Summer Science Research at Bryn Mawr

'2010' Archive

Investigating the Laramide Deformation of the Rocky Mountains

Posted June 29, 2010

This summer I will be assisting Professor Arlo Weil in a careful investigation of Laramide deformation of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. The ultimate goal of this project is to reconstruct a kinematic evolution and mechanics that will explain the origin of the complicated, multi-phase Laramide foreland deformation.

Chiral Amide Synthesis

Posted June 28, 2010

The first step of the synthesis is a Birch reduction allylation, which adds a substituent to a tertiary carbon, yielding a quaternary carbon. The second step is an enol ether hydrolysis which forms a carboxylic acid at the 6’ position relative to the quaternary carbon. The final step is a Cope rearrangement which transfers the organic substituent added in the Birch reduction-allylation to the 3’ carbon relative to the original quaternary carbon, using the previous structure. By removing the substituent from the quaternary carbon, a tertiary carbon is created and a new quaternary carbon is created.

Cell 208’s Role in Leech Swimming

Posted June 28, 2010

The neuronal control of swimming in the medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, has been studied intensely from the past 30 years, and has led to a model of how swimming is generated in the leech central nervous system (i.e., ventral nerve cord). The ventral nerve cord consists of 21 mid-body ganglia plus a head and tail ganglion, which spans the length of the leech’s body. Each ganglion contains a competent oscillator, a network of oscillatory interneurons whose connections produce the underlying pattern that drives motor neurons to cause alternating contractions of dorsal and ventral longitudinal muscle leading to swimming movements. In the isolated ventral nerve cord, the motor program for swimming can be recorded from a peripheral nerve, the dorsal branch of the posterior nerve (DPs), that innervates the dorsal longitudinal muscles.

Creating Vizualizations Using Processing

Posted June 25, 2010

This summer I will explore different ways to create visualizations using Processing as well as explore the role of algorithms in creative media.

Building Blocks: Synthesis of [n]Phenacenes

Posted June 25, 2010

One of the goals of this research is to make large amounts of the starting materials, 7 and 9, which can go on to make [11]phenacene and [15]phenacene. Both of these compounds, as shown below are three ringed phenacenes with different solubilizing and reactive groups attached. 7 is produced by a photocyclization technique and 9 is produced though a phosphonate ester reaction.

Characterization of the Binding Affinity of L30e Mutants with KT and BP RNA

Posted June 25, 2010

Abstract: Ashton Shaffer Mentor: Dr. White Ribonucleic acid (RNA) protein interactions are biologically significant due to their role in genetic regulation. In Sacchaomyces cerevisiae (yeast), the ribosomal protein L30 (previously L32) acts as an autoregulator by binding to and splicing its RNA . The binding recognition and affinity depends on the tertiary structures of both [...]

A Study of RNA-protein Complex Binding site

Posted June 25, 2010

Our goal is to study the RNA-protein complex formed by the protein L30e and its mRNA using various mutated forms of the protein that we will produce and purify using previously designed L30e plasmids. We intend to study RNA-protein complex using the wild-type L30e protein (shown below) as well as three proteins mutated at position 85 from phenylalanine to alanine (F85A), histidine (F85H), and tryptophan (F85W) to find if these mutations affect binding.

The Synthesis of an Alkyl-Solubilized [15]Phenacene

Posted June 24, 2010

[n]Phenacenes are molecules containing n aromatic rings joined together in a zigzag pattern. Since they can be thought of as graphene ribbons, which have conductive properties, they should have the potential to be used as molecular wires. The solubility of unsubstituted [n]phenacenes decreases dramatically with increasing n; [7]phenacene was found by the Mallory group to have negligible solubility. Currently the longest known [n]phenacene is an [11]phenacene derivative that was synthesized by the Mallory group with tert-butyl substituents acting as solubilizing groups, but it was found to have only modest solubility. The goal of my research is the synthesis of the [11]phenacene derivative shown below. My previous attempted synthesis of an [11] phenacene with two long-chain alkyl groups proved difficult due to solubility issues.

Molybdenum Cofactor

Posted June 24, 2010

The objective of this research is to improve the efficacy of the molybdenum dithiolene complex synthesis. Using collective methodologies from previous research projects of the Burgmayer group members, including several procedures pioneered by Kelly Matz, this research focuses on a larger-scaled reproduction of the synthesis and the convergence of [Et4N]+[Tp*Mo+4(S)S4]-, the tetrasulfide, and BMOPP, a dimethylated, pterinyl alkyne, in hopes of products with better purity and higher yields. In addition, several experiments with other pterinyl alkyne reagents will be carried out with the objective of shielding and protecting the sulfurs in the molybdenum dithiolene complexes produced.

The Synthesis of an Alkyl-Solubilized [15]Phenacene

Posted June 24, 2010

[n]Phenacenes, or graphene ribbons, are molecules containing [n] aromatic rings fused in a zigzag pattern. Pseudo one-dimensional graphene ribbons are similar to pseudo two-dimensional graphene sheets, so they may have similar conductive properties; because of this, they could potentially be used as molecular-scale wires. The longest [n]phenacene synthesized by the Mallory group had eleven rings. This experiment will attempt to synthesize a [15]phenacene. Because longer [n]phenacenes are very insoluble, four solubilizing alkyl groups are also attached to the molecule.

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