Author: Shannon Morey

Stacks on stacks on stacks

Finding ways to create order is a common theme in science. Here researchers are trying to carefully arrange chromophores in order to create better solar cells (among other potential uses). In particular, these chemists are trying to make porphyrins stand up on a surface creating stacks of porphyrins that are a well defined distance from each other and from the surface they are attached to.


Here the authors describe all of the consumer products that are utterly and completely chemical-free. I hate to ruin the surprise, but their aren’t any.

Can adding calcium help forests?

This study further supports a connection between acid deposition and forest decline. The authors state, “Continued vigilance in the control of acid rain precursors will be needed to correct these problems, and aggressive options to reduce pollution in rapidly industrializing regions of Latin America, Asia, and Africa are warranted.”

Questions are raised about “unclick” reaction

Click chemistry, a term used to describe a number of high yield reactions, is used far and wide by chemists. The azide alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition typifies click chemistry and awhile back, I described it as my favorite reaction.

The survey results are in…

I found the results of the recent Astrobites graduate student life survey fascinating.  Please take some time to read through the Astrobites article summarizing the results.

A Discussion about Graduate Student Life

A recent email has caused quite a buzz in the astronomy community.  The email pertains to the expectations placed on graduate students.  We are reminded that similar letters have been written in the chemistry community – see this post on Chemistry Blog.  Our friends over at…

It is that time of year again…….

If you are thinking about applying to graduate school it is time to start on your applications!  Please check out last year’s post for some helpful tips, including links to some very helpful and thorough articles – Good luck to everyone applying this year!

Safety in Academic Labs

The Sheri Sangji case at UCLA is a horrible tragedy and confronts an uncomfortable topic for many chemists – safety in academic labs.  Often with professors pushing students to complete work as fast as possible proper safety precautions are not taken, people are not trained well,…

Update to “Women and Named Reactions”

    Accounts of Chemical Research recently published some additions and corrections to their article “Named Reactions Discovered and Developed by Women.”  They were informed of another reaction unambiguously named for a woman – the Catellani reaction.  Prof. Marta Catellani of the University of Parma reported…

Shifting with Selenium

I hope most of us have experienced the wonder of watching fireflies lighting up on a warm summer evening.

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A New Look at Old Chemistry

This article is a great reminder that we should take some time to look back at chemistry reported decades ago to inspire us.

Thinking about summer? Think about an REU!

I really can’t praise REU programs enough. You get paid (most programs give a stipend and pay for housing) for an amazing experience, both in terms of the research and the chance to travel to really interesting parts of the US and the world. And remember, if you are applying to grad school, undergraduate research is a necessity, so take advantage of these wonderful programs!

Using photochemistry to attach and release biomolecules in hydrogels

Title: Photoreversible Patterning of Biomolecules within Click-Based Hydrogels Authors:  Cole A. DeForest and Kristi S. Anseth Journal: Angewandte Chemie International Edition Affiliation: Chemical & Biological Engineering, University of Colorado and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute   Hydrogels have become an important category of materials for studying…

Shrinky-Dink Science

Title: Self-folding of polymer sheets using local light absorption Authors: Ying Liu, Julie K. Boyles, Jan Genzer and Michael D. Dickey Journal: Soft Matter Affiliation: Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University As a kid you may have played with Shrinky-Dinks.  I remember…

Stand with Science

MIT news has a very interesting article this week about a student group at MIT,  the Science Policy Initiative, that has started a petition to Congress asking to avoid cutting federal funding for R&D.  I encourage everyone to take a look at the petition.  I personally believe that…

Sensing Potassium

Title of Post: Sensing Potassium Title:  A New Highly Selective Fluorescent K+ Sensor Authors: Xianfeng Zhou, Fengyu Su, Yanqing Tian, Cody Youngbull, Roger H. Johnson, and Deirdre R. Meldrum Journal: Journal of the American Chemical Society Affiliation: Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State…

Chemistry Blog Carnival!

I’m sorry it took me so long to get a post out on this, but the good people at the IYC Blog (part of the C&EN family) put together a wonderful post about all of the Chemistry Blog Carnival submissions – As you may remember I…

Chemistry on Mars: Making Perchlorates

Title: Photooxidation of Chloride by Oxide Minerals: Implications for Perchlorate on Mars Authors: Jennifer D. Schuttlefield†, Justin B. Sambur†, Melissa Gelwicks†, Carrick M. Eggleston‡, and B. A. Parkinson*†§ Journal: Journal of the American Chemical Society Affiliation: †Department of Chemistry, ‡Department of Geology and Geophysics and §the…

Applying to Grad School

Where should I apply?  What are my chances of getting accepted?  When are the applications due?  How much do they cost?  What application should I work on first?  Who should I get to write my letters of recommendation?  Is grad school even right for me?  I…

My Favorite Reaction – Azide Alkyne Huisgen Cycloaddition

The azide alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition easily qualifies as my favorite reaction and my submission to the Chemistry Carnival.  It combines simplicity with efficiency in a way that is unmatched by most other chemistries.  From clicking side chains onto polymers to conveniently synthesizing a variety of natural…

What chirality can do for your hydrogel

Title: Enhanced Mechanical Rigidity of Hydrogels Formed from Enantiomeric Peptide Assemblies Authors: Katelyn J. Nagy†‡, Michael C. Giano†‡, Albert Jin§, Darrin J. Pochanǁ, and Joel P. Schneider† Journal: Journal of the American Chemical Society Affiliation: †National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research; ‡University of Delaware, Department…