Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Monday's Molecule #134: Winner

The technique is partition chromatography. The example shown below could be either thin layer chromatography or paper chromatography. The principle is the same. It is nicely explained by Bill Chaney of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Unfortunately for him, there were others who responded faster, although not as eloquently.
The technique you are referring to is partition chromatography. The sample is spotted at one end of the immobile phase and a liquid mobile phase is allowed to adsorb along the phase, often in an enclosed container, which is an necessity if the mobile phase is a mixture of volatile liquid. Because different molecules have varying affinities for the solid and mobile phases (their partition coefficient) they are carried along the direction of the flow of the mobile phase at different rates giving their Rf value. The immobile phase can be paper, thin layers of different compounds like silica gel, or ion exchange resins. It is also used in Gas Liquid and Gas Solid chromatography as well where the mobile phase is a gas.
The Nobel Laureates are Martin and Synge for inventing partition chromatography. The winner is Maria Altshuler of the University of Toronto. Congratulations Maria, you beat out a dozen others who had the right answer!

Today's "molecule" isn't a molecule. I'm looking for the technique that's illustrated by the example shown here. Describe the technique and identify the Nobel Laureates who discovered it.

The first person to identify the technique and the Nobel Laureates, wins a free lunch. Previous winners are ineligible for six weeks from the time they first won the prize.

There are only two ineligible candidates for this week's reward: Alex Ling of the University of Toronto, and Markus-Frederik Bohn of the Lehrstuhl für Biotechnik in Erlangen, Germany.

I have an extra free lunch for a deserving undergraduate so I'm going to continue to award an additional prize to the first undergraduate student who can accept it. Please indicate in your email message whether you are an undergraduate and whether you can make it for lunch.


Nobel Laureates
Send your guess to Sandwalk (sandwalk (at) and I'll pick the first email message that correctly identifies the molecule(s) and names the Nobel Laureate(s). Note that I'm not going to repeat Nobel Prizes so you might want to check the list of previous Sandwalk postings by clicking on the link in the theme box.

Correct responses will be posted tomorrow.

Comments will be blocked for 24 hours. Comments are now open.

The image is taken from this website on paper chromatography.

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