Monday, August 17, 2015

Oberlin students ready to save the world: a Sierra Magazine eco-valedictorian

Cover art by Nate Williams
Oberlin ranked 5 out of the "10 coolest schools" in the United States, on the Sierra Club "green" scale, including measures of sustainability, eco-centered curriculum, energy and water usage, sources of energy and an overall culture of conservation.  Oberlin's score was 769.50, just slightly ahead of University of Connecticut and trailing a bit behind Colorado State University with its School of Global Enviornmental Sustainability.  Univesity of California, Irvine was the leader and a two-time winner, with a score of 859.75.  See the full lists and rankings @ sierra club.org/coolschools.  The story is in the September/October 2015 print issue, received by donation in the science library from Sierra Club life member Alison Ricker.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Three New Publications from the Chemistry Department

Recent publications from the Chemistry department (names indicated in bold), with partial abstracts as extracted from SciFinder.

journals.elsevier.com/food-chemistry/
Robert Q. Thompson.
Homocapsaicin: It's NOT the 7-ene-9-methyl isomer.
Food Chemistry 2015, 182, 72-73.
There are key differences in the occurrence of homocapsaicin isomers: 6-ene-8-Me (more abundant in nature), 6-ene-9-Me (less abundant in nature), and 7-ene-9-Me (not found in nature). Nevertheless, even in scientific journals, the 7-ene-9-Me isomer has been erroneously associated with natural sources on numerous occasions.

Ren A. Wiscons, M. Zeller, and Jesse L. C. Rowsell.
Crystal structure of 2,3-dimethylmaleic anhydride: continuous chains of electrostatic attraction.
Acta Crystallographica, Sect. E: Crystallographic Communications 2015, 71, 950-955
In the crystal structure of 2,3-dimethylmaleic anhydride, C6H6O3, the closest non-bonding intermolecular distances, between the carbonyl C and O atoms of neighboring molecules, were measured [and found to be surprisingly close]. Computational modeling suggests that this close contact is caused by strong electrostatic interactions between the carbonyl C and O atoms.  Open Access.

Liora E. Mael, Michael I. Jacobs, and Matthew J. Elrod.
Organosulfate and Nitrate Formation and Reactivity from Epoxides Derived from 2-Methyl-3-buten-2-ol.
Journal of Physical Chemistry A 2015, 119, 4464-4472
Recent work has suggested that 2-methyl-3-butene-2-ol (MBO)-derived epoxide intermediates are responsible for some of the molecular species commonly found in ambient secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Nuclear magnetic resonance techniques were used to study the reaction kinetics and products of two potential MBO-derived epoxides under acidic solution conditions in the presence of sulfate and nitrate nucleophiles… the nucleophilic reactions were observed to be quite regiospecific, and the tertiary addition product species were found to hydrolyze on atmospherically relevant time scales.
order a reprinted issue from ACS

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Visual Guide to Understanding Climate Change

Just released: the ultimate visual guide to understanding climate change from the world's leading experts: the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

To supplement the IPCC: we have SO many wonderful books to guide you through the complexity of climate change findings and publications: from considering varying data sets, long-term projections, variability of climate models, the politics of climate, and more.   I recommend Climate Peril.  It will get your attention.

The essential news: it's bad, it's getting worse, we all need to try and make it better. Please. Browse the shelves virtually: QC 903, then come read to understand why slowing global warming to mitigate climate disruption is essential for our well-being, now and decades into the future.

Friday, July 10, 2015

CLOSED Mon-Wed July 13-15

photo credit:  Maya Iverson OC'12
The Science Library will be closed for much needed maintenance on Monday-Wednesday, July 13-15. No library staff will be onsite, but the science librarian will monitor email for any queries regarding online access to library resources. Email: slibrary@oberlin.edu. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Further research published from Rowsell and FitzGerald collaboration

The Royal Society of Chemistry has published further research from the labs of the late Jesse Rowsell, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Stephen FitzGerald, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Research students Cassandra Zentner (OC '13), Holden Lai (OC '15), Joshua Greenfeld (OC '11), and Ren Wiscons (OC '15), all of the Rowsell lab, were instrumental in completing this work and manuscript, published posthumously under Rowsell's name.

Zentner is corresponding author on the paper. Congratulations to all of the authors for continuing the work and producing a fine record of results.

Zentner CA, Lai HWH, Greenfield JT, Wiscons RA, Zeller M, Campana CF, Talu O, FitzGerald SA, Rowsell JLC. 2015. High surface area and Z′ in a thermally stable 8-fold polycatenated hydrogen-bonded framework. Chemical Communications 51(58) July 7:11642-5.
Access at the Royal Society of Chemistry or at OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center. Published online June 16, 2015; print issue is dated July 7, 2015.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Climate change is all around. Get the facts.

Among the burgeoning collection of books on the new book shelf are many important and timely titles on different aspects of climate change.  Check them out!  Be the informed person who recognizes the difference between a climate change denier (a more accurate term than skeptic, in this context) and someone who understands the magnitude of this grave challenge to ecosystems worldwide.

Climate change, water and agriculture : towards resilient systems.

Climate, energy, and water : managing trade-offs, seizing opportunities.

Climate justice : vulnerability and protection.

Climate shock : the economic consequences of a hotter planet.

The politics of global climate change.

Climatology versus pseudoscience : exposing the failed predictions of global warming skeptics.

There are SO many more titles, in every subject area of the science library collection, on the new book shelf now!  'Tis the annual bounty of June deliveries to the science library.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rats on a gambling task tell us something about decision making in schizophrenia

A new publication by Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Tracie Paine:

Paine TA, O'Hara A, Plaut B, Lowes DC. 2015. Effects of disrupting medial prefrontal cortex GABA transmission on decision-making in a rodent gambling task. Psychopharmacology (Berl ) 232(10):1755-65

Partial abstract:  "Decision-making is a complex cognitive process that is mediated, in part, by subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC). Decision-making is impaired in a number of psychiatric conditions including schizophrenia. Notably, people with schizophrenia exhibit reductions in GABA function in the same PFC areas that are implicated in decision-making… [The data collected in this experimental study of rat cognitive function] provide proof-of-concept evidence that disruptions in GABA transmission can contribute to the decision-making deficits in schizophrenia."
Full text at OhioLINK EJC or SpringerLink.