What is Mass Spectrometry?
Mass spectrometry is a method for accurately measuring the mass of molecules, and when used with proper controls can also be employed to measure the amount of a compound. The first mass spectrometers were developed at the beginning of the last century and were used to discover several of the atomic elements and isotopes. Over time, instruments have been developed that can be used for analyzing increasingly large (and fragile) molecules, and modern instruments are commonly used for analyzing biomolecules such as proteins/peptides, DNA/RNA, sugars and lipids. They also play a major role in the study of drug metabolism in the pharmaceutical industry.