Keeping the dream alive


Tony Davies, Peter Lampen, Stephen Heller and Evan Bolton report on the future of the spectroscopic data collected as part of the EuroSpec programme. Its long-term preservation is being guaranteed through the PubChem Project of the US National Library of Medicine.

Read more: Keeping the dream alive


Heterogeneity—the root of all evil (part 2)

Kim Esbensen and Claas Wagner continue their study of “Heterogeneity—the root of all evil” in the Sampling Column. We would be most interested to hear readers’ views on our new column. Representative sampling is essential for most analyses to be relevant, and the column will move from its early theoretical introduction to practical solutions. Readers interested in learning more about the Theory of Sampling may be interested in the Proceedings of the 7th World Conference on Sampling and Blending which are now freely available at

Read more: Heterogeneity—the root of all evil (part 2)


BERM 14: it’s that time again!

In the Quality Matters Column, Peter Jenks reminds us about “BERM 14: it’s that time again!”. The latest in this line of conferences on Biological and Environmental Reference Materials is being held in the USA in October 2015.

Read more: BERM 14: it’s that time again!


Multispectral imaging and the art expert


This article, by Antonino Cosentino is “Multispectral imaging and the art expert”. Multispectral imaging systems are increasingly being used by scientists and conservators working with art. They can map and identify the consituents of the paint and any retouching that may have been carried out on works of art. They are also used to visually enhance old and faded documents.

Read more: Multispectral imaging and the art expert


Mössbauer spectroscopy in astrobiology

Christian Schröder tells us about “Mössbauer spectroscopy in astrobiology”. Iron is abundant in the Earth’s crust, as well as on Mars and is likely to be so also on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Iron is important for life and may have played a role in the origin of life as an energy source and by providing mineral surfaces as a template for surface metabolism. Iron continues to be essential for almost all organisms as the functional centre of many proteins and enzymes. Mössbauer spectroscopy is a powerful tool to study iron-bearing solid substances and as such has applications in the search for life in other parts of our Solar System.


Read more: Mössbauer spectroscopy in astrobiology


In vivo Raman spectroscopy of skin


In vivo Raman spectroscopy of skin” is Paul Pudney’s topic. The skin is a most important part of our bodies. There is great interest in studying it to help understand the many skin diseases we are prone to, including cancer, to develop skin care products and, increasingly, as an alternative route to administer pharmaceuticals instead of through the gut. Raman spectroscopy is an exellent tool to study these, and has particular advantages in its ability to do so in vivo.

Read more: In vivo Raman spectroscopy of skin


Another one bites the dust


Tony Davies and Mohan Cashyap are concerned about your NMR data. When an article starts “On 10 October 2014 the impossible happened”, you will want to take note! Following the withdrawal of Agilent from the NMR business, Tony and Mohan consider three solutions to ensuring your NMR data is available now and into the future. If you have an NMR of any make, you will want to read this. Do remember that you can comment on the web version of the article.

Read more: Another one bites the dust


Heterogeneity—the root of all evil (part 1)


In the new Sampling Column, Kim Esbensen and Claas Wagner tell us about hetergeneity and why it is everywhere and should always be considered when sampling. The next issue will see a second part looking at how to avoid the errors involved in sampling heterogeneous materials—and that is all of them!

Read more: Heterogeneity—the root of all evil (part 1)



The annual report on new product introductions at Pittcon. The miniaturisation of spectrometers continues, with increasing use of MEMS-based instruments bringing the potential for “ultramobile” instruments, as well as improved consistency and economies of scale in manufacture. Wearable spectroscopy is already here and it will not be long before we see significant use of spectroscopy for consumer devices and in or on our mobile phones.

Read more: PITTCON 2015


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