Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemistry Department News

Viewing posts for the category Research

Measuring Molecules With the Naked Eye

Posted: Oct 25, 2012

When someone develops liver cancer, the disease introduces a very subtle difference to their bloodstream, increasing the concentration of a particular molecule by just 10 parts per billion.

That small shift is difficult to detect without sophisticated lab equipment – but perhaps not for long. A new “lab on a chip” designed by Brigham Young University professor Adam Woolley and his students reveals the presence of ultra-low concentrations of a target molecule.

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Biochemistry Professor and Students Solve a Birth-Defect Mystery

Posted: Sep 12, 2012

The cellular cause of birth defects like cleft palates, missing teeth and problems with fingers and toes has been a tricky puzzle for scientists.

Now Professor Emily Bates and her biochemistry students at Brigham Young University have placed an important piece of the developmental puzzle. They studied an ion channel that regulates the electrical charge of a cell. In a new study published by the journal Development, they show that blocking this channel disrupts the ...

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Dr. Emily Bates: Running and Research

Posted: Aug 08, 2012

In her spare time between researching cancer and migraine drugs, mapping genes, and teaching chemistry classes Professor Emily Bates still has time to run marathons, and win them.

 Professor Bates is currently working on three very exciting research projects. The first project concerns Ectodermal Dysplasia, a dominantly inherited disease. Ectodermal Dysplasia causes digit and nail disfiguration, abnormal teeth, abnormal hair growth (i.e. eyebrows are backwards), dysfunctional tear ducts, and abnormal face patterning. Bates is ...

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Building Small Tools for Big Adventures

Posted: May 22, 2012

With the ability to define the makeup of molecules and determine the mass of miniscule particles, mass spectrometers are particularly useful instruments. NASA hopes to more fully take advantage of these machines by expanding the mass spectrometer’s area of operation — all the way to Mars.

By sending mass spectrometers on space missions, scientists could better identify planetary substances, increasing our understanding of the solar system and the universe at large. But getting these bulky ...

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Professor Investigates Stabilization of Protein-based Medications

Posted: May 04, 2012

This year, an estimated 8,880 Utah residents will be diagnosed with cancer, according to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. When you include friends and loved ones of patients, the number of individuals affected by cancer is much larger. The research of Professor Josh Price, of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is aimed at reducing that impact by enhancing the effectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs like those used to treat breast cancer and glaucoma.

Price, whose ...

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Hydrogen Peroxide Goes Green in Undergrad's Published Paper on Renewable Energy

Posted: Feb 01, 2012

Most of us know hydrogen peroxide as a way to bleach hair, but MacKenzie Mayo is using it to help turn yard waste into renewable energy.

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Not Just for Looks: New Gold Mirrors Aid Investigation of Chemical Separations

Posted: Dec 06, 2011

Take a paper towel and dip the edge into water that is laced with colored dye. As the thin fibers of the towel soak up the mixture, the water and the dye separate — the further from the original point of saturation, the darker the color.

This basic experiment illustrates the process of chemical separation. Chemists use similar, albeit more complicated, procedures to analyze chemicals.

Professor James Patterson, of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, said ...

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Students Rise Above the Rest at Nevada Conference

Posted: Oct 20, 2011

Chemistry undergraduate students Kyli McKay Bishop and Alisa Edmund were both selected to receive an award at the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) conference October 3-7. Both students work in Dr. Paul Farnsworth’s lab doing analytical chemistry.

The conference, held this year in Reno, Nevada, “is an annual meeting that covers the whole of analytical chemistry with an emphasis on emerging technologies” and “has a proud tradition of bringing together leading ...

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