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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: January 19, 2011

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News Items in This Edition

In the materials science equivalent of a football fan jumping onto the field and scoring a touchdown, scientists are documenting that one fundamental component of computer chips, long regarded as a passive bystander, can actually be made to act like a switch. That potentially allows it to take part in the electronic processes that power cell phones, iPads, computers, and…

Scientists are reporting development and successful lab tests of “killer paper,” a material intended for use as a new food packaging material that helps preserve foods by fighting the bacteria that cause spoilage. The paper, described in ACS’ journal, Langmuir, contains a coating of silver nanoparticles, which are powerful anti-bacterial agents…

Scientists are reporting an advance in overcoming a major barrier to the use of the genetic material RNA in nanotechnology — the field that involves building machines thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair and now is dominated by its cousin, DNA. Their findings, which could speed the use of RNA nanotechnology for treating disease, appear in the monthly journal ACS

Scientists are reporting a key advance toward development of a way to combat the terrible plant diseases that caused the Irish potato famine and still inflict billions of dollars of damage to crops each year around the world. Their study appears in ACS’ bi-weekly journal Organic Letters

The blood test procedure used on newborn infants for 40 years is finding a second life in the search for new lifesaving medications, according to an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS’ weekly newsmagazine…

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 News media registration now is open.
  • Press releases, briefings, and more from ACS’ 240th National Meeting
    www.eurekalert.org/acsmeet.php

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive
  • Must-reads from C&EN: Shedding light on the life of a cell
    Pump up a vintage laboratory tool with a light source 1,000 times brighter, and what do you get? The ability to observe the biochemistry in individual cells — rather than just groups of thousands, and a boon to research on stem cell therapy, Alzheimer’s’ disease, and more. For the full story, contact m_berstein@acs.org.
  • ACS Pressroom Blog
    The ACS Office of Public Affairs’ (OPA) pressroom blog highlights research from ACS’ 38 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.
  • General Chemistry Glossary
  • 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.
  • 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.

And Don’t Miss…

Colors of Chemistry Photo Contest Opens for Entries
CAS has launched a photography contest to determine the photos that will be featured in its 2012 Colors of Chemistry calendar. The popular calendar highlights remarkable chemistry from the CAS databases with exceptional photography from around the world. Each month features a new topic for photographers to explore while working in the lab, relaxing at home, or in other settings. For more information visit the Colors of Chemistry Photo Contest.

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.

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.



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.