Reviews

A History of European Mass Spectrometry

History-of-MS-280The book’s eleven chapters cover an eclectic mix of topics, written by respected scientists who know their way around a mass spectrometer. Their recollections of their own experiences serve to lighten the book and make reading it a more pleasurable experience. They focus on the techniques as well as the geographic centres of excellence in Europe which made invaluable contributions to mass spectrometry. The level of content in all of the chapters is impressive and it is supplemented by many historical photographs of instruments and the people involved in their development, which is one of the enjoyable aspects of this book, bringing the history to light.

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A Cornucopia of Chemometrics

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Comprehensive chemometrics: chemical and biochemical data analysis

Editors in Chief: Steven D Brown, Romà Tauler and Beata Walczak

Elsevier 2009, four volumes, 2896 pp
ISBN: 9780444527028
€1360

Reviewed by Chris Burgess

Spectroscopists, like chromatographers, produce large quantities of raw data. Data reduction into something more meaningful is the goal. Selecting the right tool for the job is the challenge. Inevitably the right tool involves heavy duty mathematical and statistical expertise and hence chemometrics.

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Mass Spectrometry

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Edmond de Hofmann and Vincent Stroobant

2nd edition, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester (2001). ISBN 0-471-48565-9

Reviewed by A.I. Mallet, University of Greenwich, UK

The first edition of the English language version of de Hoffmann and Stroobant's volume was a very welcome event for all of us charged with teaching mass spectrometry to undergraduate and graduate students and to colleagues from other scientific disciplines. This new edition is even better. The book has been totally reset in a clearer and more readable type and many of the sections have been rewritten or expanded. These include the discussion of ion trap operation and its use for multi step tandem mass spectrometry. MALDI ionisation is more fully covered and many of the examples of application of techniques have been brought up to date. The inorganic and elemental analyst is also catered for, in a small way, with the inclusion of ICP, glow discharge and similar techniques. The book adopts a "classical" approach describing both old fashion magnetic analysers and newer systems though little mention been made of the latest hybrid analysers such as the "q-TOF" and trap-ICR instruments. The discussion of fragmentation is clear and helpful but more examples from CID of even electron species arising from ESI or ApCI sources would have been welcome.

A fairly rigorous account of the operation of quadrupolar devices is included but this is preceeded by a clear simple explanation of how the devices work; the thermodynamics of ionisation and gas-phase reactions are also well covered. As in the first edition, a useful set of problems and answers is included. A final section giving sources of information, including the growing number of Internet sites is included. This volume provides an excellent reference text for modern mass spectrometry at a reasonable cost, being available in both hard and soft back bindings and is to be recommended to students of chemistry and the biological sciences alike.
   

Near-Infrared Applications in Biotechnology

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R. Raghavachari

Volume 25 of the Practical Spectroscopy Series, Marcel Dekker, New York, 383 pp (2001).

Reviewed by Brian Osborne, BRI Australia Ltd, North Ryde, Australia

This book is divided into two unequal parts. Part A (10 Chapters; 290 pages) reviews NIR fluorescence and Part B (3 Chapters; 73 pages) deals with NIR absorption spectroscopy. The inequality of treatment arises from the considerable depth of detail in the fluorescence section compared with the concise review style of the absorption chapters. It is suggested in the Foreword that fluorescence spectroscopy may well be more important than absorption for the applications covered by this book. Another reason for the unequal treatment may be that the NIR absorption spectroscopy topics presented by the same authors are also found in another volume in the Practical Spectroscopy Series (Volume 27, Handbook of Near-Infrared Analysis, Second Edition, 2001) and in a forthcoming book on pharmaceutical applications of NIR. Nevertheless, inclusion of the absorption chapters makes the book complete in keeping with its title.

In keeping with the theme of the book, the editor proposes in his introduction, a biomedical definition of the NIR region. This is the wavelength range 650–2500 nm, defined on the basis of being beyond the response of the human eye.

The longest chapter (60 pages) with the most references (134) is Chapter 3 which deals with the chemistry of polymethine dyes fluorescing in the NIR region. It provides the foundation for succeeding chapters on the use of such dyes in fluorescence detection in immunoassays, DNA sequencing, medical imaging and single-molecule detection. The common theme is the low amount of interference in NIR fluorescence leading to high sensitivity compared with the UV-Vis.

One chapter that stands out as an oddity (but that is not to say that it is uninteresting) is Chapter 10: "Beyond biotechnology and into popular technology" where we enter the world of such things as CD-ROMs and bar codes.

The fact that of 84 references in NIR applications in medicine (Chapter 6) and 98 references in biomedical applications of NIR absorption spectroscopy (Chapter 12) almost none is older than 1990, testifies as to how young a field of science this is.

Overall, this book is a valuable addition to the library of any organisation involved in biotechnology.

   

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