Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The mystery behind a 1,000 year old paintjob solved with proteomics!

Oh. This is too cool, and not the paper I meant to blog about this morning. It clearly says "top down thio-TMT one" on the sticky note on this monitor, but I found this while looking for it. (Top down TMT is super smart, though, and maybe I'll get to it) 

How do you paint something so that it stays red for 1,000 years? You start with mercury sulfide and someone solved that mystery 30 years ago, but there was something organic that held it all together and that was a mystery. 

Enter proteomics! With a tiny tiny tiny scraping of it and an Orbitrap Elite system this group shows that it was probably chicken egg and human blood. 

My favorite/least favorite part of this awesome study? 

Archaeologists have lots more things they want to run proteomics on, but it's too expensive??? For one, you can get an Orbitrap Elite like this one for $60,000 (often with a warranty) from ReUzeIt or ConquerSci or other second party vendors. 

However, if you're an archaeologist who has something awesome to do proteomics on I guarantee you we can find someone out there in the proteomics world who has time open on an instrument to squeeze something in. That goes for most things. Even core lab instruments have downtime here and there on Sunday nights. Network, yo! 

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