Immunology

It's Fab! A hidden touch of antibody

In our immune system, antibodies recognize viruses, bacteria and even cancer cells through their Fab arms, initiating recruitment of leucocytes for the destruction of these invaders. The recruitment is mediated by receptors ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Gut microbiome composition could make diarrhea less likely

Antibiotics are known to upset the balance of bacteria in the intestinal tract. In some cases, antibiotics can cause the bacterium Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) to overgrow wildly, causing diarrhea and, in severe cases, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New look at atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is the slow and progressive narrowing of arteries due to plaque formation. The atherosclerotic plaque forms by local proliferation of leukocytes and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) in the vessel wall ...

Medical research

Researchers find synapse-boosting factors in young blood

A team of researchers at Stanford University has found synapse-boosting factors in the blood of young mice. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of the ...

Medications

Medication nonadherence common in patients with T2DM

(HealthDay)—Routine urine samples can be used to test for medication adherence in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

Medications

Non-Rx fentanyl up in urine tests positive for other drugs

(HealthDay)—An increasing number of urine drug test (UDT) results positive for cocaine or methamphetamine are also positive for nonprescribed fentanyl, according to a study recently published in JAMA Network Open.

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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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