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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: July 11, 2012

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Amid the growing recognition that only a small fraction of the cells and genes in a typical human being are human, scientists are suggesting a revolutionary approach to developing new medicines and treatments to target both the human and non-human components of people. That’s the topic of an article, which reviews work relating to this topic from almost…

People are being exposed to higher levels of the substitute for BPA in cash register thermal paper receipts and many of the other products that engendered concerns about the health effects of bisphenol A, according to a new study. Believed to be the first analysis of occurrence of bisphenol S (BPS) in thermal and recycled paper and paper currency, the report

Scientists are reporting new evidence that a white rot fungus shows promise in the search for a way to use waste corn stalks, cobs and leaves – rather than corn itself – to produce ethanol to extend supplies of gasoline. Their study on using the fungus to break down the tough cellulose and related material in this so-called “corn stover” to free up sugars for ethanol…

A new study provides a long-sought explanation for the beneficial fat-fighting effects of black pepper. The research, published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, pinpoints piperine — the pungent-tasting substance that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, concluding that piperine also can block the formation of new fat cells…

Although a walkout by disgruntled activists may have grabbed headlines, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro last month did produce hundreds of individual commitments from participants with potential for having major impacts. That’s the topic of the cover story of this week’s Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of…

Journalists’ Resources

  • News media registration for ACS’ 244th National Meeting & Exposition in Philadelphia
    News media registration is now open for the American Chemical Society’s (ACS’) 244th National Meeting & Exposition in Philadelphia, August 19-23, 2012. The event will include more than 8,600 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 2012, the meeting will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and area hotels.
  • Press releases, briefings, and more from ACS’ 243rd National Meeting
    www.eurekalert.org/acsmeet.php

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive
  • C&EN Video Spotlight: Why the Peacock Mantis Shrimp Can Take a Beating
    The peacock mantis shrimp is one tough crustacean. It has hammer-like claws for smashing the shells of its prey. The claws are so strong, regular glass aquariums can’t hold the critters. But what’s interested researchers for some time is how the claws stand up to all that stress. Now, a team’s figured out why — their molecular structure is set up to resist fractures. That discovery could lead to stronger and lighter car frames or body armor. Watch the video.
  • Must-reads from C&EN: Smiley Faces One Ten-Millionth of an Inch Wide
    Those tiny grinning faces, produced with technology termed atomic force microscopy, launched the era of “DNA origami,” chemistry’s counterpart to the Japanese art of decorative paper folding. For an update on what’s become of the field since the first smile in 2006, contact Michael Bernstein at m_bernstein@acs.org.
  • ACS Pressroom Blog
    The ACS Office of Public Affairs’ (OPA) pressroom blog highlights research from ACS’ 41 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.

ACS Videos

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

Spellbound: How Kids Became Scientists
The road to a Nobel Prize began for one scientist in elementary school when his father placed a sign on his bedroom door proclaiming him to be a “doctor.” This is just one of the many experiences that helped launch the careers of scientists from diverse backgrounds who are featured in a new ACS video series called Spellbound: How Kids Became Scientists.

Prized Science video series
Prized Science: How the Science Behind ACS Awards Impacts Your Life
video series is new for 2011! In the first episode, see how Ahmed Zewail, Ph.D., developed a technology that's paving the way for new medicines, new fuels and new materials that will give people longer, healthier, happier lives. Zewail is the winner of the 2011 Priestley Medal. The second episode features the work of David Craik, Ph.D., who made advances toward new drugs for treating health problems that affect millions of people around the world, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria and AIDS. Craik is the winner of the ACS 2011 Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry, sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories. More episodes will appear later in the year. The series is available at the Prized Science website and on DVD.

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.

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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The American Chemical Society is a non-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 164,000 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.