biochemistry

Biochemistry Experience on the Border

Hello, and welcome back to my second blog about chemistry education in the tri-border region of California, Arizona, and Mexico. In my last I described the area and students who attend the two institutions in Yuma, AZ- Arizona Western College (AWC) and Northern Arizona University-Yuma (NAU). In this second post I will talk briefly about my experiences teaching an upper-division biochemistry course. I presume that what I observe in my classes is not much different than what you observe in your classes. 

The Blue Butterfly Effect

The June, 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education contains an article that describes a simple, yet fascinating experiment that you and your students are going to love! It involves the use of butterfly wings from the genus Morpho. I obtained some of these wings and enjoyed experimenting with them. You will too!

Immobilization of Lactase Enzyme on Alginate Beads - A Quick Test

I came across an interesting Journal of Chemical Education article that explains how it is possible to crosslink sodium alginate, leading to the formation of calcium alginate beads. Calcium alginate beads are hydrogels and one of their uses is to immobilize enzymes in their structure. I thought it would be cool to immobilize some lactase enzyme onto calcium alginate beads and investigate its ability to hydrolyze lactose. 

JCE 95.09 September 2018 Issue Highlights

The September 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available to subscribers. Topics featured in this issue include: reticular chemistry; laboratory research experience for students; historical perspective; chemistry and the environment; laboratories using color to understand chemistry; electrochemistry laboratories; DIY instrumentation; organic semiconductors; orbitals; computer-based learning and computational chemistry; from the archives: paper chromatography.

The Chemistry of Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight, you have to burn calories. Anyone who has gone on a diet knows this. But when someone loses weight, have you ever wondered where the lost mass goes?

 

Kool-aid, Cotton, and Intermolecular Forces

Red dye #40 found in strawberry Kool-Aid and various cloth fibers can be used in a very simple experiment that can teach students about intermolecular forces. A video is included that describes the experiment and analysis of results. 

MolView: An App to View Structural Formulas and Models

What is the best way for students to visualize compounds? From the traditional physical ball and stick models to the various online simulations the objective for all of these tools is to provide one with a visual for the different structures and patterns. This summer while facilitating a workshop, the participants and I discussed this question and while reviewing various representations we came across MolView.