Industry News

STFC: A novel process for selecting & examining protein microcrystals, which can be essential for understanding biological functions, is expected to save precious research days & resources and lead to faster breakthroughs in healthcare.  Protein microcrystals enable researchers to analyse the structure of molecules and how they behave, for example in disease, but can take a long time to prepare & analyse.
A new process for using laser ‘tweezers’ developed at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory will help streamline crystal selection.  The technique allows researchers to select & place microscopic protein crystals on customised sample holders for crystallographic analysis. Studying protein crystals through X-ray crystallography enables researchers to understand the structure & function of a molecule.
Press release & links
STFCTechnology designed to measure water vapour on Mars is poised for use in a whole host of everyday applications here on Earth from monitoring food production or industrial gas emissions, to surveying volcanic ash clouds and even giving a farmer a health check on their crops.
KEIT Ltd is a new spin out company from the Science and Technology Facilities Council which grew from the need for an extremely compact (but highly accurate spectrometer) to measure gases in planetary atmospheres, that was also robust enough to withstand the harsh conditions in space (it has no moving parts).
The versatility, stability & simplicity of a KEIT spectrometer means that it could sit on any food or pharmaceutical production line to check, for example, the fat content of milk, or the origin & quality of whisky.  Environmentally, the spectrometers could play a key role in monitoring gaseous emissions from industrial chimney stacks, helping industries adhere to environmental regulations.  

A KEIT spectrometer could also provide an invaluable analytical tool for any industrial or academic laboratory-based R&D facility.
Press release ~ Keit spectrometer ~ Rocks suggest Mars had oxygen-rich atmosphere 4,000m years ago
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