Oncology & Cancer

Probing deeper into tumor tissues

Today, as they did 100 years ago, doctors diagnose cancer by taking tissue samples from patients, which they usually fix in formalin for microscopic examination. In the past 20 years, genetic methods have also been established ...

Neuroscience

How proteins control information processing in the brain

A complicated interaction between proteins is needed for information to pass from one nerve cell to the next. Researchers at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have now managed to study this process in the ...

Medical research

Cheap, potent pathway to pandemic therapeutics

By capitalizing on a convergence of chemical, biological and artificial intelligence advances, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists have developed an unusually fast and efficient method for discovering tiny ...

Oncology & Cancer

A promising breath-test for cancer

The global quest to use a person's breath analysis for rapid, inexpensive and accurate early-stage testing for cancer and other diseases has taken a leap forward.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers propose a new, quick way to detect coronavirus

A scientific group led by Skoltech Professor Evgeny Nikolaev, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has developed a coronavirus testing technology based on mass spectrometry. The new method provides for ...

Oncology & Cancer

Zika inhibits the proliferation of prostate cancer cells

After revealing in a groundbreaking study that Zika virus can be used to combat brain tumors, researchers at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in São Paulo State, Brazil, have shown that the pathogen may also be a weapon ...

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Mass spectrometry

Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique for the determination of the elemental composition of a sample or molecule. It is also used for elucidating the chemical structures of molecules, such as peptides and other chemical compounds. The MS principle consists of ionizing chemical compounds to generate charged molecules or molecule fragments and measurement of their mass-to-charge ratios. In a typical MS procedure:

MS instruments consist of three modules: an ion source, which can convert gas phase sample molecules into ions (or, in the case of electrospray ionization, move ions that exist in solution into the gas phase); a mass analyzer, which sorts the ions by their masses by applying electromagnetic fields; and a detector, which measures the value of an indicator quantity and thus provides data for calculating the abundances of each ion present. The technique has both qualitative and quantitative uses. These include identifying unknown compounds, determining the isotopic composition of elements in a molecule, and determining the structure of a compound by observing its fragmentation. Other uses include quantifying the amount of a compound in a sample or studying the fundamentals of gas phase ion chemistry (the chemistry of ions and neutrals in a vacuum). MS is now in very common use in analytical laboratories that study physical, chemical, or biological properties of a great variety of compounds.

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