Friday, December 18, 2009

Crop Disease Research

Dr. King presented work at the 2009 Pierce's Disease Research Symposium in Sacramento, CA. King is collaborating on a $520,000 research effort to address the grape crop disease in California. Pierce's Disease is an infection of grape vines caused by the bacterium, Xyllela fastidiosa. The projects aim is to give grapevines resistance to X. f. through a transgenic rootstock incorporating a gene from a plant that is resistant to X. f. King's laboratory created molecular models of pectinase inhibitor proteins from more than a dozen candidate plant species and screened their potential for inhibiting X.f. pectinases computationally. The results were used to support and guide the molecular/plant biology work being carried out at UC-Davis in Dr. John Labavitch's lab. Pictures of the projects are below.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Forensic Science: Crime Scene Projects

As the semester is winding down, students in the Introduction to Forensics Science course are putting their learning to the test. Each student group will create a crime scene and investigate another group's crime scene. The crime scenes are complete with evidence, witnesses, and back stories for the investigating group to analyze and explore. During the final exam period, groups will present their investigation to the class, much like a press conference. Students will utilize many of the skills they have learned during the semester like DNA analysis with gel-electrophoresis, blood typing, presumptive blood tests, latent fingerprint collection and analysis, analysis of trace compounds by GCMS and FTIR, to solve their crime.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mole Day Dinner and Pumpkin Carving

The department's annual Mole Day Social / Pumpkin Carving Contest was held Tuesday evening, October 20 since Mole Day fall over Taylor's Fall Break. The theme for the dinner was Italian in honor of Avogadro! In addition to great Italian pasta, salads, and desserts, students carved pumpkin competing for Ivanhoe's gift cards.

The Pumpkin Carvers:

Taking first place was the team of Heather Beleski and Nicki Reishus with a pictorial play on the word cation. Taking second place was the team of Julianne Warren and Rob Wendt with a Mole Day spoof of Michelangelo's famous Creation of Man from the Sistine Chapel - depicting a mole's outstretched finger in place of Adam's. Andy Davisson's pumpkin displayed the elemental symbols for scandium, argon, and yttrium to form the work ScArY. The other participants earned one of an assortment of chemistry shirts. Congratulations to the winners!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

TU Students Perform Research

Three TU Chemistry undergraduates performed research at Taylor and several more at other universities during the summer. Their research ranged from computational modeling of proteins to the development of quality control procedures for analytical instrumentation. Two students' projects are pictured below.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Department Cookout

The department held its first social of the new school year! The cookout, including hotdogs, hamburgers, and ribs (courtesy of Dr. Kroll), was followed by an intense game of wiffle ball. It was a great time of catching up and meeting the new members of the program.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

TU Summer Academy - Forensic Science

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry offered a 1 week forensic science camp as part the new TU Summer Academy for elementary - middle school students. The camp gave students the opportunity to try their hand at a variety of skills like dusting for latent fingerprints and casting shoeprints. Students also learned the proper procedures for investigating a crime scene. The week culminated in their investigation of a staged crime scene on Friday. These enthusiastic students left already talking about next year's camp!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Chemistry Seminar Series

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry has been hosting a seminar series this spring. The series takes an interdisciplinary approach to evaluating our Christian and scientific worldview, including topics of ethics, rhetoric and scientific debate, and others. Most recently, after a southwestern barbeque dinner by our resident chef, Dr. Leroy Kroll, Randy Gruendyke (campus pastor) spoke to us regarding how to maintain an evangelistic attitude while discussing typically divisive issues with non-believers. Chemistry professor Dr. Don Takehara will lead a discussion during our final session of the year. He will share his thoughts regarding his time working in a secular corporation for more than a decade.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

February Department Social

Our first department social of the spring semester featured an Italian meal. After dinner, Martin Magers presented his Senior Thesis. Martin's presentation described his reseach developing a method to study the unusual metabolism of extremeophiles.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inorganic Chemistry during January Term

Class and lab every day makes the pace of this class very fast! New techniques in the lab deal with forming metal centered complexes and characterizing them. Students were able to use UV/Visible, IR, and NMR spectroscopies and learn some techniques to deal with air sensitive compounds. Most of the compounds were very colorful, as well!