Cholesterol, a lipid biosynthesized within cells, is known to have a profound effect on cell membranes. An essential structural component, cholesterol not only increases bilayer stiffness and thickness, but plays a key role in facilitating membrane organization. There is growing evidence that lipids and proteins self-organize in order to bring about subcompartmentalization as a means … [Read more…]
Carbon dioxide capture is of great importance for chemical research due to carbon dioxide’s potential as a greenhouse gas. Ionic liquids have been suggested as possible alternatives to traditional aqueous amine solutions currently used for capture because ionic liquids can absorb more CO2 per mole and because lower desorption energies can be achieved. Previous computational … [Read more…]
Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) is estimated to cause approximately 2,000 deaths in the USA every year (Massey et al., 2014) and is the major cause of death in individuals with refractory epilepsy. Since most SUDEP cases have been found in bed, there has been a great deal of effort trying to investigate the … [Read more…]
Mesoporous thin films have a number of possible applications, most notably arising from their insulating properties for use in microelectronics. In this work, we created thin films using a bench-top solutionprocess method. In order to assess the viability of these alumina films for porous material-use porogens, pore originators made from organic materials were introduced into … [Read more…]
The mechanisms by which microbes affect plant health remain unclear. Some microbes promote plant growth by stimulating root proliferation. Increases in the number of roots foster plant growth by taking up more nutrients and water. Root growth depends on two processes: cell expansion and cell production. Physical characteristics of cell walls, such as elasticity, affect … [Read more…]
Resveratrol, a naturally occurring polyphenol found in red wine, is soluble in oil-like and water-like environments based on its chemical structure. As a result, it has the ability to embed within the lipid bilayer of a cell membrane, potentially altering the bilayer’s physical properties. While resveratrol is hypothesized to have life-extending capabilities, the mechanism of … [Read more…]
Resveratrol, a naturally occurring polyphenol found in red wine, has the ability to embed within cell membranes, potentially altering the bilayer’s physical properties, and is hypothesized to have life-extending capabilities. The experiments in this research apply electrophysiology to determine the impact of resveratrol on lipid bilayer physical properties, in particular by using incorporated gramicidin A … [Read more…]
Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defenses. The development of pulmonary hypertension (PH) is one disease that can be attributed to oxidative stress, and studies have shown antioxidants as potential therapeutics. Peptides extracted from botanical sources are widely used for this purpose and have … [Read more…]
There are systems of compounds that exhibit [2+2] photodimerization when exposed to UV light when co-crystallized with an apposite template molecule. Co-crystals, crystalline structures made up of two or more compounds in a specific stoichiometric ratio, help position molecules in the specific orientation necessary for the [2+2] photodimerization to occur, which can be detected by … [Read more…]
The compound 2-(2,4)-dinitrobenzyl pyridine (DNBP) is a photoreactive crystal that changes from a sandy-brown to a dark purple color when exposed to light. It then remains dark purple for several hours after being exposed to light. The original synthesis procedure was developed at Cornell by Professor Ault and Cornell students. Since its development, it has … [Read more…]
The ability to selectively and efficiently separate CO2 from gas mixtures is of huge interest due to the prevalence of CO2 as an industrial byproduct and its global-warming potential. Compared to amine solutions, separation by room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) possess numerous advantages including negligible vapor pressures and low desorption energies. To understand the interaction of … [Read more…]
Merocyanine dyes exhibit fascinating chromic effects which make them good materials for undergraduate students to explore the fundamental knowledge of solvatochromic, thermochromics effects, and even aggregation and fluorescence of the conjugated compound. MOED (1-methyl-4-[(oxocyclohexadienylidene)-ethylidene]-1,4-dihydropyridine) has been noted for its solvatochromic effect, which means that the color of the solution will change when the compound is … [Read more…]
Supercapacitors, also known as electrochemical capacitors, fundamentally differ from conventional capacitors in that a standard capacitor comprises two metal plates and a dielectric material whereas a supercapacitor makes use of two electrodes separated by an ion porous medium in an electrolyte. Given the added advantages of short charging period, flexibility, being lightweight and environmentally safe … [Read more…]
Oxidation is a natural process that produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human bodies during metabolism. Once formed, ROS can create a chain of radical reactions and cause damage to human cells. Antioxidants are the substances which can scavenge ROS or can inhibit the reactive oxidants from being formed in the first place. Due to … [Read more…]
A previous experimental study of two molecular dimers performed by Prof. Charles Liberko and his students showed that the wavelength of light absorption of the two dimers was unexpected. In this work, we sought to understand this behavior by approaching the problem from another avenue: computational chemistry. Our main goal was to computationally predict the absorbed … [Read more…]
Photochemistry is a novel field of science in which substances absorb photons as the source of energy and photoreact. Ultraviolet light, which contains high-energy photons, is one of the few spectral regions that photochemists work with. All photoreactions in this study were carried out using an inexpensive commercially available UV source, intended for curing fingernail … [Read more…]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 … [Read more…]
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 … [Read more…]
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 … [Read more…]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 … [Read more…]
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.
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.
We used organic synthesis to place a deuterium atom at the 2″ position of the deoxyribose sugar of adenosine.
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.
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.
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.
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 … [Read more…]
Polyoxometalates are metal oxide clusters with many useful chemical properties.
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%.
This research focused on the role of Toll-like Receptor 2 (TLR 2) in the development of adipose inflammation in obesity.
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.
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.
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.
Strauzia longipennis (Wiedemann) is a notoriously variable species. Seven varieties were once recognized, all but three considered as synonyms by some authors.
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,
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.
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.
HDL is the major carrier in reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). Low plasma HDL and cardiovascular disease are strongly associated.
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.
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).
A sensitive, analytically simple method with high-throughput capability is being developed for the quantitative analysis of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in human plasma.