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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: Wed Dec 12 15:42:03 EST 2012

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News Items in This Edition

Following up on an ancient Russian way of keeping milk from going sour — by putting a frog in the bucket of milk — scientists have identified a wealth of new antibiotic substances in the skin of the Russian Brown frog. The study appears in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research

In a new approach for tapping biomass as a sustainable raw material, scientists are reporting use of a Nobel-Prize-winning technology to transform plant “essential oils” — substances with the characteristic fragrance of the plant — into high-value ingredients for sunscreens, perfumes and other personal care products. The report on the approach

In science’s equivalent of ascending Mt. Everest, researchers are reporting success in one of the most difficult challenges in synthetic chemistry — a field in which scientists reproduce natural and other substances from jars of chemicals in a lab. The feat, reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, involved synthesis of a rare substance with promising in vitro…

Scientists are reporting a simple way to improve the sensitivity of the test often used to detect traces of explosives on the hands, carry-ons and other possessions of passengers at airport security screening stations. Their report appears in ACS’ The Journal of Physical Chemistry C

All eyes may be on Washington this month as the White House and Congress confront the fiscal cliff, but the industry that produces life-saving medications has recently gone over its own counterpart — the patent cliff. That’s the topic of the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American…

Journalists’ Resources

About the Weekly PressPac

The ACS Weekly PressPac consists of summaries of research published in the American Chemical Society’s more than 40 peer-reviewed journals and its weekly newsmagazine, Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals publish more than 35,000 articles annually. Although not traditional press releases, PressPac content can be used to prepare news stories and also can be an excellent resource for features and background.

  • Press releases, briefings, and more from ACS’ 244th National Meeting
    www.eurekalert.org/acsmeet.php

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive
  • C&EN Video Spotlight: Panda Power
    The search for better biofuels is leaving no patch of grass unturned — Mississippi State University researchers are studying the poo that pandas at the Memphis Zoo leave behind. Pandas are among several critters that digest a tough-to-break-down compound called cellulose, which is found in plant cell walls. Microbes living in pandas’ guts help carry out that degradation process. Since the microbes end up in panda poo, researchers can analyze the poo to find the microbial genes that do the digesting job. By harnessing these genes, researchers hope to someday make biofuels more efficiently from plants such as switchgrass and sugarcane. Watch the video.
  • Must-reads from C&EN: Safety Concerns about New Auto AC Fluid
    Automakers around the world agreed two years ago to use a new air conditioning fluid, developed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. But they are reconsidering that move because of concerns that it may pose a fire hazard in head-on collisions. For the full text: newsroom@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 2012! The first episode features the research of Dr. Robert Langer, winner of the 2012 ACS Priestley Medal. He is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Priestley Medal is the highest honor of the ACS, and it recognizes Langer’s pioneering work making body tissues in the lab by growing cells on special pieces of plastic. Langer’s team has used the approach to make skin for burn patients, for instance, with the goal of eventually making whole organs for transplantation. The second episode features Dr. Chad Mirkin, winner of the 2012 ACS Award for Creative Invention. His research has provided patients with faster diagnoses for influenza and other respiratory infections, and new tests that improve care for heart disease. More episodes will appear later in the year. The series is available at the Prized Science website and on DVD by email request.

The Periodic Table Table Featuring Theo Gray
Some people collect stamps. Wolfram Research co-founder and author Theo Gray collects elements. Step into his office, and you'll see a silicon disc engraved with Homer Simpson, a jar of mercury, uranium shells and hundreds of other chemical artifacts. But his real DIY masterpiece is the world's first "periodic table table.” Within this masterfully constructed table-top lay samples of nearly every element known to man, minus the super-radioactive ones.

Healing the voice: Synthetic vocal cords
Synthetic vocal cords
may someday heal the voices of singers like Julie Andrews — whose legendary voice was permanently damaged in a 1997 operation. Filmed in the lab of 2012 ACS Priestley Medalist and MIT Institute Professor Robert Langer, our latest video explains how artificial polymer vocal cords may help repair damaged vocal tissue

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.


Note to Journalists and Other Viewers

This is the latest American Chemical Society (ACS) Office of Public Affairs Weekly PressPac with news from ACS’ 41 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 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.