LONDON. The state of the art in spectrometry has arrived at Leiden University where researchers inaugurated an ultra-highfield wide-bore NMR machine this week. The prototype machine has been installed and tested over the last year and will soon allow scientists to take a close look at thousands of membrane proteins with unprecedented resolution.

"This is a major step forward, because it gives an improvement in range, resolution and sensitivity, opening up new and unexplored fields of membrane protein research," enthuses NMR team leader Huub de Groot. The Bruker-built machine operates at a radio field frequency of 750 MHz. This represents a twofold increase on conventional biological solid state NMR, which is normally performed at 300-400 MHz and as such represents a potential 60% increase in sensitivity. The machine uses a highly stable and powerful (17.6 T) wide-bore superconducting magnet meaning large samples and even living organisms can be studied.


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