Friday, March 13, 2020

Individual ion protein mass spectrometry clearly explained!

Okay -- around the COVID-19 stuff, one of the biggest things to ever happen in mass spectrometry is possibly currently happening. Like right now.

We're looking at something super crazy that might mean that we've been able to do top down proteomics and MEGAdalton mass spectrometry for -- maybe since some cool Russian guy hanging out in England made an Orbital Ion Trap.

I think Dr. Yates sums it up pretty well here. 3 papers, reeeeeal fast. And several more in preprint or ahead of print right now.

I wrote a seriously inept post about the last one a few days ago. The main point of that post is to remind myself to find someone waaaaay more qualified to teach the Orbitrap (I'm changing it from basic to ULTRAbasic) physics class at/around DC/NIH every year.

I know I've mentioned ELI5 here before. (Caution: This is a Reddit link. You never know what will be there next) ELI5 is:

Carl Sagan had a passion about trying to demystifying and de-jargoning science. That dude was writing about it being a problem in his books in the 1970s, and...come on...what did 1970s scientists even know about? Not all that much in comparison. I got my PhD by working out the structure of around 30 glycopeptides. Chris Ashwood knocks out THOUSANDS per run. To be fair, I know him, and he's a lot smarter than me, but science isn't getting less powerful, it is getting far more powerful.

I'm sure that Dr. Sagan would agree that removing the jargon from science now is harder than ever -- and getting harder every second. If you can really truly demystify something, you are a probably a grandmaster of it.

So -- since I realize that I2MS is really super important and I can't figure it out -- I tried to find someone who could ELI5 it.

Introducing Dr. Mike Goodwin -- Ion Physics Grandmaster -- who can explain this revolution in TWEETS.

(I worked with Mike for 2 days right after he got his PhD. Dude is scaaaaaaaaaaaaaaary smart and I often bug him with questions now that I used to only send to that cool Russian guy I mentioned above, who I still haven't met in person, but is very patient with questions from dumb people.)

How I2MS works!

Link to STORI paper above, so I feel like I'm doing something useful here. 


Okay -- this is probably more like "Explain Like I'm a Mass Spectrometrist" but still!!

Huge shoutout to Dr. Bath, Dr. Ashwood, and whoever is NU Proteomics, some cool people in Wisconsin and a few other people who also helped clarify and focus converations around this topic!!

1 comment:

  1. What does it means that the Orbi is not sensitive enough for single-charged species? It means that [M+H]+ would be less observed compared to a [M+H]+6? Which kinda sucks because single charge species are frequent in metabolomics.
    It also sucks because QualBrowser (Xcalibur) has a bug when masses are calculated above 4 charges, or is it just my installation?