Monday, August 31, 2015

Oliver Sacks TED talk on Hallucination

With the death of Oliver Sacks, the world has lost another brilliant mind and generous soul.  You can appreciate his contributions, very quickly, listening to his amazing TED talk (2009), linked from National Public Radio.

The library owns many of his books; engaging, thought-provoking and delightful to read.  Borrow one soon!

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  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.
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