Health

More definitive food profiles

If you want to know the nutrient content of a specific food or beverage – how much vitamin D there is in a glass of milk, for instance – you would do well to consult W. Craig Byrdwell.

Medical research

New biomarker for iron regulator-related diseases and cancer

Dr. Hung-Jen Wu, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University, connects industrial processes of membrane separation and molecular sieve technology to identify a new biomarker for iron regulator-related ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Combating gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis from food borne illness is a major public health concern both in Australia and overseas, and Swinburne University of Technology researchers are working on the early detection of bacteria that significantly ...

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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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