Friday, 5 September 2014

New Water Standards Now Available

Such has been the popularity of our range of deuterium and oxygen-18 water standards, our stock of natural water standards came to an end. These have now been replaced with a new set comprising of three waters that are appropriate for use as working standards for natural abundance measurements. The details of the new standards are (values are reported as delta (permil)versus V-SMOW/SLAP):

IA-R063 (Zero water) 2H = +11.26, 18O = -0.41

IA-R064 (Medium natural water) 2H = -98.32, 18O = -12.34

IA-R065 (Low natural water) 2H = -269.07, 18O = -33.57

All standards have been calibrated using equilibration and continuous flow - isotope ratio mass spectrometry against V-SMOW2 and were scale corrected using SLAP2.

You can feel assured that you are buying a standard that is in routine use in our own laboratory fifty two weeks a year. The standards are available to purchase directly from ourselves or from Elemental Microanalysis Ltd.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Europa Scientific Instruments Needed

We're always looking to improve the services we provide by adding more equipment to the lab. If you have Europa Scientific/PDZ Europa/Sercon instruments that you no longer need, we would be very interested to hear from you.

In particular, we are interested in acquiring ANCA-SL and ANCA-GSL systems (including Gilson 222 autosamplers). Either with or without 20-20 mass spectrometers. We can collect equipment in the UK or in some other European Countries. Further afield we can arrange a shipping company to collect the equipment from you.

So if you have a system that is no longer being used and want to realize some income from it or simply want to free up space, please contact me via our e-mail address at the top of this blog. You will also be safe in the knowledge that we will put your equipment to very good use and it will soon be helping someone get their samples measured.

Steve Brookes

Monday, 12 November 2012

New Arrangements for Customers in Australia and New Zealand

As of November 2012 all of our customers in Australia and New Zealand, who were previously served on our behalf by Isolytix, may now contact us directly. All enquiries are welcome whether they be for analysis of new samples or questions about data for previous samples that we have measured for you.

Steve Brookes
12 November 2012

Monday, 21 November 2011

2012 Student Awards and SIMSUG

This week I'll be attending the Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry User Group (SIMSUG) meeting at Lancaster University:

SIMSUG 2011, Lancaster University, 23rd and 24th November 2011

To coincide with the meeting we are announcing our 2012 Student Research Awards competition. Hopefully, I will get to meet some of our customers in Lancaster but you don't have to be at the meeting to enter the competition as the details are below.

The closing date for entries is 31st January 2012. Good luck to everyone that applies.

Steve Brookes

2012 Student Research Awards

Iso-Analytical provides research awards to encourage students to include stable isotope analyses in their research projects, with emphasis on the use of stable isotopes to explain original research questions.

Iso-Analytical is offering a total prize fund of $5000 towards stable isotope analysis from our catalogue of analytical services for d2H, d13C, d15N, d18O and d34S.

Gold Award : $3000 (approx. 75 sample analyses)

Grant of $3000 (2250€*) towards cost of stable isotope analyses available to students engaged in research at an accredited academic institute.

Silver Award : $2000 (approx. 50 sample analyses)

Grant of US $2000 (1500€*) towards cost of stable isotope analyses available to students engaged in research at an accredited academic institute.

* Based on current exchange rates

How to Apply

The research awards are competitive and will be offered based on the evaluation of applications consisting of an abstract and 300 word summary paper. Applications should concisely describe the research project, the information likely to be gained from isotope analysis, and the availability of materials for analysis. Applications will be accepted by post, fax or Email.

The deadline for receipt of applications is January 31, 2012

Applications should be e-mailed to: with “Research Awards 2012” in the subject line

Competition Rules

(1) Applicants must be enrolled in post-graduate or post-doctoral research at an academic institute.
(2) Applications must include applicants name, address, telephone number, e-mail and academic qualifications and supervisor’s name and address.
(3) The prizes will consist of stable isotope analyses of d2H, d13C, d15N, d18O or d34S, or combination thereof, to the value of $3000 and $2000 for the Gold and Silver awards respectively.
(4) Samples must be submitted by the competition winners to Iso-Analytical for analysis before March 31, 2013. Iso-Analytical will report results to competition winners within 3 months of receiving samples.
(5) Research awards will be acknowledged in any thesis or subsequent publications, copies of which will be provided to Iso-Analytical.
(6) The winners will be notified by March 31, 2012.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Recent Published Articles

We're always pleased to see the fruits of our customers' work. Here are some references of published journal articles that we've recently received:

‘Differences in food assimilation between two coot species assessed with stable isotopes and particle size in faeces: Linking physiology and conservation.’
Amat Juan A, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A (2008), 217-223

‘Sulphur stable isotopes can distinguish trophic dependence on sediments and plankton in boreal lakes.’
Crosietere Louis et al, Freshwater Biology (2009), 54, 1006-1015

‘Unravelling complexities in benthic food webs using a dual stable isotope (hydrogen and carbon) approach.’
Deines Peter et al, Freshwater Biology (2009), 54, 2243-2251

‘Beef authentication and retrospective dietary variation using stable isotope ratio analysis of bovine muscle and tail hair.’
Osorio, M Teresa et al, J. Agric Food Chem (2011), 59, 3295-3305

‘Multielement isotope analysis of bovine muscle for determination of International Geographical Origin of Meat.’
Osorio, M Teresa et al, J. Agric Food Chem (2011), 59, 3285-3294

‘Greater flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus are partial capital breeders.’
Rendon Miguel A et al, J. Avian Biol. (2011), 42, 210-213

There is also a list of earlier published articles on our website.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Student Placements During the Summer

This June we welcomed one of our customers to the lab to gain first hand experience of stable isotope analysis. Dr Irene Maier recently took up a post doctoral position in the Quaternary Geology and Climate unit of the Norwegian Geological Survey (NGU), Trondheim. Under the direction of Dr Jochen Knies, Irene is being supported by an EU Marie Curie award to work on their Changing Arctic and Sub-Arctic project.

During her visit to the laboratory Irene gained practical experience of preparing marine sediments for carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis. This involved; decarbonating the sediments in preparation for organic carbon isotope analysis, removal of organic nitrogen from the sediments and preparation of the different sediment fractions for analysis on the mass spectrometer systems. By doing this, Irene now has an understanding of the processes involved in stable isotope analysis which should come in useful when she receives data for future samples that we will be measuring for NGU.

Irene preparing samples at one of the laboratory balances (above) and learning how to operate one of the isotope ratio mass spectrometers (below)

In July we were joined by a second student for a summer placement. This time it was Charlotte who had just completed the first year of her degree course in environmental sciences at Manchester University. Charlotte spent a couple of weeks with us gaining practical experience of common laboratory techniques which included; centrifuging, pipetting, ion-exchange chromatography and using 5 place balances to weigh and prepare samples in tin capsules ready for isotope analysis.

Friday, 1 July 2011

The Lab continues to be very busy

It was around this time last year that we started to see an increase in the demand for analysis of samples. That demand has remained in place and I can safely say that our lab has never been busier. This is good news and not so good news. Good news because it is very encouraging to see that so many of you are increasing the amount of research that you are using stable isotopes for. The not so good news is that the increased number of samples that we have been receiving has meant that the lead time for analysis has increased for most sample types.

In order to meet the increased demand, we did two things in the first quarter of this year. First off, we re-furbished and upgraded one of the mass spectrometers that was under-utilized. This has given us extra capacity for high temperature continuous flow - IRMS and extra capacity for deuterium measurements. Secondly, we recruited another person for the technical support staff, Joanna Bruce. Joanna has already been trained up to prepare samples and is now doing so on a day to day basis alongside the rest of the team (Anne, Margaret and Sharon).

Even with this extra capacity in place the lead times for analysis are still longer than they used to be and what we would like them to be. We apologize to you for that but would also like to thank all of our customers for your patience. All samples that arrive at our facility are logged in, in the order that they are received and join the queue behind orders that have already arrived. We think and hope that this is the fairest way for all of our customers.

It is good to know that people are willing to wait a bit longer because of the quality of the service that we provide.