Editorial Article: Analytical Science Highlights of 2018: From Hurricane Heroics to Cars of the Future

We look back at the biggest stories and the best content from our analytical chemistry communities

26 Dec 2018

The past 12 months have been an exciting time for the SelectScience analytical chemistry communities. Our editors have had the opportunity to speak with leading scientists, host fascinating and informative webinars and travel to international conferences, all with a view to bringing you the latest techniques and technology trends from across the field. In this end-of-year round-up, we look again at the most compelling news and content of 2018, reflect on the new technologies which have made the greatest impact in the field, and offer a glimpse of what’s to come in 2019.


January: A month for materials & automation 

The month started strongly with a great interview with Nikhilesh Chawla, Fulton Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Arizona State University, Tempe, who told us about his work studying the mechanical behavior and modeling of advanced materials using ZEISS’s Crossbeam FIB-SEM Microscopes. January was also an important month for laboratory automation, thanks to our successful webinar on  intact protein analysis in a multi-user/multi-project walk-up environment.



February: Mass spectrometry takes center stage

In February we published one of The Scientists’ Channel’s most watched videos – our interview with Mimi Roy, Senior Director of Analytical Chemistry, BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. about  impact of mass spectrometry on medical research. In line with the medical application of mass spectrometry, the most popular application note from the month presented a  method for separating designer drugs in urine via LC-MS/MS using UCT’s SELECTRA columns. To finish off the month with a bang, SelectScience pulled out all the stops at  Pittcon with the DeLorean car from Back to the Future and our glitzy  Scientists’ Choice Awards ceremony, recognizing the best new general lab, separations and spectroscopy products.


March: Hurricane heroics & forensics special    

March saw the release of our Forensics & Toxicology Editorial Feature which showcased a diverse range of the latest articles and resources for our forensics and toxicology community. We also published an extraordinary article about how Melvin De Jesus Flores from the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao saved his research group’s Bruker AVANCE NMR from the devastation of Hurricane María.




April: An army marches on its stomach

From water analysis through to food quality and  the world’s growing appetite, we covered the latest challenges and developments in food science in our Pesticides and Contaminants Special Feature this month. Following on from this feature, April was a notable month for food and beverage webinars too, hosting an especially interesting presentation on screening for unwanted and unexpected compounds in foods using Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Compound Discoverer software. We were also excited to launch our How to Buy Liquid Chromatography Systems eBook. 



May: Putting the spotlight on molecular spectroscopy

In May, we released our  video highlights from analytica conference. A particular technology that caught attention at the conference was HORIBA’s new Duetta spectrophotometer – a new concept for analytical molecular spectroscopy. Amongst all the articles published this month, a particular highlight was our interview with Dr. Rafael Cueto, a polymer analysis specialist from Louisiana State University, talking about how his relationship with  Wyatt Technology Corp. helped to advance his research.



June: The rise of medicinal cannabis

This was another month packed with compelling content. We released video highlights from ASMS and exclusive interviews from Asset too! As well as these insightful videos, we also ran a  Food Fraud Special Featurehighlighting new methods and technologies such as Waters’ DART QDa. With the rise of medicinal cannabis in the USA, our webinar on the chromatography foundations for cannabis labs was also received with great enthusiasm.




July: The future of electric cars 

SelectScience was excited to launch two brand new how-to-buy eBooks in July, one for UV/ Vis Spectrophotometers and another on GC columns. We were also proud to release a fascinating video interview with Mark Amor-Segan from WMG’s Energy Innovation Centre about the future of electric cars and how environmental chambers from UNITEMP had been instrumental in developing new energy storage solutions. This month, our Materials Editor published a popular article collating the latest news application notes and videos on next-generation 2D materials



August: Automation masterclass 

IIn the analytical community, August brought an insightful webinar on laboratory automation, looking at how to make the most of your investments and how to choose the best solution for your needs. This application note about fast analysis of cannabinoids also proved popular with readers, along with our new how-to-buy HPLC columns eBook.





September: Troublesome separations  

In September, we released our Cannabis Testing Special Feature and an enlightening article on how difficulties with cannabinoid purification can be avoided by carrying out countercurrent separation using Gilson’s CPC System. In the vein of tricky separations, readers welcomed an instructional video published at the end of the month which explains solid phase extraction and how the technique compares to liquid-liquid extractions. We also released an article on preventing lithium ion battery failure that left a lasting impression.



October: Unprecedented LC-MS resolution

Our Water Analysis Special Feature Water Analysis Special Feature was launched during October, including a wealth of application notes, articles and videos on the latest techniques, methods and technologies for water analysis. Meanwhile, in an exciting interview with Paul Jacobs, COO and Co-Founder of PharmaFluidics we discovered how engineers developed a disruptive technology giving unprecedented LC-MS resolutionand Ronan Herry, from Gilson, presented an informative presentation on how to switch from manual to automated solid phase extraction in the lab – like all our webinars, you can still catch it on demand.


November: Experts insights galore  

November was packed with a veritable treasure trove of webinars for analytical chemists. At the beginning of the month SelectScience hosted a popular string of the online events, starting with a presentation on  chemical and microbiological monitoring for breweries, quickly followed by a Karl Fischer titration masterclass and a presentation on a new approach to evaluating the performance of a lab balances. This month we also launched our how-to-buy water purification technology eBook!




December: Food quality & festive cheer   

With the festive season on the horizon, December was the perfect time for the launch of our Food Quality Special Feature. Tying in with this feature, we also published a fascinating article on how scientists have cracked the ginger analysis challenge and a piecee on essential lab products for detecting food contamination – featuring instruments such as Water’s Xevo TQ-S micro and Nexcelom’s Cellometer X2. To round off a fantastic year at SelectScience and to get in the festive spirit, we held our 12 Reviews of Christmas competition. Our lucky winners received gifts such as Netflix, Amazon and Starbucks gift cards by leaving product reviews for laboratory products, providing vital feedback and enabling scientists to make informed decisions when purchasing new technologies.



We hope you enjoyed 2018 as much as we did — we have even more planned for the SelectScience Analytical Chemistry Community in 2019, so look out for even more interviews, top technology tips and expert webinars and don’t forget to follow our social channels to stay up to date. 

Happy Holidays from all at SelectScience — here’s to a great 2019! 


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