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Innovative Software Advances Showcased at ASMS 2023

Learn about some of the software that our experts found most engaging at this years ASMS conference

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Ian Black, MSComm, MSc

Ian Black is the assistant editor for LabX. Before joining the team, he obtained a masters in science communication from Laurentian University and an MSc in biology from Brock University....

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Scott D. Hanton, PhD

Scott Hanton is the editorial director of Lab Manager. He spent 30 years as a research chemist, lab manager, and business leader at Air Products and Intertek. He earned...

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Damon Anderson, PhD

Damon Anderson, PhD, is the technology editor at LabX.com. He can be reached at danderson@labx.com

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The annual conference hosted by the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) is a chance for industry leaders to showcase the new advances in mass spectrometry and its related fields. The 2023 conference was no exception with experts from all over the world flocking to Houston, TX to discuss everything new in the world of mass spectrometry. While there were many interesting hardware advances being shown, on display were also several software innovations that can help lab managers and lab scientists eliminate tedious workflows, speed up data processing, facilitate data combination, and in general save time, money, and resources.

Lab Manager’s own Scott Hanton, PhD, and LabX’s Damon Anderson, PhD, were on site this year and are delighted to report their five picks for the most exciting innovations in software presented at ASMS.

MassHunter AI Peak Integration from Agilent

Manual peak identification and integration in GC/MS can be a tedious process that also can run the risk of introducing variability between users. This can reduce the quality of the data and acts as a bottleneck in workflows, limiting lab efficiency. The new AI Peak Integration for Agilent’s MassHunter software hopes to eliminate these problems by not only automating and speeding up the process, but by also providing a uniform integration of all peaks in the data set. The true brilliance of the program, however, is that it learns from your lab’s manual integration experience and uses machine learning to combine the approaches of multiple experts within the lab, taking advantage of all your lab’s internal expertise while minimizing variability. 

ACD Labs’ Spectrus JS software

As a lab scientist or manager, it can be frustrating when you need to learn a large variety of different, complex software programs to process data from different instruments. To address this, the Spectrus JS program from ACD Labs provides the user with a single platform that can analyze data from a wide range of instruments. Whether you are running NMR, LC/MS, GC/MS, LC, IR, Raman, DSC, or TGA, the Spectris JS has you covered. Forget the need for multiple programs and instead master just one for all your data analysis requirements. This program also allows for easy combination of different data types for complex analysis. 

The Investigator software from Sierra Analytics

After years of development, the team at Sierra Analytics has developed the Investigator, a powerful MS data analysis tool. This program can significantly speed up the analysis of complex MS spectra by providing incredibly fast processing speed and flexibility. Designed to read raw data from most high-performance mass spectrometers, this program is a discovery tool that gives you the ability to quickly gain insights from both 2D and 3D plots. Even if millions of isotope clusters must be detected and assigned, the Investigator can complete the task in the span of a few minutes.

Insight Biologics from Shimadzu

When performing quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometry, researchers may benefit from a dedicated oligonucleotide characterization platform. The LabSolutions Insight Biologics is such a program that includes several core editors for sequence, nucleotides, linkers, ribose, and base modifications. This makes Insight Biologics a comprehensive platform great for data review and processing. Insight Biologics can enhance the confidence of your identification with visual displays of sequence coverage and allows for the adjustment of qualifiers to address regulatory requirements. This fast and flexible analysis program can bridge the gap between oligonucleotide instruments and solutions. 

The Ardia platform from Thermo Fisher Scientific

More and more we see lab leaders taking advantage of new, digital solutions to help organize data and automate instrument use. The Ardia platform from Thermo Fisher was designed to assist lab managers during their digital transformation journey. This comprehensive software platform can facilitate data management, processing, and security while also helping with instrument management. Additionally, the platform connects and organizes projects and people, allowing researchers to uncover answers much faster.

The benefits of software

While not as flashy or exciting as some of the hardware on display at ASMS, lab managers shouldn’t neglect the benefits of updating the software platforms of their lab. These new programs can not only facilitate data collection, and analysis, but they can improve experimental efficiency and quality while saving time, money, and resources. Taking both hardware and software into consideration can benefit lab management immeasurably.