Related topics: mass spectrometry · protein

Catching microplastics with spider webs

Flies, mosquitoes, dust and even microplastics—spider webs capture whatever travels through the air. Researchers at the university have now for the first time tested if they can get an overview of plastic particles in the ...

Nanoplastic omnipresent in rural and remote surface waters

Over the past few decades, tiny pieces of plastic have found their way, via the air, to remote places on Earth. This is the worrying conclusion drawn by researchers from Utrecht University and other institutes published in ...

Meet VMS: The briefcase-sized chemistry lab headed to Venus

Short for Venus Mass Spectrometer, VMS is one of five instruments aboard the DAVINCI descent probe. Launching in 2029, DAVINCI will be the first US probe mission to enter Venus' atmosphere in over 40 years. The goal of the ...

Improving data-independent acquisition proteomics

Proteomics produces enormous amounts of data, which can be very complex to analyze and interpret. The free software platform MaxQuant has proven to be invaluable for data analysis of shotgun proteomics over the past decade. ...

Carbonate standards ensure better paleothermometers

The climate of ancient Earth left telltale signs in the geochemical record. On the basis of chemical properties of carbonate minerals, scientists can calculate a site's temperature hundreds of millions of years ago. Such ...

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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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