Advances in metabolite identification

One of the central challenges to metabolomics is metabolite identification. Regardless of whether one uses so-called ‘targeted’ or ‘untargeted’ metabolomics, eventually all paths lead to the requirement of identifying (and quantifying) certain key metabolites. Indeed, without metabolite identification, the results of any metabolomic analysis are biologically and chemically uninterpretable. Given the chemical diversity of most metabolomes and the character of most metabolomic data, metabolite identification is intrinsically difficult. Consequently a great deal of effort in metabolomics over the past decade has been focused on making metabolite identification better, faster and cheaper. This review describes some of the newly emerging techniques...

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