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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: Wed May 15 16:42:03 EDT 2013

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News Items in This Edition

With the Deepwater Horizon disaster emphasizing the need for better ways of cleaning up oil spills, scientists are reporting that unprocessed, raw cotton may be an ideal, ecologically friendly answer, with an amazing ability to sop up oil. Their report, which includes some of the first scientific data on unprocessed, raw cotton’s use in crude oil spills, appears in the ACS…

New technology offers the promise of reducing billions of dollars of losses that occur each year from the silent, invisible killer of fruits, vegetables and cut flowers — a gas whose effects are familiar to everyone who has seen bananas and other fruit ripen too quickly and rot. That’s the conclusion of an article in the ACS journal Chemical Reviews

Amid concerns over the potential health effects of existing flame retardants for home furniture, fabrics and other material, scientists are reporting development of an “exceptionally” effective new retardant that appears safer and more environmentally friendly. Their report on the first-of-its-kind coating, ideal for the polyurethane foam in couches and bedding that causes…

In an advance toward coping with bacteria that shrug off existing antibiotics and sterilization methods, scientists are reporting development of a new family of selective antimicrobial agents that do not rely on traditional antibiotics. Their report on these synthetic colloid particles, which can be custom-designed to recognize the shape of specific kinds of bacteria and…

Once famously described as “orphan diseases, too small to be noticed, too small to be funded” in the Hollywood drama “Lorenzo’s Oil,” rare diseases are getting unprecedented attention today among drug manufacturers, who are ramping up research efforts and marketing new medicines that promise fuller lives for children and other patients with these heartbreaking…

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’ 245th National Meeting
    www.eurekalert.org/acsmeet.php

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive
  • C&EN Video Spotlight: Climate Change Threatens Harvests for a Native American Tribe
    Micah McCarty, a former chairman of the Makah Native American people, gathers shellfish at a craggy tip of Washington State in this video. Changes to the global climate are affecting Native American lives like McCarty's. The oceans are becoming more acidic. It's impacting the way shellfish cling to rocks at the wave-swept shore, so they can't hold on as well. If shellfish can't hang on, it means the Makah people, who've collected them for generations, won't have as big a harvest. Some of the Makah, including McCarty, are teaming with scientists to try to understand and solve the problem. Watch the video. For more information, visit http://cenm.ag/mkh.
  • Must-Read from C&EN: Science at the U.S. Department of State
    Diplomats are getting a valuable helping hand from scientists, who can open doors for achieving foreign policy objectives that otherwise would remain locked. For the full story, contact newsroom@acs.org.
  • C&EN Launches the Organic SCENE
    The Organic SCENE, C&EN's latest news channel, offers a one-stop shop for coverage of a specific topic. It provides an up-to-the-minute stream of news about organic chemistry, including coverage of synthesis, reaction mechanisms, catalysis, medicinal chemistry, natural products and organic polymers. Check out the Organic SCENE’s home page, subscribe to its RSS feed or sign up for the weekly email newsletter highlighting the week’s top stories. Also, be sure to visit the other SCENEs on analytical chemistry, biology, environmental science, materials and nanotechnology.
  • 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.