måndag 13 juli 2009

New steriod test based on oil exploration technique.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham have developed a new, highly sensitive, anti-doping steroid test using hydropyrolysis. It’s a technique that has previously been used for oil exploration. The technique is also used to refine current radio carbon dating processes using carbon 14 isotope.
The process uses high pressure environments to investigate the chemical structure and make-up of a sample. It is refined at the University to develop highly accurate tests for detecting levels of illicit steroids in urine.

From Medical News Today:

Funding from the Natural Environment Research Council’s Ocean Margins LINK programme saw researchers take the hydropyrolysis technique and apply it to geochemical studies.
Colin Snape, Professor of Chemical Technology and Chemical Engineering at the University, said: “Steroids are produced naturally in the body, but they have a different carbon 13/carbon 12 ratios to those that have been introduced illicitly. By refining the measurements of these two isotopes we can produce a very accurate test for the presence of illegal steroids in athletes.
“We are currently working with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to develop the technique for trial and have entered into partnership with Strata Technology, a London-based company with expertise in high pressure equipment, to commercialize the technique.”
Professor Snape is an expert on hydropyrolysis - he’s been working on the technique, both in industry and academia, for the past 25 years. Over the coming year he hopes to refine the testing process, exploring optimum sample sizes and checking the sensitivity of the technique, working with WADA and experts in steroid testing from Imperial College London.

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