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2018 New Jersey Chemistry Olympics - Information Search: Home

This Page is Only for the Information Search Competition

If you are looking for the web page for the entire 2018 New Jersey Chemistry Olympics please access .  May 22, 2018 is the date of the next event which is now in the planning stages.  More information will be posted later.  Please contact at Dr. Miriam Gulotta  at, or Dr. Kathleen Gilbert at if you would like to participate in the 2018 event.

2018 Topic: Flavors

The smell of fresh strawberries in springtime makes me happy.  Are there smells or flavors that favorably stimulate your senses?  This year’s Info Search event gives you a chance to investigate the structures of several of them. The scientific names along with the associated flavor and Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Numbers are:

  • Ethyl methylphenylglycidate (strawberry) (CAS RN 77-83-8)
  • R-(+)-menthofuran (part of peppermint) (CAS RN 17957-94-7)
  • R-(-)-carvone (spearmint) (CAS RN 6485-40-1)
  • Raspberry ketone (CAS RN 5471-51-2)


  • A team of 2 or 3 students must compete in this event. Schools with two teams MUST select different molecules to research and present.
  • BEFORE the day of the event, the team will select one of the molecules and make a molecular model using low-density Styrofoam balls and wooden skewers.
  • The team should be prepared to use the Internet to answer general knowledge questions about all the molecules in the Information Search portion of the event. 
  • The Information Search portion of the event is to be completed in 25 minutes ON THE DAY OF COMPETITION.
  • The team should be prepared to answer two oral questions about their molecule. 
    • Question #1 will focus on molecular geometry (such as chirality, identifying co-planar atoms, hybridization, bond lengths and angles).
    • Question #2 will focus on the relationship between structure and function.  Note: Students are not expected to know specific proprietary information about the compounds.  They should however, understand the importance and role of different functional groups.

For event day information and judging criteria for this event, please visit the NJ Chemistry Olympics 07 Information Search event page:

Suggested Databases for the Information Search

You may use the databases listed below or the ones offered by NJIT at

Format of an Article with Abstract

Kiyatkin, E.A., Bae, D.

Behavioral and brain temperature responses to salient environmental stimuli and intravenous cocaine in rats: Effects of diazepam

(2008) Psychopharmacology, 196 (3), pp. 343-356. Cited 5 times.

ABSTRACT: Rationale: While diazepam is an effective anxiolytic and somnolent drug in humans, its physiological and behavioral effects in animals are often variable. Differences in basal activity state (basal arousal) may be important in determining both this response variability and the pattern of drug influence on behavioral and physiological responses to natural arousing stimuli and other drugs. Objectives: To evaluate the changes in brain, muscle, and skin temperatures, and in locomotion induced in rats by several arousing stimuli and intravenous (i.v.) cocaine; and to assess how these responses are modulated by diazepam at a relatively low dose (1 mg/kg, i.p.). Materials and methods: Male rats were implanted with thermal probes in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), temporal muscle, and subcutaneously, and equipped with a chronic i.v. catheter. They were exposed to 1-min tail-pinch, 1-min social interaction with another male and cocaine (1 mg/kg, i.v.) after administration of diazepam or saline. Results: While the injection of either diazepam or saline resulted in similar locomotor activation and temperature responses, diazepam decreased basal brain and muscle temperatures for about 3 h; the temperature-decreasing effect of diazepam was oppositely related to basal brain temperature (r=-0.51). After diazepam, rats also showed weaker temperature and locomotor responses to both arousing stimuli; the effect was stronger for tail-pinch and for absolute temperature increases than relative changes. Although diazepam significantly decreased cocaine-induced locomotor activation, it had virtually no effects on cocaine-induced temperature responses in all locations. Conclusions: In accordance with the "law of initial values", the temperature- increasing effects of all tested arousing stimuli and temperature-decreasing effect of diazepam depend upon basal brain temperature. The greatest temperature effects are seen with arousing stimuli at low basal arousal (increases) and with diazepam at high basal arousal (decreases). This is a likely explanation for the variability seen with the physiological and behavioral effects of diazepam in animals

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