Pregnant pause for thought – The analytical cousin of magnetic resonance imaging, NMR spectroscopy, has revealed that a chemical compound found in unpasteurised food can be present at unusually high levels in the red blood cells of pregnant women. The compound, the antioxidant ergothioneine, could be used as a biomarker for the potentially fatal condition, pre-eclampsia, which can cause severely raised blood pressure during pregnancy, according to the researchers, although they explain that the compound is probably not the cause of the disorder.
NIR improvements near – Spectroscopy, forensic science and even a future generation of quantum communication devices could benefit from research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). There, researchers have developed a new, highly sensitive, and low-cost approach to measuring electromagnetic radiation in the near-infrared range, just beyond visible red light in the spectrum.
Raman joins the dots – Sub-microscopic particles, nanoparticles, can be used to boost the signal in Raman spectroscopy enough to allow researchers to detect several biomarkers for disease simultaneously even deep within tissues of living animals. The discovery could help in disease diagnostics, biomedical research, and potentially cancer treatment.