There is a delicate balance between theory and reality in chemistry, as a formula that works on paper may not behave in predicted ways when applied to actual experiments. For instance, Depakote, commonly known as valproic acid, is synthesized through several chemical processes, some of which are difficult to produce due to variances in temperatures or pressures or in efficiency of the reactions. "This synthesis works in theory, but the trouble is in getting the conditions right so it works in reality," said Phil Silverman, the lab coordinator for the University of Missouri's chemistry department.
How We Did It:
MU junior Joe Shadduck observes the location of Saturn while looking through the telescope on Wednesday night at Laws Observatory. MU's physics and astronomy department opens the observatory most Wednesday evenings from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. to allow the public to take a look through the telescope.
MU student Casey Stuck transfers samples of mice DNA into tubes to be replicated on Tuesday afternoon in the Microbology and Immunology Lab, directed by Dr. Atasoy and located in the MU Physics Building. This DNA, which is taken from the tails of multiple mice, is used in cancer research on the MU campus. The staff at the lab mostly consist of pre-med students, and Stuck says working there is a way for these students to get hands-on experience before becoming professionals.
MU student Kyle Ayers performs improv during Comedy Wars, held at 9:30 p.m. every Wednesday night at Memorial Student Union. Comedy Wars, originally spelled "Warz," was founded by MU graduate Todd Geritz in the fall of 1999.
How I did it:
Shakespeare's Pizza employee Mandy Rolwes; covered in flour; measures out the dough needed for the next pizza order. Rolwes has worked at Shakespeare's for about a year.
How I did it:
MU student Erin Stubblefield firmly grasps her favorite coffee mug, daydreaming about her next cup of coffee. Stubblefield, who worked at Starbucks for a period of time, said coffee is an essential part of her life.