Peter Jenks is off to a conference. He describes the history of the Biological and Environmental Reference Materials (BERM) series of conferences and concludes that they still are important for all of us 30 years after their start. He urges you to attend the next, in October 2015 in the USA.
The analysis of turbid samples is increasingly important, not least due to their widespread occurrence in natural samples. Dmitry Khoptyar, Sören Johansson, Staffan Strömblad and Stefan Andersson-Engels show “Broadband photon time-of-flight spectroscopy as a prospective tool in biomedicine and industrial process and quality control”. The authors describe their recent development of a broadband spectrometer for evaluation of absorption and scattering spectra of very diverse turbid materials in the visible and close-near infrared (NIR) regions and its application with milk, cheese and paper samples.
Knowledge about the particles in the air is important because of their effect on our health and their impact on our climate through cloud formation and transport of nutrients into the oceans. Ursula Fittschen describes “Strategies for ambient aerosols characterisation using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence: a review”. This technique can provide elemental determination and speciation of aerosol particulates with limits of detection in the pg m–3 range for many elements.
Ronnie Gallagher tells us about “Atomic dielectric resonance”. This technique has many applications in analysis of features below the Earth’s surface, both exploration for water, oil, gas and minerals, as well as archaeological and architectural sites where its non-destructive nature is of great value. It also has been used to identify some Creutzfeldt–Jakob diseases in humans.
Another area of application of XRF, “Determination of elemental distribution or heterogeneity by X-ray fluorescence”, is considered by Christopher Shaffer and Didier Bonvin. The ability of modern X-ray spectrometers to perform small spot analysis as well as mapping has opened up new applications in non-homogeneous samples. The authors show applications in metals, precious alloys as well as rocks.
In the Tony Davies Column, Tony (A.N.) Davies and Mohan Cashyap introduce us to the potential for Cloud Computing in the lab. This is the first of a two-part contribution, and, for the second part, they need your help with your experiences of Cloud Computing in your lab or organisation.
John Hammond and Chris Burgess are also in the middle of a multi-part contribution to the Quality Matters column. “…that’s what I thought you said?” looks at further misundertandings in terminologies surrounding Reference Materials, and sets the record straight.
“Spectral database for postage stamps by means of FT-IR spectroscopy” by Eleonora Imperio, Gabriele Giancane and Ludovico Valli will be of great interest. As well as helping to detect forgeries, FT-IR has been used to create a database which also charts the history of the technology used to create stamps. Quite rightly, they are considered by many to be works of art.
Further applications of Raman in the biological world are discussed in “Raman spectroscopy for the study of biological organisms (biogenic materials and biological tissues): a valuable analytical tool” by Malvina Orkoula and Christos Kontoyannis. In this article, the applications are more medical and show how Raman spectroscopy can provide more information on parts of our bodies from kidney stones to osteoarthritic hips than the traditionally used techniques of FT-IR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction.
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- Elucidating structural and compositional changes in plant tissues and single cells by Raman spectroscopic imaging
- Multisensor hyperspectral imaging as a versatile tool for image-based chemical structure determination
- Quantum cascade laser-based mid-infrared spectrochemical imaging of tissues and biofluids
- Shedding light on plant biology by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of pollen
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- Atomic absorption
- Atomic emission
- Ion mobility
- Laser spectroscopy
- Mass spectrometry
- Near infrared
- NMR ESR EPR
- Related equipment
- RMs and standards
- Sample prep
- Separation science
- Surface analysis
- X-ray spectrometry