Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemistry Department News

BYU-created mini tool has massive potential

Posted: in Research, Aug 30, 2017
BYU researchers have created a miniaturized, portable version of a tool now capable of analyzing Mars’ atmosphere — and that’s just one of its myriad possible uses.

For decades mass spectrometers have offered a relatively fast and highly sensitive way to analyze and detect chemical compounds. But their bulky size has been a hindrance, limiting their in-field potential.

But after spending 12 years exploring the problem, BYU chemistry professor Daniel Austin, joined by electrical engineering ...

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Professors 3D-print first truly microfluidic "lab on a chip" device

Posted: Aug 10, 2017

August 08, 2017 | Todd Hollingshead

Researchers Greg Nordin and Adam Woolley are the first to 3D-print a viable microfluidic device small enough to be effective at a scale much less than 100 micrometers. 

Previous researchers have used 3D printers to make microfluidics, but not on this scale

Researchers at BYU are the first to 3D-print a viable microfluidic device small enough to be effective at a scale much less than 100 micrometers. Microfluidic devices are ...

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When was the last time you sniffed your water?

Posted: Jul 28, 2017

In the July 3, 2017 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, author Michael Torrice writes about an experience serving on a panel to evaluate water odors.


As part of the article, Torrice outlines some of the history and techniques for identifying and quantifying odors found in water. Torrice also interviewed BYU Chemistry and Biochemistry undergraduate alumnus Dr. Christy C. Spackman ( as ...

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Daniel L. Simmons Retirement and Earl M. Woolley Recognition Dinner

Posted: May 09, 2017

The Daniel L. Simmons Retirement and Earl M. Woolley Recognition dinner, was held 28 March 2017 in the Benson Building. David V. Dearden, the department Chair, gave the introductory remarks, followed by thank-you remarks from Daniel L. Simmons.

“Some of you were involved in a very unusual undertaking at BYU, a lawsuit against the largest pharmaceutical company in the world . . . I am honored by your presence and for my association with you as family, friends ...

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BYU's Open Lab Day Inspires Young Scientists

Posted: May 08, 2017

Titrations, precipitations and recrystallizations were just a few of the experiments that took place as Brigham Young University opened its labs to local students on Saturday for Open Lab Day.

“We want them to see how cool chemistry really is, and help them see that this is something they can do and contribute to,” explained Brigham Pope, Y-Chem club president and a rising junior studying biochemistry at BYU.

Read the full story here

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2017 Annual Awards and Graduation Celebration Banquet

Posted: Apr 18, 2017

The Annual Awards and Graduation Celebration Banquet was held April 12, 2017, in the Wilkinson Center. Many undergraduate and graduate students were in attendance, as well as faculty and staff. Dinner was funded by the Keith P. Anderson Foundation and Dr. Dearden gave the opening remarks.He began by thanking all of those who contributed to the success of the evening, and then congradulated the students on all their hard work and dedication to their ...

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Lab on a chip designed to minimize preterm births

Posted: Apr 17, 2017

In the United States alone, a half million babies are born preterm; worldwide, the number is an estimated 15 million. Complications associated with preterm birth are the no. 1 cause of death for children under 5, and those who live often face a range of health problems.

But with help from a palm-sized plastic rectangle with a few pinholes in it, BYU researchers are hoping to minimize the problem of premature deliveries. The small chip ...

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Gadgeteer at Heart

Posted: Apr 06, 2017

The Analytical Scientist magazine recently published an article entitled: Sitting Down With Milton Lee, H. Tracy Hall Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA. 

What drew you to the scientific field?

I’ve always had a desire to do practical things; at graduate school in Indiana, my interest was in environmental analysis – specifically, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in air pollution, and from tobacco and marijuana smoke. I also like ...

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