Across disciplines, exciting stuff happens along the boundaries between things. What makes those realms so rich for research, and how do magnets shed light on them?

Studying dissolved organic matter helps us better understand our diverse and changing planet.

The high-tech tools empower scientists studying petroleum and other molecules to make decisions based on advanced data analysis.

Alan Marshall has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Scientists have developed a way to isolate emulsion-causing petroleum compounds. The technique may help lower energy costs for both oil companies and consumers.

Trailblazer for Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance joins the ranks of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison.

This week at the lab, Patricia Medeiros is fishing for answers using one of the lab’s ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) magnets.

Medeiros (pictured above, standing at right, with her grad students), an assistant professor of marine organic geochemistry at the University of Georgia (UGA), arrived Monday morning with one colleague, two graduate students, dozens of water samples from estuaries around Georgia’s Sapelo Island, and lots of questions. The team will spend the week analyzing the molecular composition of the dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the water, using the ICR Facility’s 9.4 tesla passively shielded magnet.

In collaboration with UGA microbiologist Mary Ann Moran, Medeiros is studying what different communities of bacteria are doing with this DOM. They are particularly interested in how bacteria chemically transform carbon from the ocean, a key step in the marine carbon cycle that is still not well understood.

That knowledge could help us understand and better prepare for future changes in the climate, said Medeiros. "We don’t know too much about how microbes interact with DOM. We do know that DOM plays an important role in the global carbon cycle, however."


By Kristen Coyne.

A young chemist studying fracking fluid talks about what it's like when science hits close to home.

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.

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