S.T.E.M Girl Power - International Day of Women in Science 2022

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 2022, fell on Friday, February 11th. In 2015, this date was established to encourage women and girls to train in STEM disciplines along with recognizing the accomplishments of women in these fields.1

S.T.E.M Girl Power - International Day of Women in Science 2022

Image Credit: B&W Tek

Advancement and innovation are the results of increasing diversity within the scientific field as scientists of different backgrounds can develop existing knowledge in a collaborative way.

The majority of people in scientific disciplines are male, although there has been an increase of women in science more recently.2

This article outlines a range of studies led by female scientists where Raman spectroscopy was used in various scientific disciplines to demonstrate this diversity and to inspire the continual inclusion of women in science.

Space exploration is one discipline where Raman spectroscopy is often employed. The B&W Tek i-Raman 532 nm has been evaluated as a possible technique for identifying the terrain’s composition on the moon or on a planet like Mars, along with determining possible traces of life.3,4

From the Centre for Terrestrial and Planetary Exploration at the University of Winnipeg, Sandra Manigand Potin et al. (2021) utilized Raman Spectroscopy to perform a study that investigated the composition of a meteorite that was discovered in Northwest Africa.4

A B&W Tek i-Raman portable system with a 532 nm excitation source was utilized for the investigation.

Raman spectra from eleven distinct regions on the meteorite were effectively matched to known minerals located on earth, which allowed the qualitative composition of the lunar meteorite to be identified using Raman.

Space exploration is one of many disciplines that women in science are investigating.

Research scientists at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, United States, used Raman spectroscopy in another application led by female scientists.

Raman is utilized in the investigation of art and historical products to understand how a procedure was first conducted and as a technique to prove the authenticity of an item.

In their study, Nobuko Shibayama and Adriana Rizzo utilized a range of analytical techniques such as Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) to characterize a varnish from a room preserved from the early 18th century.5

The Associate Professor of the Department of Analytical Chemistry at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Maite Maguregui, looked at how Ancient Roman mosaics could be conserved by analyzing its components utilizing a B&W Tek portable spectrometer combined with BWSpec software.6

Due to its non-destructive nature, Raman is an optimal analytical technique for this type of research.

Raman is frequently used in forensic science to characterize unknown substances that are related to a crime.

Raman spectroscopy was utilized by Laura Ortiz-Herrero et al. (2021) Analytical Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), to predict the time between when human remains were discovered and the death of the individual.7

This was achieved by monitoring differences in the Raman spectra of bones as they degrade over time.

Carmen García-Ruiz and her team, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and Chemical Engineering and University Institute of Research in Police Sciences, University of Alcalá, investigated the detection of popular explosives on various fabric types.

They also studied how different blends of oxidizers and fuels impact the identification of explosives.8 

A B&W Tek i-Raman Pro 785 with a portable confocal microscope was utilized to identify the samples.

Raman is also used in environmental engineering. A study by April Gu et al. (2018) Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Cornell University, employed Raman in microbiology to investigate single cells.

The aim was to profile the phenotypes of the cell while discovering and characterizing microbial populations which had distinct traits.9

At the Institute of Marine Science, National Research Council, Silvia Merlino et al. (2020) utilized the i-Raman Plus 785 portable spectrometer with a microscope to investigate the different types of microplastics that build up along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea.

When microplastics are analyzed, the origins of these materials can be identified, and this pollution, which damages international sea life, can be decreased.10

Take a moment to show some appreciation towards the women in science and encourage young women to pursue a career in STEM.

Visit https://bwtek.com/technology/raman for more information about the Raman systems offered by B&W Tek.

References and Further Reading

  1. United Nations, International Day of Women and Girls in Science https://www.un.org/en/observances/women-and-girls-in-science-day  (accessed 2022 -02 -07).
  2. https://plus.google.com/+UNESCO. International Day of Women and Girls in Science https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/womenandgirlinscienceday   (accessed 2022 -02 -07).
  3. Lalla, E. A.; Sanz-Arranz, A.; Lopez-Reyes, G.; Sansano, A.; Medina, J.; Schmanke, D.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Rodríguez-Losada, J. A.; Martínez-Frías, J.; Rull, F. Raman–Mössbauer–XRD Studies of Selected Samples from “Los Azulejos” Outcrop: A Possible Analogue for Assessing the Alteration Processes on Mars. Adv. Space Res. 201657 (11), 2385–2395. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asr.2016.03.014.
  4. Potin, S. M.; Manigand, S.; Turenne, N.; Sidhu, S.; Connell, S.; Applin, D.; Cloutis, E.; Caudill, C.; Newmann, J.; Lalla, E.; Lymer, E.; Freemantle, J.; Daly, M.; Kruzelecky, R. Raman Spectroscopy Investigation of Lunar Surface Endmembers and Analogues; EPSC2021-97; Copernicus Meetings, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5194/epsc2021-97.
  5. Rizzo, A.; Shibayama, N.; Kirby, D. P. A Multi-Analytical Approach for the Identification of Aloe as a Colorant in Oil–Resin Varnishes. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2011399 (9), 3093–3107. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-010-4402-4.
  6. Marcaida, I.; Maguregui, M.; Morillas, H.; Prieto-Taboada, N.; Veneranda, M.; Fdez-Ortiz de Vallejuelo, S.; Martellone, A.; De Nigris, B.; Osanna, M.; Madariaga, J. M. In Situ Non-Invasive Multianalytical Methodology to Characterize Mosaic Tesserae from the House of Gilded Cupids, Pompeii. Herit. Sci. 20197 (1), 3. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-019-0246-1.
  7. Ortiz-Herrero, L.; Uribe, B.; Armas, L. H.; Alonso, M. L.; Sarmiento, A.; Irurita, J.; Alonso, R. M.; Maguregui, M. I.; Etxeberria, F.; Bartolomé, L. Estimation of the Post-Mortem Interval of Human Skeletal Remains Using Raman Spectroscopy and Chemometrics. Forensic Sci. Int. 2021329, 111087. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2021.111087.
  8. Videira-Quintela, D.; Zapata, F.; García-Ruiz, C. Detection of Microscopic Traces of Explosive Residues on Textile Fabrics by Raman Spectroscopy. J. Raman Spectrosc. 201849 (10), 1668–1677. https://doi.org/10.1002/jrs.5455.
  9. Li, Y.; Cope, H. A.; Rahman, S. M.; Li, G.; Nielsen, P. H.; Elfick, A.; Gu, A. Z. Toward Better Understanding of EBPR Systems via Linking Raman-Based Phenotypic Profiling with Phylogenetic Diversity. Environ. Sci. Technol. 201852 (15), 8596–8606. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b01388.
  10. Merlino, S.; Locritani, M.; Bernardi, G.; Como, C.; Legnaioli, S.; Palleschi, V.; Abbate, M. Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Chemically Characterized Microplastics within the Protected Area of Pelagos Sanctuary (NW Mediterranean Sea): Focus on Natural and Urban Beaches. Water 202012 (12), 3389. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123389.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by B&W Tek.

For more information on this source, please visit B&W Tek.

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