Volume 7, Issue 4

Effects of Shade on Antibacterial Production in Aloe VeraPlants: A Model Course Based Undergraduate Research Experience for First- and Second-Year Chemistry and Biochemistry Students
Original Research
As a means to promote student engagement in chemistry, this proposed course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) provides an opportunity for students to research a topic that is particularly prevalent in national public health headlines. Antibiotic resistance is a public health issue of increasing concern as result of the overuse and often misuse of antibiotics. For this reason, it is important to explore a variety of avenues to discover novel antibiotics, including isolating bioactive natural products from plants and other organisms. Organisms such as plants, bacteria, and fungi have long been utilized for their antibacterial properties, but little is known for how the majority of these natural remedies are affected by varying growth conditions. Herein, we propose a method through which students in first- and second-year chemistry or biochemistry laboratory courses can manipulate growth factors of Aloe vera, an antibiotic-producing plant, to probe how those manipulations affect antibiotic production and therefore Aloe vera’s effectiveness as an herbal medicine. Aloe veraplants were grown under varying shade conditions, and their gel was extracted and evaluated for antibiotic activity using both a broth microdilution assay and an agar diffusion assay against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Through this model, students are able to develop critical thinking skills, derive a hypothesis, and use analytical and biochemical techniques to evaluate their hypothesis.
World Journal of Chemical Education. 2019, 7(4), 248-253. DOI: 10.12691/wjce-7-4-3
Pub. Date: December 12, 2019
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An Undergraduate Experiment Using Cyclodextrin – Assisted Sensitive Fluorescence Detection and Quantitation of Dapsone Drug in Wastewater Samples
Original Research
The guest-host interaction between Dapsone drug and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) was investigated using fluorescence spectroscopy, 1H-NMR, and liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. The optimized conditions for the interaction were investigated by spectrofluorometry and were found to be at 0.2 mg/mL (0.176 mM) of β-CD and pH 8.8. For these conditions, very low concentration of Dapsone drug of 2.4 ng/mL (12.97 nM) can be detected. The standard addition method was utilized to detect Dapsone in influent and effluent wastewater samples in the sub parts per billion concentration range by HPLC-FLD using β-CD as an additive in the mobile phase.
World Journal of Chemical Education. 2019, 7(4), 242-247. DOI: 10.12691/wjce-7-4-2
Pub. Date: September 29, 2019
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Synthesis of a Crosslinked Epoxy Resin Medallion in the Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Original Research
Polymer synthesis has a limited inclusion in most organic chemistry lecture curricula, so emphasizing the concepts of polymer chemistry in a laboratory setting gives students hands-on experience in new content and broadens the scope of the class. The details and outcomes of a robust and well-developed laboratory procedure for the synthesis of a crosslinked epoxy network polymer are described. This experiment has been a part of a first-semester, introductory undergraduate organic chemistry laboratory curriculum for more than two decades and has positively impacted over eight hundred students. The experiment had the unique aspect that students cured the resin in a round, seven-centimeter mold, forming a hardened epoxy disk. This disk, or medallion, was decorated in two different ways: first, a design was etched into the mold before curing to form a permanent imprint; second, the final epoxy medallion was decorated, post-cure, with colored permanent markers and glitter glue. After this laboratory experiment, students took home a durable ornament as a memento of their first-semester organic chemistry laboratory course.
World Journal of Chemical Education. 2019, 7(4), 232-241. DOI: 10.12691/wjce-7-4-1
Pub. Date: September 27, 2019
11071 Views1691 Downloads