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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: April 20, 2011

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News Items in This Edition

Scientists are reporting development of a new battery that extracts and stores energy produced from the difference in saltiness at the point where freshwater in rivers flows into oceans. A report on the battery, which could supply about 13 percent of the world’s energy needs, appears in ACS’ journal Nano Letters

New technology that combines production of electricity with capture of carbon dioxide could make billions of barrels of oil shale — now regarded as off-limits because of the huge amounts of carbon dioxide released in its production — available as an energy source in a greenhouse world of the future. That’s the conclusion of a report on “electricity production with in situ carbon capture”…

A needle-in-the-haystack search through nearly 390,000 chemical compounds had led scientists to a substance that can sneak through the protective barrier surrounding the brain with effects promising for new drugs for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. They report on the substance, which blocks formation of cholesterol in the brain, in the journal, ACS Chemical Biology

Scientists are reporting for the first time that previously unrecognized substances released by algae blooms have the potential to act as endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with the normal activity of reproductive hormones. The effect is not caused by microcystin toxins, long recognized as potentially harmful to humans and aquatic animals, but as yet unidentified…

The costly, often-frustrating quest for new ways of preventing and treating diseases that strike vegetables, fruits, and other food crops bears striking similarity to the better-known saga of the pharmaceutical industry’s pricey search for new drugs for humans. That’s the topic of an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS’ weekly…

Journalists’ Resources

  • Press releases, briefings, and more from ACS’ 241st National Meeting
    www.eurekalert.org/acsmeet.php

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive
  • Must-reads from C&EN: Food dye controversy back in the headlines
    The on-again, off-again debate about a possible connection between food dyes and behavioral problems in children has surfaced — again. For in-depth information on this persistent issue, request the full story by contacting m_bernstein@acs.org.
  • ACS Pressroom Blog
    The ACS Office of Public Affairs’ (OPA) pressroom blog highlights research from ACS’ 39 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.
  • International Year of Chemistry
    The 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2011 the International Year of Chemistry (IYC-2011) to increase global recognition of how chemistry and related sciences contribute to everyday life and the future. ACS’ IYC site is a gateway for information on the global celebration of chemistry and its role in other sciences, literally from astronomy to zoology.

ACS Videos

The American Chemical Society encourages news organizations, museums, educational organizations, and other web sites to embed links to these videos.

First Living, Dancing Periodic Table of the Elements
That famous chart displaying the chemical elements that make up everything on Earth — a fixture on the walls of classrooms and labs — literally comes alive in this new video from the American Chemical Society (ACS). Chemists Can Dance! features scores of chemists wearing symbols representing the elements, kicking up their heels to the tune of an original rap song. It's all part of ACS' celebration of the International Year of Chemistry. Check out the fun and share the link.

Prized Science: Taming the Red Tides
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society’s new video series, Prized Science: How the Science Behind ACS Awards Impacts Your Life, focuses on the quest to cure a terrible form of food poisoning caused by population explosions of algae that stain the water red and produce a potent toxin. Entitled “Taming the Red Tides,” the high-definition video focuses on Michael Crimmins, Ph.D., winner of the 2010 Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products. Crimmins and colleagues at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, study brevetoxin A, a poison produced by red tide algae. Previous episodes of Prized Science explore technology that helped shrink the size of computer chips, “green gasoline,” and the possibility that life on Mars seeded life on Earth. The series is available without charge at the Prized Science website, YouTube, iTunes and on DVD. ACS encourages educators, schools, museums, science centers, news organizations, and others to embed links to Prized Science on their websites.

A Day Without Chemistry
Imagine a day without cars, electric lights, TV, telephones, safe food, and water, medicine, clothing, your house, and thousands of other familiar objects that make up modern society. Do it, and you are imagining a day in a world without chemistry. ACS explores that thought-provoking premise in a new high-definition video released as part of the celebration of the International Year of Chemistry. A Day Without Chemistry follows a person who sees more and more everyday necessities and conveniences disappear before his widening eyes.

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.

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Web site on everyday chemicals
Whether you want to learn more about caffeine, benzoyl peroxide (acne treatment), sodium chloride (table salt), or some other familiar chemical, CAS Common Chemistry can help. The new Web site provides non-chemists and others with useful information about everyday chemicals by searching either a chemical name or a corresponding CAS Registry Number. The site includes about 7,800 chemicals of general interest as well as all 118 elements from the Periodic Table, providing alternative names, molecular structures, a Wikipedia link, and other information.

Colors of Chemistry Photo Contest is Now Open for Entries
Each year in the Colors of Chemistry calendar, CAS highlights remarkable chemistry from the CAS databases with exceptional photography from around the world. This year, they want to see your great photos in the Colors of Chemistry Photo Contest. Each month features a new theme for photographers to explore while on vacation, relaxing at home, or at work in the lab. For more information, visit the Colors of Chemistry website at colorsofchemistry.org.

Science Connections from CAS
CAS - Science Connections
is a series of articles that showcases the value of CAS databases in light of important general-interest science and technology news. Topics range from fruit flies to Nobel Prize winners, with the CAS - Science Connections series pointing to CAS databases for a more complete understanding of the latest news.


Note to Journalists and Other Viewers

This is the latest American Chemical Society (ACS) Office of Public Affairs Weekly PressPac with news from ACS’ 39 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.