro tissue or cell model under controlled conditions. It includes virulence studies in animal fetuses in utero, mouse convulsion bioassay of insulin, quantitation of tumor-initiator systems in mouse skin, calculation of potentiating effects of a hormonal factor in an isolated strip of contracting stomach muscle, etc.Calibration: Determination, by measurement or comparison with a standard, of the correct value of each scale reading on a meter or other measuring instrument; or determination of the settings of a control device that correspond to particular values of voltage, current, frequency or other output.Databases, Factual: Extensive collections, reputedly complete, of facts and data garnered from material of a specialized subject area and made available for analysis and application. The collection can be automated by various contemporary methods for retrieval. The concept should be differentiated from DATABASES, BIBLIOGRAPHIC which is restricted to collections of bibliographic references.Immunoassay: A technique using antibodies for identifying or quantifying a substance. Usually the substance being studied serves as antigen both in antibody production and in measurement of antibody by the test substance.Drug Discovery: The process of finding chemicals for potential therapeutic use.Mass Spectrometry: An analytical method used in determining the identity of a chemical based on its mass using mass analyzers/mass spectrometers.Costs and Cost Analysis: Absolute, comparative, or differential costs pertaining to services, institutions, resources, etc., or the analysis and study of these costs.Evaluation Studies as Topic: Studies determining the effectiveness or value of processes, personnel, and equipment, or the material on conducting such studies. For drugs and devices, CLINICAL TRIALS AS TOPIC; DRUG EVALUATION; and DRUG EVALUATION, PRECLINICAL are available.Medical Informatics: The field of information science concerned with the analysis and dissemination of medical data through the application of computers to various aspects of health care and medicine.Proteomics: The systematic study of the complete complement of proteins (PROTEOME) of organisms.Syphilis Serodiagnosis: Serologic tests for syphilis.Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid: Liquid chromatographic techniques which feature high inlet pressures, high sensitivity, and high speed.Genetic Techniques: Chromosomal, biochemical, intracellular, and other methods used in the study of genetics.Medical Records Systems, Computerized: Computer-based systems for input, storage, display, retrieval, and printing of information contained in a patient's medical record.Databases, Genetic: Databases devoted to knowledge about specific genes and gene products.Models, Theoretical: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of systems, processes, or phenomena. They include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Microscopy: The use of instrumentation and techniques for visualizing material and details that cannot be seen by the unaided eye. It is usually done by enlarging images, transmitted by light or electron beams, with optical or magnetic lenses that magnify the entire image field. With scanning microscopy, images are generated by collecting output from the specimen in a point-by-point fashion, on a magnified scale, as it is scanned by a narrow beam of light or electrons, a laser, a conductive probe, or a topographical probe.Computer Simulation: Computer-based representation of physical systems and phenomena such as chemical processes.Reagent Kits, Diagnostic: Commercially prepared reagent sets, with accessory devices, containing all of the major components and literature necessary to perform one or more designated diagnostic tests or procedures. They may be for laboratory or personal use.Tandem Mass Spectrometry: A mass spectrometry technique using two (MS/MS) or more mass analyzers. With two in tandem, the precursor ions are mass-selected by a first mass analyzer, and focused into a collision region where they are then fragmented into product ions which are then characterized by a second mass analyzer. A variety of techniques are used to separate the compounds, ionize them, and introduce them to the first mass analyzer. For example, for in GC-MS/MS, GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY-MASS SPECTROMETRY is involved in separating relatively small compounds by GAS CHROMATOGRAPHY prior to injecting them into an ionization chamber for the mass selection.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Genomics: The systematic study of the complete DNA sequences (GENOME) of organisms.Biosensing Techniques: Any of a variety of procedures which use biomolecular probes to measure the presence or concentration of biological molecules, biological structures, microorganisms, etc., by translating a biochemical interaction at the probe surface into a quantifiable physical signal.Fluorescence: The property of emitting radiation while being irradiated. The radiation emitted is usually of longer wavelength than that incident or absorbed, e.g., a substance can be irradiated with invisible radiation and emit visible light. X-ray fluorescence is used in diagnosis.Fluorescent Dyes: Agents that emit light after excitation by light. The wave length of the emitted light is usually longer than that of the incident light. Fluorochromes are substances that cause fluorescence in other substances, i.e., dyes used to mark or label other compounds with fluorescent tags.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Fourier Analysis: Analysis based on the mathematical function first formulated by Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier in 1807. The function, known as the Fourier transform, describes the sinusoidal pattern of any fluctuating pattern in the physical world in terms of its amplitude and its phase. It has broad applications in biomedicine, e.g., analysis of the x-ray crystallography data pivotal in identifying the double helical nature of DNA and in analysis of other molecules, including viruses, and the modified back-projection algorithm universally used in computerized tomography imaging, etc. (From Segen, The Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)Imaging, Three-Dimensional: The process of generating three-dimensional images by electronic, photographic, or other methods. For example, three-dimensional images can be generated by assembling multiple tomographic images with the aid of a computer, while photographic 3-D images (HOLOGRAPHY) can be made by exposing film to the interference pattern created when two laser light sources shine on an object.
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