ICR Science Highlights

18 October 2022

Pavement Sealant Leaches Environmental Contaminants

New research shows that high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in coal tar pavement sealants are oxidized into toxic, water-soluble compounds by sunlight and subsequently washed into the environment by rainwater, polluting natural water systems, negatively impacting marine ecosystems and public health. 

18 July 2022

A Deep Dive Into Forever Chemical Dark Matter

Using the world's most powerful mass spectrometer, scientists have developed a new method to profile complex PFAS mixtures at the molecular level, facilitating future PFAS characterization in support of environmental and human health studies.

11 March 2022

The Blood Proteoform Atlas: A reference map of proteoforms in human blood cells

A new Blood Proteoform Atlas maps 30,000 unique proteoforms as they appear in 21 different cell types found in human blood. The MagLab's 21 tesla FT-ICR mass spectrometer contributed nearly a third of the atlas' proteoforms. 

25 October 2021

Sunlight converts plastics into diverse chemical mixtures

Sunlight can chemically transform plastics from consumer plastic bags into complex chemical mixtures that leach into the ocean. Understanding the impact of plastic pollution requires advanced analytical techniques that can identify transformed plastic molecules in water samples, and requires instrumentation only available at the Maglab.

23 June 2021

Makeup of Dissolved Organic Matter in Arctic Rivers

Researchers share new insights on the role of seasonality in dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition in large Arctic rivers. 

10 June 2021

ICR FAIR Data Improves Understanding of Protein Fragmentation

Reuse of the MagLab's Ion Cyclotron Resonance facility data improved understanding of protein fragmentation and aided the design and release of new algorithms and software tools. This is representative of a new type of MagLab user: A Data User – who accesses MagLab data from public data repositories to advance independent research goals. 

29 March 2021

Sunlight Produces Water-Soluble Chemicals from Asphalt

Road asphalt is made from aggregate (rocks) mixed with a "binder” from the residue remaining after extraction of gasoline and oils from petroleum crude oil. Until recently, this binder was thought to be chemically unreactive. Maglab scientists subjected a thin film of asphalt binder to simulated sunlight in the laboratory and used ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry to reveal thousands of new, water-soluble chemicals that could be released into the environment by rainfall.

16 October 2020

Prefractionation of Intact Proteins for Mass Spectrometry

Analysis of intact proteins using mass spectrometry is a difficult task that can be simplified by prefractionation, a process in which protein mixtures are separated into simpler fractions based on size. Here, researchers developed a new method, PEPPI-MS, which uses low-cost materials and common lab equipment to make an important protein separation strategy widely available.

22 May 2020

Ultrahigh Performance Molecular Imaging using the 21T ICR Magnet

Combining spatial imaging technology with ultrahigh performance FT-ICR mass spectrometry provides users with the unique ability to create tissue images of identified biomolecules. This technology will be applied to understand human health and disease.

25 February 2020

Corrosion Analysis on Acidic Crude Oils using FT-ICR

A new method to characterize crude oil corrosion shows that corrosion in acidic crude oils depends on the specific structures of the acid molecules, information that can help improve oil valuation and refining.

19 August 2019

Identification of abnormal hemoglobin from human blood

Precise determination of hemoglobin sequence and subunit quantitation from human blood for diagnosis of hemoglobin-based diseases.

1 March 2019

Researchers demonstrate method for analyzing molecules from bacteria cell walls

Scientists will be able to apply the technique to characterize similar molecules, helping develop vaccines and drugs to treat bacterial infection.

19 November 2018

Functionalizing molecular nanocarbon with fluorine atoms

Researchers have discovered a new method to create encapsulated carbon nanomaterials that contain fluorine. Known as fullerenes, these nanocages are promising candidates for clean energy applications.

21 August 2018

Ancient porphyrins indicate far earlier date for photosynthesis

Molecular fossils of chlorophyll (called porphyrins) more than 1.1 billion years old find suggest that photosynthesis began 600 million years earlier than previously established.

27 February 2018

Targeted annotation of peptides by selective infrared multiphoton dissociation mass spectrometry

Protein oxidative damage is a common occurrence in a number of diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular disease. Yet, little is known about its contribution to these illnesses. We developed a new technique, utilizing an infrared laser in combination with a mass spectrometer, to selectively identify sites of oxidation in complex protein mixtures. This sensitive and rapid platform may outperform current techniques and thus shed light on the involvement of oxidative damage in each of these diseases.

9 August 2017

More accurate diagnosis for multiple myeloma

New technique could lead to precise, personalized cancer diagnosis and monitoring.

28 February 2017

Decoding the human proteome with powerful mass spectrometer

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

19 December 2016

MagLab develops, shares chemical analysis software

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

20 October 2016

A new twist on DNA

Research sheds important light on the fundamental process of cell division.

21 March 2016

Removing "water-loving" molecules from petroleum

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