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Tekmar Talk Blog

Can Sample Size Trends Be Trusted?

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 @ 03:49 PM

The euphoric first few hours of a newborn’s life are briefly interrupted when the infant is whisked away, and the nurse informs the parents that staff will be pricking their infant’s foot for blood drops.  This test, that uses dried blood spot (DBS) technology, has been employed for over five decades.  The minimally invasive DBS test requires only a few drops of blood--DBS is the standard newborn screen for developmental, genetic and metabolic disorders.  DBS is also used in a variety of tests for adults; DBS can be employed for gene screening and long-term genetic bio-banking.

The sample preparation methodology used in DBS and other analysis systems has been trending toward using statistically smaller sample amounts.   This movement leaves bioanalysts experts to consider the question, “Is bigger better?”  Does a little sample size shape the exactness of results?  Are there connections linking sampling exactitude and sampling breadth? Do fresh, alternative microsampling approaches provide similar confidence levels? These are questions posed by a recent column in the September 2016 issue of LCGC Asia Pacific, titled “Know Your Sample: Size Matters”

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Tags: %RSD, SPME

Charged Additives Save Pesticides and the Environment

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Mon, Oct 03, 2016 @ 11:34 AM

The term “spring water” brings to mind a clear, mountain stream.  But “spring” or “bounce” in water actually is a safeguard for plant leaves.  Liquid droplets have elasticity and bounce off of leaves.  This “water bounce” protects plants because plants drink in water from their roots, not from leaves.  If water lingers too long on leaves, then mold builds up and decays the plant. 

However, this protective “water bounce” from Mother Nature has negative side effects for farmers. 

Around the world, farmers commonly spray their fields with pesticides.  The innate “bounciness” of liquid droplets forces a considerable amount of the pesticide off of the plants; only a paltry amount of what is sprayed actually sticks. Therefore, farmers must use a lot more pesticide than they need.  And because farmers have to use so much spray to get the desired pesticide benefits, surplus pesticide chemicals seep off plants and end up polluting land and waterways. 

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Tags: pesticides

TOC Combustion Analyzer Gets Solids Module

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 @ 04:30 PM

Teledyne Tekmar has added a new solids module to its Lotix TOC Combustion Analyzer. The Lotix Solids Sampler (LSS) Boat will allow the analyzer to measure carbon content in a variety of matrices, including soils, sludge, sediments, particulate-laden liquids and hard-to-oxidize samples.

 

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Tags: TOC

Teledyne Tekmar’s New Lumin Purge and Trap Concentrator

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 @ 04:15 PM

Teledyne Tekmar has been building commercial purge and trap concentrators for more than 40 years. Labs worldwide associate the Tekmar name with innovative, high-quality products for analyzing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In March, we introduced the newest member of our purge and trap family, the Lumin Purge and Trap Concentrator, an ideal solution for drinking water and wastewater applications.

 

The Lumin Purge and Trap Concentrator is an eighth generation system, and combines tried-and-true features with new innovation, to create the fastest and most reliable concentrator in the Tekmar line-up. The new features and benefits will carry our company into the next decade.

 

The benefits include:

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Tags: Purge and Trap Concentrator

Pesticides Threaten Endangered Species

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 @ 01:31 PM

A recent Environmental Protection Agency analysis has found that nearly all of the 1,700 most endangered plants and animals in the United States could be harmed by a few commonly used pesticides. The risks to mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and plants is far reaching, and the only species that aren’t considered to be at risk are those that are already classified as extinct.

 

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Tags: pesticide

New Study uses Multiple Mass Spectrometry Methods to Investigate E-Cigarette Toxicity

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 @ 03:48 PM

In the May 1, 2016 issue of Mass Spectrometry, researchers from Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences at the Università degli Studi di Torino in Torino, Italy published a study about the chemical compositions and quality of e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes. The study used various analytical mass spectrometry (MS) methods to test for toxicity, including liquid chromatography-tandem MS “after a study of fragmentation pathways by high-resolution electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS.”

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Tags: Purge and Trap Concentrator

Your Clothes Smell Because of VOCs, Now What?

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Wed, Jul 06, 2016 @ 05:08 PM

If you have wondered what was really making your clothes smell before you threw them into the wash, and even after they were supposedly cleaned, you are not alone. Scientists from Northrumbia University recently published a study in the Journal of Chromatography that revealed the molecules that make your socks stink. Beyond the dirt and sweat, believe it or not there are six volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that simply can’t be washed out in traditional eco-friendly cycles (68 degrees Fahrenheit). In other words, the stinky VOCs survive the wash.

 

There is no doubt that more people are paying more attention to the environmental footprint of their day-to-day activities. Washing clothes without hot water or using detergents that are less environmental friendly have become more viewed as ways to be more friendly to the environment. Scientists argue that because of this increasing awareness of the ecological impacts of washing clothes, it’s “important to understand why dirty clothes smell, in order to find the best way to clean them.” The VOCs “could be used to test the effectiveness of washing at different temperatures.”

 

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Tags: VOC, Headspace

7 truths about Genetically Modified (GMO) Crop Pesticides and the Significant Health and Environmental Risks assocated with them

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Thu, May 12, 2016 @ 03:38 PM

The pesticide known on the commercial market as Roundup is the subject of a new study published in the February 2016 issue of Environmental Health. In the study, 14 scientists raise new concerns over the health and environmental risks of the pesticide glyphosate. The pesticide is widely used on genetically modified (GMO) crops, which “were developed to be resistant to the effects of glyphosate, so the pesticide would kill the weeds, but not the plants.”

 

GMO crops were first approved in 1996, and since that time the use of glyphosate has grown nearly 15 fold. “Since the late 1970s, the volume of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) applied has increased approximately 100-fold”

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Tags: Pesticide Residue

Automating the Extraction of Illegal Dyes

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Fri, Mar 18, 2016 @ 05:16 PM

Sudan dyes are red dyes that are used in a variety of textiles, rubber, plastics, solvents, oils and shoe and floor polishes. In most countries, the dyes have been banned, but they are still found in a variety foods. In 2005, the dyes were found in more than 500 foods, including brands of Worcestershire sauces, fast-food dressings, potato chips and prepared soups. Manufacturers use the dyes to enhance and maintain the color of their food products. In August 2015, the Ghanaian Food and Drug Authority (FDA) investigated a palm oil product that contained Sudan Dye IV. The product was exported to the United Kingdom. In October, the FDA issued a warning about the Sudan dye in palm oil sold in Ghana and began to remove the product from store shelves.

 

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Tags: AutoMate, food extracts

Flint, Michigan’s Water Problem

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 01:39 PM

The mayor of Detroit has declared a state of emergency regarding Flint’s water system. In 2014, the city switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River. Residents were quick to complain about the odor and appearance of the water, and earlier this year, a notice from the city indicated that there has been too much disinfection byproduct in Flint’s water. If used for many years, the byproduct could cause damage to the liver, kidney or central nervous system. The city’s response came as a result a warning from Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality, which stated that the city’s water was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act for maximum contaminant levels for trihalomethanes (TTHM).

 

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Tags: drinking water

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