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You have reached the spectroscopyNOW and separationsNOW blogs page. Our contributors Steve Down (spectroscopy) and Jon Evans (separations) will bring you analytical news, observations and comment as it happens.

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Proving GM food is OK to eat

thumbnail image: Proving GM food is OK to eat

Scientists in the US believe they have uncovered a novel way to compare GM and unmodified crops which will help to convince doubters that GM food is safe to eat.

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Massive mass spectrometry for viruses

thumbnail image: Massive mass spectrometry for viruses

Scientists in the US have examined the massive protein shells that hold virus DNA, known as procapsids, using charge detection mass spectrometry to identify entities more than 23 megaDaltons in size.

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Natural remedies dosed with Viagra analogue

thumbnail image: Natural remedies dosed with Viagra analogue

A new strategy for detecting synthetic adulterants in natural remedies has been demonstrated by the detection of a Viagra analogue in a well-known health food.

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Identifying beverages made from industrial alcohol

thumbnail image: Identifying beverages made from industrial alcohol

A simple Raman spectroscopy test can identify drinks made from non-commercial alcohol, like industrial alcohol, by detecting traces of the denaturing agent Bitrex.

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Following the Irish illicit drug market

thumbnail image: Following the Irish illicit drug market

State scientists in Ireland have examined the quality of heroin and cocaine seizures over two years so that they can track the changes and see how quality affects price on the illicit drug market.

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FTIR blood test for liver cancer

thumbnail image: FTIR blood test for liver cancer

FTIR microspectroscopy of human serum can distinguish between healthy livers, cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, based on protein structures and lipid levels.

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Unravelling proton NMR spectra of foodstuffs with independent component analysis techniques

thumbnail image: Unravelling proton NMR spectra of foodstuffs with independent component analysis techniques

Overlapping signals in the proton NMR spectra of complex liquids, like foodstuffs and soft drinks, can be processed using a chemometric method, independent component analysis, to extract the spectra of pure components and determine their concentrations.

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Farmed salmon can contain pesticide residues, but nothing to worry about

thumbnail image: Farmed salmon can contain pesticide residues but nothing to worry about

Some salmon farmed in Europe contains low levels of pesticide residues, but not large enough to justify the campaign that labels it "the most contaminated foodstuff on the supermarket shelf."

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Latest comment

Actually, for me, pesticide residues in farmed fish are a concern.  When I eat farmed salmon (and I’ve tried several times), I get a severe stomach ache and I’m down for the count for at least half a day.  Wild salmon doesn’t bother me at all.  In fact, I quite enjoy it.

I can’t say if farmed salmon makes me ill because of pesticide residues or due to some other factor, but I wouldn’t discount the pesticides.

 

Thermal receipts expose us to bisphenol A: So what?

thumbnail image: Thermal receipts expose us to bisphenol A So what

Paper thermal receipts remain a prominent route of exposure for humans to the estrogenic chemical bisphenol A (BPA), but gloves can protect those who are occupationally exposed.

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Latest comment

The increase in BPA in the urine is more of a concern to the microorganisms at the waste treatment plant. BPA that is in the urine is unlikely to disrupt any endocrine function in the receipt handlers.

Inside the brains of jazz musicians

thumbnail image: Inside the brains of jazz musicians

When jazz musicians improvise with each other, they access the same parts of the brain that are used for speech, but the areas associated with semantics, that process the meaning of spoken language, are deactivated.

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