Pennsylvania speakers talk plants that can ‘smell,’ cannabis and solar energy

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2016 — From new ways to collect solar energy to the future of cannabis in Pennsylvania, speakers from around the Keystone State are making presentations at the 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, is holding the meeting in Philadelphia starting Sunday, Aug. 21, through Thursday, Aug. 25. It features more than 9,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics.

Here’s a sampling of talks by Pennsylvania university scientists, a historian and a state senator:

Some plants can sniff out and raise defenses before insect invaders even land
Can plants smell bugs as they approach? Researchers have found that the tall goldenrod plant, when exposed to gall fly pheromones, boosts its defenses.

Harvesting solar energy with dyes from grass
Researchers harnessed the natural dyes from Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue to harvest energy from the sun.

Scientists copy giant clams’ structure to make biofuels with solar energy
Inspired by giant clams, researchers figured out a better way to organize light-distributing nanoparticles in solar applications.

Where is hemp headed? A Pennsylvania historian’s perspective
A historian has studied Pennsylvania’s hemp mills, ropewalks and related endeavors, and will discuss the past and future of the industry in the Keystone State.

The story behind legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania — and what’s next
Medical cannabis became legal in Pennsylvania this spring. State Senator Michael Folmer will talk about what it took to pass the legislation and what the program will look like in the state.

For more information about the above presentations or about the meeting in general, contact the ACS Newsroom at

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 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.

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