CHEM 498 - Senior Seminar


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Tentative Schedule (change is guaranteed...)
2016-01-11 Intro, etc
2016-01-15 Searching the Scientific Literature (SciFinder slides), Formatting a presentation
2016-01-18 No class - MLK Day
2016-01-22 Evaluating a seminar (, sample 2)
2016-01-25 Topic presentations - 5 minutes - MoB, TB, RV, WS, AD, WP, MS, JA
2016-01-29 Topic presentations - 5 minutes - HA, MaB, PK, AW - Final scheduling
2016-02-01 No class - seminar prep time    
2016-02-05 No class - seminar prep time
2016-02-08 No class - seminar prep time
2016-02-12 No class - seminar prep time
2016-02-15 No class - Professional Development Day
2016-02-19 No class - seminar prep time
2016-02-26 Seminar - WP - "Investigation of Liquid Crystals and Variations in Structure that Change the Physical Properties"
With very few applications until recently, the liquid crystal is not a well-known state of matter.  As the name implies, it is the state between solid and liquid and there are different phases within the liquid crystal state.  All phases of liquid crystals provide different properties and different possible applications.  Only certain molecular structures can obtain the liquid crystal state and different attachments on the structure will give a variety of properties. This investigation looks into the history of liquid crystals and their applications.  The investigation will look in depth into how various attachments on the structure effect the properties of the liquid crystals.
2016-02-29 Seminar - TB - "Economically Valuable Products Derived from Lignin-Based Waste"
Lignin is a byproduct produced from the extraction of cellulose from plant material.  The paper and pulping industry use cellulosic biomass to produce their products, however when they are done they have a mass of lefotiver aromatic biopolymer called Kraft-Lignin. Currently the most prevalent use for Kraft-lignin is to burn it in order to provide heat for the extraction of cellulose.  Lignin is a promising source of bio-based aromatic carbon that can be turned into value-added chemicals. This talk will discuss a variety of possible applications of lignin, as well as established uses for it. Finally, the findings of a project testing the feasibility of functionalizing the Kraft lignin will be presented. This was done through the synthesis of a representative compound model, Guaiacylglycerol-B-guaiacyl ether, which contains all of the hydroxyl environments found in lignin; primary, secondary, and phenolic hydroxyls. This product was then functionalized with acetoacetate groups. The final product was then analyzed using H1NMR and C12NMR.
2016-03-04 Seminar - RV - "Effects of Tissue Plasminogen Activator on Acute Ischemic Stroke"
As many may know, a stroke is one of the top leading causes of death in the United States. With as advanced as our pharmaceutical medicinal world is, Tissue Plasminogen Activator (t-PA) is the only FDA approved drug to treat Acute Ischemic Strokes (AIS). One of the major complications of t-PA is Hemorrhaging Transformation of the brain, or bleeding in the brain due to breakdown of the Blood Brain Barrier, which can cause major neurological deficit or even death. Although this is a risk, t-PA is a very effective thrombolytic agent in breaking down/dissolving blood clots. Therefore the goal of this project is to better understand that mechanism of action of t-PA, its involvement in breaking down clots, and why its major complication is causing Hemorrhagic Transformations in the brain.
2016-03-07 Seminar - MS - "Antibiotic resistance: how have bacteria not previously exposed to antibiotic gained resistance towards them"
As our understanding of the bacterial world has become more in-depth, so has our understanding of the complexity at which the interaction between bacteria and the environment occurs. Among these interactions are the well-studied ones between a pathogen and its host, but also ranges to the less-appreciated relations that occur between an environment and the bacteria. With the present growth of a variety of antimicrobial resistant bacteria, a particularly critical interaction is the bacterial response with the presence of an antibiotic. Many articles and research groups have discussed the different pathways at which microbes can adapt to antibiotics and attain antimicrobial resistance, but how bacteria survive the initial antibiotic assault is less well known. Through matrix–assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight (TOF) and 2-demensional gel electrophoresis (2D-GE), the composition of the membranes of Antarctic bacteria will be analyzed for anomalies that will help to answer the question of how bacteria gain antibiotic resistance without exposure.
2016-03-11 No class - seminar prep time
2016-03-14 No class - Spring Break
2016-03-18 No class - Spring Break
2016-03-21 No class - seminar prep time
2016-03-25 No class - seminar prep time
2016-03-28 No class - seminar prep time
2016-04-01 Seminar - JA - Chemical Warfare Agents
When the subject of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s) comes up, chemical warfare is probably the most brutal created by mankind in comparison to biological and nuclear warfare. Among all the WMD’s known to man, Chemical weapons are the cheapest and are relatively easy to produce, even by small terrorist groups with few supplies or limited budgets. Chemical weapons are the most threatening. The characteristics and effects of various Chemical Warfare agents, general information relevant to current physical as well as medical protection methods, detection equipment available and decontamination techniques will be discussed in this seminar. A brief history on Chemical Warfare would also be covered.
2016-04-04 Seminar - WS - BRCA1 breast cancer protein biochemistry
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women and accounts for 22.9% of all cancers in women. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the breast cancer susceptibility 1 and 2 genes that if mutated, can predispose women to a high risk of breast and ovarian cancers. BRCA1 has been shown to regulate breast stem cell self-renewal suggesting that cancer originates in the tissue stem and/or progenitor cells. There are many interactions with BRCA1 and other functional proteins. RAD51 is a protein that is involved with homologous recombination and double-stranded break repair in DNA and both BRCA1 and BRCA2 have shown to participate in DNA repair. PALB2 (partner and localizer of BRCA2) is also a breast cancer susceptibility gene and is the functional linker between BRCA1 and BRCA2. The BRCA1-associated RING domain 1 (BARD1) forms a heterodimeric RING finger complex with BRCA1 which alters the ubiquitin ligase activity and disrupts homeostasis.  BRCA1 interacts with the protein BACH1 that has helicase-like functions that mediate DNA repair functions and tumor suppressing qualities. Human acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1) is an enzyme that has essential roles in de novo fatty acid biosynthesis and lipogenesis and when associated with BRCA1, the rate of fatty acid biosynthesis is greatly reduced which suggests ACC1 is essential for cancer cell survival. The stimulation of mammary epithelia with estrogen is believed to be a big factor in the promotion of breast cancer. BRCA1-mutant breast tumors are usually estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) negative, but most random tumors express wild-type BRCA1 and are ERα positive. This introduces an idea for preventative hormonal treatment for people who have the BRCA1 mutation. This seminar will review the BRCA1 gene and its mutational effects on breast cancer. Understanding BRCA1 and its mechanisms of causation of breast cancer can greatly increase the possibilities for BRCA1 specific cancer treatments.
2016-04-08 Seminar - MaB - Industrial applications of enzymes in the dairy industry
2016-04-11 Seminar - AW - Targetted Cancer Therapies and Drug Resistance Mechanisms
2016-04-15 Seminar - HA - in vitro vs in vivo testing and function of drugs
2016-04-18 Seminar - AD - Chelation and Medicine
2016-04-22 Seminar - PK - Design and function of anti-anxiety drugs
2016-04-25 Seminar - MoB - Lipoprotein Lipase Deficiency
2016-05-02 Wrap up, evals, etc