Synthetic reactions inside detergent micelles: Bruce Lipshutz at the #ACSSanFran

Synthetic reactions inside detergent micelles: Bruce Lipshutz at the #ACSSanFran

On Sunday afternoon, I went to a symposium in honour of Bruce Lipshutz, who won the Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods. The line-up of dynamic chemists and one chemical engineer!) was impressive and his work stood out as being truly ground-breaking.  Read more

SWATH-MS at Nature Protocols and Scientific Data

SWATH-MS at Nature Protocols and Scientific Data

The lab of Ruedi Aebersold recently published a Nature Protocol for generating peptide libraries for targeted analysis of SWATH MS data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry. This protocol complements a data descriptor (published in Scientific Data by the same authors) for a large-scale human assay library that can be used to support protein quantification by SWATH-MS.  Read more

Modelling the molecules of life – a talk by Michael Levitt

Last night I went to an inspiring talk given by Michael Levitt, joint winner of the 2013 Nobel prize for chemistry. It was the 2014 Sir Ernst Chain Lecture at Imperial College, London. Starting with a project using lysozyme (where the co-ordinates for the computer input came from a ball and stick model and were typed onto punch cards) and early computer simulations of protein folding, to his more recent work on modelling ribosomes and eukaryote chaperonins, he presented a small slice of the amazing work that he and his collaborators have done. What was equally evident was the phenomenal advances in technology and computational power over the last 40 years.  Read more

CAUTION: Don’t mix concentrated nitric acid with organic solvents!

Radiolabelling with copper-64 (or any other metal cation radioisotope) is done by attaching a metal chelating group to the probe of interest. In 2006, we worked with Thaddeus J Wadas & Carolyn J Anderson to publish a protocol for radiolabelling peptides with copper-64 which included a procedure for making sure that the reaction tubes and pippette tips used for the labelling were free from any other metals that might compete with copper-64 for the space in the chelator (Box 1 in the protocol). This procedure involved washing the equipment with nitric acid, followed by rinses with ethanol followed by diethyl ether.  Read more

Preventing overfitting during the reconstruction of macromolecule images from CryoEM data

Preventing overfitting during the reconstruction of macromolecule images from CryoEM data

Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) it is possible to get information about the three-dimensional structure of macromolecules. Samples can be prepared using, for example, a protocol by Grassucci et al., and EM images obtained.  Read more

Radiochemistry at Nature Protocols

Radiochemistry at Nature Protocols

In March 2000 I came to England to start a PhD, and pet went from meaning a small animal you kept at home to meaning Positron Emission Tomography. There were months where my timetable was set by the half-life of iodine-124 (4.16 h), and my mind was occupied by the relative merits and problems with direct and indirect labelling of annexin V.  Read more