ACS Webinar!

We are very pleased to announce that ACS will be hosting our first ACS Webinar! Dr. Reich is graciously donating his time to give a talk about his experiences in the medical field and answer any questions participants have pertaining to the graduate and medical school process.

Who? you and all of your friends
What? ACS-hosted webinar with Dr. Reich
Where? JHS 309
When? Tuesday November 9th at 5:00 pm

This will be a great opportunity for any prospective medical students or graduate students, alike!


October 26th, 2010

Last week’s meeting was brief, but we talked about a couple approaching events:

A few members will be heading to Ottowa on Saturday, Nov. 6th for a day at the Science and Technology Museum.  Anyone interested (with a passport) is still welcome to join!

Jillian and Andrew talked about ACS’s first video conference with Jillian’s father (Dr. Reich), which will happen November 9th.  Again, a great opportunity for pre-med students!

We wrapped the meeting up with an informal discussion panel regarding course selection for the spring semester.  The upper classmen offered some good insight on different science courses.

see you all Tuesday!


October 19th, 2010

Hey everyone,

Last week we talked more about the upcoming video conference with Jillian’s father (which will be sometime in early November).  Everyone at the meeting wrote a couple questions to help fuel the discussion, from which Jillian and Andrew are composing a final version.  I emailed the folks who didn’t make it to last week’s meeting and asked for their questions as well.

Matt brought up the “Molecule of the Week” that he has been maintaining on the ACS site, and we decided to divide up the work and have several people create write ups about interesting/relevant molecules.  That way, “Molecule of the Week” becomes more of a group effort and less of a chore for Matt.  I also asked last week’s no-shows for their help with that.

If you’d like a model to follow for your molecule write up, check out the one from Sept 28th at this link:


Otherwise, we will be meeting again on Tuesday 10/26 in JHS at 5:00.  Hope to see you all there!


Who? Any ACS member with proper passport or enhanced drivers license

What? A trip to the fine country of Canada to bond over a visit to the museum of science and technology

When? Saturday, November 6th @ 10:15 am

Where? We will meet in JHS lobby @ 10:15 am

This should be a great opportunity to have some fun away from campus and experience firsthand the diverse community which defines SLU! We should get up to Ottawa around noon to grab some lunch, hit up the museum, grab some dinner and head back to campus; putting us back at SLU around 7 pm. And to top it all off, ACS will be covering the admission costs! Just bring some money for food!

Museum link:


September 28, 2010

Hey everyone,

First of all, we will be meeting again tomorrow at 5 on the 3rd floor of Johnson – come if you can and bring a friend along!

We met last week with several folks absent – understandable, as last week was exam-filled for many people!  Here is a summary of what we talked about:

– Marc took some great action shots of the officers for the website.

– We thanked those who helped out with the cleanup on the previous Friday.

– Matt talked about the potential trip to Ottawa:
That will be Saturday, Nov. 6th.  Group will leave in a university vehicle around 10:30.
Arrive in Ottawa and grab some lunch
Head to the Canada Science and Technology Museum (admission funded by ACS!!)
The rest of the day can be filled with some other activities (art museum? other ideas?)
Get dinner and head back to school.

Looks like this will be a fun day trip!  We had a few sign up tentatively, and more are welcome.  Remember you need a current passport or extended driver’s license to cross the border!  Email me or Matt (mjhaye07) and let us know if you are interested.  Here’s the URL for the museum website:


Next we talked about the dinner/reception we’re trying to plan for Spring semester.

– Unfortunately, the main problem here is money.  We discussed a couple options and discussed the possibility of having an event at Pub 56 (involving both students and faculty) rather than the more expensive formal dinner.  Could be a fun time for all!  More news on that to come as we work out a plan.

Hope to see you all tomorrow!



A Chemical Monument

Prior to the 1800’s the chemical community had a defined line separating organic and inorganic chemistry. Organic compounds originated from living things, such as mussel tissue; and inorganic compounds originated from non-living things, such as rocks and sediment. Chemists were under the understanding that these two chemistries were separate entities, and compounds from one could not be derived from compounds of the other. In this day and age, this line is not as clearly seen as it once was. This is because of one simple compound: Urea.

Urea was first synthesized by Friedrich Wöhler, a German chemist, in 1828. What made this synthesis incredibly unique and groundbreaking was that it was an organic molecule being synthesized from inorganic starting materials. This synthesis was properly named, the Wöhler synthesis:

AgNCO (silver isocyanate)+ NH4Cl (ammonium chloride) → (NH2)2CO (urea) + AgCl (silver chloride)

From the synthesis of Urea, the line between organic and inorganic chemistry became less definitive; opening up new doors to both chemistries.

In human physiology, urea is produced by the kidneys. It’s job is to carry waste nitrogen out of the body, and also plays a role in the reabsorption of water. In agriculture and the environment, urea plays a direct role in the nitrogen cycle; allowing for the release of nitrogen in soils, which is essential for plant growth; urea is now a Urea also plays a major role in material chemistry, being a vital material of some plastic manufacturing processes, adhesives in plywood, and explosives.

So whether you are enjoying a fresh tomato from the Potsdam Co-op, an evening playing Starcraft 2 on a laptop with a plastic casing, building a treehouse with plywood flooring, or simply enjoying the fact that your body is well hydrated, we can all agree that we have Urea to thank for these, once unimaginable, components of our daily lives.

On the afternoon of September 24, avid  SLU American Chemical Society members hit the road to clean the 2-mile adopted stretch of Rt-68. The weather was perfect and the turn out was superb. I think all the participating members can agree that it was a pleasantly  fun and valuable experience. The community and earth thanks you!

Additionally, a special thanks to Dr. Glazier for allowing us to make her house the rally point!


Biannual Roadside Clean-up: Photos


Biannual ACS Roadside Clean-up

Who? You and all of your friends (many hands make light work!)

What? Roadside clean-up of the SLU-SAACS 2-mile adopt a highway section of Rt-68

Where? We will meet in JHS Lobby and split off into cars for departure

When? We will meet Friday, September 24th in JHS @ 4:15 p.m.

Dress warm, as the weather is getting colder! This should be a really quick clean-up; in the past it has only taken about 45 minutes. This is a great opportunity to make a quick and easy environmental difference in our local community!

If the weather does not cooperate we will reschedule for the following friday, October 1st!


Coffee, coffee. Who’s got the coffee?

College–especially SLU–is filled with a vast array of academic, community, and social networking opportunities; and with these opportunities comes a great deal of time and energy. Baring in mind that there are only 24 hours in a day (and it would take a great deal of force to slow down the rotation of the earth to change that), the average SLU student will turn to long nights hibernating in the deepest, darkest corner of Midill, cramming for their first round of chemistry exams; sacrificing hours of sleep for the understanding of ionic precipitates or the memorization of dozens of  functional groups. 12:37 am becomes a dangerous time for midnight crammers, as alertness begins to plummet, heads begin to nod-off; slowly, the library begins its transition from a respectable academic establishment to the awkwardly accurate resemblance of the front row of an 80′s Iron Maiden concert. So, as alertness begins to plummet, students routinely grab for the nearest energy drink, soda, coffee, tea, or–for the more modern, advanced taste-buds–a caramel mocha vanilla iced soy latte with dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. All of these beverages having one very important alkaloid in common; Caffeine.

Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulent drug that is popular for its temporary relief of drowsiness. It comes from the leaves and seeds of many plants; two common sources being tea leaves and coffee beans. It was first isolated in 1819 by Friedrich Ferdinand Runge and first synthesized by Hermann Emil Fischer nearly a century later. When taken in moderation, caffeine can increase the effectiveness of some common analgesics (such as aspirin or acetaminophen) and treat some respiratory diseases by acting as a bronchial dilator.  However, caffeine also has its share of negative side effects. Users often experience “the jitters” and frequent urination. Over high-dose, longterm use caffeine can sometimes lead to anxiety and sleep disorders. Caffeine is addictive, more addictive than nicotine, and dependence is easily established; throwing addicted users into a state of withdrawal without their morning cup o’ joe. Symptoms of withdrawal include headaches, irritability, stomach aches and sleeplessness.

Whatever your stance on this clever alkaloid, caffeine has played a substantial historical role in Chinese, Egyptian, Indian, British, and American culture; and a significant majority of people in North America are daily users. It has assisted students and professors alike in the long nights battling the academics, and can often be directly responsible for hours of work on lab reports, fellowship applications, and doctoral dissertations. Alas, here is to you, Caffeine. Cheers!

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