Skip Navigation

The Weekly Beaker Header

Volume 16 Number 28

May 9, 2012

Chemistry Picnic
Brats, Burgers, and Big Woods!
Remember to Sign up by this Friday, May 11

Hey, it’s time to think about spring, barbecue, waterfalls, hiking, potato salad, frisbee, and brats!  The chemistry picnic will be on Friday afternoon, May 18, at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park (the usual spot).  The picnic will start about 4:15 p.m.  Please sign up for the picnic by Friday, May 11, and include your student ID#, your grilling preference (carnivore or herbivore), and whether or not you need transportation.  The sign-up sheet is posted on the window of the Mudd 169 computer room.  The chemistry faculty and staff will also supply food and treats, and the RING is in charge of entertainment.  A bus is scheduled to leave from First Street, near the Nevada Street intersection, at 3:45 p.m. to transport any of you who don’t want to drive or prefer to save fossil fuels using communal transportation.  The bus will return to campus somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m.  We especially welcome new chemistry majors!

If you’re coming to the picnic, please bring your water bottle.  We will not be providing bottled water.

Seminar Announcement

Friday, May 11, 2012
3:30 p.m.
Olin 04

Amy Palmer
University of Colorado

Fluorescent tools for live cell imaging:  What can we monitor and what can we learn?

The focus of our research is to develop fluorescence imaging tools that permit the study of specific proteins, molecules and ions in cells.  Such tools enable us to visualize and interrogate cellular processes in real time thus preserving the complex network of interactions that occur inside a cell, and providing insight into the spatial variability and localization of given reactions.  This talk will focus on our efforts to elucidate how cells maintain their critical balance of metal ions and to identify the mechanisms by which metal dyshomeostasis lead to disease and degeneration.  Emerging evidence suggests that transition metals such as Zn(II) can be mobilized from labile pools within cells in response to cellular cues, representing an exciting new paradigm for exploring how mammalian cells control metal ions and how metal ions influence cellular function.  We have developed a suite of protein-based Zn(II) sensors that function by modulation fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between two fluorescent proteins in the presence of Zn(II).  I will highlight our recent efforts to examine Zn(II) pools in a variety of cell types including epithelial cells, macrophage, pancreatic beta cells, prostate cells, and neurons.  In addition I will present our efforts to create optically integrated microfluidic cell sorters to perform high throughput time resolved fluorescent measurements on cells as a means to optimize both FRET sensors and fluorescent proteins themselves.

Journal Club Meets This Week

Journal Club meets this Thursday at noon in Mudd 171 to have lunch and discuss a paper relating to this week’s seminar.  Go to the following for information about what to read beforehand:

Seminar Announcement

Monday, May 14, 2012
3:30 p.m.
Olin 04

Candidate Talk

This seminar will be given by a candidate for our temporary position in introductory chemistry.  Prior to the seminar, students will receive an email that contains more information about the seminar.

There will be an opportunity for students to have lunch with the candidate 12:35-1:40 p.m. on Monday, May 14, in the LDC Class of ’51 Dining Room.  Meet in the chemistry hallway or join the group there.  If you are off board, the department will cover your lunch.  Please email Wendy ( if you plan on attending this lunch.

University of Wisconsin, Madison
Chemistry Preview Weekend

The UW-Madison Chemistry Department is inaugurating a preview weekend for students (rising juniors and seniors, mostly minority/disadvantaged) to visit Madison and the department in October 2012, before applications for grad school are due.  They would like to introduce UW-Madison Chemistry to students who may not consider Madison as a first choice for graduate work.  See the attached for more information.  They expect to make this an annual event.