Combating Disease

Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions

Combating Disease

  Did You Know?

  • Antibiotics, vaccines, and other advances against infectious diseases helped boost United States life expectancy by 29 years during the 20th century.
  • Scientists have linked infection with bacteria and viruses to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and other diseases.
  • Chronic inflammation, most familiar in arthritis, may also play a role in some forms of cancer and heart disease.
  • A curable bacterial infection of the stomach causes about 80 per cent of stomach ulcers.
  • 21st Century medicine faces enormous challenges from bacteria that have grown resistant to many antibiotics.
Despite the revolutionary medical advances in the 20th Century, great challenges lie ahead in our fight against disease. Heart disease, cancer, chronic diseases of aging, infection with the AIDS virus, and antibiotic-resistant microbes are just a few of those challenges. Fortunately, chemists and other scientists are determined to launch new revolutions in medicine — revolutions in the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of disease.
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Science for Kids


A magazine for high school students

  • More than Blue (February 2005)
    Chemical imbalances in the brain can be involved in depression. How do chemicals like Prozac rebalance that brain chemistry and bring relief for millions of people suffering from the disease?
  • Lab on a Stick (October 2004)
    Meet the tiny paper strip with two enzymes and 16 reagents that can perform 10 urinalysis tests in under two minutes and help diagnose a host of medical conditions.

ACS Policy Statements and Briefings

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS®)

Focusing on new technologies for early disease detection, SciFinder®, a research tool produced by CAS (a division of the American Chemical Society), found 2842 references published this year on the topic of microfluidics. This broader set of references includes information on fabrication of such devices and guidelines for preparation of clinical samples. Refining the answer set to include specific mention of using these devices for detection and analysis of cancerous cells and associated biomarkers yielded 97 references.

The CAS databases cover references from more than 10,000 major scientific journals and 57 patent authorities worldwide.

In the News


  • Hundreds of books have been written in the past few years about combating disease. These books offer an amazing variety of opinions and viewpoints. Information on many of these books is available from the Library of Congress,

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