Recently, the Beagle team collected and purified microcystin-RR (MC-RR) of which we were very proud. Not only was it one of our first pure products, but also our analyses showed a high concentration and purity easily in excess of 95% (go here to learn more about how we assess purity). The sample was sent to a third party lab that again confirmed its purity and the congener identity via mass spec. Soon after, we received a purchase order from one of our first customers, and decided that to be on the safe side, we’d take one more look at it on the HPLC before shipping it off. While running that set of analyses, we started to notice a small peak forming just before the main product peak. It looked as though a minor shoulder we had observed in earlier analyses was becoming its own peak. We feared a contaminant or a degradation product in our sample, which would require us to re-purify and re-analyze, an unattractive prospect that invariably would lead to significant product losses.