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Chemistry and Biochemistry News

Today in the Integrative Lab course in biochemistry and inorganic chemistry, students prepared their cisplatin analog samples for gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer analysis.  They then added cisplatin, oxaliplatin, their analog or nothing to target DNA.  The target DNA will subsequently be tested for damage with molecular beacons.  We're looking forward to hearing the results!

This semester, students in the Integrative Lab I are combining inorganic synthesis with biochemical analysis.  Each lab group is synthesizing analogs of the chemotherapeutic drug cisplatin and testing the DNA damage done by these analogs with molecular beacons they designed.  Above is a sample experiment in which undamaged target DNA with the molecular beacon has an intensity around 800 (green line), target DNA treated with commercial cisplatin has lost that signal (blue line) due to damage, and target DNA treated with a synthesized analog has an intensity of around 350 (red line) showing some DNA damage.

Biochemistry senior, Jan Donato, is enjoying working at the new Wegmans' Pharmacy in Owings Mills for his capstone internship!  Jan reports that Wegmans provided him with good training in and he likes that the Pharmacy is customer friendly.  This experience is giving Jan better insight into what a career in pharmacy will entail.

In honor of Halloween, chemistry professor, Dr. Jeremy Burkett gave a fun and informative presentation titled “Vampires: Fact or Fiction?”. The presentation discussed biochemical, psychological, and sociological phenomena that could have led to the legends about vampires which exist in every culture. Student and faculty laughed along with the logical, though exaggerated, tales among townspeople that contributed to the image of vampires that we still use today.

Maybe next Halloween, we will be lucky enough to get a lecture on werewolves!

Happy Halloween from the Chemistry Department!  Students, faculty and staff enjoyed dressing up!  Here are some of today's costumes.

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