NEWS & EVENTS
Chemistry, 2009
  • Chemistry, 2009

     

     

    Analysis of Water from Alum Creek Combined Sewer Overflow for NO3-, Cl-, and Pb2+: A REEL Undergraduate Laboratory
    Chaunda Brooks, Patricia Buck
    Mentor: Jens Hemmingsen, Margaret E. Ginn-Pease

    The City of Columbus plans to spend $2.5 billion over the next 40 years as part of the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Long-Term Control Plan (LTCP). Water quality monitoring near CSOs can provide data that guide capital improvement decisions. In this project, water samples from the Alum Creek CSO in Bexley were analyzed for nitrate ion (NO3-), chloride ion (Cl-), and lead ion (Pb2+) using ion selective electrodes (ISE) and a standard addition method. Results show an increase in Cl- concentration from 100 ppm in samples upstream of the CSO to 300 ppm in samples taken at the CSO. However, there was no significant change in the NO3- concentration and no detectable lead in any samples. Increases in Cl- concentration can be attributed to storm drain runoff containing road salt. No significant change in NO3- concentration is surprising given the influx of sanitary sewer and the high water levels at the CSO when sampling occurred.

     

     

    Adaptation of Isolation of Avian Riboflavin-Binding Protein Protocol for Biochemistry Laboratory Use at Capital University
    Kyle Daly
    Mentor: Tracey A. Murray

    Biochemistry laboratory classes teach undergraduate students practical knowledge and experience that can be applied to future endeavors in graduate or professional schools. One of the cornerstones of any biochemical experiment is the purification of the protein of interest. To enhance the learning of students in the biochemistry lab course (Chemistry 452) at Capital University, a lab protocol was derived from the published Isolation of Avian Riboflavin-Binding Protein (Miller & White, 1986) and the unpublished Isolation of Riboflavin Binding Protein from Egg Whites (provided by Marilee Benore Parsons). Because these protocols were written for graduate-level time, resources, and instrumentation, it was important to revise these to fit the needs and resources at Capital University. Riboflavin binding protein (RBP) was chosen for isolation because the protein is yellow, which makes it easy to follow through the purification steps and because the purification protocol gives the students experience in basic techniques, including column chromatography, salt precipitation, fraction collection, and protein analysis. Revision of the protocols resulted in successful isolation of RBP and the new protocol is being used by the biochemistry lab class during the spring semester of 2009.

     

     

    Structure and Function of a sno-like RNA in Haloferax volcanii
    Julia Harris
    Mentors: Jens Hemmingsen, Margaret E. Ginn-Pease

    Small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) is known to guide modification of RNA in eukaryotes and archaea. In this study, the structure and function of a conserved halophile sno-like RNA (sRNA) from the moderately halophilic archaeon, Haloferax volcanii (Hvo.), has been characterized using genetic and biochemical methods. The sRNA is predicted to guide 2´-O- ribose methylation of cytidine-34 (C34) in elongator methionine tRNA (met tRNA). Northern analysis, RT-PCR walking and RT-PCR of cyclized sRNA show that the sRNA is likely to be cotranscibed with an adjoining gene and processed from a larger transcript. A mutant strain of Hvo. (sRNA) has been constructed in which the sRNA gene has been deleted. The mutant exhibits normal growth, indicating that this gene is not essential. An RNase H cleavage assay has been used to characterize the methylation of met tRNA isolated from wild-type and sRNA strains. Preliminary results suggest that the mutant may be lacking in methylation at C34. This work furthers our understanding of the mechanisms of tRNA maturation in the archaea.

     

     

    Nutrient Contamination and Wetland Effects Near Logan, Ohio: A Pilot Study
    Corey J. Hinkle, Ryan M. Griffin
    Mentors: William J. Clark, Margaret E. Ginn-Pease, Terry D. Lahm

    Water samples from groundwater springs, wetland environment, and an area lake were analyzed from Capital University’s Primmer Outdoor Learning Environment and surrounding area near Logan, Ohio. These water samples were collected four times over three months. Samples were analyzed for the presence of nitrate and phosphate using ion selective electrode, colorimetric instrumental techniques, respectively, with both using standard addition methodology. Phosphate levels were found to be near or below detection limits of the technique. Nitrate levels were found to be elevated in the middle spring compared to the left spring. The source of the contamination is unknown but perhaps related to current or historical farm-field fertilizer run-off from nearby agricultural activity. Nitrate levels of the springs were significantly different than levels at the outlet of the wetland. This may indicate that the wetland is serving as a filtration system for nitrate.

     

     

    Nitrate Levels in Central Ohio Waterways: A REEL Undergraduate Laboratory
    Jamie J. Schwefel, Jillien Whiteside, Regan Rutherford, Megan Thiery, Ruta Berhanemeskel
    Mentor: Margaret E. Ginn-Pease, Jens Hemmingsen

    Nitrate ion is a contaminant in surface water in central Ohio and can be a concern for Columbus drinking water supplies. Surface water provides 85% of Columbus drinking water, and a 2006 Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) measured nitrate ion concentration of 12 ppm in the intake water at the Dublin Road water plant. This nitrate level is above the EPA national primary drinking water standard of 10 ppm. In our project, water samples from the Scioto, Olentangy, and Alum Creek watersheds were analyzed for nitrate ion using an ion selective electrode (ISE) and a standard addition method. Observed NO3- concentrations ranged from 0 ppm to 5 ppm. These data are typical for natural water sources and below national drinking water standards for nitrate ion.