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Germany Gives Universities $8.2M for New Imaging Mass Spec Tools

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Nine German universities have won a total of €5.8 million ($8.2 million) from the government to buy imaging mass spectrometers for a range of life sciences research applications.

The funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) was awarded under the Imaging Mass Spectrometry in the Life Sciences initiative, DFG said yesterday.

Out of 35 proposals submitted, the nine grant winners include Humboldt University in Berlin, the Technical University of Munich, the Aachen University of Technology, and the Universities of Bielefeld, Giessen, Jena, Kiel, Cologne, and Münster.

Imaging mass spectrometry has the potential to help researchers identify biomarkers for molecular pathology, characterize and analyze natural materials and signaling substances, and seek out diagnostic and prognostic markers for use in personalized medicine.

DFG said imaging mass spectrometry is of greatest interest to the life sciences "because the method allows the direct, spatially resolved measurement of a variety of analytically relevant substances in a tissue sample, and so achieves a spatial resolution in the micron range. In contrast to the classical methods for visualizing proteins in tissue, imaging mass spectrometry also requires no prior knowledge of the target protein. Thus, the detection of thousands of components is possible at the same time."