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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: Wed Jun 22 16:42:03 EDT 2011

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News Items in This Edition

Scientists have developed a way to transform ordinary sand — a mainstay filter material used to purify drinking water throughout the world — into a “super sand” with five times the filtering capacity of regular sand. The new material could be a low-cost boon for developing countries, where more than a billion people lack clean drinking water, according to the report in the ACS…

Scientists are reporting development and successful initial tests of a potential new delivery system for the biological signaling agent responsible for the effects of Viagra. It could be used to deliver the substance, called nitric oxide or NO, to treatment conditions ranging from heart disease to skin ulcers and other wounds that fail to heal, according to a report in the Journal of the

The People’s Republic of China should improve its system for ensuring the safety of its rapidly expanding nuclear power program, experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences say. Despite having 40% of the world’s proposed nuclear power plants, the country lacks an independent regulatory agency and sufficient staff to keep pace with nuclear power development…

Scientists have developed a programmable “molecular robot” — a sub-microscopic molecular machine made of synthetic DNA that moves between track locations separated by 6nm. The robot, a short strand of DNA, follows instructions programmed into a set of fuel molecules determining its destination, for example, to turn left or right at a junction in the track. The…

The obscure technology used in heated automobile seats, gadgets that charge iPhones from the heat of a campfire, and other devices is undergoing a renaissance and could well emerge as a new “green” substitute for traditional sources of energy and play other key roles in addressing some of society’s most pressing sustainability issues. That’s the conclusion of an…

Journalists’ Resources

  • News media registration for ACS’ 242st National Meeting & Exposition in Denver
    News media registration is now open for the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) 242nd National Meeting & Exposition in Denver, Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2011. The event will include more than 7,500 reports on new discoveries in medicine and health, food and nutrition, energy, the environment, and other fields where chemistry plays a central role. One of the largest scientific conferences of 2011, the meeting will be held during the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) and will take place at the Colorado Convention Center and downtown hotels. Read the full news release about meeting registration.
  • Press releases, briefings, and more from ACS’ 241st National Meeting
    www.eurekalert.org/acsmeet.php

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive
  • Must-reads from C&EN: Exploding Watermelons
    Farmers in Eastern China really did have to dodge and duck recently after the untimely application of a plant growth accelerator resulted in an outbreak of melon mines. Full text of the story.
  • 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.

First Living, Dancing Periodic Table of the Elements
That famous chart displaying the chemical elements that make up everything on Earth — a fixture on the walls of classrooms and labs — literally comes alive in this new video from the American Chemical Society (ACS). Chemists Can Dance! features scores of chemists wearing symbols representing the elements, kicking up their heels to the tune of an original rap song. It's all part of ACS' celebration of the International Year of Chemistry. Check out the fun and share the link.

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:

  • The Chemistry of Sourdough Bread
  • The Chemistry of Fireworks
  • The Chemistry of Grilling and Barbecuing

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 Seeks 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.


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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.

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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.