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Chemistry In Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures: Chembroidery

Grad student Cassandra Gates makes molybdenum complexes with colorful threads

by Manny I. Fox Morone
March 31, 2022


An embroidered schematic of a molybendum pterin complex with flowers in place of some of the atoms. The chemical structure of the molybdenum complex is inset.
Credit: Cassandra Gates/ via Instagram

In addition to being a grad student at Bryn Mawr College, Cassandra Gates spends her time embroidering. And even though she has drawn quite a few chemical structures during her PhD research, she decided to embroider this one (line structure inset) as a gift to her research adviser, Sharon Burgmayer. Their lab studies molybdenum complexes that simulate the molybdenum cofactors found in living systems. The pterin ligand (the part of the molecule to the right of the molybdenum atom) is a point of interest for the team because of its ability to shift to various oxidation states. As a flourish, Gates included a butterfly in the piece because pterins were originally discovered in the wings of a butterfly.

Submitted by Cassie Gates. Follow her on Instagram

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An close-up view of an embroidered schematic of a molybendum pterin complex with flowers in place of some of the atoms.
Credit: Cassandra Gates/ via Instagram

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