Discover 15 Amazing Laboratory Facts For Future Scientists

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Nov 02, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Apr 11, 2022
These laboratory facts will tell you about different types of laboratories, including medical labs.

Laboratories are controlled places used for research and experiments in natural sciences such as biology, chemistry, and physics.

Scientific methods are followed in all disciplines and the use of equipment such as glassware and electrical devices is common. Whether it's a school lab or a clinical lab, the sight of these devices or machines makes most of us curious.

History Of Laboratories

In early times, the term laboratory was associated with alchemy and medical drugs preparation.

Laboratories and scientific equipment evolved with Big Science in the course of World War II. A popular Greek philosopher and scientist of Samos, Pythagoras, had a home laboratory, which is the earliest laboratory known. This was utilized to conduct experiments on sound tones and string vibrations.

The accidental discovery of a 16th century underground alchemical laboratory in 2002 has been preserved at a Prague museum. The laboratory, named Speculum Alchemiae, is believed to have belonged to Rudolf II, a Holy Roman Emperor.

The 1885 painting of Louis Pasteur by Albert Edelfelt shows Pasteur with no protective gear on, a note in his left hand and a bottle containing a solid in the right hand.

Types Of Laboratory

For different fields of science and engineering, there are different types of laboratories to suit the varied requirements.

A physics laboratory is usually equipped with particle accelerators and vacuum chambers, while a wet laboratory is used by biologists and chemists. A wet laboratory contains basic apparatus like beakers, test tubes, and pipettes.

A metallurgy laboratory contains tools to cast or refine metals or test their strength. A psychologist's laboratory may be slightly different, in that it contains one-way mirrors and cameras to assist in the analysis of patient behavior. Computer scientists have laboratories with computers or supercomputers, which are used to analyze data collections or for simulations.

While you might know about scientific laboratories in educational places and industry used for scientific research or learning, there are also scientific laboratories in government and military facilities, as well as on ships and space-crafts.

Finally, there are medical labs at hospitals or the doctor's office, where medical lab technicians analyze human samples by performing tests to help with the doctor's diagnosis.

With so many hazardous chemicals, flammable or radioactive components, and machines, safety precautions are a priority in laboratories. They are required in order to reduce any risks to the people working there, in addition to the use of safety equipment which can help people avoid injuries or respond to emergencies.

Importance Of Laboratory For Human Health

With biological material samples, medical labs check for diseases and abnormalities, by analyzing unseen components of the human body.

A medical lab processes any body fluid or tissue. Unlike a wet laboratory or a school laboratory, the lab work in a medical laboratory goes beyond test tubes and beakers. The functioning of major organ systems in the body can be analyzed through proteins and enzymes.

Blood cells examination can look for an infection caused by bacteria or viruses, or check for leukemia or anemia. Checking for viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungus provides clarity on the cause of infection.

If a person requires a blood transfusion, laboratories can determine the blood type and compatibility to ensure a good transfusion match.

When you go to a doctor for a health check-up, the doctor might suggest some lab tests get more clarity on certain matters. They rely on this analysis for a better diagnosis. Laboratories not only screen for certain conditions that help determine a diagnosis for a patient but also help in patient management of the disease.

Similar to doctors and nurses not knowing who's going to be brought into a hospital's emergency room yet are prepared to handle anything, a laboratory's medical lab technicians are prepared for any specimen that comes in.

Laboratories And Animals

The use of animals for laboratory experiments has always occurred in the past, although in recent times, this practice has faced protest for being unethical.

Laboratory animals are used for experiments pertaining to research in medical institutions, defense, and pharmaceutical companies. They're mainly used to discover a cure for specific diseases, but are also used to test cosmetics, toxicology, and breeding.

Laboratories in institutions with biology or psychology courses also employ lab animals. There are over 100 million vertebrate animals, including primates and zebrafish that are employed for laboratory testing. Most research uses animals such as frogs, mice, and rats.

While most animals are bred specifically for experimentation, a few are obtained from the wild. There are people who support the use of animals in laboratories, as well as people who oppose it.

The supporters are of the opinion that the results obtained with the use of animals cannot be replicated with computer replacement, especially in medical research. Those who oppose the idea do so on humanitarian grounds, stating the use of animals is unethical.


Why are laboratories important?

A laboratory is where tests are carried out to detect any disease or infection in individuals by using a sample from the body.

What are the features of a good laboratory?

A good laboratory must have sufficient space to move about, along with safety features being easily accessible, like fire detection and bio-safety cabinets. The furniture in a laboratory must promote good posture for researchers and the lighting must be ambient, with additional focus lights for specific tasks. Above all, appropriate storage must be provided for chemicals.

Who is a medical laboratory technician?

A medical laboratory technician is one who performs the diagnostic testing of the blood and body fluid samples in clinical laboratories.

When was the laboratory invented?

The actual date or year is not known, but laboratories were first introduced in the 1800s.

What is a laboratory called in a hospital?

A laboratory in a hospital is called a medical laboratory or a clinical laboratory, where medical tests are performed on specimens to help doctors diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases.

What would be the most important thing to consider while inside the laboratory?

Safety is the most important thing to consider in a laboratory. To ensure safety, follow instructions, wear protective attire, and keep all equipment clean after use and returned to the allotted storage area.

Who is the head of the laboratory?

The laboratory director of a clinical lab is the head of the laboratory and are usually doctors who are board-certified, Ph.D. scientists, or at times medical lab scientists.

How can we stop animal testing in laboratories?

Some of the ways we can help stop animal testing in labs are by buying cruelty-free products, educating others about the reality of animal testing, and making a donation to charities that oppose experiments on animals.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
Read full bio >