Further Investigations of Carbon Dioxide Capture Reactions Through Computational Chemistry

April 27th, 2013

In this investigation, we used computational chemistry to compare two previous research reports based on the capture of carbon dioxide.  Each report used a different theoretical model: Hartree-Fock (HF) theory in one case and density functional theory (DFT) in the other. Read More…

The Study of Photochemistry Is Too Expensive for Undergraduates? We Think Not…

April 27th, 2013

Certain systems of molecules react when exposed to UV light via photodimerization―a process in which two molecules form chemical bonds to become one single unit. Trans-1, 2-Bis (4-Pyridyl) Ethylene (BPE) is one such molecule which exhibits a 2+2 photodimerization when co-crystallized with an appropriate molecule, otherwise known as a template. Read More…

Growth, Purification, and Mutagenesis of Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase

April 27th, 2013

ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that involves the selective progressive death of motor neurons. The majority of ALS cases are sporadic with an unknown cause, but about 10-20% of the cases are familial ALS (fALS) which are caused by genetic mutations that appear to be inherited. Read More…

IOWATER and Phosphate: A Study on the Effectiveness of Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Programs

April 27th, 2013

IOWATER is a volunteer water quality monitoring program for Iowa, created as a cooperative effort with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The program’s goal is to use the efforts of volunteers to help identify problematic sites on rivers and other bodies of water, which could pose risks to the environment and human health. Read More…

Synthesis of the NH2-PCP Pincer Ligand for a New Immobilized Alkane Dehydrogenation Catalyst

April 27th, 2013

The classical Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process for conversion of syngas to hydrocarbons calls for the use of a metal catalyst combined with a support. Development of a robust alkane dehydrogenation catalyst is highly desirable for the potential to upgrade the FT product stream, leading to more efficient production of transportation fuels. Read More…

Understanding Aerosol Surfaces: Dicarboxylic Acid Adsorption Behavior at the Air/Water Interface

April 27th, 2013

Aerosols are known to directly influence the climate and individual aerosol droplets can contain a diverse mixture of both inorganic and organic components. Dicarboxylic acids, a water soluble class of organic acids prevalent in the atmosphere, are believed to originate from photochemical decomposition of larger organic matter. Using the air-water interface as a model system for the surfaces of atmospheric aerosols, the behavior of the most atmospherically important dicarboxylic acids was investigated. The surface behavior of these acids was elucidated by using a macroscopic approach exploring concentration dependence, changes in the bulk pH, and the effect of relevant atmospheric inorganic solutes. Read More…

Synthesis of Organic Precursors for Photochemical Reactions

April 14th, 2012

2+ 2 cycloaddition reactions provide a means by which solids can react in the presence of light without any solvent. The reactants are oriented by metal-organic complexes that act as templates. These reactions are very useful in forming products that could otherwise not be formed in the liquid phase and enables stereospecific control of the products. Read More…

Computational Investigations of Ion-Carbon Dioxide Reactions

April 14th, 2012

Computational chemistry is a largely theoretical approach to studying chemistry. In this field of chemistry, sophisticated mathematical models and computers are used to calculate properties of chemical species from fundamental principles. In this study, electronic structure methods were used to calculate the energy of CO2-capturing reactions as well as the bond length and angle of the CO2 in the product. Read More…

Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles Using Titania Functionalized-Phosphotungstic Acid and Sodium Citrate

April 14th, 2012

Colloidal metals, otherwise known as metallic nanoparticles, have many applications in optoelectronics, semiconductors, catalysis, and magnetic devices, while colloidal gold specifically has applications in drug delivery and health care due to its generally non-toxic characteristics.  The functionality of a nanoparticle depends on the material in use as well as the size and surrounding environment. Read More…

Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles Capped With Phosphotungstic Acid

April 14th, 2012

Nanoscience and nanotechnology research are rapidly growing research areas in chemistry, physics, and biology due mainly to nanoparticles’ unique properties associated with their size.  These properties include interesting optical, electrical, and chemical effects. Read More…

Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy of Surface Adsorbed MetalloOctaethyl Porphyrins on Au

April 14th, 2012

Modern fuel cell technology faces the challenge of developing efficient and long-term catalysts to reduce oxygen (ORR).  As the catalyst, metalloporphyrins have been of great interest, but the reduction mechanism is still a subject of debate.  Recent work has shown an increase in catalytic activity with metalloporphyrins co-deposited with transition metal oxides. Read More…

Synthesis of Nitroxide Radicals for Optimized MRI Properties

April 14th, 2012

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a very useful and safe diagnostic technique in which water molecules’ response to an applied magnetic field is measured to differentiate between body tissue types; however, the contrast agents that are often necessary to obtain high picture resolution are unsuitable for patients with low functioning or damaged kidneys. Read More…

Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase Aggregation and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

April 8th, 2011

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease with no known cure. Presently, a portion of familial ALS cases can be linked to a mutation in the sod1 gene, which encodes the protein copper-zinc superoxide dismutase. In many ALS patients, aggregated proteins (amyloid) have been found in their cells. Read More…

Alternative Energy: the Synthesis of Organic Dyes for Use in Solar Cells

April 7th, 2010

Organic dye-sensitized solar cells have emerged as inexpensive and environmentally-friendly alternatives to inorganic and organo-metallic solar cells. We synthesized three different types of organic dyes for solar cells: perylene monoimides, azo dyes, and push-pull poly-enes. Read More…

Organic Dyes for Solar Cells

April 18th, 2009

Organic dyes were synthesized for use in dye-sensitized solar cells. Dye-sensitized solar cells are being explored because of their low cost of production and low environmental impact. Read More…

Syntheses of 2″ Deuterium Labeled Deoxyadenosine and 1′/1″ Deuterium Labeled Deoxyribose

April 18th, 2009

We used organic synthesis to place a deuterium atom at the 2″ position of the deoxyribose sugar of adenosine. Read More…

Protein Chemistry of Human Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase: In Vitro Explorations and Experiments of Metal-Binding Properties

April 18th, 2009

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that causes eventual respiratory failure due to motor neuron death. Read More…

Synthesis of Bimetallic Core-Shell Metal Nanoparticles Capped by Keggin Ions

April 18th, 2009

Interest in the ability to manipulate matter at the molecular level has grown considerably within the past ten years and has been a driving force toward advances in nanoscience. Read More…

Colloidal Metal: The Synthesis of Gold and Silver Nanoparticles and the Attachment of Modified Gold Nanoparticles and Nanochains to Alumina Surfaces

April 29th, 2008

Gold nanoparticles were produced by a citrate thermal reduction method and by a procedure involving the inclusion of reduced polyoxometalates (POMs), where phosphotungstic acid (PTA) served as the photocatalyst, reducing reagent and stabilizer for the reaction. Read More…

Stability of Melt-rich channels in Earth’s Mantle: High Pressure and Temperature Experiments on Olivine, Chromite and MORB

April 29th, 2008

Melt transport, the movement of molten rock through the Earth’s relatively solid outer shell, is important in many geological processes. Volcanism at subduction zones and hot spots and the formation of oceanic crust at mid-ocean ridges all involve melt transport. To increase our understanding of how melt moves from depth to Earth’s surface, we conducted experiments at high temperature and pressure on fabricated rock samples of modeled mantle rock compositions. Read More…

Studies of Polyoxometalates on Single Crystal Silica and Alumina

April 29th, 2008

Polyoxometalates are metal oxide clusters with many useful chemical properties. Read More…

Neuroprotection via Learning in the Hippocampus

April 29th, 2008

Environmental enrichment is a natural means by which the brain can make itself more resilient against disease; however, its mechanisms remain incompletely defined. Environmental enrichment consists of increased social, physical and intellectual activity (i.e., learning), which can reduce brain injury by more than 50%. Read More…

The Role of Toll-Like Receptor 2 on Adipose Tissue Inflammation in Obesity

April 29th, 2008

This research focused on the role of Toll-like Receptor 2 (TLR 2) in the development of adipose inflammation in obesity. Read More…

Biodiesel: Vegetable Oil Transesterification by Means of an Acid Catalyst

April 29th, 2008

The amount of usable fossil fuels is steadily decreasing as the world population increases. This has driven scientists to find alternative resources for fossil fuels. Read More…

In Vitro Mutagenesis and Metal-Binding Studies of Human Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase

April 29th, 2008

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that usually causes eventual respiratory failure due to motor neuron death. Approximately 90% of all ALS cases are classified as sporadic ALS, meaning that there is no known cause. Read More…

Targeting Cancer Cell Surfaces with Heteromultivalent Ligands

April 29th, 2008

Multivalent ligands display multiple copies of one or more ligands that can simultaneously bind to multiple receptors contained on another entity. By combining multiple ligands into a multivalent construct, it should be possible to target them specifically to cancer cells that express all of their cognate receptors. Read More…

Two mtDNA Lineages in Strauzia longipennis (Diptera: Tephritidae)

April 29th, 2008

Strauzia longipennis (Wiedemann) is a notoriously variable species. Seven varieties were once recognized, all but three considered as synonyms by some authors. Read More…

Use of Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis in Unknown Bacterial Identification

April 29th, 2008

Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) is a technique that has been used to estimate the diversity in bacterial samples based on the melting behaviors of DNA segments. DGGE may provide a new, more efficient manner to identify unknown bacteria, Read More…

Computational Characterization of LuSb to Determine k-space Orientation

April 29th, 2008

Within the local density approximation (LDA) the electronic structure of LuSb was calculated using the full potential linear augmented plane wave method in order to determine the kz coordinate of photoemission spectra from a sample of LuSb. Read More…

Lacunary Polyoxometalate Syntheses and Phosphotungstic Acid Interaction with Neodymium

April 19th, 2008

Polyoxometalates (POMs) are unique metal-oxide clusters that are of particular interest due to their wide array of applications including medicine, oxidation catalysis, magnetic materials, and nanotechnology. Read More…

Serum Opacity Factor (SOF) Forms Cardioprotective Products from HDL via Rate-Limiting Apo A-1 Desorption

April 18th, 2008

HDL is the major carrier in reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). Low plasma HDL and cardiovascular disease are strongly associated. Read More…

Analysis of a Polyoxometalate Absorbed on Metal Oxide Particles

April 14th, 2007

Many uses of Keggin polyoxometalates exist today. We explored how a Keggin polyoxometalate, more specifically dodecatungstophosphate ion, interacts with different metal oxide particles such as silica and alumina. Read More…

Protein Chemistry and Genetics of Human Superoxide Dismutase-1 in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

April 14th, 2007

Copper-zinc superoxide dismutase-1 (CuZnSOD) is a radical-scavenging enzyme occurring intracellularly in humans. A toxic gain-of-function in this enzyme has been established as a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’ s Disease). Read More…

Determination of N-acetylcysteine in Hemodialysis Patients Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography

April 14th, 2007

A sensitive, analytically simple method with high-throughput capability is being developed for the quantitative analysis of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in human plasma. Read More…

Improving Cancer Detection for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

April 14th, 2007

Chronic myelogenous leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow that is characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of myeloid cells. Nearly 4500 new cases of CML are diagnosed each year in the United States alone Read More…

EP2 Enhancement of IgG-based Neuroprotection

April 14th, 2007

Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is an eicosanoid that mediates microglial activity via two PGE2 receptor subtypes expressed by microglia, EP1 and EP2. EP2 receptor activation has been shown to be neuroprotective but whether this effect involves microglia has not been examined. Read More…

Spectroscopic and Imaging Studies of Phosphotumgstate on Single Crystal Alumina Surfaces

April 14th, 2007

Many different applications of polyoxometalate technology are possible. One of these possibilities may be the disposal of nuclear waste, involving reacting a radioactive species with the phosphotungstate anion (PTA) which is deposited on an alumina surface. Read More…

Synthesis and Characterization of Streptocyanine Dyes

April 14th, 2007

Streptocyanine dyes are photo-sensitive compounds with applications in photographic materials. The particular series of aminopentadienylideneammonium salts I synthesized are also useful as anthelmintics, which are de-worming agents, for livestock. Read More…

Purification and Metal Binding Studies of Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase

April 14th, 2007

Copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) is an enzyme that has been linked to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’ s disease. Point mutations of this enzyme seem to affect the protein’ s folding and the protein’ s ability to bind metals, which affect the protein’ s functionality, but the exact mechanism by which this occurs is still unknown. Read More…

Improving the Construction and Efficiency of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

April 14th, 2007

Dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) offer a cheaper, more easily mass-produced alternative to silicon cells. Such cells are made from thin sandwiched layers of conductive glass, titanium dioxide, dye, and an iodide electrolyte. Our goal was to construct and test our own DSSCs. Read More…

Uncovering Tropical Diversity: Six Sympatric Species of Blepharoneura (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Flowers of Gurania spinulosa (Cucurbitaceae) in Eastern Ecuador

April 14th, 2007

Diversification of phytophagous insects is often associated with changes in the use of host taxa and host parts. We focus on a group of newly discovered neotropical tephritids in the genus Blepharoneura and report the discovery of an extraordinary number of sympatric, morphologically cryptic species all feeding as larvae on calyces of flowers of a single functionally dioecious and highly sexually dimorphic host species (Gurania spinulosa) in eastern Ecuador. Read More…

Decoding the Mystery of Fire Corals of the Bahamas

April 14th, 2007

Fire coral of the genus Millepora are prevalent in tropical western Atlantic reefs. Two distinct morphologies of Millepora, currently classified as separate species, exist off the coast of the Bahamas. Read More…

Metal-Binding, Activity, and Production of Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase

April 29th, 2006

Point mutations of the enzyme copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) have been linked to the neurodegenerative disease familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), or Lou Gehrig’ s disease. Read More…

The Role of the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System in Cell Senescence

April 29th, 2006

Normal human fibroblasts have a finite lifespan in culture termed replicative senescence which has long been interpreted as a model of aging at the cellular level. One pathway responsible for initiating cellular replication is known as the extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway Read More…

Investigation into the Structure and Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles

April 29th, 2006

Previous studies have shown the formation of gold nanoparticles via various synthetic methods. Read More…

Alumina-Supported Polyoxometalate Impregnation with Neodymium

April 29th, 2006

Storage methods of nuclear waste have been the subject of controversy for many years. Read More…

Corrosion Inhibition Studies Using Polyoxometalates

April 29th, 2006

Several methods are currently in frequent use to prevent the corrosion of metal surfaces. Electroplating copper or chromium onto metal surfaces, usually steel or aluminum alloy for most commercial applications, is one way of inhibiting corrosion. Read More…

Bobo and Me: A Radiation Story

April 29th, 2006

The liver has widely been accepted as an organ that is sensitive to radiation therapy and that great damage occurs if the liver receives a dosage exceeding 3000 cGy. Read More…

Aquatic Environmental Chemistry

April 29th, 2006

Aquatic Environmental Chemistry is the study of sources, reactions, transport, and fate of chemical entities in water, as well as their effects on human health and the natural environment. Read More…

Preparation of Biodiesel from Waste Vegetable Oil: An Experiment for the Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Laboratory

April 29th, 2006

Vegetable oil is a good source of energy but it is much too viscous to work effectively as a fuel. Read More…