NIST expands MS library

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  • Published: Jun 13, 2017
  • Source: NIST
  • Channels: HPLC / Gas Chromatography / Base Peak

One of the world's largest and most widely used databases of molecular fingerprints, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Mass Spectral Library, has just got even larger. At the beginning of June, NIST added fingerprints for more than 25,000 compounds to the library, bringing the total number to more than 265,000.

"This library is used by scientists and engineers in virtually every industry," said Stephen Stein, the NIST chemist who oversees the Mass Spectral Library, which is used for diagnosing medical conditions, conducting forensic investigations, identifying environmental pollutants and developing new fuels.

Among the important compounds whose fingerprints are included in this upgrade are many dangerous drugs. These include dozens of synthetic cannabinoids that can cause psychotic episodes, seizures and death, and more than 30 types of fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that is driving an epidemic of overdoses. Having the fingerprints of these compounds in the Mass Spectral Library will help law enforcement and public health officials fight the spread of these new and dangerous substances.

NIST has released the latest version of the Mass Spectral Library, and the software needed to run it, to more than 60 distributors that bundle the data and software into mass spectrometry instruments. Owners of existing instruments can also download the latest version from distributors online.

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