University of Alberta - Articles and news items

Streamlining with automation and robotics

Issue 5 2006, Past issues / 28 September 2006 / Bart Hazes, Dept. of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Alberta and Bernhard Rupp, q.e.d. life science discoveries, inc.

Protein crystallography has been embraced by the pharmaceutical industry to accelerate and rationalise the drug development process. In this role, success rates, throughput and turnaround times have become key competitive factors, and nearly every stage in the protein crystallography process has been targeted for automation using robotics and advanced software. However, it remains a challenge to combine available technologies, information infrastructure and work-flow protocols into a high throughput protein crystallography pipeline that takes account of the specific objectives and resources of an organisation. This article reviews process outlines and key decision making criteria to assist with the selection of a high throughput protein crystallography strategy.

Advances in fast ion chromatography

Issue 2 2006, Past issues / 24 March 2006 / Charles A. Lucy and Sarah Pelletier, Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta

Ion chromatography (IC) allows the determination of trace ions using low capacity high efficiency columns possessing fixed ion exchange sites. Combined with suppressed conductivity detection, IC yields parts-per-billion detection of the seven common inorganic anions (F-, Cl-, NO2-, Br-, NO3-, HPO42- and SO42-) and to a lesser extent carboxylic acids, the six common cations (Li+, Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg2+ and Ca2+) and small amines1, 2.


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