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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: March 09, 2011

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News Items in This Edition

To the surprisingly inventive uses for banana peels — which include polishing silverware, leather shoes, and the leaves of house plants — scientists have added purification of drinking water contaminated with potentially toxic metals. Their report, which concludes that minced banana peel performs better than an array of other purification materials, appears in ACS’s journal Industrial.…

Scientists are reporting an “important step” toward development of a universal blood product that would eliminate the need to “type” blood to match donor and recipient before transfusions. A report on the “immunocamoflage” technique, which hides blood cells from antibodies that could rigger a potentially fatal immune reaction that occurs when blood types do not match, appears in the…

Scientists have developed a programmable “molecular robot” — a sub-microscopic molecular machine made of synthetic DNA that moves between track locations separated by 6nm. The robot, a short strand of DNA, follows instructions programmed into a set of fuel molecules determining its destination, for example, to turn left or right at a junction in the track. The…

Scientists are reporting discovery of a potential biochemical basis for the apparent cancer-fighting ability of broccoli and its veggie cousins. They found for the first time that certain substances in the vegetables appear to target and block a defective gene associated with cancer. Their report, which could lead to new strategies for preventing and treating cancer, appears in ACS’ Journal

Mom’s comforting tuck-them-in-words — “Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite”— is becoming an impossible dream for millions of people as the world experiences a resurgence of an ancient scourge that is fostering human misery, financial burdens and the risk of exposure to potentially toxic materials. That’s the message from the cover story of the current edition of Chemical

Journalists’ Resources

  • News media registration opens for ACS’ 241st National Meeting & Exposition
    Almost 9,500 reports on new discoveries in health, energy, environment, food and other areas that involve chemistry are on the program March 27-31, 2011 in Anaheim, Calif., making it one of the year’s largest scientific meetings News media registration now is open.
  • Press releases, briefings, and more from ACS’ 240th National Meeting
    www.eurekalert.org/acsmeet.php

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive
  • Must-reads from C&EN: “Reading” prehistoric teeth, bones, and pots
    Artifacts like those are yielding important now information about ancient civilizations that left no written records. To see how those artifacts reveal the daily lives, traditions, technologies, and travels of ancient people, 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.

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.

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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.