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So far Oxford has created 15 blog entries.
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Potentiometry and Probes

Clean water is rapidly becoming one of the most precious resources on our planet, and ecologists struggle to keep pace with the need to monitor important chemical qualities of watershed regions, industrial and municipal wastewater effluent, and aquifers, all of which have been impacted by large-scale agriculture. Historically, this work involved field sampling bodies of […]

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Capillary Electrophoresis and the Human Genome Project

In 1953, Watson and Crick published a paper on the helical structure of DNA,* and within a few years, the full implications of DNA translation into protein were understood. It was clear that the sequencing of DNA would lead to a better understanding of evolution and genetic diseases. Although classical methods of DNA sequencing were […]

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Microscopy and the Nobel Prize in Physics

The 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the invention and design of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) by Gerd Binnig (left) and Heinrich Rohrer (middle) and for the work on electron optics and the design of the electron microscope by Ernst Ruska (right). Both Binnig and Rohrer did their work on the STM, […]

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Odorants, Pheromones, and Chemosignals

Although science does not have a good grasp of these volatile compounds, nature cer­tainly does. Many animals identify each other by scent, locate their homes and other locations using odorant molecule tracers, and interact with plant species using odor-based chemical signaling. Gas chromatography (GC) is perfectly devised as an ana­lytical tool for analyzing these vapor-based […]

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HACH DR3900

The HACH DR3900 is an example of a single-analysis spectrometer. It is also a single-beam, fixed-wavelength spectrophotometer. It is primarily used for water quality analysis. The spectrometer comes preprogrammed for specific field kits sold by HACH. The user simply follows the instructions on the field kit, inputs the name of the analysis being conducted, places […]

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G. Marius Clore

G. Marius Clore received the 2011 Centenary Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry for his work pioneering computational chemistry coupled with multidimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data. His work has greatly expanded our ability to characterize biological macromolecules using NMR. Clore is a distinguished research fellow at the US National Institutes of Health and […]

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Characterizing Metal Nanoparticles for Water Purification: Electron Microscopy in Action

It is estimated that more than 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water. Many researchers are working toward solving this problem. Ideally, they will develop solutions that are inexpensive, safe, and require low to no power consumption. For example, Theresa Dankovich and Derek Gray have been researching the use of silver […]

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Behind Frankenstein

Mary Shelley was inspired to pen her novel Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus by a scientific controversy begun by one of the earliest electrochemists, Luigi Galvani, who was a Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at the University of Bologna in the late 18th Century.  While dissecting a frog, Galvani was surprised to observe that when […]

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Construction of a Salicylate ISE

Creager, et. al., described a simple method for construction of a salicylate ion selective electrode.  Polyvinylchloride is codissolved with tetraoctylammonium salicylate in tetrahydrofuran in a standard 15 mL beaker.  After the solvent is allowed to evaporate, the membrane was removed with forceps and 1 cm diameter disks were cut out of it with a cork […]

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Gas Chromatography on Mars

In the summer of 1976, Viking 1 landed on Mars carrying a Gas Chromatograph (GC). A few months later a second GC arrived via Viking 2. The design of these instruments, and the data and knowledge that were obtained, remain very relevant today. In fact, we can understand quite a bit about the nature of […]

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