In the post-genomic era, the focus of research has now moved to the proteome, the aggregate of proteins found in a cell, an organism or tissue at a particular point in time and under specific conditions. In addition to identifying and characterizing these proteins in high numbers, structural investigation of proteins and their actions and reactions to one another, or with organic compounds, has become the objective of research efforts.
The main technique for protein identification and characterization is In-Gel digestions followed by MALDI mass spectrometry analysis. Large numbers of proteins are separated by 2-D gel electrophoresis, the individual spots are picked, digested and spotted on MALDI targets for ongoing spectrometric analysis. One way to get 3-D structural information out of proteins involves crystallization using precipitate solutions followed by x-ray analysis. Finding suitable crystallization conditions for proteins and growing protein crystals can be done with empirical techniques using commercial kits, or with customized grid screens.Hamilton offers fully automated systems in the field of proteomics to carry out time-consuming activities and labor-intensive steps that can be operated by all personnel in any laboratory.
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