Genetics

Discovery of genes involved in infertility mechanism

Most cells in the tissues of organisms proliferate through somatic cell division (mitosis). This is a continuous cycle by which a single cell doubles its genetic information (chromosomes) and divides equally to create two ...

Diabetes

An out-of-the-box attack on diabetes

A protein newly identified as important in type 1 diabetes can delay onset of the disease in diabetic mice, providing a new target for prevention and treatment in people, according to research led by scientists at the U.S. ...

Immunology

Early immune response may improve cancer immunotherapies

In a paper published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago researchers and colleagues report a new mechanism for detecting foreign material during early immune responses.

Neuroscience

The eyes are the window to the nervous system

Individuals who experience an unpleasant tingling in their hands or feet or who suffer from painful discomfort and numbness could be affected by a neuropathy—a disorder of the nervous system in which the nerve fibers become ...

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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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