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Newsletter of the Southern Illinois Section

American Chemical Society

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Next Southern Illinois Section Meeting
Monday, April 21, 2008
Carbondale, IL

5:30 p.m. Dinner and Executive Committee Meeting
    Hunan Restaurant, 710 E Main St., Carbondale, IL
    Reservations by Noon, Saturday, April 19 to
            Dave Payne at 618-985-4873 or e-mail at

7:30 p.m. Meeting
Neckers 218, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

Can Dogs See Ghosts? (The Chemistry of Vision)

Robert S. H. Liu
University of Hawai’i

During his boyhood in Shanghai, China, R. Liu often heard the statement: "Dogs can see ghosts!" Now after more than three decades of research in Vitamin A and visual pigments, he asked himself whether there is scientific basis that "dogs can see ghosts". Preparing to answer this question in this presentation, he will first review the important development in the chemistry of vision in recent decades with particular emphasis on the work carried out at the University of Hawaii. Topics covered will be: stereospecificity of the binding site of rhodopsin, the probing of specific protein-substrate interactions (in rhodopsin) through F-NMR spectroscopy, the specific mode of photoreaction that triggers the visual process and the unusually high photosensitivity of rhodopsin. With these as background information, he shall then return to address the question: Can Dogs See Ghosts? This talk was initially presented to a group of businessmen in a luncheon gathering in downtown Honolulu in August 2004. Needless to say it was presented in a manner not assuming any prior knowledge in chemistry. However, it will not be difficult to re-direct the lecture to a more chemically oriented audience at a level tailored to the interest and background of that group of listeners.


Dr. LiuDr. Liu was born in Shanghai, China and is a Professor Emeritus in Chemistry at the University of Hawaii. He received his B.A. from Howard Payne Colle and his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology. He was received the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1970-72), John Simon Guggenheim Fellow (1974-75), Fujio Matsuda Presidential Scholar (1985), UH Regents' Medal for Excellence in
Research (1986), NSF Creativity Extension Award (1987-89) Resolution of Merit, the 14th Hawaii State Legislature (1988), UH Regents' Medal for Excellence in Teaching (1988), Honorary Member, Golden Key National Honor Society (1992), NIH MERIT Award (1992-95), Mortar Board Honoree (1996), 60th Birthday Honoree, ACS Meeting (1998), Fellow of the Foundation for Outstanding Scholarship, Taiwan (2000-2001). His career path includes Research Chemist, Central Research Department, duPont Company, Visiting Researcher at The Biological Laboratories, Harvard University and The Royal Institution at London, Visiting Professor, National Taiwan University and National Tsing Hua University. Dr. Liu’s research interests include photochemistry and photophysics of conjugated polyenes, new isomers of vitamin A and carotene, visual pigment analogs, bacteriorhodopsin, sensory rhodopsin and 19F-NMR of membrane proteins. He is a member of American Chemical Society, American Society of Photobiology, InterAmerican Photochemistry Society. He has over 220 research publications.

Next meetings:
  August 17-21, 2009
    National ACS Meeting
    Philadelphia, PA
  Tuesday, September 16, Carbondale
    Jacques L. Zakin, Ohio State University
    Some Strange Flow Phenomena of Rheologically Complex Fluids
  October 8-10, 2008
    Midwest Regional Meeting, Kearney, NE
  Wednesday, October 22, Carbondale
    William B. Chamberlin, The Lubrizol Corporation
    A Perspective on the Internal Combustion Engine
  Thursday, November 13, Carbondale
    James Webb & Otis Rothenberger, Illinois State University
    Really Simple Chemistry Demonstrations!
    Colonial Chemistry

60 Year Members

The following members will be recognized for 60 years of ACS membership at the April 21st meeting:

Dr. Cal Meyers
Dr. Russell Trimble

Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
Southern Illinois Section
March 20, 2008

Present: David Payne (presiding), Andy Graf, Ruth Hathaway, Bjorn Olesen, Mike Rodgers,

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. R. Hathaway moved that the minutes of the previous Executive Committee meeting be accepted as distributed. M. Rodgers seconded the motion, and it passed.

The treasurer’s report was presented and discussed. A. Graf moved that the budget be accepted
as presented. R. Hathaway seconded the motion and it passed.

The vote taken via e-mail regarding reimbursement for those attending the New Orleans meeting
passed 6-0.

There was no one interested in chairing an Earth Day Committee. A. Graf suggested that the
section find a High School Coordinator. B. Olesen will obtain a list of Missouri schools and R. Hathaway will work on obtaining an Illinois list.

A. Graf has submitted the 2009 Speaker request form. Howard Peters will give a presentation on
Chocolate in February 2009.

The next newsletter deadline is April 11.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 PM.

Ruth Hathaway
Secretary Pro-tem

Share Balance:  $33.52 (as of 12/31/07)
Savings Balance:  $2,178.11 (as of 12/31/07)  Interest earned as follows:    
AG Edwards Balance: $13,998.16 (as of 02/29/08) Adjustments:
CD Interest: 20-Feb 182.01
Money Market earnings: 29-Feb 7.40
Taxable bond valuation: 29-Feb 3.77
TOTAL: 193.18
Checking Balance:  $1,155.75
Expenses since last report:
Michael Rodgers - Pavlath Meal             38.72
ACS - Philp Speaker fee             300.00
Hathaway Consulting - Kolb dinner + 11/07 Newsletter             66.49
ACS - Pavlath Speaker fee             300.00
ACS - Kolb Speaker fee             300.00
ACS - Student Affiliate Applications             532.00
SEMO Regional Science Fair - 2008 allotment             100.00
ACS - Student Affiliate Application             38.00
Hathaway Consulting 1/08 News             10.44
David Payne - ACS Leadership Training             352.82
The Science Center - Science Café (Jolynn Smith)             482.68
Hathaway Consulting - 3/08 News + Feb spkr meal             30.15
John P. Junge - SIUC Outstanding Sophomore             200.00
ACS - Butler Speaker Fee             300.00
ACS- Payne & Graf Leadership Inst. - Dallas             550.00
ACS Councilor Travel reimbursement 908.21
Science Café Grant - 2008 500.00
Grand Total of Accounts:  $17,365.54
Respectfully submitted,
Michael L. Rodgers
Local Section Treasurer

ACS Directory of Graduate Research for 2007 Now Available

The ACS Committee on Professional Training is pleased to announce the release of the ACS Directory of Graduate Research 2007 and DGRweb 2007. The Directory provides graduate-school-bound chemistry and chemical engineering majors with information that will facilitate each student’s selection of a graduate program appropriate to his or her particular interests and talents.

As in the previous edition, DGRweb, the searchable, online version of the DGR, continues to be available free of charge at With DGRweb 2007 one may search for both faculty and institutions. DGRweb 2007 also includes access to the complete 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005 databases. If you or your students wish to order copies of the printed edition, please call 1-800-227-5558, or go to the ACS online store, which can be accessed from The purchase price is $95 per copy. For more information about the DGR or DGRweb, please contact Marta Gmurczyk at

Be a part of the American Chemical Society 2008 Member-Get-A-Member Campaign!

For each new paid member that you recruit for ACS, you will receive a 2008 Periodic Table of the Elements Throw. For all the details and to download an official MGM application, go to If you have any questions concerning the MGM campaign or would like to send us a picture of how you display your throw please write to

The American Chemical Society thanks you for your continued support!

Influence the Chemistry Field Today and Tomorrow

Remember who inspired you to work in the chemistry field? Honor that person by giving to Project SEED, a program that gives economically disadvantaged high school students the rare opportunity to work in the lab for eight to ten weeks in the summer. Use our new online donation form at to make a gift in honor or in memory of your favorite chemistry mentor.

You’ve given your part by making a gift to ACS. Learn how to double or possibly triple your gift with no extra cost. See if you qualify at

Are you confused about how to calculate your income tax deduction for making a charitable gift? Not sure of the difference between a CRAT and a CRUT? Do you wonder how new laws in Congress will affect your distributions from your individual retirement account? Find the answers to these questions and
more by visiting the American Chemical Society’s new website,

AEI Poster Session
ACS National Meeting
Philadelphia, PA
Monday, August 18
8:00 to 10:00 pm

Will your department be hiring new faculty this year?

If so, plan to attend the Academic Employment Initiative (AEI) to meet with potential new faculty candidates at the Sci-Mix poster session held at the ACS National Meeting, Monday evening, August 18, from 8–10 PM.

At the Fall 2008 ACS meeting in Philadelphia, candidates seeking faculty positions will use the AEI Poster Session at Sci-Mix to present posters about their current research, which will expand on their research interests, teaching philosophy, and experience. Faculty recruiters are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to meet as many candidates as possible.

Further information can be found by writing to or visit

New Legislative Action Network Homepage

ACS Office of Legislative and Government Affairs (OLGA) is proud to announce the development of a new Legislative Action Network homepage called offers American Chemical Society members:

• Current news and commentary through the Act 4 Chemistry blog,
• Daily links to news articles of interest to scientists, and
• Access to an improved legislative action center, where ACS members can send letters to policymakers.


Only registered participants will receive notices of key decisions being made affecting chemistry. ACS members are encouraged to register so that they can comment on blogs and send letters to their policymakers. is a free program of the OLGA designed to bridge the gap between policymakers and chemistry. If you have any questions please contact Brad Smith at

ChemShorts for Kids --2008
Copyright ©2008 by the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society

by Dr. Kathleen A. Carrado, Argonne National Labs

ChemShorts Home                                

The Elementary Education Committee of the ACS Chicago Section presents this column. They hope that it will reach young children and help increase their science literacy. Please share with children and local teachers.

Please note: All chemicals and experiments can entail an element of risk, and no experiments should be performed without proper adult supervision.

                Glow-in-the-Dark Geode

Kids, how can you make a geode glow in the dark? It's very easy in this experiment. The 'rock' is a natural mineral (in this case an eggshell). You can use one of several common household chemicals to grow the crystals. And the glow comes from paint that you can get from a craft store.

To Prepare the “Rock”:

1. There are two ways to crack eggs. Carefully crack the top of the egg by tapping it on a countertop to make a deep geode with a smaller opening. Alternatively, crack the equator of the egg or have an adult partner carefully cut it with a knife. This will make a geode you can open and put back

2. Discard the egg (or save for scrambled eggs).

3. Rinse out the inside of the eggshell with water. Peel away the interior membrane to leave only the shell.

4. Allow the egg to air dry or carefully blot it dry with a paper towel or napkin.

5. Use a paintbrush or swab to coat the inside of the eggshell with glow-in-the-dark paint (such as GlowAway™ washable glowing paint).

6. Set the painted egg aside while making the crystal-growing solution.

To Make the Crystal Solution:

1. Have an adult partner pour hot water (such as from a coffeemaker) into a cup.

2. Stir borax or another crystal salt (alum, epsom salts, sugar, or table salt) into the water until it stops dissolving and you see some solid at the bottom of the cup.

3. Add food coloring, if desired. Food coloring does not get incorporated into all crystals (e.g., borax crystals will be clear), but it will stain the eggshell behind the crystals, giving the geode some color. Neon green coloring looks great.

To Grow the Crystals:

1. Support the shell so that it won't tip over (for example, a nest can be made with a crumpled napkin set inside a cereal bowl).

2. Pour the crystal solution into the shell so that it is as full as possible. Don't pour the undissolved solid into the eggshell, just the saturated liquid.

3. Set the shell somewhere where it won't get knocked over. Allow crystals to grow for several hours (overnight is better) or as long as you like.

4. When you are satisfied with the crystal growth, pour out the solution and allow the geode to dry.

5. Phosphorescent paint is activated by exposing it to bright light; black light (ultraviolet) also produces a very bright glow. The duration of the glow depends on the paint (seconds to minutes).

Note: Take appropriate safety cautions when handling the crystal solutions.

Geode in light Geode in UV
"Geode" in room light "Geode" under ultraviolet (black) light



Dr. Anne Marie Helmenstine at 

Reprinted with permission from Dr. Kathleen A. Carrado, Chicago Local Section. An archive of all previously published ChemShorts is available online at

2008 Southern Illinois Section Officers


David Payne
200 Arbor Dr
Carterville, IL 62918-1041


Andy Graf
100 Feltz St
Perryville MO 63775-2428

Immediate Past-Chair:

Marcus Bond
Chemistry Department MS 6400
Southeast Missouri State University
1 University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
573-986-6433 fax

  Interim Immediate Past-Chair: Bjorn Olesen
Chemistry Department MS 6400
Southeast Missouri State University
1 University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
573-986-6433 fax


Mary Chaklos
School of Medicine/MedPrep
Mail Stop 4323
975 S Normal Ave
Carbondale, IL 62901-4302

618-453-1919 fax



Michael Rodgers
Chemistry Department MS 6400
1 University Plaza
Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
573-986-6433 fax



Ruth Hathaway
1810 Georgia St.
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
573-334-2551 fax


Alternate Councilor:


Rachel Morgan-Theall
Chemistry Department MS 6400
Southeast Missouri State University
1 University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
573-986-6433 fax