Being Well-Read

At our weekly lab meeting today, each lab member presented a short synopsis on a journal article of our choice.  Our article needed to be relevant to our individual project and helped to keep us informed on the progress going on in the specific field.  Using the extended kinetic method and computations to determine gas-phase basicities and proton affinities of amino acids is not being solely experimented on by the WM Ionlab, as you would imagine.  There is a small, but active group of gas phase ion chemists researching thermochemical data of amino acids.

The article that I presented on is by Vanessa Riffet, Sophie Bourcier, and Guy Bouchoux and is titled “Gas-phase basicity and acidity of tryptophan.”  This article focused on becoming more confident of the dominant and most stable conformers of neutral, protonated, and deprotonated tryptophan, an amino acid.  In addition, the gas-phase acidities and basicities were determined and compared to results of other groups.  Most of the experimental results were in agreement to those found by other groups.  Determining the most stable conformer was done experimentally, using a variety of basis sets.  As these basis sets increased, more accurate results could be made.  It was found that at lower basis sets, the energies of the different conformers, a value relating to the stability of the conformer, were not consistent.

Presenting on journal articles is incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons.  It requires you to:

– comprehend and become familiar with scientific journals

– take what you know about the concepts and processes of your own project and apply them to other similar projects

– be able to concisely and clearly present in a non-casual atmosphere