Tech red, an enigmatic technetium compound that has resisted characterization for half a century, has been identified using chemical detective-work and computer modelling. The molecule’s unusual chemistry may explain why it has proven so difficult to unmask.
‘There are only a handful of laboratories who can work with large amounts of technetium, and even fewer who have access to anything other than simple characterization techniques,’ explains John McCloy, who investigates radioactive materials at Washington State University.
Washington State University scientists have created an injectable dye that illuminates molecules with near-infrared light, making it easier to see what is going on deep inside the body.
The new dye will help medical researchers track the progression of a wide array of diseases, such as cancer.
Ming Xian, the Ralph G. Yount Distinguished Professor of chemistry, calls the new dye Washington Red. He and Wei Chen, an assistant research professor in the WSU Department of Chemistry, published a study detailing the dye’s unique properties and how it is made in Angewandte Chemie, one of the top chemistry journals in the world.
Aurora Clark, a WSU professor of chemistry, has been named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.
Clark received the prestigious award for her service to the nuclear/inorganic and computational chemistry communities and for her innovative research, including the pioneering use of computer algorithms and network analysis to understand the behavior of complex solutions and their interfaces.
Five College of Arts & Sciences faculty, from four departments and two campuses, are among 12 faculty University-wide whose projects aimed at enhancing undergraduate learning will be funded by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment.
The winning project proposals address teaching and learning issues and improvements, support WSU learning goals, such as critical thinking and communication, and reflect a commitment to resolve factors raised by recent degree assessments.
“Many of the projects detail teaching innovations designed to better support deep, life-long learning,” said Mary F. Wack, vice provost for undergraduate education. “Some tap into emerging or discipline-specific pedagogies. Others support further growth of unique projects already under way.”
The first impact of the grants will be felt by thousands of undergraduates as early as fall classes.
“As methods and results are shared with other WSU faculty and through academic publications, the ultimate impact of these WSU grants will be very far reaching,” Wack said.
When it arrives on campus this October, a powerful new $1.7 million x-ray microscope will help Washington State University scientists develop specialized materials for technologies such as self-healing roads, printable batteries and super-efficient solar cells.
The unique microscope can create three-dimensional models of a material’s interior down to 50 nanometer resolution. Such precision will enable researchers across the university to design more efficient and powerful components for technologies ranging from batteries and solar cells to drug delivery methods that use nanoparticles to target cancerous tumors. It also will provide faculty a competitive advantage when applying for future research grants.
“In order to make high performance materials better or more versatile, you need to be able to characterize and control the arrangements of atoms inside them,” said Aurora Clark, professor of chemistry and principal investigator for the Xradia Ultra program. “Previously, WSU scientists had to go somewhere like the Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago to do the kind of imaging we will now be able to do in-house.”