Chemistry graduate students use virtual zine to bridge gap between arts and science

Although art and science are often viewed as unrelated ventures, over the years their coexistence has been realized as more compatible than immiscible. Graduate students from the Department of Chemistry, through their recently established art and literary magazine, are advocating for this interdisciplinary approach and the benefits it renders. The Benzine, besides being a great pun, is a platform for the Chemistry community to share their art, build a sense of community and alleviate stress.

Single-molecule measurements give insight into how pacemaker ion channels interact with cAMP

If you’ve ever been on an amusement park ride, been scared suddenly, or maybe even had to address a large crowd when you were nervous; you’ve likely felt your heart start to thump faster even though you weren’t exerting a lot of energy. What happened was a certain chemical compound called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) activated pacemaker ion channels, which caused an increase in electrical activity that led to your heart beating faster.

Bertram group finds ocean life helps produce clouds, but existing clouds keep new ones at bay

Stand on the ocean’s shore and take a big whiff of the salt spray and you’ll smell the unmistakably pungent scent of the sea. That ripe, almost rotting smell? That’s sulfur. Marine plankton breathe more than 20 million tons of sulfur into the air every year, mostly in the form of dimethyl sulfide (DMS). In the air, this chemical can transform into sulfuric acid, which helps produce clouds by giving a site for water droplets to form. Over the scale of the world’s oceans, this process affects the entire climate.

Prof. Emeritus Lawrence F. Dahl: Department remembers brilliant researcher and thoughtful advisor

Lawrence F. Dahl, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at UW–Madison, passed away unexpectedly on March 20, 2021, at the age of 91. He was preceded in death by his son, Chris Dahl and is survived by his wife of 63 years, Prof. Emerita June Lomnes Dahl and two sons, Lawrence Dahl and Eric Dahl, all of Madison, and grandson Lawrence Samuel Hendon-Dahl.

Undergrad researcher earns award to attend ACS Atlanta

Christian Gomez, an undergraduate researcher with the Martell group, received an ACS Bridge Travel and Career/Professional Development Award, which helped him attend his first scientific conference – the ACS Meeting & Expo in Atlanta. The award supports underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students by funding conference attendance and career and professional development.

Postdoc uses social media to share STEM resources

Stephanie Santos-Diaz, an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education, and a postdoc at the Department of Chemistry, recently started an Instagram account that is intended to be an empowering resource for underrepresented populations in the STEM field. Six months after her first post in October 2020, the STEMpowerment Instagram page has gained more than 200 followers, and has shared over 40 posts. Santos-Diaz explained that the Instagram page is a way to acknowledge her community and help them to overcome potential barriers.

New building scheduled to open for Spring

The new Department of Chemistry tower, which was supposed to open in the Fall of 2021, is now scheduled to open for classes in the Spring of 2022, according to the Facilities Committee. As part of a $133 million upgrade to the building complex, the tower is poised to serve the rapidly increasing number of undergraduate students at UW–Madison.