Scientists at the University of Warwick have developed a computation which simultaneously doubles the resolution, sensitivity and mass accuracy of Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry (FT-MS) at no extra cost.
Archaeologists examining late period Mayan containers have identified nicotine traces from a codex-style flask, revealing the first physical evidence of tobacco use by ancient Mayans. The study published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry reveals the flask is marked with Mayan hieroglyphics reading, “y-otoot ’u-may” (“the home of its/his/her tobacco”), making it only the second case to confirm that the text on the exterior of a Mayan vessel corresponds to its ancient use.
Due to the importance of imaging mass spectrometry in the life sciences, the Joint Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has decided, as part of the “Imaging Mass Spectrometry in the Life Sciences” initiative, to equip nine universities with major instrumentation systems.
Researchers have used mass spectrometry imaging to uncover exactly how a human egg captures an incoming sperm to begin the fertilisation process, in a new study published this week in Science. The research identifies the sugar molecule that makes the outer coat of the egg “sticky”, which is vital for enabling the sperm and egg to bind together. Researchers across the world have been trying to understand what performs this task for over 30 years.
The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) announce Carol V. Robinson, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, UK, as the winner of the 2011 FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award. Professor Robinson has been recognised for her pioneering work in the development of mass spectrometry as a tool used for investigating the structure and dynamics of protein complexes.
Metabolic profiling of tissue samples could transform the way surgeons make decisions in the operating theatre, say researchers at a new laboratory. Scientists at Imperial College London, in partnership with clinicians at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, have installed a high resolution solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer in St Mary’s Hospital. Researchers will use the machine to analyse intact tissue samples from patients taking part in studies, to investigate whether it can ultimately give surgeons detailed diagnostic information while their patients are under the knife.
Professor Peter Derrick, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Fellowship is an honour given to top researchers in New Zealand for showing distinction in research or in the advancement of science, technology or the humanities. Peter Derrick moved to New Zealand from the University of Warwick, UK, about four years ago to head the Institute of Fundamental Sciences at Massey University.
Researchers at the University of Konstanz, have for the first time successfully developed a novel on-line bioaffinity-electrospray ionisation (ESI) mass spectrometry (MS) approach, which enables the simultaneous label-free detection, identification and quantification of protein–ligand interactions. Combining the sam5 surface acoustic wave biosensor from SAW Instruments with ESI-MS has enabled the direct connection of protein–ligand dissociation constants (KD) analysis with their subsequent quantification and structural characterisation by MS.
AB SCIEX has expanded its commercial operations in Korea with a new direct sales organisation under AB SCIEX Korea. This expansion was made possible by an agreement with Life Science Korea (LSK) to transfer existing sales, service and marketing personnel to AB SCIEX, effective immediately.
Agilent Technologies Inc. has opened a new life sciences instruments manufacturing facility in Singapore. The facility will produce the company’s LC/MS instruments for the global market.
Bruker Daltonics has been selected by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) at Florida State University to design and build the world’s first 21.0 T Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FT-ICR) magnet. The magnet will be designed in collaboration with NHMFL scientists and used in the FT-ICR programme at the lab. The contract for the magnet is valued at over $10 million, the project is funded by the National Science Foundation, and delivery of the magnet is planned for the first half of calendar year 2013.
Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) is proving to be critical for identifying and differentiating the various components of explosives. ToF-SIMS can potentially be used to differentiate between explosive manufacturers and to reveal an explosive material’s country of origin.
Europe is getting ready for its first unmanned visit to the surface of Mars. The first European Mars Rover on a joint mission of the American and European space agencies, NASA and ESA, will take off in 2018. The 250 kg Rover will roll over the surface of Mars at a speed of 100 m per hour. While doing so, it will inspect the surface and gather up ground and rock samples, some of them up to 2 m deep. The main goals of the so-called EXOMARS mission are to search for traces of former or present life on the earth-like planet, and to prepare for the arrival of a manned Mars landing.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have revealed new details about how cannibalistic bacteria identify peers suitable for consumption. The work, which employed imaging mass spectrometry, is a first step toward a broader effort to map all signalling molecules between organisms.
Kenneth Standing and Werner Ens from the University of Manitoba have won the Manning Innovation Award, which has been recognising and encouraging innovation in Canada since 1982. The award is given to Canadians who have demonstrated recent innovative talent in developing and successfully marketing a new concept, process or procedure.
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology, GA, USA, have attained very promising results on their initial investigations of a new test for ovarian cancer. Using a new technique involving mass spectrometry of a single drop of blood serum, the test correctly identified women with ovarian cancer in 100% of the patients tested.
Microscopy with atomic resolution could be useful in the determining the structure of some unknown organic compounds, such as medicinally important natural products, according to a study online in Nature Chemistry. This method could avoid the lengthy and expensive process of trying to synthesise the compound and then compare its structure with that of the natural one, which is necessary in some cases.
The potential impact of lipid research has been increasingly realised both in disease treatment and prevention. Recent advances in soft ionisation mass spectrometry (MS) such as electrospray ionisation (ESI) have permitted parallel monitoring of several hundreds of lipids in a single experiment and thus facilitated lipidomics level studies. These advances, however, pose a greater challenge for bioinformaticians to handle massive amounts of information-rich MS data from modern analytical instruments in order to understand complex functions of lipids.
Professor Pauline Rudd, of the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) in Dublin, Ireland, has received an Agilent Thought Leader Award in support of her emerging glycomics research. The award includes a grant of funding and instruments to the NIBRT. The goals of the research are to develop novel approaches to analyse protein glycosylation which will assist in the characterisation of recombinant protein drugs, and to study potential glycan biomarkers associated with disease using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry.
A new technique to analyse fingermarks from crime scenes has the potential to give crucial additional details about a suspect such as their medications, diet, the time at which they accidentally left the fingermark and can even be used to detect any substances they might have touched, such as traces of cocaine. These extra details can be important background information in a criminal investigation, especially if the suspect's fingerprint is not on the police database. It is hoped the technique will compliment current fingermark detection techniques and assist in criminal investigations.