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LabNotes -- research highlights from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Recipe for success?

Runny ketchup isn't just bad on a burger, it's bad business for the food manufacturer that may have process control problems adversely affecting product quality and manufacturing costs. To ensure puddings, sauces and other fluid products have the viscosity, texture and other characteristics consumers expect, most manufacturers must conduct time-consuming manual batch sampling. Problems may not be discovered until a defective product already has been processed. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed an ultrasonic tool that provides non-invasive, real-time and continuous monitoring of key physical properties of fluid products. The Real-Time Ultrasonic Rheometer and Fluid Characterization Device is compact, easily mounted on process piping and also could be used to monitor the performance properties of polymers, coatings, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. PNNL recently demonstrated the technology at a tomato processing plant and is interested in working with industry on other applications.

DREAM-y technology advances proteomics

While people may rely on counting sheep to fall asleep and then dream, scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are putting DREAMS before measurements with a powerful new mass spectrometry technique. This method, called DREAMS for Dynamic Range Enhancement Applied to Mass Spectrometry, analyzes more proteins in less time and with greater accuracy, providing a more thorough understanding of an organism.

PNNL scientists designed DREAMS to automatically filter out signals from proteins that exist in large numbers from those proteins that appear in fewer numbers. Such low-level proteins often hold clues to important cellular processes, such as disease development. Globally studying proteins has become a major challenge and now is possible because of the near completion of the mapping of the human genome.

The use of DREAMS has been sh
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Contact: Media Relations
barbara.sorenson@pnl.gov
509-375-3776
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
16-Jan-2002


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