Producing a high magnetic field that is also very stable and uniform, the unique Series Connected Hybrid magnet is being put to work on NMR experiments never before possible.

The MagLab’s 21-tesla FT-ICR magnet can identify human proteins far more efficiently than commercial instruments, a boon for medical research.

Explore one of the MagLab's newest world-record magnets through this interactive feature.

Scientists have discovered and characterized an unusual, complex natural product produced in worms, a finding that suggests a whole body of discoveries awaits.

Scientists analyzing maize affected by southern leaf blight determine the molecular structures of so-called “death acids.”

The HiPER spectrometer may not feature the strongest magnet at the MagLab, but it wins hands down in the "coolest looking" category. This powerful tool, from which protrude 29 black, kooky cones, is now open to scientists.

This week at the lab, one of the instrument's first users, biophysicist Brian Hales of Louisiana State University, is here sizing up proteins with the HiPER (pronounced "hyper") spectrometer, which is shorthand for high-power pulsed W-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) .

The "high-power" part refers to the instrument's recently upgraded 1-kilowatt amplifier. Along with other revolutionary design innovations, it makes possible the machine's game-changing sensitivity.

Depending on the technique used with the instrument, this sensitivity is orders of magnitude greater than what was previously available to scientists. This means scientists can run experiments on a material even if they have a just a teeny, tiny bit of it. This capability is extremely significant in structural biology (among other research areas), when scientists might have just a smidgeon of the protein they want to characterize. 

"Sensitivity is a major concern," said Likai Song, a research scientist with the lab's Electron Magnetic Resonance Facility who works closely with the 9-tesla HiPER spectrometer. "Improved sensitivity opens the door to a lot of applications."

The instrument is not only expected to be a great boon for scientists like Hales who study proteins, but it will also impact all other research areas in the lab, including material science, physics and chemistry, said Song.


Text by Kristen Coyne. Photo by Stephen Bilenky.

Used to perform complex chemical analysis, this magnet offers researchers the world's highest field for ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) mass spectrometry.

We have discovered biomarkers that make it possible to distinguish breast cancer cells from non-cancerous cells, based on identifying chemical modifications of histones, the molecules about which DNA strands are wound to keep them in the cell nucleus. The method uses a high-field magnet to spread out the signals from different parts of the histone, to locate the site(s) of chemical modifications.

State-of-the-art ion cyclotron resonance magnet system offers researchers significantly more power and accuracy than ever before.

When molecules are forced to pass through narrow holes in membranes, they must move one-by-one in single file. When this “No Passing!” rule is in effect, researchers have recently made the surprising discovery that mixing two gases can lead to faster motion of some of the molecules through the narrow holes.

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