Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New steroid test uses oil exploration technique

06.03.2008
It’s a technique that has previously been used for oil exploration — now researchers at The University of Nottingham have developed a new, highly sensitive, anti-doping steroid test using hydropyrolysis.

The process — which uses high pressure environments to investigate the chemical structure and make-up of a sample — has been refined and developed at the University to develop highly accurate tests for detecting levels of illicit steroids in urine. The test procedure is already in the process of being commercialised and is expected to be ready for use in the 2012 Olympics.

Funding from the Natural Environment Research Council’s Ocean Margins LINK programme saw researchers take the hydropyrolysis technique and apply it to geochemical studies. This allowed the team to reconstruct the history of ocean basins to help assess whether it was worth drilling for oil. By taking core samples over geological time, the technique can detect the first ’charge’, or presence, of oil.

But the same process can be used to detect the presence of illicit steroids in the urine of athletes — and racehorses. High pressure hydrogen is used to bombard the sample at pressures of 150 atmospheres and temperatures of up to 500 degrees Celsius. This leaves sample molecules in a cleaner, less degraded state than other extraction techniques, allowing more accurate readings to be taken. Carbon isotopes are then measured, with the results showing the ratios of carbon 12 and carbon 13 in the sample — whether geochemical or biological.

... more about:
»Steroid »isotope »sample

Colin Snape, Professor of Chemical Technology and Chemical Engineering at the University, said: “Steroids are produced naturally in the body, but they have a different carbon 13/carbon 12 ratios to those that have been introduced illicitly. By refining the measurements of these two isotopes we can produce a very accurate test for the presence of illegal steroids in athletes.

“We are currently working with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to develop the technique for trial and have entered into partnership with Strata Technology, a London-based company with expertise in high pressure equipment, to commercialise the technique.”

The technique is also being used to refine current radio carbon dating processes, which use the carbon 14 isotope to measure the age of an archaeological sample.

“Most of these samples use charcoal,” Professor Snape added. “But the stuff you are trying to accurately date is often mixed in with much later debris from the same site. Hydropyrolysis can remove this very rapidly and efficiently. We are hoping that this will become the accepted model for cleaning up radio carbon dating samples in the future — the fundamental research for this is taking place at the moment.”

Professor Snape is an expert on hydropyrolysis — he’s been working on the technique, both in industry and academia, for the past 25 years. Over the coming year he hopes to refine the testing process, exploring optimum sample sizes and checking the sensitivity of the technique, working with WADA and experts in steroid testing from Imperial College London.

Emma Thorne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk

Further reports about: Steroid isotope sample

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>