Get to Know Dimethylethanolamine

2-(dimethylamino)ethanol, otherwise referred to as dimethylethanolamine (DMEA), is a compound that has a tertiary amine and terminal alcohol group. This gives it a water solubility characteristic, and the alcohol group at the end of the molecule in particular allows for ester derivatives.

 

DMEA

 

 

 

 

 

Also known as deanol, the compound is involved in the formation of acetylcholine, a very important chemical found in the human body used for neurological signaling, otherwise referred to as a neurotransmitter. Deanol is used for one form of treatment for ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease,  autism and a form of motor disability called tardive dyskinesia. It can help with boosting one’s memory, their mood and neural processing.

 

Furthermore, it grants a ton of physical benefits: increased physical energy, oxygen efficiency, athletic performance and muscle reflexes, as well as maintaining skin appearance — it is a super compound!

 

That is why many sites, even bodybuilding websites, refer to it as the secret to the “Fountain of Youth.” Many believe that its secret to gifting its users appreciable physical improvement and cosmetic beauty is because it might stabilize cell membranes through the stimulation of acetylcholine; others believe this compound accomplishes this stability by reducing the accumulation of lipofuscin deposits (which is essentially cellular waste that contributes to the natural aging process) inside cells.

 

On the industrial side of things, DMEA — with it water solubility characteristic — is largely used due to its reactivity and involvement in various intermediates. In one example, it is used to produce agents that will help purify water. In another, it is used to get to an intermediate to synthesize pharmaceuticals, including anesthetics.

 

 

Miko

 

 

 

 

7 Easy Ways to Get an A+ in Organic Chemistry

 

You’re taking organic chemistry or about to begin your course and you’re extremely overwhelmed. There’s a ton of information that needs to not only be understood, but memorized. How are you going to get through it all? Are you going to finish the material in time to excel on your exams? Are you going to actually understand the principles that you’re trying to learn or are you going to simply memorize and hope similar questions show up on your exam?

 

Most of us have been there. The uncertainty and fear that comes with taking an advanced science course like organic chemistry can be quite overwhelming. The good news, however, is that it doesn’t have to be. When you have the right tools in place to study for this course you’re able to quickly master content and be confident of your performance on quizzes and exams. Let’s explore some of these tools.

 

Tool 1: Practice Problems

You cannot do well in organic chemistry by reading the textbook alone. Let me repeat that: you CANNOT do well in organic chemistry by reading the textbook alone. You must do practice problems—most likely thousands of practice by the end of your year in organic chemistry. Practice problems engage you with the material, truly testing whether you understand all facets of the concept.

 

One of the best ways to study for any exam is to perform practice questions on the subject over and over again. Doing the questions, however, isn’t the only part that is important. – it’s knowing why the questions have that particular answer which is of utmost importance and by studying Orgo Made Simple’s explanations to practice questions you’ll learn exactly what question makers are looking for. This not only helps you to learn the subject better but helps you to be a better test taker and increase your exam scores. Who doesn’t want that? I know I do!

 

 

Example Practice Problems

Take a test run with a few Orgo Made Simple practice problems. All questions are presented in this same format throughout the OMS material.

 

The only way to learn from these practice problems is to closely study the answers. At Orgo Made Simple, we’ve got you covered there!

 

 

 

 

Tool 2: A Study Buddy

 

A study buddy is one of the most underrated tools that a student can use to excel in organic chemistry. When you are studying with someone else, you are a lot more mentally engaged in the material you are learning because you are now having to communicate or answer to another person. This serves to help your mind build stronger neurochemical connections in your brain regarding the subject matter you are studying and the action of outputting this information to the external world helps you retain it.

 

Organic chemistry is a subject, due to its complex nature specifically, that is very well suited for group studying. When studying with a study buddy, each of you can hold up flashcards to one another and quiz one another on what the correct answers are. If your partner gets the answer wrong, you can easily correct them with an explanation that you can give them verbally right then and there. By giving them this explanation you are now engraining that problem and that lesson into your mind because you are essentially teaching someone else a concept. Research shows that when you are teaching someone else anything and you are hearing yourself say it out loud, you’re able to retain this information in your short-term memory a lot longer. The next time you’re looking to take all the organic chemistry up on your own, reach out to a friend and ask to study together. It’s an action that both parties will benefit from and will surely ensure much higher scores on those difficult exams – and oh, don’t we all need those.

 

 

 

Tool 3: Flashcards

Organic chemistry is one of those subjects that is filled with all sorts of large chemistry formulas and equations to memorize. Simply staring or reading a page of chemistry formulas is not effective when trying to memorize. One of the best ways that students study and retain knowledge in any subject, according to a study published in the November 2011 “Medical Education” that tested the use of various study tools by medical students, is the use of flash cards.

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Flash cards are an easy and simple way to carry study materials too if you don’t want to drag that heavy organic chemistry textbook around everywhere with you on school or campus. Once you’ve written out important chemistry formulas and equations on the card, you can literally carry them with you anywhere and they’re small enough to even fit into your tiny pockets. Whether you’re waiting in a line, on the bus, or just killing time at home, you can pull out your light-weight and small flashcards and start feeding your brain with the organic chemistry that it needs to be fed.

 

One of the most effective ways to study reactions in organic chemistry requires only a flashcard on a post it. First, you write a full reaction you are trying to learn on one side of the flashcard. You then use the Post It to cover the 3 different parts of the reactions, so you are not able to test yourself in 3 different ways! It would also recommend putting the mechanism of the reaction on the back of the flash card.

 

Flashcards

 

Tool 4: The Right Study Materials

With easy to understand chapter summaries Orgo Made Simple makes it easy for you to quickly go through your chapters while fully understanding and retaining the content. The best part of the chapter summaries are that they break down the complex subject of organic chemistry into something that is simple and extremely easy to understand. One of the main problems students have when studying organic chemistry is getting bogged down in all of the various details and small minutiae contained in each lesson. It becomes daunting to frame all of these lessons together and try to make sense out of them. Orgo Made Simple’s chapter summaries come in to the rescue because they enable students to see the bigger picture and extract the core out of each lesson to focus on what’s really important. Aside from learning what the key points are in each chapter, students become more prepared for topics that may show up on their exams.

 

 

 

Tool 5: A Tutor

There’s a common misconception that tutors are for students who are struggling in a subject. But think about this: the goal of a tutor is only to maximize your potential. Therefore, a tutor can take an A student to getting the highest grade in the class, just like they can help a student who might be in danger of failing the class. A tutor can be a significant ally in the complex world of organic chemistry.

Sure there’s an obvious downside: tutors are incredibly expensive, but the one-on-one, personalized attention from someone will do wonders for your knowledge of organic chemistry.

 

 

Tool 6: Office Hours

Office hours are essentially a tutoring session led by the person who is making your exam.  How could you not go? Professors will often tell you what they think is important, either directly or indirectly throughout the course of the office hours.

Plus, they’re free! (well, “free,” but regardless you don’t have to pay any more money to go to them).

But be warned: come with questions! Professors don’t just lecture at their office hours. Come with specific questions from either lecture or from practice problems.

 

 

Tool 7: Use a Whiteboard or a Chalkboard

You will do thousands of practice problems while studying for organic chemistry. Thousands. Problems will blur together, and you’ll hit points where you never want to look at a problem again.

How do you break this monotony? The answer is surprisingly simple: use a whiteboard or chalkboard. I have seen this simple act make practice problems significantly more enjoyable for students, which allows them to do more practice questions. Try it for yourself—you might be investing in some Expo markers if you do!

 

Young man in suit drawing chemistry formulas on chalkboard

 

 

 

Wasi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Secrets to Prepping for Organic Chemistry (Quiz Inside)

Summer is upon us, and for any pre-organic or current organic chemistry student, with this time of supposed rest and relaxation also comes a bit of anxiety and worry. But there’s no need to stress! Here are five tips to help anyone feel confident and be prepared for one of the most rewarding courses in all science curricula.

 

 

  1. Just stick to the basics!

No one is going to be an organic chemistry savant right off the bat. There may be a bit of complexity and head-scratching at most, if not all, organic chemistry problems and questions. But at the heart of all those questions and problems lie a bunch of universal, fundamental concepts that are the building blocks of organic chemistry that anyone can call upon. These basics, which we will touch on a few of below, include some simple concepts that will go a long way towards really building a mastery of the subject.

 

One of the basics that you should definitely spend some time on is being familiar with Lewis Dot structures, which are essentially a convention that allows one to “see” the available electrons surrounding a given atom. Spend some time knowing how to determine how many electrons belong to a given atom and how to draw its Lewis Dot structure, and before you know it you’ll really understand how an atom reacts (or  won’t react) with others to form more and more complex molecules.

 

Lewis dot structures

 

Everyone has the natural aptitude to succeed in organic chemistry. Though the material can get quite complex and dense, at its core are concepts that are all accessible and relatively easy, things that everyone can master.

 

The amount of preparation to truly get a grasp of organic chemistry can certainly be intimidating to some, and for admittedly good reason. However, with a bit of practice and exposure, one can begin to develop what my old orgo professor used to describe as an “Orgo Sixth Sense.” And no, that isn’t your favorite science spin-off of a 1999 horror film; it’s supposed to be this mindset you develop to instinctually know how a certain atom or molecule behaves, or why you would use a certain set of chemicals in an experiment to get a desired product. That Orgo Sixth Sense will come with practice, but — once again — it’ll just develop by sticking to and mastering the basics!

 

  1. Learn the names

Riding the coattails of number one above, another one of the organic chemistry commandments, if you will, is to truly learn the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) method of naming organic molecules. It can be quite overwhelming trying to go back and forth between the name of a given molecule and its corresponding structure; if you’re planning on looking names up on-the-go, then I’m sorry to say it, but you’re doomed.

Naming

 

 

 

 

 

This is unfortunately something that there really is no getting around: you just need to trust me on this one, and put in the time and effort to memorize the names. Think of the time when you memorized your multiplication tables — you just need to memorize it, but after you know it, you’ll find it easier to understand all the other, more complex concepts that build upon that very foundation.

Lastly, more often than not your very first exam will have a decent portion of questions dedicated solely to naming a structure, or even providing the structure from a name. You should be able to work with this naming system inside and out — put in the time and get to know it.

A good way to really ace the naming convention is through the use of Orgo Made Simple’s full year naming guide! We offer a thorough guide as to how to name molecules and how to match any molecule’s name with its appropriate structure. Naming questions will surely be on your first exam in the class,so it is absolutely vital to take advantage of resources such as this one to maximize your points on that exam.

 

  1. Find ways to relate the information back to you

At times, it will be difficult to get through some material, especially when it seems to present information particularly abstract — something that organic chemistry can be exceptionally good at doing. So what might possibly help is relating this organic chemistry information back to you! How might you see some of these reactions in your everyday life? What do these reaction schemes remind you of?

 

For example, the general combustion reaction is one that is fairly easy to remember when applied to personal experience. Organic material combined with O2 yields CO2, H2O and energy.

 

Combustion

 

 

 

 

Since all reactions are technically in equilibrium, the more O2 (or organic material) you add, the more energy you get out. This kind of knowledge proved really useful to me at our last family barbecue: the fire was growing weaker, but I needed more energy to properly cook our food — and in came some organic chemistry knowledge. I opened the hood of the grill and fanned the flames a bit so that my fire could “breathe.” I also gathered up some dry leaves and twigs to get a quick burn. In other words, I added more organic material and O2 to the reaction, thus “pushing” the reaction to the right and getting more energy and, most importantly, well-cooked barbecue!

 

 

  1. (P)review your notes

Just a good general study tip: always preview and review your notes and study materials! Going into any lecture, it’s difficult to really wrap your mind around the material (that you will surely see on your upcoming exams), without any kind of frame of reference as to where your professor/instructor is going with their lecture.

 

You should always also be up-to-date as far as keeping up with the lecture material. At the pace of any class — especially one as intricate and dense with material as organic chemistry — in higher education, it can unfortunately be quite easy to fall behind. Thus, it is imperative to always be on top of the material. Even more important than knowing the material in your notes? Knowing what you don’t know in your notes! It’s difficult to clarify the finer points in your study materials when you don’t know what’s in them.

 

  1. Join a Study Group!

Once again, riding on the coattails of an above tip, it is sometimes more important to spot what you don’t know rather than what you do know. But even if you pore over your notes countless times, you still might not see what you don’t know. Therefore, you need some alternate viewpoints into the lecture material. You would benefit from having peers challenge you — and, conversely, you them — on different topics, to gain a different perspective and really understand organic chemistry material inside and out.

 

Bonus Tip: Sign up for Our Orgo Made Simple Prep Course

At the end of the day, you will truly want all the practice and preparation you can get your hands on if you really want to succeed in a course as demanding and rigorous as organic chemistry. Though it is difficult and can get a bit intimidating from time to time, remember: you can do it. You have the mental capacity to succeed; you just need to apply yourself to working for that deserved good grade.

 

Here at Orgo Made Simple, our Prep Course will prepare you for the material that you will see in your lecture and on your exams, and that extra preparation might be the difference between full letter grades. Once you get into the truly challenging, intricate material, it gets harder to understand some of those concepts unless you practice. The Orgo Made Simple Prep Course can help offer you that additional practice you need all in one convenient space, and we will work with you to get through those problems and eventually develop that mastery over organic chemistry to truly succeed in your course.

 

 

These are just a few tips that I can offer you as you prepare for one of the most rewarding and engaging courses you will ever take! Find what works for you, be confident in your abilities and keep in mind the bigger picture and how organic chemistry fits into the scheme of things. I will be back with more help and blogs to work with you all through organic chemistry.

 

Miko