NEW YORK, June 27 - Yokohama City University in Japan has ordered a 900 MHz NMR spectrometer from Varian to study proteins and other biomolecules involved in aging, the company said Wednesday.
The 900 MHz instrument is the most powerful NMR spectrometer currently available, and has a value of $5 million, according to Varian, a Palo Alto-based maker of NMR instruments.
Both Varian and Rheinstetten, Germany-based rival Bruker manufacture 900 MHz NMR spectrometers, and the two companies are building the instruments for several customers, mainly national laboratories and research universities in the US, Europe, and Japan. However, the only currently operational instruments reside in demonstration facilities.
NMR serves as a complementary technique to x-ray crystallography for determining protein structures. Typically, NMR cannot reliably resolve the structures of proteins with molecular weights greater than 30 kiloDaltons, but higher field spectrometers may extend that limitation.
"The importance of this system to our study of transcription factors and telomeric proteins is enormous," said Yoshifumi Nishimura, a professor in the university's Graduate School of Integrated Science, in a statement. "The sensitivity of the Varian 900 MHz NMR system will allow us to examine DNA-protein complexes in more detail than ever before, accelerating the rate at which we will understand aging and lifespan determination."