Posts tagged: 2015

Michael Dix, ’14, Joshua Pender, ’15 and Stephanie Sanders, ’15

Metz, K. M., Sanders, S. E., Pender, J. P., Dix, M. R., Hinds, D. T., Quinn, S. J., et al. (2015). Green Synthesis of Metal Nanoparticles via Natural Extracts: The Biogenic Nanoparticle Corona and Its Effects on Reactivity. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

Abstract: The optical and catalytic properties of metal nanoparticles have attracted significant attention for applications in a wide variety of fields, thus prompting interest in developing sustainable synthetic strategies that leverage the redox properties of natural compounds or extracts. Here, we investigate the surface chemistry of nanoparticles synthesized using coffee as a biogenic reductant. Building on our previously developed synthetic protocols for the preparation of silver and palladium nanoparticle/carbon composite microspheres, a combination of thermogravimetric and spectroscopic methods was used to characterize the carbon microsphere and nanoparticle surfaces. Infrared reflectance spectroscopy and single particle surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy were used to characterize Pd and Ag metal surfaces, respectively, following synthesis. Strongly adsorbed organic layers were found to be present at metal nanoparticle surfaces after synthesis. The catalytic activity of Pd nanoparticles in hydrogenation reactions was leveraged to study the availability of surface sites, and coffee-synthesized nanomaterials were compared to commercial Pd-based hydrogenation catalysts. Our results demonstrate that biogenic adsorbates block catalytic surface sites and affect nanoparticle functionality. These findings highlight the need for careful analysis of surface chemistry as it relates to the specific applications of nanomaterials produced using greener or more sustainable methods.


Lindsay Ciastko, ’15

Horch, E. P., van Belle, G. T., Davidson, J. W., Jr., Ciastko, L. A., Everett, M. E., & Bjorkman, K. S. (2015). Observations of Binary Stars with the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument. VI. Measures During 2014 at the Discovery Channel Telescope. arXiv:1509.03498.

Abstract: We present the results of 938 speckle measures of double stars and suspected double stars drawn mainly from the Hipparcos Catalogue, as well as 208 observations where no companion was noted. One hundred fourteen pairs have been resolved for the first time. The data were obtained during four observing runs in 2014 using the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument (DSSI) at Lowell Observatory’s Discovery Channel Telescope. The measurement precision obtained when comparing to ephemeris positions of binaries with very well-known orbits is generally less than 2 mas in separation and 0.5 degrees in position angle. Differential photometry is found to have internal precision of approximately 0.1 magnitudes and to be in very good agreement with Hipparcos measures in cases where the comparison is most relevant. We also estimate the detection limit in the cases where no companion was found. Visual orbital elements are derived for 6 systems.

Allison McClish, ’15

Erhard, K. F., Talbot, J., Deans, N. C., McClish, A. E., & Hollick, J. B. (2015). Nascent Transcription Affected by RNA Polymerase IV in Zea mays. Genetics, 199(4), 1107-U1355.

Abstract: All eukaryotes use three DNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RNAPs) to create cellular RNAs from DNA templates. Plants have additional RNAPs related to Pol II, but their evolutionary role(s) remain largely unknown. Zea mays (maize) RNA polymerase D1 (RPD1), the largest subunit of RNA polymerase IV (Pol IV), is required for normal plant development, paramutation, transcriptional repression of certain transposable elements (TEs), and transcriptional regulation of specific alleles. Here, we define the nascent transcriptomes of rpd1 mutant and wild-type (WT) seedlings using global run-on sequencing (GRO-seq) to identify the broader targets of RPD1-based regulation. Comparisons of WT and rpd1 mutant GRO-seq profiles indicate that Pol IV globally affects transcription at both transcriptional start sites and immediately downstream of polyadenylation addition sites. We found no evidence of divergent transcription from gene promoters as seen in mammalian GRO-seq profiles. Statistical comparisons identify genes and TEs whose transcription is affected by RPD1. Most examples of significant increases in genic antisense transcription appear to be initiated by 3′-proximal long terminal repeat retrotransposons. These results indicate that maize Pol IV specifies Pol II-based transcriptional regulation for specific regions of the maize genome including genes having developmental significance.

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