Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine

Tomorrow’s miracle drugs may well come from ancient China.

Herbal medicine has a long history dating back thousands of years. Do the herbs also hold curative powers for modern diseases? That is what the Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine (China) is trying to find out.

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Their researchers are attempting to identify the active ingredient in many of those Chinese herbs as well as gain a greater understanding of its mechanisms.

Scientists not only want to identify the ingredients but learn how the chemicals in the herb change when going from fresh to processed or dry.

This is where Waters UPLC and SYNAPT High Definition MS (HDMS) come in. Because UPLC offers much higher resolution than traditional chromatography, the chemists use it to profile specific ingredients in the herb as well as show them quickly how the ingredients have changed after processing. The SYNAPT HDMS System, with its unique ion mobility separation capability, allows researchers to see the incredibly small ion currents associated with protein complexes.

The scientists hope their learning enables them to turn many of the ancient herbs into new drug candidates and possibly develop those into new medicines.

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