FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: March 25, 2011

This issue is a special edition with selections from scientific presentations at ACS’s 241st National Meeting in Anaheim. Our regular coverage of reports from ACS’s 39 major peer-reviewed journals and Chemical & Engineering News will resume with the April 6, 2011, edition.

Contact

  • During the Meeting (March 27-31): 714-765-2012
  • Science Inquiries: Michael Woods, Editor, 202-872-6293
  • General Inquiries: Michael Bernstein, 202-872-6042

News Items in This Edition

Note to reporters: The full texts of these press releases, abstracts of presentations and non-technical summaries provided by scientists are available at Eurekalert at www.eurekalert.org/acsmeet.php.

Please cite the American Chemical Society as the source of this information or indicate that the research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Organizers of the technical program at the American Chemical Society’s 241st National Meeting & Exposition have identified highlights from their own division or committee’s presentations. The technical program is a journalistic treasure trove for spot news, features, story ideas, background, and sources for future coverage…

Scientists today reported the first strong evidence implicating nicotine as the main culprit responsible for persistently elevated blood sugar levels — and the resulting increased risk of serious health complications — in people who have diabetes and smoke. In a presentation at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), they said the discovery…

A new scientific study positions walnuts in the No. 1 slot among a family of foods that lay claim to being among Mother Nature’s most nearly perfect packaged foods: The tree and ground nuts. In a report here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, scientists presented an analysis showing that walnuts have a combination of more…

A curtain of flame halts firefighters trying to rescue a family inside a burning home. One with a special backpack steps to the front, points a wand at the flame, and shoots a beam of electricity that opens a path through the flame for the others to pass and lead the family to safety. Scientists today described a discovery that could underpin a new genre of fire-fighting devices, including…

Scientists are reporting on a new material containing an ingredient used to make bricks that shows promise as a transparent coating for improving the strength and performance of plastic food packaging. Called “nano-bricks,” the film even looks like bricks and mortar under a microscope, they say. The coating could help foods and beverages stay fresh and flavorful longer and…

Scientists are spending scarce government money to study mysterious black stripes in the rainbow of light given off by celestial objects millions of light-years across the universe. There is no practical use for knowledge about these colors missing from the glow of Andromeda, Triangulum and other distant galaxies. Nevertheless, their research on this arcane topic, termed Diffuse Interstellar…

Chemists play important roles as advisers for science-based television shows, movie

Do television shows like House, Breaking Bad, and Zula Patrol — major sources of information about science and technology for millions of people — try to get it right? Or do they play fast and loose with the facts, images, and nuances that forge public perceptions about science and help shape young people’s career decisions? Producers and writers for some of television’s…

Your next new car hopefully won’t be a lemon. But it could be a pineapple or a banana. That’s because scientists in Brazil have developed a more effective way to use fibers from these and other plants in a new generation of automotive plastics that are stronger, lighter, and more eco-friendly than plastics now in use. They described the work, which could lead to stronger, lighter, and…

That dirty motor oil that comes out of your car or truck engine during oil changes could end up in your fuel tank, according to a report presented here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). It described development of a new process for recycling waste crankcase oil into gasoline-like fuel — the first, they said, that uses…

With more and more environmentally conscious consumers choosing “green” products, scientists today reported that the first reality check has revealed that the ingredients in those products may come from a surprising source — petroleum, rather than natural plant-based sources. In a study presented here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical…

First practical nanogenerator produces electricity with pinch of fingers

After six years of intensive effort, scientists are reporting development of the first commercially viable nanogenerator, a flexible chip that can use body movements — a finger pinch now en route to a pulse beat in the future — to generate electricity. Speaking here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, they described boosting the…

With millions of adults and children avoiding nutritious foods because of the bitter taste, and gagging or vomiting when forced to take bitter liquid medicines, scientists today reported an advance toward a high-tech version of Mary Poppins’ solution. It’s not a spoonful of sugar to help the stuff go down, they reported at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical

After tackling the chemistry of coffee, tea, fruit juices, soda pop, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages, why not take on the ultimate challenge, the Mount Everest of cocktails, what may be the most chemically complex cocktail in the world, the Bloody Mary? And in this the International Year of Chemistry (IYC), why not include its global offspring, the International Mary? Those challenges…

Scientists today reported development of bacteria that serve as mobile pharmaceutical factories, both producing disease-fighting substances and delivering the potentially life-saving cargo to diseased areas of the body. They reported on this new candidate for treating diseases ranging from food poisoning to cancer — termed “bacterial dirigibles” — at the 241st National Meeting…

Imaging the paintings under the paintings of the Old Masters

Gaze upon Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, or one of the great Dutch master’s famous self-portraits. Contemplate Caravaggio’s Boy With a Basket of Fruit, Supper at Emmaus, or the famed Italian artist’s Seven Works of Mercy. Admire Peter Paul Rubens’ Prometheus Bound, Portrait of Wladyslaw IV, or the Flemish baroque painter’s The

Coating concrete destined to rebuild America’s crumbling bridges and roadways with some of the millions of tons of ash left over from burning coal could extend the life of those structures by decades, saving billions of dollars of taxpayer money, scientists reported here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. They reported on a new…

Encapsulating antibiotics inside nanofibers, like a mummy inside a sarcophagus, gives them the amazing ability to destroy drug-resistant bacteria so completely that scientists described the remains as mere “ghosts,” according to a report today at the the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS)…

Help for a bioterrorist attack involving ricin, one of the most likely toxic agents, may be as close at hand as the laundry shelf, according to a report presented here today at the 241st National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). It concluded that ordinary household bleach appears to be an effective, low-cost, and widely available way to decontaminate food…

Scientists today reported discovery of the active ingredients in an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine for skin-whitening, changing skin color to a lighter shade. The ingredients are poised for clinical trials as a safer, more effective alternative to skin-whitening creams and lotions that millions of women and some men use in Asia and elsewhere, they said. The report was among…

In what they described as the opening of a new era in the development of potentially life-saving new drugs, scientists today reported discovery of a way to tone down an overactive gene involved in colon cancer and block a key protein involved in asthma attacks. Those targets long had ranked among hundreds of thousands that many scientists considered to be “undruggable,” meaning that…

Mimicking Mother Nature’s genius as a designer is one of the most promising approaches for developing new medicines, sustainable sources of food and energy, and other products that society needs to meet the great challenges that lie ahead in the 21st century, a noted scientist said here today. In the inaugural Kavli Foundation Innovations in Chemistry Lecture at the 241st…

American Chemical Society’s highest honor goes to pioneer in “ultrafast-motion” imaging

Ahmed H. Zewail, Ph.D., 1999 Chemistry Nobel Laureate and Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry & Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology, today will receive the 2011 Priestley Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. The award will be presented at a banquet ceremony in the…

Journalists’ Resources

  • News media registration opens for ACS’ 241st National Meeting & Exposition
    Almost 9,500 reports on new discoveries in health, energy, environment, food and other areas that involve chemistry are on the program March 27-31, 2011 in Anaheim, Calif., making it one of the year’s largest scientific meetings.
  • ACS Pressroom Blog
    The ACS Office of Public Affairs’ (OPA) pressroom blog highlights research from ACS’ 39 peer-reviewed journals and National Meetings.
  • Bytesize Science blog
    Educators and kids, put on your thinking caps: The American Chemical Society has a blog for Bytesize Science, a science podcast for kids of all ages.
  • ACS satellite pressroom: Daily news blasts on Twitter
    The satellite press room has become one of the most popular science news sites on Twitter. To get our news blasts and updates, create a free account at https://twitter.com/signup. Then visit http://twitter.com/ACSpressroom and click the ‘join’ button beneath the press room logo.
  • C&EN on Twitter
    Follow @cenmag <http://twitter.com/cenmag> for the latest news in chemistry and dispatches from our blog, C&ENtral Science <http://centralscience.org>.
  • ACS Press Releases
    Press releases
    on a variety of chemistry-related topics.
  • International Year of Chemistry
    The 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2011 the International Year of Chemistry (IYC-2011) to increase global recognition of how chemistry and related sciences contribute to everyday life and the future. ACS’ IYC site is a gateway for information on the global celebration of chemistry and its role in other sciences, literally from astronomy to zoology.

ACS Videos

The American Chemical Society encourages news organizations, museums, educational organizations, and other web sites to embed links to these videos.

Prized Science: Taming the Red Tides
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society’s new video series, Prized Science: How the Science Behind ACS Awards Impacts Your Life, focuses on the quest to cure a terrible form of food poisoning caused by population explosions of algae that stain the water red and produce a potent toxin. Entitled “Taming the Red Tides,” the high-definition video focuses on Michael Crimmins, Ph.D., winner of the 2010 Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products. Crimmins and colleagues at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, study brevetoxin A, a poison produced by red tide algae. Previous episodes of Prized Science explore technology that helped shrink the size of computer chips, “green gasoline,” and the possibility that life on Mars seeded life on Earth. The series is available without charge at the Prized Science website, YouTube, iTunes and on DVD. ACS encourages educators, schools, museums, science centers, news organizations, and others to embed links to Prized Science on their websites.

A Day Without Chemistry
Imagine a day without cars, electric lights, TV, telephones, safe food, and water, medicine, clothing, your house, and thousands of other familiar objects that make up modern society. Do it, and you are imagining a day in a world without chemistry. ACS explores that thought-provoking premise in a new high-definition video released as part of the celebration of the International Year of Chemistry. A Day Without Chemistry follows a person who sees more and more everyday necessities and conveniences disappear before his widening eyes.

Other videos:

ACS Podcasts

  • Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions
    This special series of ACS podcasts focuses on some of the 21st Century’s most daunting challenges, and how chemists and other scientists are finding solutions. Subscribe at iTunes or listen and access other resources at the ACS web site www.acs.org/GlobalChallenges.
  • SciFinder® Podcasts
    Interested in healthful plant phytochemicals, nanotechnology, or green chemistry? Check out the SciFinder series of podcasts, which explore a vast array of current interest topics and new discoveries in the 21st century. The SciFinder podcasts are available in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese.

And Don’t Miss…

General Chemistry Glossary
Simple definitions and explanations of chemistry terms.

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Web site on everyday chemicals
Whether you want to learn more about caffeine, benzoyl peroxide (acne treatment), sodium chloride (table salt), or some other familiar chemical, CAS Common Chemistry can help. The new Web site provides non-chemists and others with useful information about everyday chemicals by searching either a chemical name or a corresponding CAS Registry Number. The site includes about 7,800 chemicals of general interest as well as all 118 elements from the Periodic Table, providing alternative names, molecular structures, a Wikipedia link, and other information.

Colors of Chemistry Photo Contest is Now Open for Entries
Each year in the Colors of Chemistry calendar, CAS highlights remarkable chemistry from the CAS databases with exceptional photography from around the world. This year, they want to see your great photos in the Colors of Chemistry Photo Contest. Each month features a new theme for photographers to explore while on vacation, relaxing at home, or at work in the lab. For more information, visit the Colors of Chemistry website at colorsofchemistry.org.

Science Connections from CAS
CAS - Science Connections
is a series of articles that showcases the value of CAS databases in light of important general-interest science and technology news. Topics range from fruit flies to Nobel Prize winners, with the CAS - Science Connections series pointing to CAS databases for a more complete understanding of the latest news.


Note to Journalists and Other Viewers

This is the latest American Chemical Society (ACS) Office of Public Affairs Weekly PressPac with news from ACS’ 39 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.


The American Chemical Society is a non-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.