Spring 2014


ACS has been busy this semester with our periodic table contest. Members worked on designing their own periodic tables, and we selected two tables to be hung around the science complex. Excellent job to all who participated, and congratulations to Kelly Nolan and Penny Pease who designed our winning tables!

We also a Major Declaration Day luncheon, acknowledging the wonderful chemistry majors and minors, and hosted a Chymist induction, accepting high caliber chemistry students into this distinguished honorary. Our club also sponsored senior chemistry researchers to present at the American Chemical Society conference in Texas.

Finally, we cleaned up our two miles of the Canton roadway and hosted an end-of-semester dinner to show our appreciation for club involvement.


Thank you for a great year!

Lindsey & Rachael


October 3rd, 2013

Hello American Chemical Society!

This blog will be utilized to share information on ACS involvement this academic year. To current and future ACS members, read up!

On October 31st, ACS visited Canton Central’s McKenney Middle School where we engaged 5th graders in various chemistry experiments. The students greatly enjoyed observing the Giant’s Toothpaste reaction, eating Nitrogen ice cream, smelling various esters, and making their own Bouncy Balls. And, we were featured in the Watertown Daily Times (see link below)! A big thank you to all students who helped out!

And on November 1st, ACS hosted fall inductions to the Chymist Honorary Society. Congratulations to Lara Clemens ’14 (biochemistry), Julia Friesen ’14 (biology), Jesse Gaboury ’15 (chemistry), and Rachael Kenney ’14 (chemistry)!

Also underway this semester, ACS has cleaned our adopted roadway and is working on designing periodic tables for the Chemistry department. A design contest will be held towards the end of the semester, with the winning periodic tables being posted in Johnson and Valentine and the winner receiving a gift card. Best of luck to all!

Thanks for reading!

Lindsey and Rachael



ODK Earth Day Event: April 16th, 2011

Who? You and all of your friends

What? American Chemical Society is sponsoring a table at the ODK earth day event.

Where? The park in the center of Canton, NY

When? Saturday, April 16th 10am-3pm

ACS will have a table at this event. We plan on setting up chemistry demonstrations for the Canton community. The theme is earth week, so this is a great opportunity for to advocate green chemistry!


March 1, 2011

Hi all,

ACS will meet tomorrow 3/8 at 5:00 in JHS.  Last week, we talked some more about plans for spring week; more details are forthcoming at tomorrow’s meeting.

We will also talk a little more about officer positions for next school year.  Being an officer can be fun, and it is definitely a position that would add to any undergraduate’s resume.  ACS at SLU saw a huge increase in membership and participation this year, and we are excited for some new members to take leading roles this fall!

Also, keep in mind Jillian’s offer to help us compose resumes at Career Services.  Everyone needs one at some point before graduating, so why wait?

Hope to see you all tomorrow,



February 22, 2011

Hey everyone,

I first want to thank everyone for coming to Chemistry Major Declaration Day last Thursday; we had great attendance, and the event was a success!  We added some new names to the mailing list this week, so that we could invite those who attended Major Declaration but are not members of ACS.  We will be meeting tomorrow at 5:00 on 3rd floor of Johnson Hall (Room 309).  If any of you are interested in checking out ACS, we encourage you to stop by!

Hope to see you all tomorrow



A Diamond in the Rough

Ok so, I have just finished eating a very hardy meal of potatoes with a side of french fries, as I do most every night. While this starchy meal may not be the most nutritious, I know it will ultimately provide me with one very key compound vital to my existence; this being sugar, in the form of glucose. But how exactly does our body go about converting a potato, a starch-rich tuber, to one of the most important reactants to ATP-synthesis, glucose?

The answer: debatably one of the most important enzymes to all living things, autotrophs and heterotrophs, alike. Introducing, Alpha-Amylase.

In humans, alpha-amylase is responsible for breaking down starches into simple sugars, maltose and glucose, for our body to use in its everyday processes. It is first excreted by the salivary glands in the mouth, and again by the pancreas in the GI tract.

In plants, amylase is the most crucial enzyme to a germinated seed. Ever wonder how plant seeds survive submerged in soil, as they are cut off from sunlight? When a seed germinates, it produces starches and amylase. In the right conditions, the starches are broken down by amylase, yielding sugars; stimulating the initial growth of a future, fruitful plant.

In brewing science, the starches of germinated barley are broken down by alpha-amylase, providing enough sugar for a three-week yeast smorgasbord. Add some hops to the mix, and you’ve got yourself one of the most culturally significant beverages in world history, beer.

So, whether you are animal or plant (although I doubt my audience consists of many plants, I do not wish to rule out the chances of Darwin reincarnating himself in the form of a tech-savvy super vegetable), alpha-amylase essential to our existence. From stimulating the growth of tomato plants, to breaking down the starches of potatoes to sugars, we have alpha-amylase to thank. Here’s to you, alpha-amylase; certainly a diamond in the rough of enzymes. Cheers!


Frebruary 1st, 2011

Hey everyone,

ACS will be meeting this Tuesday (Feb 8) at 5:00.

Last week, we agreed to keep the meeting time at 5:00 for this semester but decided that we will try to hold video conferences at 7:00 so that everyone can make it after practices.

Jillian told us about a new opportunity for ACS to get involved with the community. This event will take place in the spring and have a theme related to “supporting the environment” – a great opportunity for our club to tie in chemistry and the sciences with that theme.

Also, Dr. Newhouse, Pulmonologist and Clinical Professor of Medicine from Ontario, will deliver a video conference next week (Feb 15) at 7:00 – 3rd floor JHS. He will undoubtedly be very interesting and insightful, so I hope everyone can make it!

See you Tuesday,


Dr Newhouse is a Pulmonologist and Clinical Professor of Medicine, McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences, Hamilton, ON Canada.

He has an MD from Queen’s University, Kingston ON (1959), an MSc in Experimental Medicine from McGill University in Montreal PQ (1964) where he did his residency and a research fellowship in the Cardio-Pulmonary Division with Drs M.McGregor and M.Becklake (1960-64). His main research interest at that time was in lung mechanics related to the mechanisms underlying the increased oxygen cost and work of breathing during marked voluntary hyperventilation causing marked hypocapnea.

In 1972 he was named a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, and in 1975 a Fellowof the American College of Physicians. He became a Fellow of the College of Chest Physicians in 1980.

In 1964 he moved to Hamilton as Founding Director of the Pulmonary Division and Pulmonary Function Laboratory at St Joseph’s Hospital and in 1966 established the Medical Aerosol Research Laboratory there. His group was the first to publish studies on the distribution of ventilation, perfusion, aerosol deposition and clearance in man by Gamma Scintigraphy using radio-labeled aerosols and Xenon 135. This led to the use of  inhaled aerosols instead of radioactive gases for ventilation/perfusion studies in pulmonary embolism. Over the next 25 years, with a number of post doctoral associates and research fellows, studies were carried out on the effect of air pollutants and exercise on mucus clearance from the airways, on pulmonary aerosol deposition and clearance in health and disease and on the effect of various medications on lung function and mucus clearance. He also undertook studies of normal and abnormal ciliary beat frequency and first described Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (previously called “Immotile Cilia Syndrome”). Between 1966 and 1969 he assisted in the establishment of the McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences and in 1973 became Founding Director of the Firestone Regional Chest and Allergy Unit that subsequently developed into the present Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health (FIRH). He practiced clinical pulmonology, taught medical students and residents and supervised research fellows and post doctoral associates until he went to California as Director of Medical Affairs at Inhale (subsequently Nektar) Therapeutic Systems (1998-2005). During that time he was also Visiting Professor at the Stanford Faculty of Medicine in Palo Alto.

With numerous colleagues, residents and research fellows he has published over 150 original studies and numerous review articles, has co-edited books and contributed book chapters in clinical pulmonology and research. He has delivered several hundred invited lectures at academic centers and international conferences in many countries around the world.

His clinical interests have been mainly in asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis and in simplifying and improving the MDI-based aerosol therapy of asthma and COPD by means of aerosol holding chambers. This resulted in the invention and development of the AeroChamber© a pocketable device that improves MDI-generated aerosol therapy compliance, reduces adverse upper respiratory tract and systemic adverse effects of corticosteroids and has largely replaced wet nebulization for treating asthma and COPD in infants and toddlers, adults ,the aged, and patients on ventilators (even horses with asthma) in over 100 countries. In Cystic Fibrosis (CF) he studied the benefit of various modalities of physical therapy and exercise on mucociliary and cough clearance of secretions and the benefit of inhaled vs IV antibiotic therapy with aminoglycosides for controlling Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection and improving longevity and quality of life in this disease.

He has also had a major interest in airway ciliary structure and function and in mucociliary transport in health and disease. He has also studied the effect of various drugs, air pollutants, exercise and chest physiotherapy on mucociliary transport and has studied mucus clearance in CF using various therapeutic modalities.

He has been on the editorial board and a reviewer for several major medical and pulmonary journals.

He was President of the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine from 1965-7.

He holds several patents in the area of aerosol delivery devices and is now mainly involved in research into new and improved concepts in pulmonary and systemic aerosol therapy and development of advanced delivery systems.

He is currently Chief Medical officer of a start-up Respiratory Co., InspiRx Pharmaceuticals and is developing innovative aerosol delivery systems particularly for the pediatric market.

He has a variety of non medical/scientific interests including bronze and welded sculpture, acrylic and oil painting and sailing. He has 5 terrific adult children raised mainly by his wife, Carol and 14 amazing grandchildren that are a lot of fun and a joy to be with.

We are kicking off the new semester strong with a continuation of our Skype Lecture series! Towards the later part of the fall semester we had a Skype Informational Interview with Dr. Harvey Reich. As a physician, the Director of the Intensive Care Unit at Rutland Regional Medical Center, and a Clinical Associate Professor for the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, Dr. Reich was able to to extend to our club not only suggestions on medicine but also was able to provide guidance on the medical school process.

Given that most of our members in the American Chemical Society are largely interested in medicine, we are continuing the trend by hosting Dr. Michael T. Newhouse. Below you will find a more detailed biographical sketch, but in short, Dr. Newhouse is a Pulmonologist, a Clinical Professor of Medicine at McMaster University in Canada, a Founding Director of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, inventor of the AeroChamber inhaler, President Emeritus of the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine, and is currently the Chief Medical Officer of InspiRx Pharmaceuticals. He is happy to discuss the world of Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine.

This Skype interview with Dr. Newhouse will take place in room 309 in the Johnson Hall of Science at 5:15pm on Tuesday, February 15th.


Ottawa Trip: A success!

On the morning of November 6th, ACS members set out on a mission to explore the Ottawa Museum of Science and Technology. ACS members weaved their way through a maze of scientific and technological masterpieces and keystones; among these being nuclear reactors, particle accelerators, HUGE steam engine trains, and the first electronic wheelchair. ACS members even assisted scientists collect sediment samples for GC-MS analysis, on a Jupiter-bound comet in an educational simulator! The day was complimented with a walking tour through the fine city of Ottawa, and capped with a “linner” (lunch dinner) at Kinki’s Sushi Bar. All in all, the day was filled with science, beautiful neo-gothic architecture, delicious avocado sushi rolls, and countless sing-a-longs (gotta love those long car rides!).

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