Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy

Fast Atom Bombardment (FAB) Technology Celebrates 30th Anniversary in Cardiff

Nov 07 2011

Author: Bernie Monaghan on behalf of Unassigned Independent Article

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Following the 2010 3-Day BMSS meeting in Cardiff, the same venue was chosen again to host the 2011 event. As a non-university venue there were misgivings about initially making such a move for the societies major event but overall, based on the largely positive feed back from delegates that attended in 2010, the move was judged a success and hence 250 delegates (50 less than in 2010 – a sign of the times rather than the meeting content surely?) made the journey to South Wales to update themselves with ‘what’s hot and what’s not’ in the field of Mass Spectrometry.

This year’s theme was entitled ‘From Atoms to Biomolecules, celebrating the technological innovations of mass spectrometry on the 30th Anniversary of Fast Atom Bombardment (FAB)’. For the uninitiated, Dr Susan Crossland (Chair of the BMSS) explained that pre-1981 mass spectrometry was the domain of analysing relatively volatile compounds. Other techniques such as Electron impact and Chemical Ionisation were the norm. FAB opened the door to the analysis of peptide, polar and ionic compound analysis although it was not an easy technique to master. Evolution of the technique as more scientists worked on the technology eventually led to MALDI, electrospray and the likes leading to techniques that allow the wide range of compounds that can be routinely analysed by MS today.

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