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Physical Chemistry Division (I)


Number: 170/8/94

Title: Recommendations for the Measurement and for the Presentation of Results obtained on Biological Substances with Scanning Calorimetry

Coordinator(s): F. Schwarz and H.-J. Hinz

Remarks: Joint project with Commission I.2

Completion Date: 2001- project completed

Scanning calorimetry is being widely used for the study of the thermodynamic stability of proteins. From a single experiment it is possible to determine the transition temperature, the calorimetric enthalpy, the heat-capacity change, and the cooperativity and stoichiometry of the transition. Because of this, scanning calorimetry has evolved into the primary scientific tool for studying the thermodynamic stability of proteins and other macromolecules. A somewhat unfortunate diversity of the way results are calculated and reported has also accompanied the use of this technique. In some cases the published results do not contain all of the information that would give a study its optimal scientific value. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a set of recommendations for the measurement and for the presentation of the results obtained on biological substances with scanning calorimetry. In this project a group of international experts will address these matters. They will develop a consensus on the information from these experiments that should be reported in the literature and on the terminology and formats to be used. A set of recommendations will be prepared that will serve as a guide to workers in this field of research.

A third draft of these recommendations was discussed in detail at the GA in Geneva. Based on this discusssion the coordinators will write the first draft of the final document by the end of 1997.

Project completed - IUPAC Technical Report published in Pure Appl. Chem., 73(4), pp. 745-759, 2001.

Last Update: 17 July 2001


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