We are happy to announce that our work on using deep eutectic solvents has now been published in Analytical Chemistry: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.analchem.2c03980 This work was done by Jessica Torres, a doctoral student in the lab, along with Karen Campos and undergraduate student currently in the lab.
This work explores how one can do fluorescent labelling in deep eutectic solvents (DES). Our goal for this work is to apply DES to the analysis of amino acids in the search for evidence of past extraterrestrial life. But the implications of being able to do the direct labelling of analytes in a DES mean that those solvents could be useful in more sample preparation methods and still allow for the routine labelling reactions to be undertaken
We’re very proud that Jessica Torres’ research project was featured in the annual compilation of SDSU Research Highlights.
Jessica was awarded a prestigious NASA Fellowship award which will support her research efforts throughout her pursuit of her doctoral degree. Jessica’s project focuses on developing new approaches to searching for chemical traces of past life on rocks on other bodies in our solar system. The challenging project will further enable NASA’s goals of exploring and understanding the conditions for how life can arise in the Universe, and if life has existed elsewhere.
Thanks to our friends at NASA/JPL we now have a new, powerful, instrument for the lab. Peter Willis’ group kindly donated an older CE-LIF instrument that they were no longer using to us. The instrument will greatly enhance our lab’s capability to do sensitive detection, opening up more avenues of research.
Congratulations to Jessica on starting an internship at JPL/NASA this week!
Jessica will be working with Dr. Peter Willis to help optimize, and improve CE techniques for the detection of chemical signatures of life. The overarching goal of this work is develop, and hopefully deploy, microfluidic devices on probes to other planets or moons, in order to search for the chemical signatures of past or present life on those worlds.
We will certainly miss having Jessica in the lab for the next 10+ weeks, but it’s a great opportunity for her, and she will bring back some new techniques and knowledge to share with our lab.