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Fast Acquisition

August 5, 2013 1:59 pm | by Paul Livingstone | Articles | Comments

Earlier this year, physicists working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, determined the ionization potential for astatine, a naturally occurring element so rare that, until now, its ionization potential couldn’t be determined. All told, less than a tenth of a gram exists on Earth, which led researchers to create artificial astatine in the laboratory, then test it later using laser spectroscopy.

Modular Spectroscopy Tools for Measuring Intrinsic Protein Fluorescence

August 5, 2013 1:19 pm | by Yvette Mattley, PhD, Product Leader, Ocean Optics, Dunedin, Fla. | Articles | Comments

Intrinsic fluorescence is a powerful indicator of protein structure and function. The amount of fluorescence can often give the researcher insight into the protein’s conformational states or activity under different biological conditions including changes in temperature, pH and ion concentration.

Chemists develop innovative nanosensors for multiple proteins

July 31, 2013 10:46 am | News | Comments

Researchers have shown that test strips bearing gold nanoparticles as sensor elements can detect numerous proteins simultaneously. This new cost-effective method for parallel protein analysis, developed at Johannes Gutenberg Univ. in Mainz, Germany, is, in principle, capable of identifying hundreds of even thousands of different proteins. It could even be used to detect the presence of viruses and their type.

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Scientists analyze genetic makeup of human, mouse embryos in unprecedented detail

July 31, 2013 9:22 am | by Shaun Mason, UCLA | News | Comments

In collaboration with teams in China, researchers in California have used the technology of single-cell RNA sequencing to track the genetic development of a human and a mouse embryo at a high level of accuracy. The technique could lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses of genetic diseases, even when the embryo consists of only eight cells.

A spectrometer for the future

July 31, 2013 8:29 am | News | Comments

Sometimes a little disorder is precisely what’s in order. Taking advantage of the sensitive nature of randomly scattered light, Yale Univ. researchers have developed an ultracompact, low-cost spectrometer with improved resolution over existing micro models. The innovation represents an advance in lab-on-a-chip technology, or the consolidation of laboratory capabilities in miniature, highly portable devices.

Agilent triple quadrupole ICP-MS selected for 2013 R&D 100 Award

July 24, 2013 1:02 pm | News | Comments

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that the 8800 Triple Quadrupole ICP-MS has been named an 2013 R&D 100 Award winner. Unlike existing instruments, the Agilent 8800 is the only ICP-MS system with a tandem mass spectrometer, or MS/MS, configuration.

Thermo Fisher Scientific wins five 2013 R&D 100 Awards

July 24, 2013 12:57 pm | News | Comments

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. announced that five of its analytical instruments were included on the R&D Magazine list of the year’s top 100 technology innovations. The R&D 100, known as the “Oscars of Innovation,” span industry, academia and government-sponsored research.

Molecule movements observed in live cells

July 24, 2013 8:38 am | News | Comments

A newly developed microscopy method that combines several imaging techniques is capable of recording the rapid movements of molecules in live samples. Called STED-RICS microscopy, the innovation relies on confocal scanning, fluorescence imaging using stimulated depletion emission technology and raster image correlation spectroscopy. It could help applications such as analyzing the dynamics of cell membranes at high protein concentrations.

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Researchers put squeeze on cells to deliver

July 22, 2013 11:44 am | News | Comments

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a rapid and highly efficient system for transferring large molecules, nanoparticles, and other agents into living cells, providing new avenues for disease research and treatment. The high throughput method treats up to 100,000 cells per second and uses controlled mechanical force that is non-toxic to cells.

Illumina to offer phasing data service for human whole-genome sequencing

July 18, 2013 4:35 pm | News | Comments

This week Illumina, Inc. announced the availability of its Phasing Analysis Service. The new sample-to-answer service delivers human whole-genome phase information, empowering gene mapping studies with a more comprehensive view of genomic variation. With phase data, researchers can better understand the effect of genotype on phenotype and variant interaction within a gene.

New methods visualize bacterial cell-to-cell communication

July 18, 2013 4:05 pm | News | Comments

Researchers in Switzerland have developed a live-cell fluorescent labeling that makes bacterial cell-to-cell communication pathways visible. The communication between bacterial cells is essential in the regulation of processes within bacterial populations, such as biofilm development.

"Intelligent knife" tells surgeon which tissue is cancerous

July 17, 2013 3:39 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have developed an "intelligent knife" that can tell surgeons immediately whether the tissue they are cutting is cancerous or not. In the first study to test the invention in the operating theatre, the "iKnife" diagnosed tissue samples from 91 patients with 100% accuracy, instantly providing information that normally takes up to half an hour to reveal using laboratory tests.

PNNL wins R&D 100 Award for instrument that leads to rapid medical, environmental tests

July 9, 2013 4:20 pm | News | Comments

An instrument that quickly and more effectively analyzes complex biological and environmental samples was named one of the past year's 100 most significant scientific and technological products or advances. The innovation was recognized by R&D Magazine in their annual R&D 100 Awards competition and was developed by researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

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Berkeley Lab wins eight 2013 R&D 100 Awards

July 9, 2013 2:23 pm | News | Comments

A generator that uses a virus to convert mechanical energy to electricity and a new material that will boost power storage in rechargeable batteries by 30% are among eight inventions by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists that were honored with a 2013 R&D 100 Award, often dubbed the “Oscars of Innovation.”

Biosensing technique measures thermal conductivity of a single cell

July 1, 2013 9:37 am | News | Comments

Researchers in Korea have discovered a way to measure the "thermal conductivity" of three types of cells taken from human and rat tissues and placed in individual micro-wells. They showed that they could detect uniform heat signatures from the various cells and measured significant difference between dead and living ones, suggesting a new way to probe cells for biological activity.

Physicists tease out twisted torques of DNA

June 28, 2013 12:56 pm | by Anne Ju, Cornell University | News | Comments

DNA sometimes twists itself into supercoils, an phenomenon caused by enzymes that travel along DNA’s helical groove and exert force and torque as they move. For the first time, these tiny torques have been measured using an instrument called an angular optical trap. Researchers at Cornell University have reported direct measurements of the torque generated by a motor protein as it traverses supercoiled DNA.

Biochemists identify protease substrates important for bacterial growth

June 28, 2013 9:32 am | News | Comments

Reporting in Molecular Microbiology, Peter Chien and colleagues at the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst describe using a combination of biochemistry and mass spectrometry to “trap” scores of new candidate substrates of the protease ClpXP to reveal how protein degradation is critical to cell cycle progression and bacterial development. The new understanding could lead to identifying new antibiotic targets.

Biochemists identify protease substrates crucial for bacterial health

June 28, 2013 9:28 am | News | Comments

Research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has revealed how protein degradation is critical to cell cycle progression and bacterial development. The team used a combination of biochemistry and mass spectrometry to “trap” scores of new candidate substrates of the protease ClpXP. These substrates cover all aspects of bacterial growth and development.

Thermo Fisher significantly expands R&D capabilities in China

June 27, 2013 8:12 am | News | Comments

This week, Thermo Fisher Scientific unveiled plans to greatly expand its reach into high-growth markets in the Asia-Pacific region. It has invested $9.5 million in a new China Innovation Center and is expecting to add 200 to 300 engineers in the next two to three years, as well as a training center to instruct up to 2,500 customers per year.

Leti develops lens-free imaging technique

June 27, 2013 7:45 am | News | Comments

Scientists at the French research and technology organization Leti, a division of CEA-Leti, this week introduced a new video lens-free imaging technique. Introduced at Leti Innovation Days the microscope captures microscale features over a large field-of-view, providing the opportunity for real-time monitoring of cell cultures.

NMR advance brings proteins into the open

June 25, 2013 7:55 am | News | Comments

When working a cold case, smart investigators try something new. By taking a novel approach to nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy—a blending of four techniques—scientists have been able to resolve a key interaction between two proteins that could never be observed before.

Device detects disease with a drop of blood

June 24, 2013 9:47 am | News | Comments

A research team at New Jersey Institute of Technology have created a carbon nanotube-based device to noninvasively and quickly detect mobile single cells with the potential to maintain a high degree of spatial resolution. This prototype lab-on-a-chip could someday enable a physician to detect disease or virus from just one drop of liquid, including blood.

Research identifies scent of melanoma

June 13, 2013 6:00 pm | News | Comments

Melanoma is a tumor that is responsible for approximately 75% of skin cancer deaths. According to new research, odors from human skin cells can be used to identify melanoma. The method, which uses gas chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques, takes advantage of the fact that human skin produces numerous airborne chemical molecules known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, many of which are odorous.

Imaging technique captures ever-changing world of metabolites

June 13, 2013 7:38 am | News | Comments

What would you do with a camera that can take a picture of something and tell you how new it is? If you’re a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist, you use it to gain a better understanding of the ever-changing world of metabolites. A team of researchers has developed a mass spectrometry imaging technique that not only maps the whereabouts of individual metabolites in a biological sample, but how new the metabolites are too.

Agilent introduces advanced mass spec software

June 11, 2013 4:15 pm | News | Comments

Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced two applications that further enhance its MassHunter Workstation software and LC-MS, GC-MS and ICP-MS instruments. These new applications empower users to rapidly create targeted screening methods for food safety and forensic analysis, and to characterize intact proteins and biosimilars for biopharmaceutical research.

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