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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: March 06, 2013

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News Items in This Edition

Scientists are reporting an advance in re-engineering photosynthesis to transform plants into bio-factories that manufacture high-value ingredients for medicines, fabrics, fuels and other products. They report on the research in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology

In a step toward understanding and exploiting an exotic form of matter that has been sparking excitement for potential applications in a new genre of supercomputers, scientists are reporting the first identification of a naturally occurring “topological insulator” (TI). Their report on discovery of the material, retrieved from an abandoned gold mine in the Czech Republic…

Duckweed as a cost-competitive raw material for biofuel production

The search for a less-expensive, sustainable source of biomass, or plant material, for producing gasoline, diesel and jet fuel has led scientists to duckweed, that fast-growing floating plant that turns ponds and lakes green. That’s the topic of a report in ACS’ journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research

Scientists are reporting development of the first practical way to make large amounts of a promising new anti-cancer substance that kills cancer cells differently than existing medicines. Their article on synthesis of the substance, and tests demonstrating its effectiveness in the laboratory, appears in ACS’ Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

They may have gained fame in the Steven Spielberg adventure film "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," but those quartz-crystal skulls that once ranked as a great enigma of archaeology are certifiably fake. And the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News, (C&EN) the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific…

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’ 244th National Meeting
    www.eurekalert.org/acsmeet.php

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/acslive
  • C&EN Video Spotlight: Crowdsourcing and Open Science to Check Chemical Reactions
    What do you get when you combine crowdsourcing, chemistry and the spirit of TV show “America’s Test Kitchen”? You get a new website called Blog Syn. It sprung up in January, with the purpose of checking chemical reactions to determine how reliable they are and reporting the results to chemists around the world. The chemists behind Blog Syn are trying to help with a major chemistry bugaboo — it turns out that published “recipes” for chemical compounds don’t always work the first time they’re tried or work consistently. Blog Syn has some established competition, but as C&EN Senior Editor Carmen Drahl reports, its founders think that their crowdsourcing approach will give them the speed to stake out a niche. Watch the video.
  • Must-reads from C&EN: From Lab to Pharmacy Shelf
    Smaller biotech firms with a potential new drug discovery often need a helping hand in moving that compound out of the lab and onto pharmacy shelves. A three-part cover story provides a behind-the-scenes look at the role of contract manufacturers in getting those compounds ready for clinical trials. For the full story, contact newsroom@acs.org.
  • 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.