Making Sense of Metabolites in Living Systems

Combining computational algorithms with mass spectrometry, scientists in Japan have devised a technique to speed up the identification and characterization of natural products.

A team of scientists in Japan has developed a computational mass spectrometry system that could help scientists identify useful natural compounds in plants and other organisms. Numerous drugs used in clinics today are derived from nature. For example, aspirin and penicillin were derived from plants and mold respectively. Currently, scientists have only identified about five percent of all natural products. In the present study, researchers have developed a technique that can identify entire sets of metabolites in living systems. Read more.