The anions formed from methylalumoxane (MAO) and suitable donors (e.g. octamethyltrisiloxane) are amenable to mass spectrometric (MS) analysis. Their composition as deduced from this data allows direct insight into the chemical transformations of their neutral precursors. One such process is oxidation, which is well‐known to be facile for MAO without any clear idea of what actually occurs at a molecular level. Addition of O2 to MAO results in immediate gelation, but MS analysis reveals no corresponding change to the composition of the principal oligomeric anions. A slow (hours) reaction does occur that involves net incorporation of Me2AlOMe into the oligomeric anions, and the identities of the OMe‐containing anions were confirmed by 1H NMR, MS/MS analysis, and addition of an authentic sample of Me2AlOMe to MAO. The result tallies with the fact that addition of O2 to MAO produces Me2AlOMe from free Me3Al which eventually leads to formation of oxidized MAO oligomers and changes in ion abundance. Aging of the oxygenated MAO results in further growth of the oligomers similar to that of the non‐oxidized species. Mass spectrometric analysis therefore reveals useful insights into the environmental history of a given MAO batch.
Harmen Zijlstra, Scott Collins, Jason Scott McIndoe
Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) are heterogeneous disorders in which the safety margin of neuromuscular transmission is impaired by one or more specific mechanisms. Since the advent of next‐generation sequencing methods, the discovery of novel CMS targets and phenotypes ha ... more
Myasthenia gravis (MG) with antibodies to muscle‐specific kinase (MuSK) is characterized by fluctuating fatigable weakness. In MuSK MG, involvement of bulbar muscles, neck, and shoulder and respiratory weakness are more prominent than in acetylcholine receptor (AChR) MG. MuSK au ... more
Because of the failure of many promising therapeutics identified in preclinical evaluation, funding sources have established guidelines for increased rigor in animal evaluations. The myasthenia gravis (MG) community of scientists has developed guidelines for preclinical assessme ... more
Smart skin that can respond to external stimuli could have important applications in medicine and robotics. Using only items found in a typical household, researchers have created multi-sensor artificial skin that's capable of sensing pressure, temperature, humidity, proximity, pH, and air ... more
Mercury contamination in water and on land is of worldwide concern due to its toxic effects on ecosystems and human health. Mercury toxicity is of particular concern to reptiles because they are currently experiencing population declines. Also, reptiles are ideal indicators of mercury conta ... more
A team of pioneering South Korean scientists have succeeded in producing the polymers used for everyday plastics through bioengineering, rather than through the use of fossil fuel based chemicals. This groundbreaking research, which may now allow for the production of environmentally consci ... more