Thursday, May 21, 2020

Amateur hour is over -- Mass Spectrometry Diagnostics for COVID-19!

EDIT: Better read through of this paper posted here.

When it is time to make a new clinical diagnostic. The ONLY time that mass spectrometry is considered.

The only time.

Is when there is literally no other option. No matter how bad that other option is.

People will bleed every drop of blood from every rabbit on earth before looking toward the most accurate analytical instrument ever developed on earth.

Well -- my friends -- in COVID-19 diagnostics, we've literally tried everything and we're out of options.  I guess it's time to go to mass spectrometry!

Wanna check it out? Or do you want to go suck the blood out of some rabbit and try and convince me that whatever that rabbit blood does is reproducible? If it's the former, here is the link!

They do optimization with the QE HF-X
They do some ultrafast targeted assays.

They find that if they've got 9 min per run they can kick out 84% accuracy in diagnostics.

And here is the fun part! If it's negative by PCR but positve by LCMS who are you going to believe?

Something that heats up fragile nucleotide strings and stuffs things between the strands, cools down and repeats?


Something that measures a fundamental constant in the fucking universe (mass to charge ratio) directly. I dunno. I guess I'll chance that PCR thingamajing? Who doesn't love an indirect measurement?

Or something that says --
Negative (noise!)


Positive!! (Peak!)

Look, I know this isn't going to get out of my little bubble of mass spectrometrists that I preach to all the time, but COME ON.

People are doing spectrophotometry on colorimetric assay reagenst right this second in hospitals across the country to crudely measure one protein!

And here we are with cool research tools that can do so so so much more....

Maybe it's time for us to step up and throw slow, annoying, insensitive and inaccurate diagnostic assays to the side and just take over!!

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