The instrument purchased through this project will enable groundbreaking research that will support human and animal health, the cleanup and protection of the environment, and the development and vitality of the economy. For example, the results of research on environmental toxicology may help policymakers make decisions regarding regulations that protect human and ecological health; the results of research on fatty acid composition of beef may allow beef producers to significantly improve the nutritional profile of their product, thereby improving health for millions of people who consume the meat; and the results of research on feed efficiency in beef production may help beef producers increase production and drive economic growth.
In addition to the significant social benefits of the research itself, this project will benefit the research and education communities through efforts to support technology transfer, broaden participation of underrepresented groups (women and minority researchers and students are directly involved), and increase interest and participation in STEM education at the undergraduate and K-12 levels.
The addition of a GC/MS-FID to WTAMU?s Core Lab will enable research activities that will generate new knowledge in the following areas: The impacts of hazardous organic chemical releases into the environment: The GC/MS-FID will be used to determine the concentrations of hydrocarbons in environmental media (e.g., surface water, sediment, flora) and fauna at oilfield-contaminated sites, and to collect analytical data to measure the uptake, bioaccumulation, and toxic dose of complex mixtures of hydrocarbons in reptile, amphibian, and bird species. The ability to analyze organic chemicals, many of which can be carcinogens, at parts per million and parts per billion levels, will enable research advancing knowledge of the fate, transport, and ultimate toxicity of these chemicals in the environment. The fatty acid composition of red meat: These fatty acids have been related to product shelf life and nutritional value. They have also been shown to affect human cholesterol levels and human heart disease. The GC/MS-FID will be used to quantify fatty acids in meat products, in studies designed to generate new knowledge on the effects of animal breed; feeding of ethanol byproducts, grass, and grain; and cooking and temperature on fatty acid composition.