Academy Savant

Spectral training software 
Academy Savant 
Reviewed by Roger Freidinger
American Peptide Society

Introduction to protein and peptide analysis with mass spectrometry is a computer-based training course designed to provide a fundamental understanding of the analytical technique of mass spectrometry using electrospray and MALDI ion sources to characterise peptide and protein molecules. The software loads and opens quickly and easily. The program is well-designed and user-friendly, and the subject matter is organised and presented in a logical manner. Features include animation, narration, and hot buttons leading to definitions and references. 

The animation, in particular, is valuable for illustrating basic operating principles of mass spectrometry instruments and techniques. In addition, the user manual is a helpful resource. All these elements work well and combine to make an enjoyable learning experience. 

Each section of the course begins with very basic information and moves into the technical aspects of the operation and use of mass spectrometry in the analysis of peptides and proteins. Brief quizzes are also included with each section to allow the user to gauge progress. A number of references are included to enable the user to probe deeper into particular topics. 

Minor criticisms of the course are that the most recent references date from 2003 and a small number of typographical errors were found. 

As someone knowledgeable about peptides and proteins, but a novice concerning their analysis by mass spectrometry, I found that this course accomplishes what it is designed to do. It will be useful for students and scientists starting out in the field of peptide and protein analysis.

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