Almost done!

Me and a giant wild grape vine

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Final Update

Hi everyone,

I had a lot of fun this summer doing research here and am glad to say that I will be continuing to work on the same project for the upcoming semester. I still have a lot of data to collect and many more qPCR reactions to run, but I’m glad to see how much progress I’ve made over the summer. It has put me in a good position to finish collecting the data and finish up my analysis hopefully by the end of the fall semester so that I can move on to a new project in the spring.

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Unfinished business

The research I have done this summer has provided the foundation for continuing into senior year. In the Geology department here at William & Mary, every senior has to complete research and write a thesis in order to graduate. I have been fortunate enough to begin this over summer and complete a great deal of preliminary research before the school year gets started. I’ve collected and reviewed many articles pertaining to my thesis and have been able to pare down superfluous information in order to concentrate on what is essential. I’ve also created multiple visuals for my research, including a geologic map, a topographic map, cross sections, a schematic of how the ophiolite and metamorphic sole were created, and a stage-by-stage walkthrough of the obduction process (see below).

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Final Summary of Summer Dye Fading Project

My initial goal for my summer research was to design an experiment for obtaining single molecule scans in oil environments of a special type of organic dye known as hydroxyanthraquinone. However, this experiment became very challenging and earlier in the summer my professor presented me with a side project that soon became the main focus of my summer research. This experiment involved recreating single molecule scans of the hydroxyanthraquinone dye alizarin with our new higher energy laser, in a polar solvent (ethanol). Previous research in our lab preformed single molecule scans using alizarin in ethanol on a lower energy laser, and I assumed this would be an easy project. However, recreating this experiment turned out to be difficult process that required the whole summer.

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1,5-Benzodiazepine Educational Synthesis – Conclusion

Good afternoon, everyone!

After nearly eight weeks of literature research and experimenting in the lab, I have finalized my initial procedure for the synthesis of 2,2,4-trimethyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-1,5-benzodiazepine using ortho-Phenlenediamine, an excess of acetone, and sulfamic acid catalyst.  I made several alterations to the skeletal procedure by Fletcher given to me by Prof. Lashley, including an increase in reaction time (from 30 minutes to 60 minutes), an increase in catalyst (from 10% molar to 20% molar), the use of reagent-grade acetone (instead of solvent-grade), the use of magnesium sulfate drying agent (instead of sodium sulfate drying agent), the use of a drying column to eliminate atmospheric water from entering the system, and limiting the extraction solvent to 30 mL of DCM (instead of 50 mL).  With these changes, the reaction yields more pure product, in a timely fashion.

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