MILFORD, Mass., Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At a ceremony at the School of Science and Technology at Orebro University (Orebro, Sweden) Waters announced the selection of the MTM Research Center for its Centers of Innovation Program for research in the field of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) now regulated under provisions of the Stockholm Convention. The MTM Research Center under the direction of Professor Bert van Bavel has earned a reputation for excellence in the area of POPs analysis and the development of analytical methods for tracking quantities of POPs in the environment and for quantifying human exposure to these harmful contaminants. His research also supports the United Nations Environment Programme aimed at building capacity for POPs analysis by training scientists and advising laboratories in state-of-the-art methods.
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POPs are released into the air, water, and soil/sediments primarily from the incineration of municipal wastes, combustion of fossil fuels or as byproducts of metal, pulp and paper manufacturing processes. Once in the environment, they don't disappear. POPs have been linked to numerous diseases including cancer, insulin resistance, and are believed to be endocrine disruptors.
Speaking at a ceremony on campus, Matilda Ernkrans, a Member of the Swedish Parliament and the Chair of the Committee on the Environment said, "Waters establishment of a Center of Innovation at the MTM Research Center is an important contribution to environmental research and a great recognition making me very proud." She told the audience that she's concerned about the combined effects of POPs on human. "Last year, two MTM scientists tested my blood and found traces of dangerous chemicals including PCBs and DDT, chemicals which have been forbidden for a long time and are still circulating in the environment," she said. "There are many of us who want to know more so we can have a better understanding of the risks we are being subjected to, and that is why the work that is being carried out the MTM Research Center with support from Waters, is so important."
"The establishment of a Center of Innovation at MTM Research Center initiates a new phase in our collaboration with Waters. It means we will be able to put more resources on projects we design together and gives us access to the most modern technology which is very important for us," said Professor Bert van Bavel. "As a reference laboratory for UNEP we need to have top-of-the-line instrumentation to keep our status and to keep us at the forefront of science. We're looking forward with excitement to a fruitful collaboration and to achieving the ambitious goals we have set for ourselves."
"At Waters we believe in the Science of What's Possible™ and the idea that there is nothing that science can't help solve. We are very lucky to have found at Orebro University in the MTM Research Center a partner that shares our belief in science and education. Using science to help safeguard our environment is a challenge worth investing in," said Andre Ayache, Vice President and General Manager, European Operations, Waters Division.
The MTM Research Center is currently investigating LC/MS as a tool for more sensitive, selective and efficient methods of POPs analysis, particularly fluor compounds. To take its research to the next level, it recently took delivery of a benchtop ACQUITY® I-Class UPLC® System and Xevo® TQ-S Mass Spectrometer equipped with an APGC ion source.
The Waters® Xevo TQ-S tandem mass spectrometer represents a step change in targeted quantitative UPLC/Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) analysis. This system is capable of accurately measuring target compounds in complex samples at femtogram levels or below.
The Xevo TQ-S features new StepWave™ ion-transfer technology, a revolutionary off-axis design for dramatically increasing the efficiency of ion transfer from the ion source to the quadrupole MS analyzer while at the same time actively eliminating undesirable neutral contaminants. This gives the Xevo TQ-S impressive class-leading sensitivity. When compared to earlier generation mass spectrometer models the chromatographic peak areas are typically more than 30 times bigger and the signal-to-noise ratios are typically 5 to 10 times better.
The APGC source is unique in that it allows scientists to make exact mass LC/MS/MS and GC/MS/MS measurements on a single Xevo TQ-S Mass Spectrometer eliminating the need to dedicate a mass spectrometer for LC/MS/MS work and another to GC/MS/MS work.
About the MTM Research Center
The Orebro University MTM Research Center is one of three European Union Reference Laboratories supporting United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) efforts to build capacity among the network of worldwide independent and government laboratories supporting the provisions of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants which legally binds parties to the Convention to track 22 POPs in the environment and reduce or eliminate their release. Presently 178 of the 191 United Nations member countries have signed the Convention. Analytical methods developed by the MTM Research Center and others are now used by more than 200 laboratories to monitor levels of POPs in marine wildlife, food, water, and human blood, breast milk, and tissue as part of a global monitoring program administered by the UN.
Swedish scientists have been on the forefront of research into POPs ever since a Swedish chemist became the first to identify PCBs in eagles as early as 1964. While at Umea University, Professor van Bavel was a member of a research group that became one of the first to discover the presence of brominated flame retardants in whales and, later, in humans. Flame retardants are commonly used in clothing and upholstery.
About Waters Centers of Innovation Program
Waters Centers of Innovation Program recognizes and supports the efforts of scientists facilitating breakthroughs in health and life science research, food safety, environmental protection, sports medicine and many other areas.
Professor van Bavel joins 18 other researchers and research centers recognized by Waters' Centers of Innovation Program. The others include Professor Jeremy Nicholson, Imperial College London; Professor John Engen, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.; Professor James Scrivens, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK; Professor David Cowan of Kings College London; Professor Arthur Moseley of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; Professor Julie Leary of the University of California – Davis; and Professor Albert J. Fornace, Jr., Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, D.C.; Professor Marcos Eberlin, University of Campinas, Brazil; Professor Ganesh Anand, National University of Singapore; Dr. Konstantinos Petritis, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, Arizona; Dr. Joseph Dalluge, University of Minnesota; Prof. Sarah Trimpin, Wayne State University; Dr. Frank Gonzalez, National Cancer Institute; Dr. Devin Peterson, University of Minnesota; Caroline West and Eric Lesselier, University of Orleans; Professor Vladimir Shulaev, University of North Texas; Professor Pauline Rudd, National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training; and Dr. Amit Kumar Mandal, St. John's Research Institute, Bangalore, India.
These leading scientists, in partnership with Waters, are using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to help shape the future of scientific research and unlock the mysteries of science.
About Waters Corporation (www.waters.com)
For over 50 years, Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) has created business advantages for laboratory-dependent organizations by delivering practical and sustainable innovation to enable significant advancements in such areas as healthcare delivery, environmental management, food safety, and water quality worldwide.
Pioneering a connected portfolio of separations science, laboratory information management, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis, Waters technology breakthroughs and laboratory solutions provide an enduring platform for customer success.
With revenue of $1.85 billion in 2011, Waters is driving scientific discovery and operational excellence for customers worldwide.
Waters, ACQUITY, UPLC, Xevo, StepWave and UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography are trademarks of Waters Corporation.
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