Profile: Separation Science

/Profile: Separation Science
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Capillary Electrophoresis and the Human Genome Project

In 1953, Watson and Crick published a paper on the helical structure of DNA,* and within a few years, the full implications of DNA translation into protein were understood. It was clear that the sequencing of DNA would lead to a better understanding of evolution and genetic diseases. Although classical methods of DNA sequencing were […]

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Odorants, Pheromones, and Chemosignals

Although science does not have a good grasp of these volatile compounds, nature cer­tainly does. Many animals identify each other by scent, locate their homes and other locations using odorant molecule tracers, and interact with plant species using odor-based chemical signaling. Gas chromatography (GC) is perfectly devised as an ana­lytical tool for analyzing these vapor-based […]

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Gas Chromatography on Mars

In the summer of 1976, Viking 1 landed on Mars carrying a Gas Chromatograph (GC). A few months later a second GC arrived via Viking 2. The design of these instruments, and the data and knowledge that were obtained, remain very relevant today. In fact, we can understand quite a bit about the nature of […]

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Mikhail S. Tswett

At the Warsaw Society Naturalist’s convention in 1903, a 31 year old scientist by the name of Mikhail Tswett gave a seminal lecture on a technique for the separation of solvated plant pigments by means of differential adsorption of the plant pigments on a suspended solid media. The technique we now call column chromatography had […]

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