Biomedical Applications of Isotope-Dilution Liquid Chromatography

Isotope dilution is used to determine the quantity of a chemical substance in a sample. In this method, isotopically enriched material is added to a sample which leads to a “dilution” of the standard. Random sampling is then performed to give the ratio of the standard and sample, which can then be used to infer the quantity of material within the sample. Read more.

Making Sense of Metabolites in Living Systems

Combining computational algorithms with mass spectrometry, scientists in Japan have devised a technique to speed up the identification and characterization of natural products.

A team of scientists in Japan has developed a computational mass spectrometry system that could help scientists identify useful natural compounds in plants and other organisms. Numerous drugs used in clinics today are derived from nature. For example, aspirin and penicillin were derived from plants and mold respectively. Currently, scientists have only identified about five percent of all natural products. In the present study, researchers have developed a technique that can identify entire sets of metabolites in living systems. Read more.

Baby step towards breath-testing for gut disorders

The new breath test opens up new opportunities to measure gastrointestinal health and function.

Small children may one day avoid invasive, painful and often traumatic oesophageal tube-testing for gut damage and coeliac disease with a new method of simply blowing into a glass tube to provide effective diagnoses. Research describes an exciting new breath test that could have global implications on how to detect gastrointestinal damage. Read more.

Bones of Roman Britons provide new clues to dietary deprivation

Researchers at the University of Bradford have shown a link between the diet of Roman Britons and their mortality rates for the first time, overturning a previously-held belief about the quality of the Roman diet. Using a new method of analysis, the researchers examined stable isotope data (the ratios of particular chemicals in human tissue) from the bone collagen of hundreds of Roman Britons, together with the individuals’ age-of-death estimates and an established mortality model. Read more.