Monday, October 28, 2019

Molecules Shine Individually on Camera Essay Example for Free

Molecules Shine Individually on Camera Essay In a science news article by the Department of Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, an innovative discovery on a certain combination of technique for studying individual molecules undergoing reactions was presented. The article entitled â€Å"Electron Give-and-take Lets Molecules Shine Individually on Camera† was actually adopted from an article in the journal Chemical Communications by Chenghong Lei and Dehong Hu. The original title of the journal article was â€Å"Single-molecule Fluorescence Spectroelectrochemistry of Cresyl Violet. † Basically, the article reports a new technique of studying the electron transfer reactions of molecules. Through the use of the new combination of techniques, scientists have found a way of viewing individual molecules as the reaction proceeds which was traditionally impossible. Due to this breakthrough, scientists can now conduct further research to modify and even create proteins that possesses maximum reaction rates which could generate more energy than their counterparts (DOE 2008). Electron transfer reactions are crucial in the life-giving processes that occur in plants and animals. They are responsible in generating energy as well as sustaining the life of an organism such as in photosynthesis. To understand how such electron transfer reactions occur, it is possible that chemists and engineers can find ways on how to recreate such maximal energy generation which is typical of nature’s electron transfer reactions (DOE 2008). In light of these efforts, there have been several techniques of observing the mechanisms behind the reactions of biomolecules. One of these techniques is fluorescence spectroelectrochemistry. However, although fluorescence has been of great help in the field of chemistry, like other traditional techniques it only allows for the observation and analysis of bulk molecules. Therefore, in search for a method of analyzing individual molecules, scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Library have devised an instrument wherein the power of creating electric fields to initiate reactions and that of focusing into a single molecule was developed (DOE 2008). This was successfully done by combining fluorescence spectroelectrochemistry with that of single-molecule fluorescence microscope. Using the new instrument, scientists then studied electron transfer reactions in individual cases. They have found that although majority of the molecules undergo electron transfer reactions, there are some individual molecules that contradict the way other molecules behave. Upon fluorescence using cresyl violet dye, some molecules that should have been lit were not while upon removing the electric current, some molecules continued to give of fluorescence where they should have blinked off (DOE 2008). Such discovery thus account for the sub maximum energy generation of some reactions that occur. Using the same instrument, scientists can now find out why these particular molecules behave in such a way. To control the reactions could then be a great advantage for many of our chemists (DOE). Further studies are now being conducted to achieve this goal. The fusion of two important instruments used in chemistry and microbiology was actually a novel contribution to both fields. Essentially, fluorescence spectroelectrochemistry is a technique used by chemists to manipulate reactions in their study of the mechanisms molecules follow whereas single-molecule fluorescence microscopy is employed in microbiology for the study of fluorescent microorganisms. By combining the two techniques, new research ventures can now be accomplished both in the fields of chemistry and microbiology. Furthermore, the innovative instrument has somehow created a bridge between the two fields of science, one of which is primarily concerned with the minute elements of the abiotic world while the other is concerned with the minute elements of the biotic world. The information about the new combination of instrument is quite useful. Having learned of this new apparatus, it is then possible that future endeavors that might be undertaken by the readers employ the use of the device. Furthermore, the data obtained from the electron transfer reactions up close is an excellent explanation of why molecules generate as much energy only as they are able to. The plan of scientists to expand the study is also very interesting since it will clarify why molecules behave the way they do. The reader could say that the information is convincing as well as organized. Although there are no detailed descriptions of the results of the study, the presentation of the valuable outcomes is meaningful and reliable. This is due to the fact that the article is an adaptation of a reliable journal article. However, it would have been more engaging if the scientists include some data tables, graphs or pictures on the behavior of the individual molecules that were studied instead of generalizing the data presentation. The article is highly recommended to people in the field of biofuels research. As has been mentioned in the article, if engineers will find out how to control the behavior of molecules during electron transfer reactions, they may increase the energy generated by biofuels by utilizing the maximum limit of each individual molecule (DOE 2008). By doing so, engineers will obtain a large amount of energy with the least raw product input increasing efficiency and production as well as lowering costs and expenses. References DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. (2008, September 24). Electron Give-and-take Lets Molecules Shine Individually on Camera. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 27, 2008, from http//www. sciencedaily. com/releases/2008/09/080925094. htm.

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