Syndicate content

Archive - Oct 2, 2014

Date

Advanced LC-MS 'Omics Analysis Software for Proteomics Applications Is More Rapid and Reliable Than Ever, Waters Claims

On June 16, 2014, Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) unveiled Progenesis® QI for proteomics Version 2.0, the latest advance in proteomics data analysis software, which the company believes enables more rapid and reliable quantification and identification of differentially changing proteins in laboratory samples than ever before. The release of Progenesis QI for proteomics Version 2.0 expands Waters’® suite of focused, world-leading informatics packages for 'omics data analysis. The new features of Progenesis QI for proteomics Version 2.0 include Pathway Analysis, which aids the biological understanding of observed MS data; QC Metrics, which assesses LC-MS data quality to facilitate exclusion of sub-optimal measurements; and Process Automation, which eliminates the need to program repetitive steps to make analysis even faster. The new software now allows user-selectable HiN quantification of proteins, along with full HiN functionality for 2D-LC experiments. Progenesis QI for proteomics Version 2.0 takes ‘omics-based data analysis to the next level by enabling users to rapidly quantify and identify differences between protein samples. It provides an easy-to-learn, intuitive process based on how researchers work, a flexible workflow, and a highly visual interface to give the user confidence in their data. “Progenesis QI for proteomics Version 2.0 gives users more control and functionality than ever before. It solves a major bottleneck for biological research,” said Dr. Rohit Khanna, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Informatics for the Waters Division. “The expanded functionality has broad applications across proteomics research, health sciences, and food research.

Agilent to Collaborate with University of Toronto on Metabolomics MRM Library-Software Solution to Accelerate Cell Biology, Disease Research Usng Robust LC/MS

On September 29, 2014, Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: A) announced a collaboration with scientists at the University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research to produce a comprehensive metabolomics multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) library and methodology, using Agilent's Infinity 1290 UHPLC and 6460 triple quadrupole mass spectrometry system (image). The library, coupled with Agilent's MassHunter software, will provide scientists with a robust LC/MS solution to accelerate the quantification of hundreds of metabolically important compounds for cell biology and disease research. "We are impressed with Agilent's mass spectrometry instruments and software solutions, and we look forward to working together to enable use of LC/MS metabolomics by a larger scientific audience," said Professor Adam Rosebrock, who is collaborating on this project with Dr. Amy Caudy, both principal investigators from the Donnelly Centre. "Routine metabolite quantification is an essential component for building a better understanding of how diseases such as cancer and diabetes modify metabolic pathways," said Steve Fischer, market director for Agilent's Life Science Research Division. "We are honored to work with Drs. Rosebrock and Caudy to bring this powerful solution to the scientific community and help advance research efforts in the area of quantitative metabolite measurement." When completed, this new metabolomics MRM library will be added to Agilent's existing collection of MRM libraries, which address a variety of applications including pesticides, veterinary drugs, forensics. and toxicology. Information about Agilent is available at www.agilent.com.

Earthworms, Beetles, and Other Small Soil Animals Have Major Impact on Grassland Ecosystems

When asked to describe a forest or a meadow, most people would probably begin with the plants, the species diversity, or the color of the foliage. They probably wouldn’t pay much attention to the animals living in the soil. But a new Yale-led study shows the critical importance of earthworms, beetles, and other tiny creatures to the structure of grasslands and the valuable ecosystem services they provide. During a three-year study, researchers found that removing these small animals from the soil of a replicated Scottish sheep meadow altered the plant species that grew in the ecosystem, reduced overall productivity, and produced plants that were less responsive to common agricultural management, such as fertilization. The results reflect the long-term ecological impacts of land use changes, such as the conversion of forests to agricultural land, researchers say. “We know these soil animals are important controls on processes which cause nutrients and carbon to cycle in ecosystems, but there was little evidence that human-induced loss of these animals has effects at the level of the whole ecosystem, on services such as agricultural yield,” said Dr. Mark Bradford, an Associate Professor at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) and lead author of the study published online on September 22, 2014 in PNAS. “Yet that’s exactly what we found.” At a climate-controlled laboratory, the researchers assembled 16 bathtub-sized replicas of a Scottish upland grassland. Each of the models included the 10 most common plant species, but the researchers introduced earthworms, slugs, and other small creatures to only some of the systems. During the first six months, the researchers found that removing the animals did not affect plant yield or the rate of carbon dioxide loss from the system.

How Giant Clams Harness Power of the Sun; Clues for New Solar Panels and More

Evolution in extreme environments has produced life forms with amazing abilities and traits. Beneath the waves, many creatures sport iridescent structures that rival what materials scientists can make in the laboratory. A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), has now shown how giant clams (image) these structures to thrive, operating as exceedingly efficient, living greenhouses that grow symbiotic algae as a source of food. This understanding could have implications for alternative energy research, paving the way for new types of solar panels or improved reactors for growing biofuel. The study was led by Dr. Alison Sweeney, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in Penn's School of Arts & Sciences, and Dr. Daniel Morse, professor emeritus in UCSB's Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Director of its Marine Biotechnology Center. The team also includes lead author Dr. Amanda Holt, a postdoctoral researcher formerly at UCSB and now at Penn, as well as Dr. Sanaz Vahidinia of NASA's Ames Research Center and Dr. Yakir Luc Gagnon of Duke University. The work was published online on October 1, 2014 in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. "Many mollusks, like squid, octopuses, snails, and cuttlefish," Dr. Sweeney said, "have iridescent structures, but almost all use them for camouflage or for signaling to mates. We knew giant clams weren't doing either of those things, so we wanted to know what they were using them for." While the true purpose of these iridescent structures, cells known as iridocytes, was not known, the team had a strong hypothesis. Like neighboring coral, giant clams are home to symbiotic algae that grow within their flesh.