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Formula_Volume_18_Iissue 1

2018

2018 MANITOBA SCHOOLS SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM 2018 Manitoba Schools Science Symposium As a member of the Manitoba scientific community, please give serious consideration to sharing your expertise and experience with Manitoba’s scientists of tomorrow by volunteering to participate as a judge in the 2018 Manitoba Schools Science Symposium (MSSS). The 2018 MSSS will take place from Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, April 29 at the University of Manitoba Max Bell Centre. The Mid-Canada AOAC has supported the MSSS since 1991. Over the past 27 years, countless numbers of Mid-Canada AOAC members have judged at the MSSS. Many return year after year simply because it is a very re w a rd i n g a n d e n j o y a b l e e x p e r i e n c e . Mid-Canada AOAC members who have judged at the MSSS have come from a wide range of scientific disciplines and a wide range of positions, from technician to research scientist, in private industry, academia and government. Judging at the MSSS is very simple. The first step is to register and give your preferences with regard to the scientific fields and age levels which you would feel most comfortable judging. Some of the judging will take place on Friday, April 27, but if this is a problem you can limit your involvement to the morning of Saturday, April 28th. On Friday night, there will be a dinner for the judges. It isn’t critical that you attend this, but for first-time judges it can be very helpful for finding out the judging category to which you have been assigned, getting to know your section leader and the other judges on your team and for learning about the MSSS. After dinner, projects are assigned and previewed without the students being present. Unless you have a special interest in looking at all 500 or more projects, you should be finished by about 8 p.m. On Saturday, April 28th, first-round judging will likely start at 9:00 am, but it usually a good idea to arrive before 8:30 a.m. so that you can grab a coffee and locate your judging team, read over the judging instructions and forms and listen to the judges briefing. First-round judging is when the bronze, silver and gold medal winners are determined and is usually completed by noon. This is followed by a lunch for the judges. The top projects in each category carry forward to a second-round, which takes place after lunch. Section leaders usually handle second-round judging. Judging for the Mid-Canada AOAC awards will take place in the morning and may extend into the afternoon if necessar y and is usually handled by Mid-Canada AOAC Executive Committee members. The medal awards ceremony and special awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, April 29th. The Mid-Canada AOAC provides special awards to students behind projects having an exceptional analytical content. The awards consist of a plaque and a small cash award. Information about the MSSS can be found online at www.msss.mb.ca. You may also register for judging online. You may also follow MSSS on other social media: Instagram: @ msss_mb | Twitter: @ msss_mb | Hashtag: #MSSS2018 Tom Nowicki 6

NEWS Developments in Mass Spectroscopy Allow for More Comprehensive Protein Chemical Analysis Thanks to technological advancements, our understanding of the molecular basis of disease pathophysiology has become increasingly nuanced. One fact that has become prominent is that post-translational modifications (PTM), the addition of specific chemical groups to a protein, are of vital consequence to a proteins function in the cell. In many cases, proteins work collaboratively in complexes to carry out the functions vital to the life of a cell, many of which are tightly regulated by PTMs. Associate professor of chemistry at the University of Michigan, Brandon Ruotolo with his team and collaborators have developed a new method to study protein PTMs, which are notoriously difficult to study. Currently used methods enzymatically breakdown protein complexes into peptides which are then analyzed using mass spectroscopy (MS). Unfortunately, it is during this process that PTMs are lost. The method developed by Ruotolo allows for protein complexes to stay intact during the electrospray ionization prior to mass spectroscopy (MS) analysis and thus keep protein complexes intact. The method is currently being further developed to be adapted to the study of larger protein complexes. The development such methods could mean advancements in the study of disease, which largely rely on proteomic studies. Source:https://m.phys.org/news/2018-03-chemists-method-proteins. html National University of Singapore Develops Novel Downsized Method for the Detection of Toxic Compounds The research team led by Dr. Sam Li at the National University of Singapore has developed a novel method for the detection of toxic compounds using molecularlyimprinted polymers. The newly developed method is highly sensitive and selective and uses a polymer in which the target molecule has been imprinted. The imprint matches the target molecule extremely closely as to act as a lock and key. The detector also contains a quartz crystal microbalance, which detects the change in mass resulting from the attachment of the target molecule to the specialized polymer. As little as 20 micrograms of the target molecule can be detected, and the method has been adapted for both hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds. The new method was designed to be able to be downsized for use in the field to rapidly detect toxins in samples. A compact detection system would circumvent the need to use conventional laboratory equipment that is typically more time consuming and labour intensive. Source: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-rapid-toxiccompounds.html // AOAC Launches Working Group to Develop Standards for Sugar Analysis AOAC INTERNATIONAL has partnered with the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Thermo Fisher, and Megazyme to develop Standard Method Performance Requirements (SMPRs®) for the analysis of sugars in selected matrices. Standards development activities for the new project will be introduced on September 24, 2017, at the Stakeholder Panel on Strategic Food Analytical Methods (SPSFAM) meeting during the 131st AOAC Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The analysis of sugars in food products has gained significant visibility in the last several years following efforts to lower the caloric values of a number of foods and beverages. In the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires that all food products must be labeled with not only total sugar, but added sugar as well. In addition to food and beverage products, several other industries need modern test methods for the analysis of sugars. Methods are needed that can measure select sugars in foods, beverages, infant formula, dietary supplements, and feeds. Methods are needed for accurate quality control in industry and nutrition labeling, and compliance with regulations. An AOAC advisory panel for the project proposes that a working group be formed to develop voluntary consensus standards for two areas of interest: (1) Sugars in animal feed (2) Lactose in low or no-lactose dairy products During the AOAC Annual Meeting, the Working Group on Sugars, co-chaired by John Szpylka (Mérieux NutriSciences) and Nancy Thiex (Thiex Laboratory Solutions, LLP), will examine the background, technical issues and needs, analytical challenges, regulatory requirements, and gaps in current methodology, etc. in developing a fitness-for-purpose statement based on the advisory panel’s priorities. The fitness-for-purpose statement will be reviewed for possible endorsement by SPSFAM, chaired by Erik Konings of Nestlé Research Center. Based on an endorsed fitness-for-purpose, the working group will begin developing the first in a series of draft SMPRs for methods capable of measuring a wide variety of sugars in selected matrices. To participate on the AOAC SPSFAM Working Group on Sugars, click here to to sign up. For more information on AOAC’s sugars analysis project or SPSFAM, contact Dawn Frazier, AOAC Executive for Scientific Business Development, at dfrazier@aoac.org. 7

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