For kids and adults with food allergies, a restaurant outing can be a fraught experience. Even when care is taken, freshly prepared or packaged meals can accidentally become cross-contaminated with an offending food and trigger a reaction. Now researchers report the development of a new por ... more
New technique for detecting mold contamination in homes and other buildings
With mold contamination of homes an ongoing concern – and a special threat to the 2.5 million foreclosed houses in the U.S., shuttered with little ventilation – scientists are reporting a new method to detect and identify low levels of airborne mold. The report, which describes a simple, fast method that could provide an early indication of potential contamination, appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Sutapa Ghosal and colleagues indicate that mold contamination of homes, especially after water damage from storms and floods, is an ongoing concern. Although most molds are harmless, scientists have linked some with health risks to humans. Traditional methods for detecting mold contamination involve identifying the spores that mold release into the air. Those tests are labor- and time-intensive, often requiring that the mold grow in the laboratory. Moreover, not every mold can grow under these conditions. That's why the researchers have sought to develop a fast and easy method that can reliably detect and identify low levels of airborne mold – even single spores.
The scientists describe a new method, which involves collecting air samples on a piece of commercially available aluminum foil, and then analyzing the spores with a technique called Raman microspectroscopy (RMS). They used the method to detect and identify single spores from seven common types of mold. The team says that use of the new test could help with many problems in the public health, forensics sciences and environmental fields.
- Raman microspectroscopy
When it comes to testing for cancer, environmental pollution and food contaminants, traditional sensors can help. The challenges are that they often are bulky, expensive, non-intuitive and complicated. Now, one team reports in ACS Sensors that portable pressure-based detectors coupled with ... more
Quantum mechanics rules. It dictates how particles and forces interact, and thus how atoms and molecules work -- for example, what happens when a molecule goes from a higher-energy state to a lower-energy one. But beyond the simplest molecules, the details become very complex. "Quantum mech ... more
The products we use every day leave behind chemical footprints. Learn how and why researchers are now studying those trails. Mass spectrometry is helping researchers learn more about our interactions with the everyday chemicals we use, such as DEET, caffeine, even medications. In this episo ... more
High performance liquid chromatography, (HPLC) and Gas chromatography (GC) work by separating complex mixtures into individual compounds. In each process you need to separate in order to identify, quantify and purify, but without the separation, we’ve got nothing. Most chromatographers don’ ... moreWebinarOn-Demand
On television, the forensics lab is able to produce results that can break a case in no time, but what it is like in the real world? Jason Schaff will be joining us to paint a more accurate picture of how chemists work to gather the facts and evidence that can be presented in court. Tune in ... moreWebinarOn-Demand
Jon Mason and Miles Congreve from Heptares will describe what protein-ligand X-ray data can do for your medicinal chemistry project. How these data can be interpreted and used to influence both the strategic direction of the work and to drive the design of compounds for synthesis will be di ... more