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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: Wed Apr 03 16:42:03 EDT 2013

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News Items in This Edition

With warm summer days at the beach on the minds of millions of winter-weary people, scientists are reporting that use of a new water quality test this year could prevent unnecessary beach closures while better protecting the health of swimmers. A study analyzing the accuracy of the test appears in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology

The scientific tools are not yet available to build a comprehensive map of the activity in the most complicated 3 pounds of material in the world — the human brain, scientists say in a newly published article. It describes the technologies that could be applied and developed for the Brain Activity Mapping (BAM) Project, which aims to do for the brain…

Strong new biochemical evidence exists showing that the cereal grain sorghum is a safe food for people with celiac disease, who must avoid wheat and certain other grains, scientists are reporting. Their study, which includes molecular evidence that sorghum lacks the proteins toxic to people with celiac disease, appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Scientists are reporting an advance in re-engineering photosynthesis to transform plants into bio-factories that manufacture high-value ingredients for medicines, fabrics, fuels and other products. They report on the research in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology. Poul Erik Jensen and colleagues explain that photosynthesis does more than transform carbon…

Mention “high costs,” “financing” and “safety” in the same sentence as “commercial nuclear power plants,” and most people think of the multi-billion-dollar construction or operational phase of these facilities, which provide 20 percent of the domestic electric supply. Those concerns, however, are now emerging as aging nuclear power plants reach retirement…

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.

  • News media registration for ACS’ 245th National Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans
    News media registration is now open for the American Chemical Society’s 245th National Meeting & Exposition in New Orleans, April 7-11, 2013. The event will include almost 12,000 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 2013, the meeting will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and area hotels.

    View the full news release about meeting registration.
  • 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: Future Robots
    It used to be that the word “robot” conjured up visions of metal skeletons and mechanical movements. Today, though, scientists want to make robots from soft materials — ones that are flexible and can handle fragile objects. A research team at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, has now made a carbon nanotube-filled plastic that moves when exposed to infrared light. In this clip, they demonstrate how the potential robotic material can grip and lift objects, and how it can inch up an inclined platform. Watch the video. For more information about this potential robotic material, visit http://cenm.ag/inch.
  • Must-reads from C&EN: Hot Gold
    One of the hottest potential applications of metal nanoparticles is the thermal treatment of tumors. Nanosized specks of gold are the prime candidate, getting hot enough — in response to various forms of radiation — to damage cancerous tissue. For the full cover story, contact newsroom@acs.org.
  • ACS Pressroom Blog
    The ACS Office of Public Affairs’ (OPA) pressroom blog highlights research from ACS’ more than 40 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 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.