We are pleased to announce the launch of WolfPub, an easy and secure way to manage your publications. WolfPub is a web-based system that allows you to maintain and store your publications, then WolfPub uses the database to format and post your publications to your webpage. As a faculty member, you can create an account and then start adding your new publications in a simple and secure way. You will no longer be required to open your webpages and edit them manually whenever you have a new publication in press. Just add the manuscript to the list of publications in your WolfPub account, and the WolfPub widget will take care of the rest.
WolfPub works with PubMed and it’s own database to manage your publications. On your webpage, it formats and displays your manuscripts that are “published” as well as manuscripts that are “in press,” if any. Users are only required to add publications that are in press in their WolfPub account. WolfPub automatically retrieves your “published” manuscripts from PubMed. WolfPub also updates the database when the in press manuscript lists on PubMed. During this process, if a publication added into the WolfPub database as “in press” has been listed on PubMed, your publication will be marked as “published.” The information displayed on your webpage will then be changed accordingly to reflect the journal volume and page numbers. Because of this feature, you are no longer required to keep watching your publications for a change in status.
In the May 2013 graduation ceremony, the department conferred BS Biochemistry degrees to 56 students and PhD Biochemistry to 5 students.
Previous graduating classes were approximately 40:60 men:women; the current class is just about even at 52:48 [same as the ratio for December 2012 graduation!]. There was good diversity of the students who specified their ethnicity: 43% – non Caucasian with 20% Asian, 2% Hispanic, 11% Afro-American, 4% American Indian and 5% mixed.
The undergraduate students were quite accomplished, with an average GPA of 3.35.
There were 9 students with perfect 4.0 or 16% of the class and of these 4, one is a valedictorian.
It all started in 2004 when I was trying to explain the trombone model for DNA replication to students in BCH453/553 (Biochemistry of Gene Expression). The conversation went like this…
Student X: Dr. Hemenway, it is really hard to visualize how that looping process works.
Dr. Hemenway: Yes, it would be nice if we could build a working model to understand it better.
Student Y: Can we do that for extra credit?
Dr. Hemenway: Great idea!
The rest is history. After years of students asking if I had examples for them to see, I finally gave in and filmed them in action. Although I was hesitant to do this because it might hinder the creative process, the reality was that I was finding it hard to get enough notes taken down on my grading sheet during their presentations. And, there were so many memorable projects!
So, please enjoy the links below of the spring, 2012 BCH453/553 students modeling prokaryotic DNA replication forks, eukaryotic transcription and prokaryotic translation.
Have you seen the bumper sticker “Honk if you passed P-Chem”? I recently finished teaching the first semester of a new course offering designed to make P-Chem “come alive” for our students.
It seems obvious to me that every dry, hyper-theoretical lesson one encounters in the standard P-Chem course deserves to be refocused to highlight how it bears on biochemistry. Not only does it reveal how the biochemistry works, it also provides a much more interesting and example-driven way to actually hook into the concepts. For example, we learned about diffusion theory by covering the limitations placed on the use of pheromones by the size of an organism and the rates of diffusion of both the pheromone and the organism. In another, we used the Boltzmann distribution to understand how voltage-gated ion-channels work. In a third, we looked at the use of lattice models and the canonical ensemble to understand how the search process that leads to protein folding works.
Editor’s Note: Drs. Chuck Hardin and Jim Knopp recently published a new textbook/workbook withOxford University Press (2012, ISBN 97 80199 765621, website: OUP.com). Chuck described the process of publishing a book to Biochem Blogs.
So we wanted to publish a book? We had no idea what we were getting into. It turned out that developing, contracting and completing a textbook required way more than just writing the words. When viewed in the rearview mirror, it was more like pursuing and completing a research project.
Oxford really puts their authors through the ringer. For example, the book is full of illustrations. In fact, completing the composition process involved extracting 843 figures from the manuscript, documenting them, then sending them to the composition editor, who inserted all 843 figures into the officially composed print version. Whew!
The Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences (IBCH PAS) was established almost 25 years ago, but its origins date back to 1969 when the Department of Stereochemistry of Natural Products was brought into being at the Institute of Organic Chemistry PAS. In 1980, the Department of Stereochemistry of Natural Products was transformed into an independent entity – Department of Bioorganic Chemistry PAS. In 1988, the latter was finally converted into the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences. Today, together with the affiliated Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, the IBCH PAS has more than 460 staff members, including 80 research scientists (33 Professors). In addition, about 80 Ph.D. students are currently involved in the research projects conducted at IBCH PAS.
The scientific portfolio of the Institute has many dimensions: synthesis and structure of natural products, in particular nucleic acids and their components; biochemistry, molecular and structural biology of model biological systems, genetic engineering, genomics and bioinformatics. IBCH PAS is authorized to confer the degree of doctor and habilitated doctor in chemistry and biochemistry.
The Institute is organized into 12 research departments and 10 research groups. Within the structure of the Institute, there are also other crucial units associated: the PAS Poznan Science Center, Scientific Publishers, Guest Rooms ( I like this place), and Library. In the latest years, the Institute in collaboration with the Poznan University of Technology have created a European Center for Bioinformatics and Genomics, a unique unit in Poland.
If you don’t believe in pathways, you might want to listen. Each year in his biochemistry class, Dr. Jim Knopp sings “the glucose song.” This year, he had special visitors from Ladies in Red, an all-female a cappella group associated with the Music Department at NCSU.
To kick off the holiday season, please enjoy The Glucose Song, as sung by Ladies in Red.
Chemistry Day at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is part of the Museum’s program to get children involved in the sciences at an early age while still providing scientific entertainment for older individuals. Chemistry Day has similar analogs but different themes hosted by the museum such as Darwin Day, Marine Mammal Day, Astronomy Days, and Bugfest. The attendance for this event was approximately four thousand people, mainly consisting of children under the age of twelve and their parents, along with smatterings of high school and college students.
I have been going to Bugfest for the past 4 years, so I had a good idea about the ages and types of individuals that would be attending. Therefore, the activities and displays would have to be captivating to younger children and to any older individuals who might show up. However, the displays and activities would also have to teach them something about science in general and biochemistry in specific. The presenters included both undergraduates and graduate students as well as members of my family.
I had seen a video on YouTube that showed a man making what he called “boo bubbles.” These bubbles were created from a container of water with dry ice and a tube coming from the top. The resulting bubbles could be held in gloved hands. I decided to use this activity as one of our demonstrations.
When you think of Italy you may conjure up images of fine wines, food hearty enough to suppress the most insatiable appetite or natural beauty only a poet could describe, but I think of a birthplace. The birthplace of an annual learning and bonding experience dubbed the Clark Lab Retreat. I know the name lacks the flavor of Italy, but we are scientists after all. It all started on what I can assume was a warm night on a Tuscan hillside. Drs. Clay Clark and Sarah MacKenzie were attending the Gordon Conference on Cell Death in Barga, Italy. (You can read the blog here.) During a conversation between the two, the Clark Lab Retreat was born.