Team ratchets up accuracy for identifying protein bits
Anyone who has tried to match an unfamiliar bird’s features to its field guide portrait knows that reality rarely provides a perfect comparison to the ideal specimen.
Scientists have faced a similar problem when attempting to decode protein patterns found in living cells – a field known as proteomics. Using mass spectrometry, the technology of choice for protein identification, scientists try to match protein fragments, or peptides, against idealized patterns in peptide databases. These databases often provide a poor
But using bioinformatics techniques, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a pattern-matching algorithm that improves the accuracy of peptide identification by between 50 and 150 percent, compared with standard approaches.correspondence – the industry standard for positive peptide identification is usually a dismal 15 to 20 percent.