March 15th, 2022

Microbes do not care whether operators accept the science.

Can microbes degrade turbine oil and cause damage to turbine oil systems?

The short answer is yes.

In 2018, as part of an Energy Institute sponsored project, I invited more than 100 turbine system operators to complete a survey designed to assess biodeterioration risk awareness and operational measures (for example, condition monitoring practices) for reducing the risk. Concurrently, I sent a similar invitation to…

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February 16th, 2022

One of the more famous quotes from William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet.

Language Matters

In this month’s article I’ll address the use of what I call unregistered microbicides.

Over the course of the past several decades, industry and regulators have taken increasingly jaundiced views of chemical substances variously known as antimicrobial pesticides, biocidal substances, biocides, biocidal products, and microbicides. What are these substances? The EU’s…

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January 12th, 2022

Sources of Variation. Homogeneity – the non-uniform distribution of microbes in the sample source (VSOURCE, where V = variability), the sample (VSAMPLE) and the specimen (VSPECIMEN) – contributes substantially to test result variability.

It’s Not the Method

A few years ago, a single set of fuel and fuel-associated water samples were used for two ASTM interlaboratory studies (ILS). You can read the details in the paper published in International Biodeterioration &…

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December 21st, 2021

Most commonly, quantitative recovery applies when a method consistently detects a substantial percentage of the intended analyte in a specimen. Read on to learn more.

Analytes and Parameters

In chemistry, an analyte is a substance or material being measured by an analytical method. In microbiology, the analyte is either microbial cells or molecules. A parameter is a property used to quantify an analyte. Direct counting – using either a microscope or a flow cytometer – is…

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October 19th, 2021

The tool you choose depends on the intended use.

Parts 1 Through 3 Recap
In Part 1 (July 2021), when I started this series on test method comparison, I provided an overview of several basic precision concepts:

Accuracy
Bias
Correlation coefficient
Regression curve
Repeatability
Reproducibility

In Part 2 (August 2021) I explained why it is unrealistic to expect correlation coefficients between two methods, each based on a different parameter (e.g., CFU mL-1 and gene…

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