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After evaporating the solvent from reaction flasks, Cassie Gates found these designs that looked like the clouds on gaseous planets. The swirling designs are the result of stirring bars whipping solvent around as it bubbled up the flasks’ sides while under vacuum. Gates, a graduate student at Bryn Mawr College, works in a lab that studies the behavior of molybdenum cofactor—a complex used by a variety of enzymes found in almost every living organism. Both of the reactions Gates ran involved sulfur oxidizing a molybdenum compound. The rainbow of colors in the flask (bottom) reflects the range of oxidation states molybdenum can adopt.
Submitted by Cassie Gates
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