Analytical testing techniques are used by companies, scientists and researchers all over the world to make interesting and groundbreaking discoveries.
Here we roundup some of the most interesting and cool bits of news and research featuring analytical testing methods such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS)in action:
1. GC/MS Shows Promise as Technique for Phthalate Separation
Phthalates are classified as anti-androgen endocrine disruptors, which affect the action of male hormones. As a result, steps have been taken in recent years to restrict their use in items such as toys and childcare products, according to SeparationsNow.
LC-MS/MS has traditionally been used to measure phthalate exposure, but gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) methods are proving a viable, less expensive option that allows for more extensive monitoring.
“It should be possible to use this method at a greater number of locations, thus allowing studies on the effects of phthalates to enroll more subjects, giving a clearer picture of health effects,” the article said.
2. Chromatography Could Help Catch Breast Cancer Earlier
A team of Czech Republic researchers recently used chromatography techniques to study lipids in both healthy and cancerous cells from nine different types of breast cancer. The goal? Drive toward creating an alternative early breast cancer screening test.
According to Chromatography Today, mammograms can sometimes miss the signs, as well as expose the recipient to radiation that could be harmful—hence the need for alternative screening tests.
The Czech Republic team used chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify and measure the lipids in the cells. After extracting the lipids, hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HILIC/ESI-MS) was used to separate the lipids and measure the quantities of the various lipids, the article said.
The results? While in the early stages of this kind of research, the team found over 120 different lipids in the cells they studied. But more importantly, they were able to identify patterns that were specific to the cancer cells.
3. 4 Examples of FTIR Analysis at Work in the Manufacturing Industry
For manufacturers, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis is an incredibly useful quality assurance tool, helping identify unknown materials or contaminants that can affect product quality, function or safety.
In a new post, Innovatech Labs explores how the versatile technique is used by manufacturers in a variety of industries, as well as showcases specific examples.
4. Analytical Tools & Techniques Are Reshaping the Study of Ancient Humans
Archaeologists and paleontologists are going beyond collecting and measuring bones and stone artifacts to learn more about our ancient ancestors.
According to Boston University News Service, bioarchaeologist Ainara Sistiaga is spearheading a new wave of scientists using an array of analytical methods, such as mass spectrometry or gas chromatography, to paint a more accurate picture of human evolution.
“The new information they are unearthing is challenging long-held notions about our extinct ancestors, including Neanderthals and other human species,” the article said. “They are also providing accurate measurements of the climate, abundance of vegetation and presence of water in prehistoric times in places like Olduvai [Gorge in Tanzania].”
5. Researchers Uncover the Compounds Responsible for the World’s Stinkiest Fruit
A group of researchers at the Technical University of Munich in Germany have uncovered the compounds that give durian fruit its legendary stench.
According to Chemistry World, while the durian fruit has a sweet taste, it’s odor is vile—often being compared to raw sewage.
To uncover the culprits, researchers used a combination of GC/MS and aroma extract dilution analysis, finding 16 compounds that were present in high enough concentrations to contribute to the smell.
But, according to the article, it took just two of those potent volatiles—fruity ethyl (2S)-2-methylbutanoate and oniony 1-(ethylsulfanyl)ethane-1-thiol—to recreate the overall odor.
Looking for more interesting articles and news items on analytical testing? Continue reading the latest additions to our Innovatech Labs Newsroom blog.