The Tools and Techniques of Protein Science: Protein Identification and Characterization
The Science Advisory Board's study, "Protein Identification and Characterization" provides a number of interesting insights into the most current areas of investigation in protein and proteomic research. It is the fifth in an eight-part series of studies entitled, "The Tools & Techniques of Protein Science Catalyzing the Future of Proteomics." More than 280 scientists engaged in protein research participated in this study.
Results indicate that by far, the top two types of ionization sources respondents prefer to use on their protein samples are matrix-assisted laser desorption (MALD) and electrospray (ES). Proteins are primarily analyzed by time-of-flight mass technology, though quadrupole mass analyzers were a popular second choice. There was no distinction between respondents' preference for either an array detector or an electron multiplier as the third major component of the mass spectrometer they employ in their research. While liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC/MS) is the most commonly used combined technology by respondents, tandem mass spectrometer users are also well represented.
Nearly 90% of the respondents have characterized or identified more than one protein within the past twelve months. The majority of these researchers have focused their use of mass spectrometry on either two or three key proteins. They state that the most significant advantage to identifying a protein using mass spectrometry is the technology's heightened sensitivity. However, researches also believe that the most valuable improvement to the field of mass spectrometry would be to make it even more quantitative.
The Science Advisory Board is an online panel of more than 6,200 scientists, physicians and other life science and medical professionals from 62 countries. By convening electronically, Science Advisory Board members participate in online studies to voice their opinions on issues that directly affect the evolution and development of the tools and techniques of their professions.
If you are interested in participating in other studies on the tools and techniques of your profession, please register for our Research Panel at http://www.scienceboard.net/register, or contact Molly Scott, Membership Coordinator, for The Science Advisory Board at email@example.com for membership information and study details. Your identity and personal information will be held in the strictest confidence, and you will receive compensation for any studies in which you choose to participate.
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