Heart attack determination with mass spec

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The standard way of determining whether a pateint with symptoms of a heart attack has actually suffered one is to run a test to determine Troponin-I levels in the bloodstream, which are the result of a traumatic event damaging the heart muscle.

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New, small, tunable X-ray source

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A tunable X-ray source hundreds of times smaller than a conventional synchrotron is reported online this week in Nature Physics (doi: 10.1038/nphys1404). The demonstration is an important step towards reducing the cost and increasing the availability of coherent, ultrafast, pulsed sources of X-rays, which are increasingly important tools in drug discovery, materials science, biology, nanotechnology and fundamental physics research.

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Q-XAS determines reactivity of environmental contaminants

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A new analytical method employed by researchers at the University of Delaware, USA, can follow, on the millisecond timescale, what happens as environmental contaminants such as arsenic begin to react with soil and water under various conditions. Quantifying the initial rates of such reactions is essential for modelling how contaminants are transported in the environment and predicting risks.

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Agilent to buy Varian

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agilentAgilent Technologies have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Varian, paying $1.5 billion. As well as adding $1 billion in annual sales to Agilent’s existing $5.8 billion, it significantly expands the range of technologies in Agilent’s portfolio. Varian are particularly strong in NMR, imaging and vacuum technologies, but also can offer a number of atomic and molecular spectroscopies.

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ICP database of bronze sculptures

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Dr. Marcus Young from Northwestern University, USA, together with collaborators from the Art Institute of Chicago, have classified the unique composition profiles of cast bronze sculptures by major European artists of the first half of the 20th century, profiles which could be used as another method to identify, date and even authenticate sculptures. Their findings were published in Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry (doi: 10.1007/s00216-009-2938-y).

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Spectral game

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Have some time on your hands or just want to hone your spectral identification? Try the Spectral Game at

New post for Simon Gaskell

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Professor Simon Gaskell, Vice-President for Research and Director of the Michael Barber Centre for Mass Spectrometry, is to leave the University of Manchester in October 2009 to become Principal of Queen Mary, University of London.

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Award for Neil Lewis

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Dr Neil Lewis, Technical Director of Malvern Instruments, is to receive the Anachem Award of the Detroit Section of the American Chemical Society at this year’s FACSS in October.

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New MS technique

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Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague have developed a new method to quickly and reliably detect metabolites, such as sugars, fatty acids, amino acids and other organic substances, from plant or animal tissue samples.



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MS for Chinese food safety

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Applied Biosystems is assisting the Chinese government in reinforcing new standards for food safety through the deployment of 40 AB Sciex mass spectromeetrs to ensure accurate identification of contaminants.

Portable XRF rental in UK and Ireland

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Ashtead Technology has been appointed as the exclusive rental partner for the Niton range of portable XRF analysers for the UK and Republic of Ireland markets.

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