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Chemistry and Biochemistry News


The American Chemical Society Club hosted its Annual Chemistry Magic Show, this time in our new building in one of our Chemistry Demonstration Rooms! This exciting fall event shows the fun and interesting experiments students can do using basic chemistry!

The magic show included 10 exciting experiments performed and explained by ACS members:

Cold Light of Luminol, performed by Courtney Aceto

Briggs Rauscher Oscillating Reaction, performed by Corinna Carter

Turning Pennies Silver and Gold, performed by Blake Ford

Fun with Dry Ice, performed by Ryan James

Gummi Bear Explosion, performed by Tyler John

Phenolphthalein Acid-Base Indicator, performed by Kayla Bynion

Cold as Ice, performed by Jan Donato

Magic Wand, performed by Tania Rodriguez-Cintora

Burning Money, performed by Ana Villa Abarca, and Elephant Toothpaste by Stacey Wardenfelt.

Thank you to all ACS members, especially Krystine Hill, the Vice President of ACS, and our Lab Services personnel, for organizing and running a fun and exciting event! The Magic Show was a huge success again!

There's a lot of excitement on campus for our new Men's Ice Hockey as they play in their inaugural season under the direction of head coach, Dominick Dawes. The Mustangs have started the season with four wins in their opening six games. Two of our chemistry freshmen are on the team:  Zak Sheikh and Joe Kittelberger.  Both are defensemen and are excited to be part of the team.  Go Mustangs! 

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.

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