Monday, November 15, 2010

Week 12 - DNA , Natural Polymers and Proteins

          Natural polymers relate in a lot of ways to my life.  Some of the natural polymers are essential for life; such as proteins and nucleic acids.  There are other natural polymers besides essential life requirements.  Cellulose for instance, paper and its use has roots in ancient history, thank goodness someone figured out how to make paper or else a lot of wonderful history may not have been recorded, especially large, detailed works.  Natural rubber led to our synthetic version today, wow, remarkable how one item can change forever the way we live, work and transport ourselves along with so many other applications.
          Thinking about the final, I can honestly say that one part of me is so giddy for this semester to over with, while the other side is saying, “So how am I suppose to do this without being able to use any sources?”  So of course I am worried, who wouldn’t be?  I am just looking toward that light at the end of the tunnel.
          So far what we have covered sometimes seems that there is no rhyme or reason for the order but I am sure there is a reason the chapters and lessons were covered the way they were.  I can speculate that we started with basic chemistry with the spices, we moved to salt, etc., each is a bigger jump that the previous and all culminate together to explain our world and the chemistry that made it all possible.

Week 11

“My list of activities to the Group”

                This week I have been trying to work on the Power Point presentation.  I was doing what use suggested and finding some part of it that I could enjoy and also be a contribution, so I like making Power Points.  I took Isaac’s rough draft and wrote up a nice outline that serves as a great guide for me in making this presentation.  Kelley has sent me pages for our Power Point for addition, I have added them in. 
                My overall group experience is no more enjoyable than having my toenails pulled out with rusty pliers.  It had started sour and I am just trying to make lemonade out of lemons thus far.  Kelley seems to be easy to work with every four or five days when she makes contact.  The one very positive part is she researched two sections from our outline of her choice for inclusion into the Power Point and designed the pages.  Isaac wrote me an email and out of 8 points on our outline, I asked for two from him and I would take four overall and do the entire work of putting together the Power Point; he basically stated that since he was doing the bibliography and since he was going to write the final paper from his rough draft that I was asking too much and he felt in order for it to be fair that I should just do it all.  So far I have constructed the contract for this group, wrote a final outline and I am also doing the complete Power Point presentation outside of the two points that Kelley sent me.  I feel that I am honestly doing more than my fair share which is fine, but I tell this to illustrate the common problems of group work.  In the beginning I know that Kelley wrote you and said she had it all planned and the roles assigned; this is like a version of the three stooges, really.  No one knows exactly what they should be doing, I receive texts and emails and we are all just a bunch of bumbling idiots it seems.  My group members may very well be great people but we all have schedules that don’t mesh, we are all taking a few other classes so certain days that Kelley is working on the project I am doing math or history or biology.  It is just really crazy, hectic and overall I loathe the experience.  Sorry L
                The project is something that is age appropriate for junior high and up I feel.  The only part that I would not recommend for junior high is the actual making of aspirin.  It is very informative, full of history and lots of great other uses for aspirin that would make a person say, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”  It is a good overview of aspirin starting from ancient times to today, practical uses and also health problems associated with its use.
                The medicinal chemistry was interesting.  I liked hunting for the information.  There was so much I read but did not include because I was trying to stick to three, but instead I posted four.  It is very fascinating to see how chemistry affects every part of our world; from our medicine, our industry, day to day living, etc. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Isoprene and Steroids

     Isoprene is formed naturally in plants and animals; this is something that I was unaware of.  Isoprene is the most common hydrocarbon in the body.  The naturally occurring isoprene in trees helps the tree to combat abiotic stress.
     Regarding steroids and the chapter I read concerning the pill, I find it to be very interesting that a person can take a molcule and change it into something totally different.  The thought the the yam was instrumental in today's birth control.
     Since I am a little behind on my blogs and catching up, as you know I hadn't been overly excited about the group project.  We had some initial trouble and although we are making progress and I am enjoying my part of the project, I still would have to be honest and say that I am less than enthusiastic overall.  I believe the reason why is being dependant on other people, there is worry associated with waiting for others to fulfill their part.  So far everyone has been making a great effort in order to complete this activity.