What Everyone Should Know About the Andromeda Strain
Mass spectrometry is the science of displaying the spectra of the masses of the molecules comprising a sample of material. It is used for determining the elemental composition of a sample, the masses of particles and of molecules, and for showing the chemical structures of molecules, such as peptides and other chemical compounds. Mass spectrometry works by ionizing chemical compounds to generate charged molecules or molecule fragments and measuring their mass-to-charge ratios. In a typical MS procedure:
- A sample (which may be solid, liquid, or gas) is ionized.
- The ions are separated according to their mass-to-charge ratio. This is the key step.
- The ions are detected by some mechanism capable of detecting energetic charged particles.
- The signal is processed into the spectra of the masses of the particles of that sample.
The Andromeda Strain virus mutated from a virulent and deadly form, to a benign polymer-eating form. Viruses mutate through errors in the copying of their genetic code in a host cell. The resultant errors are continued when the new virus infects another host. This occurs rapidly compared to other organisms due to a lack of any sort of checking or correcting of genetic material. But, because the mutations occur in replication in a host cell, outside a host cell, it can't modify or change until it gets to another host.