All’s well that ends well

I went down to the London Biological Mass Spec Discussion Group meeting last week and after a busy few days I’ve managed to catch up and share what went on. We’d nominated Andrew Porter to present initial results from his research project. The idea was to present how we’d assessed the technical variance in our label free LC-MS quantification as a first step towards reproducible proteomic analysis of soil bacteria C. japonicus. As his industrial supervisor I was looking forward to sitting in the audience, cheering him on and basking in the reflected glory of someone else’s work. Funny how things don’t turn out like you want…

If you work in science you’ll probably be familiar with the situation we found ourselves in two weeks to go. After a great start in the lab we got some data we could start analysing, that’s when Progenesis LC-MS showed us we had a problem. There could have been several causes, either sample or HPLC related. The rest of our time was spent trouble-shooting the LC-MS system so we were a bit light on actual data we could show come the day of the meeting.

All was not lost and rather than sitting down cheering I stood up with Andrew and we did a “tag-team talk”. I introduced our approach to label free LC-MS quantification with evidence from previous studies showing how you can quality control your label-free LC-MS quantification analysis. Andrew presented  data illustrating the problems and how we’d been able to diagnose them, finishing by saying that samples run just prior to the meeting showed the problem had been fixed, so all’s well that ends well!

It’s a very different meeting where you’re encouraged to air problems and  discuss ways to solve them, so we were in the right place. We had some good discussion, mostly in the pub afterwards and got some good ideas for what to do next. I’m hoping that in a few months we’ll share the data we wanted to show in London with you.


Discussion over a glass on wine at the end of the London Biological Mass Spec Discussion Group

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