In the late '70s a small company by the name of Bethesda Research Labs® (BRL) had the foresight to realize that researchers in the burgeoning field of molecular biology needed a source for chemicals, enzymes and apparatus. Until BRL, researchers not only did research but also had to make the basic molecular tools necessary for experiments that drove the biotechnology revolution over the following decades. At that time, experimental apparatus was made in University shops at great expense, with varying degrees of expertise and tended to leak. That’s not an attractive feature when you’re running thousands of volts through a conductive solution. Lab technicians wanted assurance that touching the wrong place wouldn’t prove to be a career ending mistake.
We're proud of the S2, a then revolutionary DNA sequencer that shortly became the world standard with over 55% of the market. It's still sold today and routinely seen on lab benches during PBS programs. Designed by a talented team at BRL, the exceptional H58 started the mini-gel format and has been made by us ever since. We were fortunate to work with an excellent BRL Management team so we prospered as the firm grew and morphed into Life Technologies®, now a multi-billion dollar leader in the molecular biology industry that produces quality products allowing researchers to pursue cutting edge science. The apparatus division changed hands several times until we acquired it from GE Medical® as a result of their Whatman® acquisition.
Ideally situated minutes away from Johns Hopkins University and less than an hour from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), we've benefited through proximity to the array of biotechnology companies in the Baltimore/Washington corridor.