Researchers are still experiencing lab supply shortages because of the covid-19 pandemic, a situation affecting experiments and scientists’ careers, reports The Scientist

Researchers are paying more and waiting longer for items such as gloves, pipet tips, and reagents due to their use in testing for SARS-CoV-2, eating through funds and slowing research. The problem is so acute that some researchers say they’re concerned about hitting the milestones needed to advance their careers. 

“My biggest fear as a junior assistant professor right now is that we’re going to lose a lot of people from this generation of science. . . . There’s going to be a lot of people in my cohort of assistant professors who just aren’t going to make it as a result of this,” says Stephanie Grainger, whose lab at San Diego State University studies signaling in stem cells. “It’s heartbreaking and scary.”

How the Pandemic Causes Shortages

Kai te Kaat, the vice president for life sciences program management at QIAGEN, says the problem dates back to the beginning of the pandemic. “I don’t know of any company that has products that are halfway related to COVID testing that did not experience a tremendous surge in demand that overwhelmed absolutely the manufacturing capacities that were in place,” he tells The Scientist. The shortages also affected research products that aren’t themselves used in testing but share components with testing supplies, he adds.

Read more in The Scientist