Promotive Communications

Laboratory Focus September 2010

Laboratory Focus is Canada's leading editorial-based lab publication. Providing readers with the latest technology updates through application and tech notes, as well as covering new products and trends in laboratories across Canada.

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Pharmaceutical Clinical Chemical food w w w. b i o s c i e n c e w o r l d . c a SEPTEMBER 2010 Volume 14, Number 5 Biofuel Development Rapid Diagnostic Testing Page 8 Page 12 Benchtop Flow Cytometry environment Dual Platform Technology R&D News.......................... 1 Appointments..................... 6 Pharma Notes. ................... 7 . New Products................... 15 Calendar........................... 17 Career Spotlight............... 18 University of Toronto team contributing to 2016 mission to mars NASA and the European Space Agency are jointly developing the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission for launch in 2016. This is an artist's concept of the planned spacecraft, which will carry five science instruments plus a European entry, descent and landing demonstrator vehicle. The orbiter will also serve as a communications relay for Mars surface missions. Photo - ESA Left: MATMOS (shown here at right in a schematic representation) will be housed on the upper of deck of the NASA-ESA ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, slated for launch in 2016. Photo - JPL An international team of scientists including several atmospheric and planetary researchers from the University of Toronto will develop an instrument to search for signs of life on Mars during the 2016 ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter NASA-European Space Agency mission. Publications Mail Registration Number: 40052410 The instrument, known as MATMOS (Mars Atmospheric Trace Molecule Occultation Spectrometer), will probe the atmosphere of Mars in search of biological sources of methane and signs of life. "We are very excited to be part of this international team contributing to ExoMars," said team member Barbara Sherwood Lollar of U of T's Department of Geology. "MATMOS will build on the exciting reports of methane in the Mars atmosphere by investigating a suite of trace gases in the planet's atmosphere that will help develop models of the planet's geologic activity and address questions regarding any potential biogenic activity." MATMOS will help scientists attempt to solve the mystery of methane on Mars by confirming seasonal distribution patterns, and providing new interpretations of the origin of the gas on Mars. Methane was discovered on Mars in 2003 in greater abundance than expected. It is a possible biomarker for signs of life, since the gas is readily produced by biological activity. Selected by NASA and the European Space Agency for launch onboard the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter slated for launch in 2016, MATMOS is being developed in partnership between the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Sherwood Lollar, fellow U of T scientists Jonathan Abbatt of the Department of Chemistry and Kimberly Strong and Kaley Walker of the Department of Physics, along with Dalhousie University's James Drummond, York University's Jack McConnell and the University of Winnipeg's Ed Cloutis, are contributing to the CSA's effort.

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