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Faster biopsies thanks to NMR

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Press release from Nature News - under embargo for Monday 14 December 1800 London time (GMT) Chemical fingerprints of tissue samples taken from patients during operations could soon help surgeons to decide quickly where to make their incisions. Nature News has reported that two groups are leading efforts to use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to analyse the metabolites in biopsies and relay information back to theatre within minutes.

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Understanding protein transitions

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protein-dynamics-sUnderstanding the extremely fast atomic mechanisms at work when a protein transitions from one shape to another has been an elusive scientific goal for years, but an essential one for elucidating the full range of protein function. How do proteins transition between distinct shapes without unfolding in the process? Until now, this question has been a hypothetical one, approached by computation only rather than experimentation. In a study in Cell (doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.11.022), researchers reveal for the first time computationally and experimentally the molecular pathway that a protein takes to cross the energy barrier. The study reports how folded proteins can efficiently change shape while avoiding unfolding, a critical requirement for any protein in the cell.

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Leibniz Prize 2010: award for FCS work

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One of the ten winners of the 2010 Leibnitz Prize, Petra Schwille, is recognised for her work with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.

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World's first 1000 MHz NMR installed at CRMN in Lyon, France

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Bruker_AVANCE1000_LYON-sBruker BioSpin has installed the world’s first 1000 MHz ultra-high field NMR AVANCE™ spectrometer at the Centre de Resonance Magnétique Nucléaire à Très Hauts Champs (CRMN) in Lyon, France (a joint research unit of CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Université Lyon 1). The AVANCE 1000 system incorporates a 23.5 Tesla superconducting magnet, and offers exciting research opportunities, both to the CRMN and to other French and European scientists who will access this unique facility.

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A challenge to improve NMR for structural biology

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casdnmr-1-sIn structural biology, the only technique available to predict the three-dimensional structure of large complex molecules in solution, such as proteins and DNA, is nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. To improve the techniques behind these predictions, the “eNMR” project has launched a new initiative. In September’s Nature Methods (doi: 10.1038/nmeth0909-625) the project issued an invitation to the entire biomolecular NMR community to participate in a large scale test of modern computing algorithms. This community-wide “contest” will potentially improve efficiency, reproducibility and reliability of NMR structure determination. eNMR will be using the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE infrastructure to power their analysis.

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Herschel’s splendid spectra

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News-21_6-Herschel-bottom-sNew spectra, obtained with the SPIRE, PACS and HIFI instruments of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory during the performance verification phase, have been released by ESA and the instrument teams. Taken together with earlier images the observatory is now on the way to demonstrating that the promised imaging and spectroscopic capabilities are being met.

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Discounted educational pricing

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A2 Technologies has extended the educational institution pricing programme on its ML spectrometer system until 31 March 2010, which offers a 40% discount on the list price. www.a2technologies.com

   

Agilent buys MassCode Tag technology

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Agilent Technologies has purchased the MassCode Tag technology from Eurofins MWG Operon, which includes trademarks and intellectual property including patents. Agilent will usse the MassCode Tag technology to develop new research products for pathogen identification. Eurofins MWG Operon will continue as a supplier of the core component for the new products. www.agilent.com, www.operon.com

   

1000 AAs up

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Analytik Jena have now sold over 1000 units of the ContrAA range of flame and graphite furnace AA spectrophotometers. www.analytikjenauk.co.uk

   

Cerno/Agilent cooperation

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Cerno Bioscience and Agilent Technologies will jointly market Cerno’s MassWorks calibration software to Agilent GC/MSD ChemStation users. The calibration software increases the mass accuracy of Agilent’s single quadrupole GC/MSD sufficiently to identify unknown compounds. www.agilent.com/chem/gcmschemstation, www.cernobioscience.com/products.html

   

New German facility for Fibre Photonics

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Fibre Photonics Ltd, specialist manufacturer of mid-infrared fibre optic cables and immersion probes, have opened a sales, engineering and applications facility in Germany’s largest technology park at Adlershof, in Berlin. www.fibrephotonics.com

   

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