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Oct 24, 2021

Blood mass spectrometry detects residual disease better than standard techniques in light-chain amyloidosis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

The Mayo Foundation Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved the study. All patients gave written informed consent to have their medical records reviewed and samples analyzed according to IRB requirements and federal regulations. Patients were eligible for this retrospective study if they: were diagnosed with AL amyloidosis between January 2000 and May 2015; were classified as amyloidosis complete hematologic response by immunofixation electrophoresis (IFE), serum free light chain (FLC) by consensus criteria;6,7 had a negative bone marrow by six-color flow cytometry; and had both a stored research sample prior to starting a line of therapy and a repeat sample while in complete hematologic response. The diagnosis of amyloidosis was made by Congo red with green birefringence under polarized light; the typing of the amyloid was with immunohistochemical stains or proteomics8,9. Supplementary Figure 1 is a consort diagram illustrating patient selection. Median time from institution of therapy to complete response (CR) sample was 18 months (interquartile range 9.1, 20 months).

The serum IFE (SIFE), urine IFE (UIFE), FLC, and bone marrow measurements were done as part of routine clinical practice as previously described4,5. Urine samples were concentrated to a maximum of 200× to achieve final concentrations of urine protein between 20 and 80 g/L4,5. The FLC assay (Freelite™, The Binding Site Ltd.) was performed on a Siemens BNII nephelometer10, and an abnormal FLC result was defined as an abnormal FLC κ/λ ratio. Bone marrow clonality was determined by six-color flow cytometry11. This method has sensitivity of ~10−4 to 10−5.

For MASS-FIX, immunoglobulins were enriched from serum using camelid-derived nanobodies directed against the heavy-chain constant domains of IgG, IgA, and IgM or the light-chain constant domains of κ and λ (Thermo Fisher Scientific)4,5. The +1 and +2 charge states of the light chains and heavy chains were measured by configuring the mass spectrometer to analyze ions between an m/z of 9000–32,000 Da.

Oct 24, 2021

Ancient Traces of Life Discovered Encased in a 2.5 Billion-Year-Old Ruby

Posted by in category: chemistry

While analyzing some of the world’s oldest colored gemstones, researchers from the University of Waterloo discovered carbon residue that was once ancient life, encased in a 2.5 billion-year-old ruby.

The research team, led by Chris Yakymchuk, professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Waterloo, set out to study the geology of rubies to better understand the conditions necessary for ruby formation. During this research in Greenland, which contains the oldest known deposits of rubies in the world, the team found a ruby sample that contained graphite, a mineral made of pure carbon. Analysis of this carbon indicates that it is a remnant of early life.

“The graphite inside this ruby is really unique. It’s the first time we’ve seen evidence of ancient life in ruby-bearing rocks,” says Yakymchuk. “The presence of graphite also gives us more clues to determine how rubies formed at this location, something that is impossible to do directly based on a ruby’s color and chemical composition.”

Continue reading “Ancient Traces of Life Discovered Encased in a 2.5 Billion-Year-Old Ruby” »

Oct 23, 2021

The U.S Department Of Energy Is Funding Projects To Convert Nuclear Energy Into Green Hydrogen

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nuclear energy

Nuclear energy is becoming more popular by the day and is being considered an eco-friendly option for the energy crisis we are going through. The US Department of Energy has dedicated US$20 million to a project that is based in Arizona that will use nuclear energy to make green hydrogen. They will be testing its capability as a liquid backup battery and as a secondary product for nuclear power installations.

The project will be headed by PNW Hydrogen LLC. They will build hydrogen production plants on-site at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Phoenix, Arizona. Storage tanks will be used that will be able to store six tonnes of hydrogen onsite, representing about 200 MWh of energy that can be converted back into electricity and given to the grid when demand is more than usual.

The hydrogen will also be “used to make chemicals and other fuels,” and the project will gauge how nuclear stations can export and sell extra energy as an extra revenue stream. It is said that in the future, baseline power providers like nuclear stations will only be needed when the sun’s not shining or the wind’s not blowing. Hence, it makes sense to use this technology to make use of it and produce energy in the downtime.

Continue reading “The U.S Department Of Energy Is Funding Projects To Convert Nuclear Energy Into Green Hydrogen” »

Oct 23, 2021

First Seal of Historic SAM Analog at Biosphere 2 — Kai Staats — 2021 Mars Society Virtual Convention

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, economics, food, government, habitats, space

Title: A data analysis of the first hermetic seal of SAM–a hi-fidelity, hybrid physicochemical and bioregenerative human habitat analog at the Biosphere 2

Track Code: AM-8

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Oct 22, 2021

Direct Analysis and Quantification of Metaldehyde in Water using Reactive Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, food, law

Circa 2016 Basically means we can see contaminated water easier.


Detection and quantification of contaminants or pollutants in surface waters is of great importance to ensure safety of drinking water and for the aquatic environment1,2,3,4,5,6. Metaldehyde (CH3CHO)4 is a cyclic tetramer of acetaldehyde and is used extensively around the world as a molluscicide in agriculture for the control of slugs to protect crops. Large amounts of metaldehyde residues (from ‘slug pellets’) become mobilized, especially during periods of rainfall, seeping into reservoirs, rivers and groundwater, from which drinking water is sourced. Although metaldehyde has low toxicity, cases of metaldehyde poisoning and death in both humans and animals have been reported6,7,8. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re-registered metaldehyde as a ‘restricted use pesticide’ and required risk-reduction measures to be adopted due to the potential short-term and long-term effects on wildelife9,10. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies metaldehyde as a “moderately hazardous” pesticide (class II)11. In Europe, the European Commission has adopted a directive that restricts pesticides levels to 0.1 μg/L in drinking water12,13. Water companies and environmental agencies are under increasing pressure to routinely monitor levels of metaldehyde residues in water courses as part of their legal obligation14. As such there is an increasing need to develop effective analytical methods for detecting and quantifying metaldehyde in water samples at the source. In particular in-situ monitoring is required to ensure water management practices are based on empirical, up-to-date information which provides a better understanding of competing factors, risk and requirement.

Rapid analytical methods for in-situ analysis of metaldehyde in water, if available, would provide critical information on water quality for water companies and regulation bodies to manage exposures. Quantitative analysis of metaldehyde has been reported using various ex-situ methods based on solid-phase extraction8,15 followed by gas chromatography (GC) or high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with mass spectrometry (MS)7,14,15,16,17,18. However, each of these analytical methods involves extensive sample preparation including extraction, separation, and derivatization, resulting in increased cost and time of analysis. As will be demonstrated in this study, ambient ionization (AI) combined with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) can overcome such limitations19,20,21,22.

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Oct 21, 2021

Sri Lanka receives toxic chemicals from China, will sue Chinese company | WION News

Posted by in categories: chemistry, food

Sri Lanka has become the latest victim of China’s toxic counterfeit culture. After receiving the first consignment of organic fertilizers from China, the Sri Lankan agriculture ministry has found that 20,000 metric tons of fertilizers are toxic.

#Srilanka #China #Fertilizers.

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Oct 21, 2021

Team measures the breakup of a single chemical bond

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics

The team used a high-resolution atomic force microscope (AFM) operating in a controlled environment at Princeton’s Imaging and Analysis Center. The AFM probe, whose tip ends in a single copper atom, was moved gradually closer to the iron-carbon bond until it was ruptured. The researchers measured the mechanical forces applied at the moment of breakage, which was visible in an image captured by the microscope. A team from Princeton University, the University of Texas-Austin and ExxonMobil reported the results in a paper published Sept. 24 in Nature Communications.

“It’s an incredible image—being able to actually see a single small molecule on a surface with another one bonded to it is amazing,” said coauthor Craig Arnold, the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and director of the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM).

“The fact that we could characterize that particular , both by pulling on it and pushing on it, allows us to understand a lot more about the nature of these kinds of bonds—their strength, how they interact—and this has all sorts of implications, particularly for catalysis, where you have a molecule on a surface and then something interacts with it and causes it to break apart,” said Arnold.

Oct 18, 2021

Lung cancer patient who had declined conventional cancer treatment: could the self-administration of ‘CBD oil’ be contributing to the observed tumour regression?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

Conventional lung cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy; however, these treatments are often poorly tolerated by patients. Cannabinoids have been studied for use as a primary cancer treatment. Cannabinoids, which are chemically similar to our own body’s endocannabinoids, can interact with signalling pathways to control the fate of cells, including cancer cells. We present a patient who declined conventional lung cancer treatment. Without the knowledge of her clinicians, she chose to self-administer ‘cannabidiol (CBD) oil’ orally 2–3 times daily. Serial imaging shows that her cancer reduced in size progressively from 41 mm to 10 mm over a period of 2.5 years. Previous studies have failed to agree on the usefulness of cannabinoids as a cancer treatment. This case appears to demonstrate a possible benefit of ‘CBD oil’ intake that may have resulted in the observed tumour regression. The use of cannabinoids as a potential cancer treatment justifies further research.

Oct 17, 2021

Drug treatment for Lyme disease could lead to its eradication

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry

By contrast, Lewis’s studies suggest it is extremely difficult for B. burgdorferi to evolve resistance to hygromycin. The chemical resembles essential nutrients that spirochaetes cannot make themselves and take up using a specific transporter, so mutations that block the take-up of hygromycin would also deprive spirochaetes of these nutrients.

Lewis says his team isn’t the first to discover the value of hygromycin. It was studied as a potential treatment for a pig disease in the 1980s but abandoned.

Vaccines against Lyme disease are also being developed, but eradicating the disease would be an even better option.

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Oct 16, 2021

AI and maths to play bigger role in global diplomacy, says expert

Posted by in categories: chemistry, information science, mathematics, robotics/AI

International diplomacy has traditionally relied on bargaining power, covert channels of communication, and personal chemistry between leaders. But a new era is upon us in which the dispassionate insights of AI algorithms and mathematical techniques such as game theory will play a growing role in deals struck between nations, according to the co-founder of the world’s first center for science in diplomacy.

Michael Ambühl, a professor of negotiation and conflict management and former chief Swiss-EU negotiator, said recent advances in AI and machine learning mean that these technologies now have a meaningful part to play in international diplomacy, including at the Cop26 summit starting later this month and in post-Brexit deals on trade and immigration.

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