Here is the latest American Chemical Society (ACS) Office of Public Affairs Weekly PressPac with news from ACS’ 34 peer-reviewed journals and Chemical & Engineering News.
This information is intended for your personal use in news gathering and reporting and should not be distributed to others. Anyone using advance ACS Office of Public Affairs Weekly PressPac information for stocks or securities dealing may be guilty of insider trading under the federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Please cite the individual journal, or the American Chemical Society, as the source of this information.
Journal: Proteome Research
Journal Article: “Immunoproteomic Identification of Secretory and Subcellular Protein Antigens and Functional Evaluation of the Secretome Fraction of Mycobacterium immunogenum, a Newly Recognized Species of the Mycobacterium chelonae — Mycobacterium abscessus Group”
Scientists in Ohio are reporting a long-awaited advance toward making the workplace safer for more than one million machinists in the United States who may be exposed to disease-causing bacteria in contaminated metalworking fluids. Those fluids become airborne during machining of metal parts. The study appears in the current edition of ACS’ monthly Journal of Proteome Research.
In the report, Jagjit S. Yadav and colleagues note that a bacterium called Mycobacterium immunogenum (M. immunogenum) was first identified in 2000 as the potential cause of a mysterious disease that had been occurring among machinists. The illness, called hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), is an inflammation of the lung resulting from the body’s immune reaction to bacteria, mold, and other airborne particles. At HP outbreak sites, M. immunogenum is known to colonize metalworking fluids, used to cool the cutting tools that grind metals. Workers inhale the infected particles as they spray into the air from drills and other cutting tools. HP’s symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and chills.
The scientists describe their first-of-its kind identification of 33 proteins in M. immunogenum that seem to be involved in triggering the immune response likely responsible for HP. Those proteins could serve as the basis for a test to identify workplace contamination with M. immunogenum, and targets for developing medications or vaccines to treat and prevent the condition, the study says.
Journal: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Journal Article: “New Dental Composites Containing Multimethacrylate Derivatives of Bile Acids: A Comparative Study with Commercial Monomers”
Scientists in Canada and China are reporting development of a new dental filling material that substitutes natural ingredients from the human body for controversial ingredients in existing “composite,” or plastic, fillings. The new material appears stronger and longer lasting, as well, with the potential for reducing painful filling cracks and emergency visits to the dentist, the scientists say. Their study appears in the current edition of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, a monthly journal.
Julian X.X. Zhu and colleagues point out that dentists increasingly are using white fillings made from plastic, rather than “silver” dental fillings. Those traditional fillings contain mercury, which has raised health concerns among some consumers and environmental issues in its production. However, many plastic fillings contain controversial ingredients (such as BisGMA) linked to premature cracking of fillings and slowly release bisphenol A, a substance considered as potentially toxic to humans and to the environment.
The scientists developed a dental composite that does not contain these ingredients. Instead, it uses “bile acids,” natural substances produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder that help digest fats. The researchers showed in laboratory studies that the bile acid-derived resins form a hard, durable plastic that resists cracking better than existing composites.
Journal: The Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Journal Article: “Facile Fabrication of Raspberry-like Composite Nanoparticles and Their Application as Building Blocks for Constructing Superhydrophilic Coatings”
In an advance toward preventing car windshields and eyeglasses from fogging up, researchers in China are reporting development of a new way to make raspberry-shaped nanoparticles that can give glass a permanent antifogging coating. Their study is scheduled for the June 11 edition of ACS’ The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, a weekly publication.
Junhui He and colleagues note that researchers have been working on anti-fog technology for years. Fogged-up windows are a safety hazard and a nuisance that affect millions of people. Existing technology, including sprays that must be reapplied to stay effective, has many drawbacks. Researchers knew that raspberry-shaped nanoparticles could be the ideal solution by disrupting the process in which water droplets fog glass. Until now, however, there has been no commercially feasible way to make these particles.
The scientists describe an efficient one-step method for making nano-raspberries. In laboratory studies, the researchers coated glass slides with the particles, cooled the slide, and then exposed it to steam. Unlike ordinary glass, it remained crystal clear, opening the door to possible commercial applications, the researchers say.
Packing more digital images, music, and other data onto silicon chips in USB drives and smart phones is like squeezing more strawberries into the same size supermarket carton. The denser you pack, the quicker it spoils. The 10 to 100 gigabits of data per square inch on today’s memory cards has an estimated life expectancy of only 10 to 30 years. And the electronics industry needs much greater data densities for tomorrow’s iPods, smart phones, and other devices.
Scientists are reporting an advance toward remedying this situation with a new computer memory device that can store thousands of times more data than conventional silicon chips with an estimated lifetime of more than one billion years. Their discovery is scheduled for publication in the June 10 issue of ACS’ Nano Letters, a monthly journal.
Alex Zettl and colleagues note in the new study that some of today’s highest-density experimental storage media can retain ultra-dense data for only a fraction of a second. They note that William the Conqueror’s Doomsday Book, written on vellum in 1086 AD, has survived 900 years. However, the medium used for a digital version of the book, encoded in 1986, failed within 20 years.
The researchers describe development of an experimental memory device consisting of an iron nanoparticle (1/50,000 the width of a human hair) enclosed in a hollow carbon nanotube. In the presence of electricity, the nanoparticle can be shuttled back and forth with great precision. This creates a programmable memory system that, like a silicon chip, can record digital information and play it back using conventional computer hardware. In lab and theoretical studies, the researchers showed that the device had a storage capacity as high as 1 terabyte per square inch (a trillion bits of information) and temperature-stability in excess of one billion years.
An unlikely friendship between a 94-year-old retired scientist and a biochemist at Rutgers University has lead to the revival of a World War II-era research program to develop new drugs against malaria, the deadly mosquito-borne disease that kills almost one million people annually, according to an article scheduled for the May 25 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS’ weekly newsmagazine.
Journal: Chemical & Engineering News
Journal Article: ““Research resurrection”
This story will be available on May 25.
C&EN senior editor Lisa Jarvis explains in the article that existing anti-malaria drugs are losing effectiveness as the parasite responsible for the disease develops resistance. The article describes how the retired Merck researcher provided a long forgotten 1947 research paper detailing the company’s early efforts to identify and test tropical plants that might fight malaria. Though the paper described some 600 plants that showed promise against the disease, scientists never pursued a more rigorous program to study the plants.
Armed with public and private funding, a biochemist at Rutgers is now resurrecting this research project. University scientists have already identified 60 promising plants from the group and found at least 10 active substances that could be turned into promising drugs. Chemists will eventually try to make the most active substances more potent, last longer, and minimize their side-effects, the article notes.
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PressPac information is intended for your personal use in news gathering and reporting and should not be distributed to others. Anyone using advance PressPac information for stocks or securities dealing may be guilty of insider trading under the federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
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