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Tag: chemistry

Oct 15, 2012

Probing the Brain’s Chemistry

Our brains are constantly awash in chemicals that serve as messengers, transporting signals from one neuron to another.  It’s a really nifty system, although scientists still aren’t clear on how, exactly, those chemical messages end up being converted into behaviors like kicking a ball or doing really complicated mathematical computations. If scientists could get a… 

Jul 3, 2012

The Chemistry of Fireworks

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Steve Townsend, director of communications in NC State’s College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Just in time for the 4th of July! As they have for well over 200 years, the skies over cities and towns across the country will explode in celebration this July 4. While there’s… 

May 10, 2012

Researchers Use Light to Switch On Gene Expression

Imagine being able to control genetic expression by flipping a light switch. Researchers at North Carolina State University are using light-activated molecules to turn gene expression on and off. Their method enables greater precision when studying gene function, and could lead to targeted therapies for diseases like cancer. Triplex-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) are commonly used molecules… 

Feb 7, 2012

The Science Of A Good Pour

I love writing about science. I also enjoy a good beer. I’ve decided to marry these two interests and write a series of posts about the science of beer. It’s not much of a stretch, since brewing is an intensely scientific art. I requested, and received, a lot of questions about the science of beer.… 

Aug 2, 2011

Comins Named President-Elect

Organic chemistry professor Daniel Comins is president-elect of the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry. His two-year term as president begins in 2013. 

Jul 11, 2011

Why Does Water Freeze Before Alcohol Does?

We recently explained that one reason wine’s freezing point is much lower than water’s is because of its alcohol content. But we didn’t explain why alcohol has a much lower freezing point than water. Let’s explain that now (hint: water molecules are “stickier.”) A substance freezes when its molecules become “stuck” in a fixed array… 

Jul 6, 2011

Why Doesn’t Wine Freeze? And Do Vacuum-Sealing Stoppers Keep Wine ‘Fresh’?

I set out to learn why wine doesn’t freeze. But while I was questioning a wine researcher, I thought I’d also find out whether those vacuum-sealing wine stoppers are worth it. Here’s what I found out. Question 1: Why Doesn’t Wine Freeze? Wine will freeze, it just has a much lower freezing point than water… 

Jun 22, 2011

Comins Awarded 40th Patent

Chemistry professor Daniel L. Comins has received his 40th U. S. patent for work on synthesizing nicotine derivatives that could potentially be used to treat a variety of human diseases. 

May 19, 2011

Tough Love Teacher

Even students who don't pass Dr. Kay Sandberg's organic chemistry class have good things to say about it. Find out why. 

Apr 27, 2011

Gorman to Head Chemistry

Dr. Christopher Gorman has been selected to serve as chair of the Department of Chemistry effective July

Aug 16, 2010

Comins Named ACS Fellow

Dr. Daniel L. Comins, chemistry professor, has been named a fellow of the American Chemical Society. 

Mar 4, 2010

Muddiman Receives Award

Dr. David Muddiman, chemistry professor, will receive the 2010 Biemann Medal sponsored by the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS).