08.15 ENTACT workshop

Two weeks ago (August 13-15), I spent three days at the RTP campus of USEPA, participating the ENTACT workshop. ENTACT (EPA’s Non-Targeted Analysis Collaborative Trial) is an inter-laboratory project that aims to evaluate the ability of non-targeted analysis methods to consistently and correctly identify unknown chemicals in samples. The participating labs need to identify compounds from blind mixtures/samples, and the scientists from EPA know the answers because they made the mixtures/samples.
Our lab at the Center for Urban Waters is one of the participants, and I am glad that I was able to the ENTACT workshop held at the Research Triangle Park. Yes, I was also going back to see my advisor, professors, and friends back in UNC. I appreciate this opportunity. More importantly, I can see some current trends and development in the field of suspect/non-target screening, and to some extent, we agree there are still many challenges in this field. For example, are we comprehensive enough in non-target screening? What are the things that we cannot detect, and why? Does the quantitative capability matters? To what extent could we make the identification automatic? Discussing these questions with intelligent scientists is great.
Again, thanks to the organizers at EPA and all the participants! I learned a lot!

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