San AntonioIt’s that time of year again, when those of us who are mad about our mass spec may have had the chance to get together to share and discuss how we are collectively weighing the world!

The American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) brings together over 8,500 scientists involved in mass spectrometry across industry, academia and governmental laboratories. Each year, around June, ASMS sponsors the Annual Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, which typically attracts over 6,500 attendees. During this five day mass spectrometry (MS) fiesta approximately 3,000 papers are presented as posters and talks!

This year was the 64th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics. We certainly made the most of it and enjoyed lots of great opportunities to interact with our customers. At the event we focused on continuing our mission to translate innovation into results using mass spectrometry.

The conference offered something for everyone. Those new to MS could get to grips with basic principles with sessions dedicated to the fundamentals. Other sessions addressed major interest areas such as proteomics, metabolomics, forensic analysis and food safety to name but a few.

MS is a common analytical technique which is utilized in numerous applications and is currently helping to shape our understanding of the world…(and beyond, MS ON MARS, surely in need of its own blog). The 64th ASMS 2016 conference included opportunities to learn about emerging or more unusual applications. This year I was certainly interested to learn more about proteogenomics and the use of MS in the study of works of art and cultural heritage was something new for me.

From the conference agenda it was clear to see the importance of MS technologies to the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries. In particular biotherapeutic characterization via MS analysis is critical to ensure drug safety and efficacy. The big news at the conference this year was the release of the new BioPharma Option for Thermo Scientific™ Q Exactive™ Plus and Q Exactive™ HF Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap™   mass spectrometers. The addition of superior denatured and native MS intact analysis and sub-unit top/middle-down to the most powerful benchtop peptide mapping instruments available, provides the most comprehensive system for biotherapeutic characterization workflows. In combination with  purpose built software it provides the complete integrated hardware and software solution required for Biopharmaceutical characterization.

Those of us who were lucky enough to attend the conference this year may have gained a couple of pounds, luckily we don’t use MS to weigh ourselves!

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Speaking of my expanding waistline, here’s my top picks from the fabulous food on offer in San Antonio:

Puffy Tacos

Let be honest, all tacos are amazing but these guys are the best.

Chilaquiles Verdes

The perfect breakfast choice if you have over indulged in hospitality suit activities.

Texan Peacan Pie

You didn’t think I’d skip dessert did you?