Friday 29 October 2021

Why Is Backwards Compatibility Important for Spectrophotometers?


Bio: Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized Magazine, an online publication discussing the latest news in science and technology. She has over four years experience covering stories in the science, technology and industrial sectors.


Backwards compatibility is a primary selling point for people buying hardware or software. It means a newer version of a product will still work with earlier ones. For example, if someone buys a backwards-compatible video game system, it will run titles made for that particular setup, as well as earlier-generation ones.


People who use spectrophotometers for analysis also want backwards-compatible devices and inter-instrument agreement. Backwards compatibility allows a person to get the same reading on older and newer spectrophotometers made by the same manufacturer. Similarly, inter-instrument agreement measures how closely two items of the same make and model offer repeatability when analyzing identical samples.


Here’s a closer look at why having a backwards-compatible spectrophotometer can give the most reliable results in various applications.

Spectrophotometers Aid in Harm Reduction


Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectrophotometers are often used in forensic drug tests. Research indicates they can detect drugs including cocaine, MDMA and ketamine. People familiar with running harm-reduction clinics advocate using UV-vis photospectrometry to accurately detect the substances in someone’s system. This way, they know how to treat them.


A UV-vis spectrophotometer measures the light intensity passing through a sample, then compares it to the light’s strength before it hits the specimen. People can also combine the UV-vis spectrophotometer with chromatographic methods for better specificity and selectivity.


In any case, using UV-vis photospectrometry allows a person with little theoretical knowledge of how the process works to use this screening option. However, someone with more training would need to be on hand to analyze patients’ results.


A backwards-compatible spectrophotometer used for this purpose is critical to ensuring the results are trustworthy, whether an organization uses a legacy device from a particular brand or one bought recently. Since the work occurring at a harm reduction center requires life-or-death decisions about handling a service user’s situation, spectrophotometer operators must feel they can act upon what an analysis reveals.

Spectrophotometers Monitor Nanoparticle Reactions and Verify Chemical Makeups


One of the spectrophotometer uses gaining more attention involves watching nanoparticles during a controlled assembly process made possible with chemical reactions. Gene therapy and cancer treatments are two possible uses for these nanoparticles. They’re also found in anti-scratch and antimicrobial coatings.


UV-vis spectrophotometry is a widely accepted method of monitoring chemical reactions during the formation of these nanoparticles. Checking that everything happens as it should is crucial. Numerous factors, ranging from reagent purity to the solution’s temperature and humidity levels, affect the reproducibility and stability of the nanoparticle reactions.


Spectrophotometers also play an important role in quantitative analyses conducted by chemists working in the pharmaceutical and food industries. A spectrophotometer highlights a sample and measures the reflected light. Examining the wavelengths within it tells chemists the amount of a compound in the tested substance.


Backwards compatibility is essential for getting the most productive outcomes from these two applications. If lab personnel cannot feel confident in spectrophotometric readings while monitoring nanoparticle reactions or analyzing compounds, their workflows will slow and quality control issues may arise.


A spectrophotometer is a powerful tool for analyzing proteins, nucleic acids and more. Investing in one that offers backwards compatibility is an excellent way to ensure it’s used to its full potential.

Spectrophotometers Check Active Ingredients in Pharmaceutical Products


Whether a person goes into a pharmacy to get a product to treat an upset stomach or a headache, they likely check the label to see the active ingredients. That’s especially true if they have not taken a particular drug before and want to verify it won’t cause allergic reactions or issues with other medications.


Pharmaceutical company employees must also check that a product has the expected active ingredients before the item reaches the public. Spectrophotometers aid in such analyses for doses in solid forms, such as tablets, particularly if the specimen in question has more than one active ingredient. A backwards-compatible spectrophotometer gives lab workers reliable results when it’s used to check how a drug behaves in the body.


Dissolution tests verify whether the drug and its active ingredients will break down properly when encountering gastrointestinal fluids before circulating through the bloodstream. Running these tests shows whether the dose is high enough to provide the desired therapeutic effect. Conversely, if this bioavailability level is too intense, it could cause toxicity issues.


UV spectrophotometry can help lab personnel analyze dissolution test results when a drug has two active pharmaceutical ingredients. That wasn’t always the case, however.  A challenge associated with such spectrophotometer uses was that the two ingredients might absorb over the same region of the spectrum. Research shows that using a fiber-optic UV dissolution analyzer avoids that issue with this spectrophotometry application.


Scientists tested this approach on tablets containing aspirin and caffeine. The latter ingredient has a fast release rate into the bloodstream, while aspirin’s rate is slower. Despite those differences, this technique simultaneously measured the ingredients’ two dissolution rates.

Backwards Compatibility Supports Numerous Spectrophotometer Uses


Although this coverage only details a few of the many ways to use a spectrophotometer, the applications mentioned here are of most interest to pharmaceutical professionals and those interested in the sector. However, regardless of the industry in question, backwards compatibility is crucial for helping people trust their readings.

Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

Thursday 28 October 2021

How harmless bacteria go rogue turning into deadly flesh-eating variants


A new study found that the environmental lifestyle that bacteria possess reveal why some go rogue and turn deadly while others remain harmless to humans. The findings focus on Vibrio vulnificus, better known as the flesh-eating bacteria. However, what the scientists found could help create a model that may well extend to other human pathogens.


Almagro-Moreno, who provides expert opinion to the Food and Drug Administration on flesh-eating bacteria, investigated populations of V. vulnificus in the Indian River Lagoon in East Central Florida because the bacterium is endemic to this region. The aim of the study was to investigate potential genomic and ecological factors that might facilitate the emergence of deadly variants of V. vulnificus.


He and his team collected a variety of samples between 2018 and 2019 from two areas of the lagoon, which stretches more than 150 miles from Volusia to Palm Beach County. They investigated a wide range of factors that included variables like the bacterial communities in the environment, water pollutants, dissolved organic matter or the presence of algal blooms among others. Before sampling, the team developed a novel genetic marker that could rapidly screen the samples on a large scale to detect specifically V. vulnificus and discriminate between strains that can cause disease to humans and those that don't.




Mario López-Pérez, Jane M. Jayakumar, Trudy-Ann Grant, Asier Zaragoza-Solas, Pedro J. Cabello-Yeves, Salvador Almagro-Moreno. Ecological diversification reveals routes of pathogen emergence in endemic Vibrio vulnificus populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021; 118 (40): e2103470118 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2103470118

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Leading to improved biomaterial production


Bacteria can store extra resources for the lean times. It's a bit like keeping a piggy bank or carrying a backup battery pack. One important reserve is known as cyanophycin granules, which were first noticed by an Italian scientist about 150 years ago. He saw big, dark splotches in the cells of the blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) he was studying without understanding either what they were or their purpose. Since then, scientists have realized that cyanophycin was made of a natural green biopolymer, that bacteria use it as a store of nitrogen and energy, and that it could have many biotechnological applications.


Scientists have realized that cyanophycin was made of a natural green biopolymer, that bacteria use it as a store of nitrogen and energy, and that it could have many biotechnological applications. They have tried producing large amounts of cyanophycin by putting the enzyme that makes it (known as cyanophycin synthetase) in everything from E. coli to tobacco, but without being able to make enough of it to be very useful.




Itai Sharon, Asfarul S. Haque, Marcel Grogg, Indrajit Lahiri, Dieter Seebach, Andres E. Leschziner, Donald Hilvert, T. Martin Schmeing. Structures and function of the amino acid polymerase cyanophycin synthetase. Nature Chemical Biology, 2021; 17 (10): 1101 DOI: 10.1038/s41589-021-00854-y


Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

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