Reference materials: what’s new?

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John Hammond updates us on “Reference materials: what’s new?”. The 2015 meeting of the ISO Committee on Reference Materials (ISO/REMCO) was held in June and significant developments in a number of standards that will ultimately affect all users of reference materials have taken place.

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Sampling—is not gambling! (exit grab sampling)

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Kim Esbensen and Claas Wagner have gold on their minds. However, only to explain that “Sampling—is not gambling!”: the American “Gold Rush” of the late 19th Century is a good metaphor for the unrepresentative nature of grab sampling: something that you will soon realise is to be avoided in any sampling regime.

Read more: Sampling—is not gambling! (exit grab sampling)

 

Monitoring of catalytic reactions and catalyst preparation processes in liquid phase systems by combined in situ spectroscopic methods

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In situ spectroscopic methods such as infrared, Raman and UV/vis spectroscopy are powerful tools to gain insight into reaction mechanisms and catalyst actions in homogeneously catalysed reactions. These methods and combinations of them offer great potential for the real-time monitoring of reactions in the liquid phase, for mechanistic studies as well as process control and kinetics.

Read more: Monitoring of catalytic reactions and catalyst preparation processes in liquid phase systems by combined in situ spectroscopic methods

   

What’s up doc?—High-precision isotopic analysis of essential metals in biofluids for medical diagnosis

The question “What’s up doc?—High-precision isotopic analysis of essential metals in biofluids for medical diagnosis” is posed by Frank Vanhaecke and Marta Costas-Rodriguez. Research is under way as to the possibility of using high-precision isotopic analysis of metals in a biomedical context. The goal is to develop methods for medical diagnosis on the basis of isotopic analysis of mineral elements in biofluids, for diseases that can otherwise only be established at a later stage or via a more invasive method (e.g., a biopsy) and/or for prognosis purposes. Whilst this work is in a very early stage, it is known that various diseases have an influence on the uptake, metabolism and/or excretion of essential mineral elements and thus, can cause a difference in their isotopic composition in biofluids.

Read more: What’s up doc?—High-precision isotopic analysis of essential metals in biofluids for medical diagnosis

 

Infrared mapping spectroscopic ellipsometry

Karsten Hinrichs and Andreas Furchner describe “Infrared mapping spectroscopic ellipsometry”. Recent developments in fundamental and materials research have increased the value of mapping techniques such as ellipsometry. IR ellipsometry, since it operates in the mid-IR fingerprint region, provides complementary information on composition, structural properties and interactions

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Keeping the dream alive

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Tony Davies, Peter Lampen, Stephen Heller and Evan Bolton report on the future of the spectroscopic data collected as part of the EuroSpec programme. Its long-term preservation is being guaranteed through the PubChem Project of the US National Library of Medicine.

Read more: Keeping the dream alive

 

Heterogeneity—the root of all evil (part 2)

Kim Esbensen and Claas Wagner continue their study of “Heterogeneity—the root of all evil” in the Sampling Column. We would be most interested to hear readers’ views on our new column. Representative sampling is essential for most analyses to be relevant, and the column will move from its early theoretical introduction to practical solutions. Readers interested in learning more about the Theory of Sampling may be interested in the Proceedings of the 7th World Conference on Sampling and Blending which are now freely available at http://www.impublications.com/wcsb7.

Read more: Heterogeneity—the root of all evil (part 2)

   

BERM 14: it’s that time again!

In the Quality Matters Column, Peter Jenks reminds us about “BERM 14: it’s that time again!”. The latest in this line of conferences on Biological and Environmental Reference Materials is being held in the USA in October 2015.

Read more: BERM 14: it’s that time again!

 

Multispectral imaging and the art expert

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This article, by Antonino Cosentino is “Multispectral imaging and the art expert”. Multispectral imaging systems are increasingly being used by scientists and conservators working with art. They can map and identify the consituents of the paint and any retouching that may have been carried out on works of art. They are also used to visually enhance old and faded documents.

Read more: Multispectral imaging and the art expert

   

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