ACS in the News

February 2010 Previous month Next month

 

Newsday (Melville, N.Y.: daily circulation 377,517)

“Event to highlight scientific work of the disabled”

February 26, 2010

 

 

[The Indianapolis Star (daily circulation 255,303) also carried the story.]

 

 

Purdue University will toast the scientific contributions of people with disabilities during a special program next week on the West   Lafayette campus. Monday's event at Purdue's Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry will be keynoted by Joseph Francisco, the president of the American Chemical Society. The president of the Purdue Research Park-based educational consulting company Independence Science LLC will also speak.

 

 

BBC News (London, England: 55 million monthly unique users)

“Lasers lift dirt of ages from artworks”

February 26, 2010

 

 

Physicists have applied the same laser techniques commonly used for tattoo removal to clean several famous works of art, including wall paintings. Laser cleaning is well established for stone and metal artefacts already. It has now been successfully applied to the wall paintings of the Sagrestia Vecchia and the Cappella del Manto in Santa Maria della Scala, Siena, Italy. The results are described in the journal of the American Chemical Society. A team led by Dr Salvatore Siano at the Applied Physics Institute-CNR in Florence, Italy, studied the results on several works of art. Among them are Lorenzo Ghiberti's gilded bronze panels Porta del Paradiso, or Gate of Paradise, and Donatello's Renaissance bronze statue of David. (Accounts of Chemical Research)

 

 

Medical News Today (U.K.: 928,500 monthly unique users)

“An Electrifying Discovery: New Material To Harvest Electricity From Body Movements”

February 26, 2010

 

 

Scientists are reporting an advance toward scavenging energy from walking, breathing, and other natural body movements to power electronic devices like cell phones and heart pacemakers. In a study in ACS' monthly journal, Nano Letters, they describe development of flexible, biocompatible rubber films for use in implantable or wearable energy harvesting systems. The material could be used, for instance, to harvest energy from the motion of the lungs during breathing and use it to run pacemakers without the need for batteries that must be surgically replaced every few years.

 

 

Water Technology Online (Latham, N.Y.: 25,485 monthly unique users)

“ACS offers webinar on water treatment market”

February 25, 2010

 

 

The American Chemical Society has announced that its latest webinar will focus on the global water treatment market, according to a press release. The webinar, which is scheduled for March 4, will discuss the latest in online monitoring equipment, how to meet water regulatory requirements for your company and new opportunities in the area of global sustainability, the release stated. The session will feature Edward Askew, Ph.D., of Askew Scientific Consulting, who will speak on “Online Monitoring for Water and Wastewater Processes —Global Sustainability at Your Fingertips,” according to the release.

 

 

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Pittsburgh,  Pa.: daily circulation 150,253)

“CMU researchers gauge water use in supply chain, push conservation”

February 26, 2010

 

It takes 200 gallons of water to make $1 worth of dog or cat food, according to a study published this week by a team of Carnegie  Mellon University researchers. "We want to get people thinking about how better to manage water resources over the long term," said Chris T. Hendrickson, CMU's Duquesne Light Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the study's lead author. Hendrickson and two doctoral students developed a way to track water use through the supply chain in certain industries, said Hendrickson, co-director of Carnegie Mellon's Green Design Institute. They found that "direct" water use constitutes just a fraction of the total water use when delivering a product to market, Hendrickson said. Doctoral candidates Michael Blackhurst and Jordi Vidal joined Hendrickson to publish their findings in Tuesday's edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

 

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.6 million monthly unique users)

“New Way Forward for Nanocomposite Nanostructures”

February 25, 2010

 

Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign recently reported a new technique for directly writing composites of nanoparticles and polymers. Recent years have seen significant advances in the properties achieved by both these materials, and so researchers have begun to blend these materials into nanocomposites that access the properties of both materials. Forming these nanocomposites into structures has been tricky since each nanocomposite would require a particular set of solvents or a particular surface coating. To solve this problem, the NRL and UIUC team developed a generic means for depositing many nanocomposites on multiple surfaces with nanoscale precision. The technique was published on January 13th, 2010, in the journal Nano Letters.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Scientific Blogging

“Calculating Cancer”

February 25, 2010

 

Can a differential equation cure cancer? A fascinating article in Forbes suggests that using mathematics may be able to create drug combinations that are far more effective than the ones now in use… In an Epub ahead of print on February 15 2010 from the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Massague and colleagues show that an analog of migrastatin, called migrastatin ether, exhibits a concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on migration of breast cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo.

 

 

Nanotechnology Now

“Dartmouth researchers create new nano switch”

February 24, 2010

 

Dartmouth researcher Ivan Aprahamian and his team have developed a new molecular switch that changes its configuration as a function of the pH of the environment. This discovery, using synthetic materials, mimics natural, biological molecular motors such as the F1-ATPase. This might someday help lead to targeted drug delivery systems, molecular-level data storage, and molecular electronics, important objectives in nanotechnology. The study appeared in December online issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

The Independent (London, England: daily circulation 215,504)

“Poison to cure”

February 24, 2010

 

Promising research on the venom of the Israeli yellow scorpion is yielding the possibility to eradicate addictive opiates: no more morphine overdoses and no more side effects from pain medications. Michael Gurevitz, researcher and professor at Tel Aviv University (TAU) is "investigating new ways for developing a novel painkiller based on natural compounds found in the venom of scorpions," according to American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU), an organization that supports TAU's students and research. This research could possibly put an end to using morphine as a mainline drug to treat pain. Another study published in December 2009 in the Journal of Proteome Research, a publication of the American Chemical Society (ACS), "found 10 major proteins, which show different expression between physiological cell culture and morphine treatment."

 

 

Education Week (Bethesda, Md.: 107,000 monthly unique users)

“Many Authorized STEM Projects Fail to Get Funding”

February 23, 2010

 

 

With considerable fanfare and bipartisan support, Congress in 2007 approved a bill to strengthen the nation’s economic competitiveness that features a strong emphasis on bolstering education in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. And yet, many of the new education-related programs spelled out under the federal law, called the America COMPETES Act, have so far amounted to unfulfilled promises. A program to improve math instruction in the elementary and middle grades, for instance, hasn’t received a penny, nor has an initiative that would send out bonus grants to high-poverty schools that show the strongest gains in math and science... Despite the concerns about funding for many programs authorized in the law, James F. Brown, an assistant director of the American Chemical Society, maintains that it is making a big difference. “Legislation is more valuable than just what it funds,” he said, arguing that the law has helped spark greater interest and investment by states and the philanthropic sector. “What the law did was cement a bipartisan, robust, and very broad consensus that STEM education and our investments in [research and development] are essential to American competitiveness.”

 

 

United Press International (Washington D.C.: 2 million monthly unique users)

“Nanotech may transform energy storage”

February 24, 2010

 

A U.S. scientist says he and his team are re-conceptualizing energy storage by utilizing nanotechnology. Stanford Assistant Professor Yi Cui says nanotech products of the future might allow energy storage on paper and cloth while retaining the mechanical properties of ordinary paper or fabric. The Cui group's latest research on energy storage devices was detailed in papers published in the December online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and in the January issue of the journal Nano Letters.

 

 

The Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 515,600 monthly unique users)

“High blood pressure drugs may be useful in preventing and treating diabetic retinopathy: Study”

February 25, 2010

 

Scientists in Massachusetts are reporting new evidence that certain high blood pressure drugs may be useful in preventing and treating diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss in people with diabetes. The study, the largest to date on proteins in the retina, could lead to new ways to prevent or treat the sight-threatening disease, they say. The findings are in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research, a monthly publication. The scientists analyzed proteins from the retinas laboratory mice with normal blood pressure and diabetes and compared them to those of non-diabetic mice. They identified 65 abnormal proteins in the diabetic mice out of more than 1,700 proteins in the study. Treatment with the ARB medication, candesartan, prevented the abnormal changes in more than 70 percent of the proteins.

 

 

Nanowerk (Honolulu, Hawaii: 70,700 monthly unique users)

“Neutrons poised to play big role in future scientific advances”

February 24, 2010

 

Subatomic particles called neutrons are poised to play a big role in fighting HIV, slowing global warming, and improving manufacturing processes. The reason: They are the focus of a process called neutron scattering that provides unprecedented ways to study the chemistry of a wide range of important materials, including coal and biological cells, according to a fascinating article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. C&EN Associate Editor Jyllian Kemsley notes that neutrons have properties useful for studying materials. Neutrons are special because they can penetrate deeper into samples than some other probes and can interact with atoms in ways that other particles can't. This gives scientists much more information about the structure and activity of materials than some current tools.

 

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md. 3.6 million monthly unique users)

“Study Measures Levels of PCBs Flowing from Indiana Canal to Air and Water”

February 24, 2010

 

 

A University of Iowa study supports an earlier UI report that found polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in sediments lining the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal (IHSC) in East Chicago,  Ind. The study also presents data showing that the sediments are a significant source of PCBs found in surrounding air and in Lake Michigan. The study appears in the online edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T), a publication of the American Chemical Society and is scheduled for formal journal publication in April. They found that annually about 4 kilograms (kg) were released from the sediment to the water and about 7 kg were transferred from the water to the air. The PCB input from the upstream regions of the canal system measured 45 kg per year and the amount exported to Lake Michigan was 43.9 kg.

 

 

ZDNet (San Francisco, Calif.: 1.6 million monthly unique users)

“An artificial hairy surface that refuses to get wet”

February 24, 2010

 

For the first time, a water-repelling surface has been developed that is almost perfectly hydrophobic and uses no chemical treatments. Engineering researchers at the University  of Florida have created a novel plastic surface by dint of mimicking the random shape and patterns of the minute hairs that grow on the bodies of spiders. The result is a water phobic surface where droplets skitter across it like ball bearings tossed on ice. Wolfgang Sigmund, a professor of materials science and engineering, discovered the new material, and a paper about the surface appears in this month’s edition of the journal Langmuir.

 

 

Natural News (Toronto, Ontario: 300,500 monthly unique users)

“Apple Aplomb is a Worthy Contender as the Most Healthful Fruit”

February 24, 2010

 

 

According to a recent study published in the journal BioMed Central, apples are great for the digestive system, as they unleash an array of beneficial bacteria that spread and attach to the body's intestinal wall after consumption. The study's lead author and researcher, Dr. Tine Rask Licht , says that the beneficial bacteria of apples provides "ideal conditions for ensuring a beneficial balance of microorganisms." This is the very latest research about a fruit that seems to provide a bountiful harvest of benefits, bacterial and otherwise. For example, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2008 found that apple skins are rich in the compound triterpenoid. Triterpenoids have been shown to prevent the growth of cancer cells.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Natural Products Insider

“Ginkgo May Have Adverse Effects”

February 24, 2010

 

According to a discussion published in the Journal of Natural Products, In addition to the presumed, but not unequivocally proven, beneficial health effects of Ginkgo biloba products, these preparations may also carry a clear potential for adverse effects, particularly in susceptible individuals. Researchers cautioned, “… the large number of G. biloba product users and their health care providers to be made aware of these risks, in order to enable them to make informed decisions about the use of these preparations.

 

 

Global Bioenergy

“Photosynthesis: A New Source of Electrical Energy?”

February 22, 2010

 

 

Scientists in France have transformed the chemical energy generated by photosynthesis into electrical energy by developing a novel biofuel cell. The advance offers a new strategy to convert solar energy into electrical energy in an environmentally-friendly and renewable manner. In addition, the biofuel cell could have important medical applications. These findings have just been published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

Yahoo!  News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 17.8 million monthly unique  users)

“The Poisons  and Allergens That Make up Household Dust”

February 23,  2010

 

 

It's hard to get too worked up about  dust. Yes, it's a nuisance, but it's hardly one that causes us much anxiety -  and our language itself suggests as much. We call those clumps of the stuff  under the bed dust bunnies, after all, not, say, dust vermin. But there's a  higher ick factor to dust than you might think. And there's a science to how it  gets around - a science that David Layton and Paloma Beamer, professors of  environmental policy at the University of Arizona, are exploring. Layton and Beamer, whose  latest study has been accepted for autumn publication in the journal Environmental Science & Technology,  knew a lot about their subject even before they set to work. Historically,  everyone from chemists to homemakers has tried to figure out just what dust is  made of, and the Arizona researchers drew their  preliminary data mostly from two studies of household dust conducted in the  Netherlands and the  U.S.

 

 

Examiner.com (Washington D.C.: 13.5 million monthly unique  users)

“New  study shows green tea penetrates eye tissues protecting against glaucoma &  many eye diseases”

February 23,  2010

 

 

According to a ScienceDaily news  release of February 20, 2010, scientists have confirmed that the healthful  substances found in green tea -- renowned for their powerful antioxidant and  disease-fighting properties -- do penetrate into tissues of the eye. What the  study's authors, Chi Pui Pang and team reported in the study, "Green Tea  Catechins and Their Oxidative Protection in the Rat Eye," is that green tea  "catechins" have been among a number of antioxidants thought capable of  protecting the eye. The eye-protective ability of certain antioxidants include  vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Until that study, however, nobody  knew whether the catechins in green tea actually passed from the stomach and  gastrointestinal tract into the tissues of the eye. (Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry)

 

 

People’s  Daily Online (Beijing, China: daily circulation 3  million)

“Experts warn  of GM foods”

February 24,  2010

 

 

Campaign groups and agriculture  experts issued fresh warnings Tuesday about genetically modified (GM) foods. The  statements follow a recent announcement of the government's plan to  commercialize such domestically produced foods. Rural sectors are being urged to  promote the commercialization of new GM foods based on scientific evaluations  and management, according to a document issued January 31 by the central  committee of the Communist Party of China... And in a report published in  the Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry in 2008, American scientists said they found that the  immune systems of white rats fed with GM corn for extended periods were  compromised. "We don't oppose developing GM grains, which definitely have great  potential. But we can't rely too much on them. Traditional grain breeding should  still be our priority," Xue said.

 

 

Wired  Magazine (San Francisco, Calif.: 2.4 million monthly unique  users)

“DOE  Ponies Up $10 Billion in Financing for Solar, Nuclear  Plants”

February 23,  2010

 

 

The Department of Energy has  provided almost $10 billion in loan guarantees for two nuclear and three solar  power plants in just the past week. The moves mark a new DOE strategy to finance  the large-scale deployment of low-carbon technologies in the United  States. A 2006 paper in Environmental Science and Technology authored by Dan Kammen, an energy specialist at UC Berkeley, and two colleagues,  looked at the costs of almost all the reactors built in the United States. Many  plants were actually completed within a reasonable time frame, but there was a  troubling clump of very overbudget projects. Kammen argued that new plants may  be subject to cost “surprises.”

 

 

PhysOrg.com (Evergreen,  Va.: 1.8  million monthly unique users)

“Nanoparticle Developed To  Boost Anti-Cancer Immunotherapy”

February 23,  2010

 

 

One of the hallmarks of cancer is  that tumors are able to suppress the immune system, preventing the body's own  defense system from eliminating the disease, particularly as tumors spread  through the body. Cancer researchers have identified the molecule responsible  for this unwanted immune suppression, and have even designed an inhibitor of  this molecule. Now, they have the means of delivering this molecule to tumors -  a biocompatible polymer nanoparticle that will release potentially therapeutic  levels of the inhibitor for as long as a month at a time. Reporting their work  in the journal Molecular  Pharmaceutics, Afsaneh Lavasanifar and her colleagues at the  University of Alberta created their nanoparticle from the polymer  poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid), or PLGA, and the inhibitor known as  JSI-124.


Gizmag (St. Kilda, Australia: 1.1 million monthly unique users)

“Gold  nanoparticles turn light into electrical  current”

February 22,  2010

 

 

Turning sunlight into electrical  power is all but a new problem, but recent advancements made by researchers at  the University of  Pennsylvania have given a  new twist to the subject. While not currently aimed at solar panel technology,  their research has uncovered a way to turn optical radiation into electrical  current that could lead to self-powering molecular circuits and efficient data  storage. Professor of materials science Dawn Bonnell and colleagues placed  light-sensitive gold nanoparticles on a glass substrate, minimizing the distance  between the nanoparticles. The team then stimulated conductive electrons with  optical radiation to ride the surface of the gold nanoparticles, creating  so-called "surface plasmons" that induce electrical current across molecules.  The study was published in the current issue of the journal ACS Nano.

 

 

Nanowerk (Honolulu, Hawaii: 70,700 monthly unique users)

“Improved design for  dye-sensitized solar cells includes quantum dot  antennas”

February 23,  2010

 

 

With an increased focus on  alternative sources of cheap, abundant, clean energy, solar cells are all the  rage and the dye sensitized solar cell has been one of the most important  developments in photovoltaics the last two decades. Untreated titanium dioxide  absorbs light only in the UV region, but when the surface becomes modified with  dye molecules, these can absorb light in the visible range and then transfer the  excited electron to the particle. Back in 1991, Grätzel et. al came up with the  methodology to dye-sensitize colloidal titanium dioxide film as a way to  fabricate low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells. The team has reported their  findings in the February 15, 2010 online issue of ACS Nano.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Green  Cars

“Researchers make breakthrough  for fuel cells and batteries”

February 24,  2010

 

 

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and MIT believe they have  developed a new solid-state polymer electrolyte for use in electrochemical devices including fuel cells and batteries. The paper was published in the ACS  journal Chemistry of  Materials.

 

 

Alternate  Energy

“Researchers Develop More  Efficient Thermocells for Low-Grade Waste Heat  Recovery”

February 20,  2010

 

 

An international team of researchers  from the US,  India and Australia has demonstrated  thermo-electrochemical cells (thermocells) in practical configurations (from  coin cells to cells that can be wrapped around exhaust pipes), that harvest  low-grade thermal energy (temperature below 130 °C), using relatively  inexpensive carbon multiwalled nanotube electrodes. A paper on their work was  published online 19 February in the ACS journal Nano  Letters.

 

Time Magazine (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 3.36 million)

“What's in Household Dust? You Don't Want to Know”

February 23, 2010

 

It's hard to get too worked up about dust. Yes, it's a nuisance, but it's hardly one that causes us much anxiety — and our language itself suggests as much. We call those clumps of the stuff under the bed dust bunnies, after all, not, say, dust vermin. But there's a higher ick factor to dust than you might think. And there's a science to how it gets around — a science that David Layton and Paloma Beamer, professors of environmental policy at the University of Arizona, are exploring. Layton and Beamer, whose latest study has been accepted for autumn publication in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, knew a lot about their subject even before they set to work. Historically, everyone from chemists to homemakers has tried to figure out just what dust is made of, and the Arizona researchers drew their preliminary data mostly from two studies of household dust conducted in the Netherlands and the U.S. The American survey in particular was a big one, covering six Midwestern states. Layton and Beamer also included a localized study in Sacramento,  Calif., that focused particularly on lead contamination. What all those surveys showed was decidedly unappetizing. The specific dust mix in any household differs according to climate, age of the house and the number of people who live in it — not to mention the occupants' cooking, cleaning and smoking habits.

 

 

The Province (Vancouver, British Columbia: daily circulation 167,746)

“Go for gold-medal-worthy snacks”

February 23, 2010

 

 

Every week, the average Canadian spends about 22 hours in front of the television. With Canadians watching TV in record numbers during the Olympics, those numbers multiply, says leading Canadian dietitian and best-selling author Liz Pearson. "When it comes to nutrition, Olympic athletes know they've got to be in top form to compete, yet Olympic fans often tend to go the opposite way, snacking on unhealthy options while cheering for their favourite athletes," she says. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the damage that excessive television watching can trigger, Pearson says. In a study presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, 38 grain-based foods were compared for antioxidants and -- among snacks -- popcorn had the highest levels. Beans and legumes, such as chickpeas, have also earned a first-class nutritional reputation. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that people who included beans in their diets weighed almost seven pounds less and were 22 per cent less likely to be obese than people who didn't eat beans.

 

 

The Press of Atlantic City (Pleasantville,  N.J.: daily circulation 70,000)

“Nationwide efforts to reduce runoff only ramping up”

February 23, 2010

 

 

The efforts of municipalities in the region, led by Stafford Township, to limit fertilizer runoff pollution is good news for the environment. Better still is that more robust reductions of such pollution of waterways are in the works at the state and federal levels. Even genetic engineering looks like it will make a significant contribution… A study presented at last year's American Chemical Society meeting found that by considering only stormwater runoff and not also the use of sprinklers and irrigation systems, existing studies may have underestimated the amount of runoff from homes by as much as 50 percent. The state chapter of the Sierra Club points to nitrogen as a primary culprit in fertilizer, since it feeds algae that choke the life out of water habitats.

 

 

United Press International (Washington D.C.: 2 million monthly unique users)

“Green tea may fight eye diseases”

February 22, 2010


Chinese researchers say green tea may help fight glaucoma and other eye diseases. The study, published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, finds the "catechins" in green tea -- responsible for much of its strong anti-oxidant effect -- pass from the stomach and gastrointestinal tract into the tissues of the eye and raise the possibility drinking green tea may help prevent eye diseases. Chi Pui Pang of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and colleagues analyzed the eye tissues of laboratory rats that drank green tea. They found the retina absorbed the highest levels of the catchin gallocatechin, while the aqueous humor tended to absorb another known as epigallocatechin.

 

 

Natural News (1.2 million monthly unique users)

“Smokeless tobacco products like snuff also cause cancer”

February 23, 2010

 

 

A recent study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology is urging tobacco manufacturers to reformulate a smokeless tobacco product called moist snuff. Researchers from Minnesota have found that the product contains high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are highly toxic, cancer-causing substances. Used in between the lip and gum, moist snuff has grown in popularity over the years due to increased awareness about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Commonly thought to be a safer alternative to cigarettes, moist snuff is turning out to have its own slew of dangers. The PAHs found in moist snuff can lead to various cancers including oral, pancreatic, and esophageal. Precancerous oral lesions are typically the first symptoms to appear.

 

 

Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio: daily circulation 199,524)

“Driveway sealants may be hazard”

February 22, 2010

 

 

It's been tough to even find an asphalt driveway these days under all the snow, let alone think about sealing one. But before long, thousands of central Ohio homeowners will spend hot, sunny days spreading fresh layers of thick, black sealant on their driveways. These sealants, used for more than 50 years to help keep asphalt from cracking and crumbling, now face increasing scrutiny from federal environmental officials. Recent studies of sealants made with coal tar show that the substances can contain high concentrations of toxic compounds called polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH. "It's eye-opening," said Barbara Mahler, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and author of the study that appeared in January in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

 

 

Wired Magazine (San Francisco, Calif.: 2.4 million monthly unique users)

“How a seed helps purify water”

February 22, 2010

 

A team from Uppsala University in Sweden collaborated with researchers at The University of Botswana to study the properties of the seeds of the Moringa oleifera tree. The seeds have been ground down and used in water by people in the Sudan and Kenya for decades and, says Professor Adrian Rennie who led the project, this has been well documented over the last 15-20 years. But what, on a molecular level, allows extracts from the seeds to cause impurities in the water to aggregate so that they can then be removed? The Scattering Centre at Ångström Laboratory and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University aimed to find out. They used a technique called neutron reflection, typically employed to study extremely thin chemical films. Using this technique, they found that an unusual combination of low molecular mass proteins from the seed extracts acted as flocculents -- namely, they caused other particles to clot together. (Langmuir)

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Brighter Energy

“UC Davis process promises 24% higher biodiesel yields”

February 22, 2010

 

Chemists at the University of California, Davis, have come up with a new process they believe will increase the yield of biodiesel from oilseed crops by up to 24%. The patented method converts oils and carbohydrates from plants like the safflower into biodiesel in a single process, the University said. It should also improve the performance of the biodiesel itself, especially in cold weather, according to the scientists. A paper describing the method has been published in the journal Energy & Fuels.

 

 

Cars and Trucks

“Researchers Develop Single-Step, Solid Acid-Catalyzed Process for Production of Biodiesel from Feedstocks with High Free Fatty Acid Content”

February 22, 2010

 

 

Researchers at the University of Waterloo (Canada) have demonstrated a single-step solid acid-catalyzed process with the potential for industrial-scale production of biodiesel from high free fatty acid (FFA) feedstocks. A paper on their work was published online 19 February in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.

 

Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles,  Calif.: 10 million monthly unique users)

“Green tea and good vision”

February 19, 2010

 

 

The substances found in green tea -- called catechins -- are associated with a number of health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health. The substances are antioxidants that are thought to protect various body tissues from damage. It has been unclear, however, whether catechins migrate to all parts of the body, including the eyes. A new study in mice shows that they do. Researchers in Hong Kong gave rats green tea extract. The rats were then killed, and their eyes dissected into cornea, lens, retina and other parts. The extract was found in these tissues at various levels. The retina absorbed the highest levels of the catechins. This means green tea could yield benefits in protecting against certain eye diseases, such as glaucoma. Other antioxidant substances, such as vitamins C and E, lutein and zeaxanthin are also know to reach eye tissue. It's unclear just how much green tea might be needed to bolster eye health in humans. A typical cup of green tea has about 150 to 250 milligrams of catechins. The study was published this week in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

Kuwait Times (Shuwaikh, Kuwait: daily circulation 32,000)

“Kuwait to host conference on green, industrial chemistry”

February 22, 2010

 

 

Under the patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Kuwait Conference of Chemistry (KCC 2010) starts here on March 6 at the Kuwait JW Marriot Hotel with around 100 speakers participating, it was announced here yesterday. The KCC 2010 is an event of great significance to the academia and the industry in Kuwait and other countries around the world, the organizers said in a press release. Dr. Nancy Jackson, the current president-elect of the American Chemical Society (ACS) the world's most important chemical society has expressed her interest in participating in the conference and will deliver an invited lecture. "This denotes the importance this event has invoked among chemists from the developed western world", the organizers noted. There also very renowned professors from the UK, US, France, India, Russia, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait who are expected to deliver plenary and invited lectures on their recent cutting edge research on the focus areas of the conference.

 

 

Times of India (New Delhi,  India: daily circulation 3.15 million)

“Cancer drugs could find their way to tumour”

February 22, 2010

 

 

Scientists have developed a way to make simple oil droplets ‘smart’ enough to navigate through a complex maze, almost like a trained lab rat. This technique might help cancer drugs reach their target. Bartosz Grzybowski, Northwestern University (NU) chemical scientist and bio-engineer, and his colleagues note that the ability to solve a maze is a common scientific test of intelligence. Animals ranging from rats to humans can master the task. Scientists would like to pass along that same ability to anti-cancer drugs, for instance, to help these medications navigate complex mazes of blood vessels and reach the tumour. The scientists developed postage stamp-sized mazes, and infused them with an alkaline solution, and placed a gel containing a strong acid at the exit, says a release of the American Chemical Society. The study was published in the weekly Journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

Perth Now (Perth, Australia: weekly circulation 321,500)

“Where size matters on the new frontier”

February 22, 2010

 

 

It's a tiny matter with big implications. Hundreds of everyday products, from cosmetics and medicine to socks and food, contain nano materials, but little is known about its effect on human health while the science remains self-regulated. The Sunday Times' Narelle Towie delves into a big world of tiny particles. Nanotechnology has the potential to alter the way people live. It can make manufacturing processes faster and cheaper, better medications, more efficient energy production, stronger materials, and quicker computers… Nanoparticles also may affect marine ecosystems as materials wash down drains and are discharged into waterways. Socks impregnated with nanosilver to ward off foot odour were found to release harmful ionic silver when washed. Ionic silver destroys odour-causing bacteria in the socks, but it can also upset chemical processes in the wild that are essential for microbes and aquatic animals, researchers Paul Westerhoff and Troy M. Benn said in a report to the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

 

 

Huffington Post (New York, N.Y.: 22.2 million monthly unique users)

“Shoes Off at the Door? New Reasons Why”

February 19, 2010

 

 

I admit to feeling uncomfortable when asked to remove my shoes as I enter someone's home. The awkwardness is especially true if I am wearing stockings, as I feel exposed, as if my underwear is showing, and on edge because I am quite sure that the stockings will most likely get a few snags. As municipal sewage systems took hold and animal transportation gave way to cars and trains, the health reasons behind removing shoes fell away. But new studies show that while we may no longer be tracking in as much bacteria on our shoes, we are tracking in dangerous pollutants. It may be time to return to the practices of the 15th century to protect the health of our homes. Here are some examples: Another new study published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology, found that toxic coal tar, a known carcinogen used in driveway sealants (among other places), is tracked into homes from driveways and parking lots.

 

 

The Economist (London, England: weekly circulation 1.3 million)

“Lighting: Printed circuit”

February 18, 2010

 

 

The printing of body parts will probably remain a bespoke industry for ever. Printed lighting, though, might be mass produced. That, at least, is the promise of a technology being developed in Sweden by Ludvig Edman of Umea University and Nathaniel Robinson of Linkoping. Dr Edman and Dr Robinson have taken a promising technique called the organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, and tweaked it in an ingenious way. The result is a sheet similar to wallpaper that can illuminate itself at the flick of a switch… Graphene sheets are not easy to handle. But Dr Edman and Dr Robinson found another team of researchers, led by Manish Chhowalla of Rutgers University, that was working on making graphene electrodes. Unfortunately, they found that graphene by itself will not do the job. But they overcame its reluctance by blending the semiconducting polymer with potassium trifluoromethylsulfonate. The result, as the team describe in ACS Nano, is a sheet that emits light in both directions and which it should be possible to make using industrial inkjet printers to spray layer upon layer. It is a truly enlightening idea.

 

 

United Press International (Washington D.C.: 2 million monthly unique users)

“Gold nanoparticles may zap cancer cells”

February 19, 2010

 

Sending gold nanoparticles into cancer cells can kill them, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta suggest. Mostafa El-Sayed, director of the Laser Dynamics Laboratory at Georgia Tech, says directing gold nanoparticles into the nuclei of cancer cells actually stops them from multiplying. Once the cell stops dividing, apoptosis -- cell death -- sets in, El-Sayed says. The study, reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, found implanting the gold into the nucleus effectively kills the cancer cell.

 

 

MinnPost (Minneapolis, Minn.)

“Libraries offer kids Chemists-in-the-Library program”

February 19, 2010

 

 

An 8-year-old in our family is a budding chemist, although he doesn’t see his ambitions in quite those terms. Andrew is obsessed with Harry Potter and, by extension, with potions. He’s intensely curious about any basic substance that might be stirred into his magical mixtures. Now Twin Cities’ kids can get a glimpse at their local public libraries of many more wonders for them to explore in chemistry. The Chemists-in-the-Library program — sponsored by the American Chemical Society, Minnesota Section — offers activities at different libraries for the next several months. The program doesn’t make specific connections to the Potter series. But it does include experiments with such Potter-ish subjects as magic ink, beads and critters that glow in the dark.

                         

… From the Blogs

 

 

Meds Pages

“‘Lab-On-A-chip’ Devices Stitched Together With Cotton Thread And Sewing Needles”

February 22, 2010

 

Scientists in Australia are reporting the first use of ordinary cotton thread and sewing needles to literally stitch together a microfluidic analytical device – microscopic technology that can transport fluids for medical tests and other purposes in a lab-on-a-chip. The chips shrink room-sized diagnostic testing equipment down to the size of a postage stamp, and promise revolutionary applications in medicine, environmental sensing, and other areas. Their study is in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, a monthly journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

eNews

“Answering An Age-Old Lament: Where Does All This Dust Come From?”

February 21, 2010

 

 

Scientists in Arizona are reporting a surprising answer to that question, which has puzzled and perplexed generations of men and women confronted with layers of dust on furniture and floors. Most of indoor dust comes from outdoors. Their report appears in the ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal. The scientists describe development and use on homes in the Midwest of a computer model that can track distribution of contaminated soil and airborne particulates into residences from outdoors. They found that over 60 percent of house dust originates outdoors. They estimated that nearly 60 percent of the arsenic in floor dust could come from arsenic in the surrounding air, with the remainder derived from tracked-in soil.

WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 13.8 million monthly unique  users)

“Green  Tea: The Eyes Have It”

February 18,  2010

 

 

 

Researchers say the compounds  responsible for many of the health benefits of green tea are capable of  penetrating the tissues of the eyes and have antioxidant activity there. Green  tea has been touted for a number of health benefits, such as fighting heart  disease and cancer, thanks to its high concentration of disease-fighting  antioxidants called catechins. Researchers say catechins are among a number of  antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin, thought to  help protect the delicate tissues of the eye from glaucoma and other eye  diseases. In the study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  researchers fed laboratory rats green tea extract and then analyzed their eye  tissues. The results showed that different parts of the eye absorbed varying  amounts of catechins. The area with the highest concentration of catechins was  the retina, which is the light-sensing tissue that lines the back of the eye.  The area with the least absorption of catechins was the cornea, which is the  clear, outer layer of the eye.

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Stitching  Together 'Lab-on-a-Chip' Devices With Cotton Thread and Sewing  Needles”

February 18,  2010

 

 

 

Scientists in Australia are reporting the first use  of ordinary cotton thread and sewing needles to literally stitch together a  microfluidic analytical device -- microscopic technology that can transport  fluids for medical tests and other purposes in a lab-on-a-chip. The chips shrink  room-sized diagnostic testing equipment down to the size of a postage stamp, and  promise revolutionary applications in medicine, environmental sensing, and other  areas. Their study is in ACS Applied  Materials & Interfaces, a monthly journal. They stitched thread  into paper to form microfluidic sensors capable of detecting and measuring  substances released in the urine of patients with several human medical  conditions. "The fabrication of thread-based microfluidic devices is simple and  relatively low cost because it requires only sewing needles or household sewing  machines," the report said.

 

 

R&D  Magazine (Rockaway, N.J.: bi-monthly  circulation 80,000)

“Transforming  skin cells into stem cells using a molecular  toolkit”

February 18,  2010

 

 

In an effort to sidestep the ethical  dilemma involved in using human embryonic stem cells to treat diseases,  scientists are developing non-controversial alternatives: In particular, they  are looking for drug-like chemical compounds that can transform adult skin cells  into the stem cells now obtained from human embryos. That's the topic of a  fascinating article in Chemical &  Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. C&EN  Associate Editor Sarah Everts notes that in 2006, researchers in Japan  figured out a way to use genetic engineering to coax a skin cell to become a  so-called "pluripotent" stem cell - a type of cell that can potentially morph or  change into any cell of the human body. The scientists achieved the result by  infecting the skin cell with a virus containing certain genes instructing the  cell to change.

 

 

The  Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 507,500 monthly unique  users)

“Scientists  develop new way to make simple oil droplets smart enough to navigate through  complex maze”

February 19,  2010

 

 

Scientists in Illinois have developed a  way to make simple oil droplets "smart" enough to navigate through a complex  maze almost like a trained lab rat. The finding could have a wide range of  practical implications, including helping cancer drugs to reach their target and  controlling the movement of futuristic nano-machines, the scientists say. Their  study is in the weekly Journal of the  American Chemical Society. Bartosz Grzybowski and colleagues note  that the ability to solve a maze is a common scientific test of intelligence.  Animals ranging from rats to humans can master the task. Scientists would like  to pass along that same ability to anti-cancer drugs, for instance, to help  these medications navigate complex mazes of blood vessels and reach the tumor.  The scientists describe an advance in that direction. They developed  postage-stamp-sized mazes, and infused them with an alkaline solution, and  placed a gel containing a strong acid at the exit. That created a pH gradient, a  difference between the acid-alkaline levels.

 

 

Yahoo!  News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 16.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Pollution  Problem Looms From Discarded 'Boob Tubes'”

February 18,  2010

 

 

Toxic glass from old-style  television sets and computer monitors could end up polluting landfills if new  uses for them are not found soon, scientists warn. Open up an old TV and you'll  find a funnel-shaped device known as a cathode ray tube. These tubes, which are  the inspiration for the term "boob tube," are going the way of the floppy disk  as plasma screen TVs and computer monitors replace older, boxier models. Cathode  ray tubes, or CRTs, are made of heavy leaded glass, which is used to block  harmful X-rays produced by the tube's cathode ray guns. The leaded glass is  categorized as hazardous waste in Europe and most of America. Fortunately, demand for old  CRTs is high in developing nations such as China and India,  where they are recycled to create the raw material for building new TVs. The  study, published in the journal Environmental  Science and Technology in December, used data on CRT sales and  recycling to forecast the future of this dying  technology.

 

 

Times  of India (New Delhi, India: daily circulation 3.15  million)

“Marine  sponges may help fight cancer”

February 19,  2010

 

 

The natural compound sceptrin, which  is found in marine sponges, reduces cancer cell motility (movement) and has very  low toxicity, researchers have found. Investigators at Sanford-Burnham Medical  Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham, formerly Burnham Institute for Medical  Research) led by Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., made the discovery. Metastasis is  one of the deadliest aspects of cancer, so restricting aberrant cell movement is  an important step towards advancing treatments. The research was published  online in ACS Chemical Biology, in  collaboration with Phil S. Baran, Ph.D., of The Scripps Research Institute. To  reach the conclusion, boffins tested sceptrin in multiple tumour cell types,  including cervical, breast and lung cancers. Sceptrin restricted motility in all  cell lines. Further tests showed the compound works by limiting the cells'  ability to contract, a critical function for cell motility. The researchers also  found that sceptrin synthesized in the laboratory was just as effective at  combating motility as the naturally-derived  compound.

 

 

Nanowerk (Honolulu, Hawaii: 70,700 monthly unique  users)

“Rapid, inexpensive DNA  sequencing moves closer to reality”

February 18,  2010

 

 

As efforts such as The Cancer Genome  Atlas and others generate vast quantities of information about the genetic  makeup of different types of cancer, it is becoming increasingly clear that such  information has great potential for determining which anticancer drugs should be  used to treat a specific patient. However, realizing that potential will require  not only that cancer researchers uncover the links between specific gene changes  in a given tumor and that tumor's response to a specific drug therapy, but that  technologists develop faster methods of detecting specific mutations that would  be economical to use on individual patients. A technological breakthrough to  address this latter issue may be at hand thanks to recent work conducted by Amit  Meller and his colleagues at Boston University. Reporting their work in the  journal Nano Letters, these  investigators described the use of electrically charged nanopores to detect  specific genetic sequences as single DNA molecules pass through the  pore.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Scientia  Magazine

“Science of the Olympic Winter  Games”

February 19,  2010

 

 

NBC Learn, the educational arm of  NBC News, has teamed up with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to produce  Science of the Olympic Winter Games, a 16-part video series that explores the  science behind individual Olympic events, including Downhill and Aerial Skiing,  Speed Skating and Figure Skating, Curling and Hockey, and Ski Jumping,  Bobsledding and Snowboarding… Deborah King, an associate professor in the  Department of Exercise and Sports Sciences at Ithaca College and Joseph Francisco, president of the American Chemical Society,  look at the biochemistry of human endurance.

 

 

Nano  Patents

“A New Approach to Optimizing  Molecular Self-Organization Developed by Researchers at Center for Nanoscience  at LMU Munich”

February 18,  2010

 

 

Some classes of molecules are  capable of arranging themselves in specific patterns on surfaces. This ability  to self-organize is crucial for many technological applications, which are  depended on the assembly of ordered structures on surfaces. However, it has so  far been virtually impossible to predict or control the result of such  processes. Now a group of researchers led by Dr. Bianca Hermann, a physicist  from the Center for Nanoscience at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München,  reports a significant breakthrough: By combining statistical physics and  detailed simulations with images obtained by scanning tunnelling microscopy  (STM), the team has been able to formulate a simple model that can predict the  patterns observed. (Nano  Letters)

PhysOrg.com (Evergreen,  Va.: 1.8  million monthly unique users)

“Scientific  societies to promote advancement of Hispanics, Native Americans in  chemistry”

February 17,  2010

 

 

Two of the nation's leading  scientific societies jointly pledged today to seek the advancement of  Hispanic/Chicano and Native American people in the chemical sciences. These  ethnic groups have long been underrepresented in the chemical sciences and many  in the scientific community believe their increased participation could help  jumpstart American innovation and increase U.S.  competitiveness in the global marketplace. The American Chemical Society (ACS) and the  Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)  agreed to mutually use their resources to communicate opportunities for  professional development, career management, leadership training, and  educational resources; and to highlight the accomplishments of Chicano/Hispanic  and Native American chemists. "We take this step," said ACS President Joseph S. Francisco, Ph.D., "urged on by our shared belief that  increasing the participation of underrepresented populations in the scientific  community to a level that reflects their representation in the country's  population is a critical component in addressing the relatively stagnant  U.S. scientific talent pool  and sustaining U.S. competitiveness in a global  economy."

 

 

Washington Times (Washington D.C.: daily circulation  83,511)

“Scientists  add to menu of health foods”

February 18,  2010

 

 

Rosemary, chickpeas, exotic carrots,  an anti-aging cocktail with a garlic base — add them to the list of powerful  disease-fighting edibles, say scientists, who now include them on a roster of  foods that do a body good. Green tea, long a favorite of the health conscious,  has newly realized benefits, according to new findings released Wednesday. The  mild beverage, in fact, could protect the eye against glaucoma and other eye  disease, says research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.  "Scientists have confirmed that the healthful substances found in green tea —  renowned for their powerful antioxidant and disease-fighting properties — do  penetrate into tissues of the eye. Their new report, the first documenting how  the lens, retina, and other eye tissues absorb these substances, raises the  possibility that green tea may protect against glaucoma and other common eye  diseases," the publication said.

 

 

Nanowerk (Honolulu, Hawaii: 70,700 monthly unique  users)

“Stitching together  lab-on-a-chip devices with cotton thread and sewing  needles”

February 17,  2010

 

 

Scientists in Australia are  reporting the first use of ordinary cotton thread and sewing needles to  literally stitch together a microfluidic analytical device — microscopic  technology that can transport fluids for medical tests and other purposes in a  lab-on-a-chip. The chips shrink room-sized diagnostic testing equipment down to  the size of a postage stamp, and promise revolutionary applications in medicine,  environmental sensing, and other areas. Their study is in ACS Applied Materials &  Interfaces.

 

 

Science  Magazine (Washington D.C.: 325,600 monthly unique  users)

“Artificial  Nose Sniffs Out Good Coffee”

February 17,  2010

 

 

Is that Folgers coffee in your cup  or Maxwell House? Now you no longer have to rely on your nose to tell.  Researchers have developed an analyzer that can distinguish between 10  commercial brands of coffee and can even tell apart coffee beans roasted at  various temperatures for different times. The advance could help growers  determine within minutes whether a particular batch of coffee is just as good as  the previous one or whether it's undrinkable… The device produced a pattern of  colors as each coffee's mixture of volatile compounds interacted with the dyes.  When the investigators pumped vapors from various coffees including Starbucks  Sumatra Roast and Folgers Grande Supreme Decaf-over the arrays, all generated  unique color patterns, like a molecular "fingerprint," they report this month in  Analytical  Chemistry.

 

 

Baltimore Business Journal (Baltimore, Md.: 39,955 monthly unique  users)

“First  USA Science & Engineering Festival Planned for D.C.'s National Mall, October  of 2010”

February 17,  2010

 

 

Imagine chatting with Albert  Einstein, building an underwater robot, lunching with a Nobel Laureate, or  managing cargo in the space shuttle within a virtual reality environment. These  are just a few of the many activities planned for the first USA Science &  Engineering Festival. The USA Science and Engineering Festival announcement  comes at the height of National Engineers Week, amplifying the importance of  engineering to our nation's future. More than 350 of the nation's leading  science and engineering organizations are actively participating in the  Festival. College and university partners include Case Western  Reserve University,  Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Howard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. Professional science &  engineering society partners include AAAS and the American Chemical  Society.

 

 

Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio:  daily circulation 122,388)

“Rubber industry to mark  advances”

February 17,  2010

 

 

The 177th Technical Meeting of the  American Chemical Society's Rubber  Division group will be April 26-28 at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn  Hotel. Charles G. Yurkovich Jr., vice president of global technology at Cooper  Tire & Rubber Co., will deliver the keynote address. The meeting will  include 19 industry and academia researchers, specialists and technologists who  will discuss scientific and technical advances in the rubber and polymer  industries. Details of the technical symposia, special events, meeting schedule  and registration can be found at  http://www.rubber.org/177th-technical-meeting.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Houston  Chronicle’s SciGuy

“Where does  dust come from?”

February 17,  2010

 

 

It's everywhere. It's the bane of  wooden floors. It's ... dust. Humans lose an estimated 10s of thousands of dead  skin cells every minute as the innermost layer of the epidermis continually  makes new cells to replace those that are lost. Pets do likewise. Furniture,  bedding and clothes release fibers when they are used. And then there's carpet,  which releases fibers too. But contrary to what I had believed -- the source of  most dust in our homes comes not from such sources, but from the outdoors. A new  study in Environmental Science &  Technology, a semi-monthly journal, concludes that 60 percent of dust  inside our homes comes from the outdoors. Much of this comes via airborne  particles and tracked in soil.

 

 

Charleston Gazette Watchdog

“Study  finds high C8 levels among ski wax technicians”

February 16,  2010

 

 

When you’re enjoying more of the  Winter Olympics in Vancouver this week, you might take a moment  and think about the folks who are employed as ski wax technicians… There’s a new  scientific study (Subscription required, but the free abstract is available here)  just out today  that shows ski wax technicians have some very high levels of perfluorinated  chemicals in their blood. The study by Swedish researchers was published in the  journal Environmental Science and  Technology.

New  York Times (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation  928,000)

“Injecting  Tiny Proteins Into the Hunt for 'Clean Coal'”

February 16,  2010

 

 

As big engineering fixes go, "clean  coal" has proved an elusive concept. Carbon capture projects remain  experimental, expensive and energy intensive. But working with some of the  tiniest things in nature, scientists are engineering proteins found in living  things to trap carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants. "Biomimetic design"  is the idea of using nature as a template to create new technologies. Trees are  among nature's most efficient carbon sequestration systems. They trap carbon  dioxide and convert it to glucose, placing it in a form in which it stays stable  for geologically significant durations. But at the biochemical level, they are  still too slow, according to Michael Drummond, a scientist at the University of North Texas who is trying to identify new  "carbon capture" enzymes. When plants spend about three and half seconds to  convert carbon dioxide to glucose during photosynthesis, they are spending an  inordinate amount of time. The problem is that an enzyme called RuBisCO, which  catalyzes the process, is highly inefficient. (Energy &  Fuels)

 

 

Psychology  Today (New York, N.Y.: bi-monthly circulation  300,000)

“Less  Guilt, More Phenylethylamine”

February 14,  2010

 

 

Here's one way to feel less guilty:  By knowing for sure that the chocolate you're savoring isn't the result of  real-live modern-day slave labor -- that is, ten-year-olds sold to plantation  bosses, then beaten and nearly starved while picking cacao in twelve-hour shifts  -- but rather comes from independent farmers who are doing their best to build  better communities. On Valentine's Day or any day, we could always use a few  more reasons to justify craving, buying, giving and eating chocolate. And yes,  the medical research has been pouring in to reveal dark chocolate's beneficial  effects on the brain and body: It contains the mild mood elevator  phenylethylamine (PEA), found in high concentrations in happy people;  carbohydrates that raise serotonin levels; flavonoids that might keep blood  vessels elastic; antioxidants to undo the damage done by free radicals. Recent  studies, such as one completed last year by Swiss researchers and published in  the Journal of Proteome Research,  suggest that eating chocolate reduces the levels of stress  hormones.

 

 

MIT  Technology Review (Cambridge, Mass.: bi-monthly circulation  315,000)

“Super  Velcro”

February 16,  2010

 

 

General Motors researchers have made  an extremely strong adhesive that comes apart when heated. The adhesive is 10  times stickier than Velcro and the reusable gecko-inspired glues that many  research groups have been trying to perfect. The polymers in the glue bond to  each other within minutes when they are initially heated. Thus, when two pieces  of the adhesive materials are heated, they stick together strongly. Once stuck,  it takes a lot of force to peel the polymers away from each other, but they come  apart easily when heated again. The researchers were able to attach and pull  apart the polymers twice before losing one-third of the adhesive strength,  according to a Langmuir paper  published online. You can think of the material as a "chemical Velcro," says Tao  Xie, a polymer scientist who is leading the work at the GM Research and  Development Center in Warren, MI. "Here the advantage is that the  bond is almost as good as the liquid-based curable adhesive we're more familiar  with."

 

 

Fox  Business (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique  users)

“Attagene  Announces Study of Environmental Compounds That Reveals Links Between Gene  Regulatory Pathways and Pathways Leading to Toxicity and  Disease”

February 16,  2010

 

 

Attagene Inc., a leader in  developing innovative technologies for analyzing gene regulatory pathways,  announced today the online publication of a paper in Chemical Research in Toxicology, a journal  of the American Chemical Society, that highlights results of their collaborative  work with the Environmental Protection Agency's National Center for Computational Toxicology  (NCCT). The study, titled "Impact of Environmental Chemicals on Key  Transcription Regulators and Correlation to Toxicity End Points within EPA's  ToxCast Program," was authored by Dr. Matthew T. Martin of the NCCT that,  together with the Attagene team and colleagues from University of North Carolina  at Chapel Hill, describes a survey of gene regulatory pathways underlying the  toxicity of environmental compounds using Attagene's proprietary FACTORIAL(TM)  technology platform.

 

 

RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 2 million monthly unique  users)

“Silicon-Coated  Nanonets Could Build A Better Lithium-ion  Battery”

February 16,  2010

 

 

A tiny scaffold-like titanium  structure of Nanonets coated with silicon particles could pave the way for  faster, lighter and longer-lasting Lithium-ion batteries, according to a team of  Boston  College chemists who  developed the new anode material using nanotechnology. The web-like Nanonets  developed in the lab of Boston College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dunwei  Wang offer a unique structural strength, more surface area and greater  conductivity, which produced a charge/re-charge rate five to 10 times greater  than typical Lithium-ion anode material, a common component in batteries for a  range of consumer electronics, according to findings published in the current  online edition of the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters. In addition, the Nanonets  proved exceptionally durable, showing a negligible drop-off in capacity during  charge and re-charge cycles. The researchers observed an average of 0.1%  capacity fade per cycle between the 20th and the 100th  cycles.

 

 

Genetic  Engineering & Biotechnology News (New Rochelle, N.Y.: bi-monthly circulation  65,000)

“Scientists  analyze the literature to establish relationships between pollutant removal  efficacy and key buffer design features”

February 15,  2010

 

 

Agricultural nonpoint source  pollution has been listed as one of the leading sources of pollution in rivers  and water bodies throughout the world. Environmental regulators and scientists  are making concerted efforts to reduce these pollutions using mitigation tools  called best management practices (BMPs). As promising and effective BMPs,  vegetated buffers are gradually gaining in popularity. However, lack of  quantification on their mitigation efficacies limits their implementation in  agricultural fields to reduce nonpoint source pollutions. Scientists at the  University of California, Davis, reviewed more than 300 papers, analyzed the  data from these studies, and developed statistical models describing the  mitigation efficacies of vegetated buffers…Part of the research was presented at  the second World Agroforesty Congress in Kenya, August 2009; part of the results  will also be presented in San Francisco, CA, at the American Chemical Society 239th National  Meeting in March 2010.

 

 

Azo  Materials (Sydney, Australia: 322,000 monthly unique  users)

“New Membrane Technology Could  Help Improve Fuel Cells”

February 17,  2010

 

 

A team of researchers at MIT and  Pennsylvania  State University has been developing a new  method for producing novel kinds of membranes that could have improved  properties for batteries, fuel cells and other energy conversion and storage  applications. After years of working on a novel way of making membranes through  a unique layer-by-layer assembly, the team has developed a material specifically  designed for the needs of advanced fuel cells - devices that can convert fuel to  electricity without combustion, thereby avoiding the emission of any pollutants  or greenhouse gases. This material has now undergone laboratory testing to  determine its actual properties, which confirm the predictions and show the  material's promise. The results were recently reported in the journal Chemistry of  Materials.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

St.  Louis Post-Dispatch’s Health Matters

“Wine kills germs on  contact”

February 16,  2010

 

 

Dave Mosher at LiveScience is  reporting that wine is good for your teeth and throat. According to a new study,  which is detailed in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  a cocktail of compounds found in both red and white wine fights germs that can  cause dental plaque as well as sore throats.

 

 

Environment  Team

“Eco-friendly Decomposition of Plastics by  Fungi?”

February 17,  2010

 

 

Plastics have gained a lot of  notoriety over the years due to their assault on nature. Research is ongoing  around the globe to find a substitute and we have already told you about that in  some of our previous articles. This is about a different approach to mitigate  the harmful effects of plastic by using resources that can be found naturally  amongst us. (Biomacromolecules)

The  Independent (London, England: daily circulation  215,505)

“Smell  yourself well”

February 16,  2010

 

 

It's the too-good-to-be-true weight  loss 'system' that's taking America by storm, and its  manufacturers hope to launch it here in the next few months. Sensa lets you eat  exactly what you want, when you want it, and in the quantities you desire. And  it still claims to help you shed around 5lb every month. Put simply, the Sensa  "sprinkles" are designed to enhance the sensory experience of eating,  stimulating taste and smell to an extent that fools the brain into thinking  you've eaten more than you have. Users have reported the novel experience of  happily leaving food untouched on their plates. Depending on which expert you  talk to, taste is between 75 and 90 per cent about smell, and Sensa is not the  only new product on the market in the States that claims to exploit the apparent  connection between strong smells and smaller appetites… In a recent study  published in the Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry, for example, researchers at the University of Tokyo found that inhaling Linalool, a  natural chemical found in flowers and spices, significantly reduced stress  levels in rats.

 

 

Natural  News (Toronto, Ontario: 300,580 monthly unique  users)

“Common Herbs can  be used as Natural Pesticides”

February 14,  2010

 

 

Essential oils extracted from common  kitchen herbs and spices can be used as safer, less destructive pesticides,  according to research led by Murray Isman of the University of British Columbia  and presented at the Fall Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington,  D.C. "We are exploring the potential use of natural pesticides based on plant  essential oils -- commonly used in foods and beverages as flavorings," Isman  said. Isman's team has been researching the pest control properties of clove,  mint, rosemary and thyme for 10 years, and has found that diluted mixtures of  the essential oils from two to four of the plants can be used to both repel and  kill agricultural pests.

 

 

New  Scientist (London, England: weekly circulation  170,000)

“Pliable  power pack will let gadgets feed on your body”

February 15,  2010

 

 

Sheets of material that produce  voltage when flexed could generate power from the motion of the human body.  Previous materials were either too rigid or too inefficient to be practical as  pliable power generators. Now two research teams have solved the problem using  different approaches. The materials could allow future medical implants to  harvest their own power, by using the pulsing of arteries, for example. Yi Qi  and Michael McAlpine of Princeton University developed a way to soften up  the usually inflexible crystal lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT), which is one of  the most efficient piezoelectric materials known. (Nano Letters)

 

 

Accredited  Online Colleges

“100  Amazing Scientists You Should Follow on  Twitter”

February 14,  2010

 

 

If you can’t get enough science from  your college classes, then jump on Twitter to find an amazing collection of  scientists who are busy posting links as well as their own thoughts on a wide  range of topics. These scientists are discussing chemistry, science education,  technology, and more: @ACSpressroom. Michael Woods posts news from the American Chemical  Society.

 

 

Medical  News Today (U.K.:  928,500 monthly unique users)

“Team Develops New  Weapon To Fight Disease-Causing Bacteria,  Malaria”

February 16,  2010

 

 

Researchers report that they have  discovered - and now know how to exploit - an unusual chemical reaction  mechanism that allows malaria parasites and many disease-causing bacteria to  survive. The research team, from the University of Illinois, also has developed the first  potent inhibitor of this chemical reaction... Oldfield and his colleagues  already had discovered the structure of IspH, which has a cube-like cluster of  iron and sulfur atoms at its core. They determined that the core contained four  iron and four sulfur atoms, a finding they published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society in  2008.

 

 

The  Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 486,200 monthly unique  users)

“Potential  cancer-killing compounds synthesized”

February 15,  2010

 

 

Yale University scientists have  streamlined the process for synthesizing a family of compounds with the  potential to kill cancer and other diseased cells, and have found that they  represent a unique category of anti-cancer agents. Their discovery appears in  this week's online edition of the Journal of  the American Chemical Society. The team studied a family of compounds  known as the kinamycins, which are naturally produced by bacteria during  metabolism and are known for their potent toxicity. For years scientists have  guessed that a core structure common to the different compounds within the group  was responsible for this toxicity. Until now, chemists could not study the core  structure because there was no simple way to create it in the  laboratory.

 

 

Z100.com (New York, N.Y.: 102,300 monthly unique  users)

“Cranberry  juice boosts heart health”

February 15,  2010

 

 

Researchers in London measured the  cardio-protective potential of cranberry juice and found it may help lower blood  pressure and help promote heart health. Researchers at Queen Mary University of  London compared the cardio-protective potential of cranberry juice and that of  red wine, cocoa and green tea and found that oligomeric procyanidins were  present in regular and light cranberry juice cocktail. Dr. Roger Corder of  Queen  Mary University identified oligomeric  procyanidins in cranberries that can promote a healthy heart by inhibiting  Endothelin-1 synthesis -- a blood vessel constrictor that causes heart disease.  The research was published in the Journal of  Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

Nanowerk (Honolulu, Hawaii: 70,700 monthly unique  users)

“Using gold nanoparticles  to hit cancer where it hurts”

February 15,  2010

 

 

Taking gold nanoparticles to the  cancer cell and hitting them with a laser has been shown to be a promising tool  in fighting cancer, but what about cancers that occur in places where a laser  light can’t reach? Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have shown  that by directing gold nanoparticles into the nuclei of cancer cells, they can  not only prevent them from multiplying, but can kill them where they lurk. The  research appeared as a communication in the February 10 edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.  “We’ve developed a system that can kill cancer cells by shining light on gold  nanoparticles, but what if the cancer is in a place where we can’t shine light  on it? To fix that problem, we’ve decorated the gold with a chemical that brings  it inside the nucleus of the cancer cell and stops it from dividing,” said  Mostafa El-Sayed, Regents professor and director of the Laser Dynamics  Laboratory at Georgia Tech.

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Nanotech  Now

“University of  Pennsylvania Material Scientists Turn Light Into Electrical Current Using a  Golden Nanoscale System”

February 13,  2010

 

 

Material scientists at the Nano/Bio  Interface Center of the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated the  transduction of optical radiation to electrical current in a molecular circuit.  The system, an array of nano-sized molecules of gold, respond to electromagnetic  waves by creating surface plasmons that induce and project electrical current  across molecules, similar to that of photovoltaic solar cells. (ACS Nano)

 

 

Suite 101

“Paw  Paw Extends Life of Mesothelioma Patient”

February 15,  2010

 

 

A British Columbia woman uses Paw Paw (Asimina  Triloba) to treat her Mesothelioma. She is still alive three years after her  doctor gave her 6 months to live…Paw Paw (Asimina Triloba) has over 50 bioactive  agents called annonaceous acetogenins. These have known cancer fighting  properties. A study in the Journal of  Agricultural and Food Chemistry recommends pawpaw fruit pulp as a new  biomass source for the extraction of acetogenin compounds for product  development.

U.S.  News & World Report (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 1.5  million)

“Obama's  Budget Gives a Boost to Science”

February 10,  2010

 

 

It's no accident that one of the  biggest winners in President Obama's proposed budget for next year is  science. The budget request, released last week, would significantly increase  spending across many of the government's science agencies, from the National  Science Foundation to the Department of Energy's Office of Science, even as  other federal agencies tighten their belts. It's a deliberate move that speaks  to a long-term strategy. The administration is trying to respond to rising anger  over the deficit and avoid more political fallout by pivoting from healthcare to  jobs. "A modest investment in research and development really goes a long way  down the road," says Joe  Francisco, president of the  American Chemical Society. According to one study, conducted by the  Council for Chemical Research, every dollar invested in research translates into  $40 in domestic economic growth. Right now, the country could surely use  it.

 

 

Yahoo!  News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 16.6 million monthly unique users)

“This  Tree's a Lady!”

February 6,  2010

 

 

 

[FOX  News (New York, N.Y.), U.S.  News & World Report (Washington D.C.), the Hindu (Chennai, India) and Science 360 News Service (Arlington, Va.) also carried the story.]

 

 

Scientists have discovered the  female sex hormone progesterone in a walnut tree, shaking up what's known about  the difference between plants and animals. Until now, scientists thought that  only animals could make progesterone. A steroid hormone secreted by the ovaries,  progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy and maintains pregnancy. A  synthetic version, progestin, is used in birth control pills and other  medications. "The significance of the unequivocal identification of progesterone  cannot be overstated," write ***** F. Pauli and colleagues in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Natural  Products. "While the biological role of progesterone has been  extensively studied in mammals, the reason for its presence in plants is less  apparent." They speculate that the hormone, like other steroid hormones, might  be an ancient bioregulator that evolved billions of years ago, before the  appearance of modern plants and animals. The new discovery may change scientific  understanding of the evolution and function of progesterone in living things.

 

 

The  Economist (London, England: weekly circulation 1.3  million)

“Plug-in  garments”

February 11,  2010

 

 

Personal electronic devices are  becoming smaller and more ubiquitous every day, but no one has yet managed to  realise the dream of incorporating them seamlessly into clothing. Yi Cui and his  colleagues at Stanford University may, however, have taken the  first step: they have designed cloth that can transmit and store electricity.  They achieved this trick by dipping the cloth into ink made of carbon  nanotubes—cylindrical carbon molecules with excellent electrical properties. As  Dr Cui explains in a recent issue of Nano  Letters, when the ink dries, the nanotubes bind to the mesh of fibres  in the fabric (it works for both cotton and polyester), making it conductive.  The fabric remains flexible and retains its electrical properties even when  stretched and folded. Laundering does not seem to affect its conductivity much  either.

 

 

Huffington  Post (New York, N.Y.: 27.9 million monthly unique  users)

“The  Bittersweet Truth About Chocolate”

February 8,  2010

 

 

Can a chocolate a day help keep the  doctor away? While I have to answer that with a qualified yes, I can say with  certainty that, along with a dozen roses, chocolate is a wise investment with  Valentine's Day. Choose carefully, and a gift of chocolate is not only  heart-warming, but in small amounts may be heart healthy, too… There is some  research that suggests that a bit of dark chocolate can be relaxing. A study  last year found dark chocolate reduced levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and  "fight-or-flight" hormones known as catecholamines in highly stressed people.  The study was conducted at the Nestlé  Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland - by the same company  that brought us the famous Crunch bar - and was published in the Journal of Proteome  Research.

 

 

Albany Times-Union (Colonie, N.Y.:  daily circulation 90,216)

“Ancient  makeup went beyond beauty”

February 6,  2010

 

 

The thick black eye makeup worn by  Egyptian men and women during the time of the pharaohs was not just for beauty.  According to researchers with the Louvre and the Pierre and Marie  Curie University in Paris, the distinctive makeup, so clearly  portrayed on the famous death mask of King Tut, contained lead-based substances  that probably protected the wearers against common eye ailments. Ancient  Egyptians apparently believed that if a person wore the eye makeup, he or she  "could be directly protected by (the gods) Horus and Ra against several  illnesses," the researchers wrote in a paper published last month in Analytical Chemistry, the journal of the  American Chemical Society. That belief, they said, turned out to be based on  more than myth. After analyzing 52 samples from ancient Egyptian makeup pots  preserved at the Louvre, the researchers said, they found four lead-based  substances that, when cultured with human cells, boosted the cells' production  of nitric oxide.

 

 

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 2 million monthly unique users)

“Plasticizer  migration preventive created”

February 8,  2010

 

 

Spanish scientists say they've  developed a new way of preventing potentially harmful plasticizers from  migrating from widely used groups of plastic products. The researchers from the  Institute of Polymer Science and Technology in Madrid said their  achievement could lead to a new generation of polyvinyl chloride plastics that  are safer than those now used in packaging, medical tubing, toys and other  products. The scientists describe their achievement in the journal Macromolecules.

 

 

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 2 million monthly unique users)

“Protein  might help fight global warming”

February 8,  2010

 

 

University  of North Texas scientists say they've  found a way of using eco-friendly proteins to capture carbon dioxide from  industrial smokestacks. The researchers said their technique might also be used  to discover new, environmentally friendly materials for fighting global warming.  In their study, the researchers said they used the pharmacophore concept to  probe how the 3-dimensional structure of proteins affects their ability to bind  and capture carbon dioxide. The German chemist and Nobel Laureate Paul Ehrlich,  who originated the concept a century ago, defined a pharmacophore as the  molecular framework that carries the key features responsible for a drug's  activity. The scientists concluded that the approach could point the way to the  development of next-generation carbon capture technologies. Their research is  reported in the American Chemical Society journal Energy &  Fuels.

 

 

Natural  News (1.2 million monthly unique  users)

“Dangerous  Nanoparticles Can be Transported by Insects”

February 12,  2010

 

 

Nanoparticles can adhere to the  bodies of flying insects, which may then transport the potentially dangerous  particles long distances, according to a new study published in the journal  Environmental Science &  Technology. Nanotechnology concerns the manipulation and manufacture  of particles on the scale of single atoms or molecules. So-called  "nanoparticles" are so tiny that they may behave in ways completely different  than the same substances on a larger scale… Prior studies have found that a  variety of nanoparticles may pose toxic and other harmful effects, moving  through cellular membranes and past other bodily defenses with ease. Few studies  have looked directly at how the particles affect whole organisms,  however.

 

 

Press  TV (Tehran, Iran; 205,000 monthly unique  users)

“Ginkgo  biloba ups seizure attack risk: Study”

February 7,  2010

 

 

Using a popular herbal remedy known  as ginkgo biloba places epileptic patients at an increased risk of experiencing  seizure attacks, a new study finds. Many use ginkgo biloba remedies to treat a  wide range of health conditions including depression, memory problems, poor  concentration, headaches, irritable bladder, alcohol abuse and dizziness. "We  believe that some herbs, for example St  John's wort, are linked to a higher risk of seizures, but  there is still not a great deal of evidence about problems related to ginkgo,"  said lead researcher John Duncan, from the National Society for Epilepsy.  According to the study published in the Journal of Natural Products, seizure  attacks are more likely to occur in epileptic patients using ginkgo biloba  supplements.

Los  Angeles Times (Los Angeles, Calif.: 8.8 million monthly unique  users)

“Tastes  like chicken--but it's soy”

February 9,  2010

 

 

In yet another version of the  often-used phrase "tastes like chicken," scientists from the University of Missouri have come up with a soy  substitute for chicken that seems to mimic the real thing. Leading the effort is  Fu-Hung Hsieh, a professor of biological engineering and food science in the  College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the  College of  Engineering. Many soy-based  meat substitutes are basically flavored, colored and/or textured to somewhat  resemble steak, sausage or ground beef, but this one is more similar to chicken,  with the same stringiness found in the cooked flesh. That, said Hsieh in a news  release, in part came from adding extra fiber to get that particular quality.  He's been involved with research on the process that has published in the  Journal of Food Science and the Journal of  Agricultural and Food Chemistry, documenting the extrusion process  that incorporates water, heat and pressure to achieve the desired results.

 

 

Huffington  Post (New York, N.Y.: 27.9 million monthly unique  users)

“Oh  That Chemical Feeling”

February 11,  2010

 

 

Congress is (finally) looking into  the persistent and growing problem of persistent and bioaccumulating pollutants.  Last week a Senate subcommittee held a hearing on toxics and environmental  health entitled "Current Science on Public Exposures to Toxic Chemicals."… In  their place, pyrethroid insecticides have become popular. Unfortunately, the  stuff could be an environmental threat in its own right. Researchers Donald  Weston of the University of California, Berkeley, and Michael Lydy of Southern  Illinois University report in Environmental  Science and Technology that pyrethroid insecticides pass through  waste water treatment systems and are present at levels toxic to some aquatic  species in two rivers in California.

 

 

Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pa.: daily circulation  300,674)

“Let  your body rev your gizmos”

February 8,  2010

 

 

In the 21st century, the human body  seems to be bristling with electronic gadgets - iPods, smart phones, implanted  medical devices. What better way to power them than with the body itself? That's  the thinking behind new research at Princeton University, where engineers are working  with ultra-thin "ribbons" made from a type of ceramic materials known as  piezoelectrics. The research, published in the journal Nano Letters, was funded by the United  States Intelligence Community, a coalition of federal security  agencies.

 

 

Popular  Mechanics (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 1.2  million)

“Solar-Powered  Circuits Charge by Sunlight in Real-Time”

February 5,  2010

 

 

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania unveiled the world's first  solar-powered circuit in a January edition of ACS Nano. The technology shows particular  promise for touchscreen devices, which could use the circuits as a direct source  for sun-power. Not to be confused with solar cells, which convert sunlight  energy to electricity and store it for later, this breakthrough involves  circuits—electrical devices that provide paths for electricity to flow. This  means that sunlight absorbed by the device can immediately use the energy to  power the device.

 

 

Globe  and Mail (Toronto, Ontario: daily circulation  322,807)

“Mackenzie  River's fish contaminated with dangerous toxins: scientists”

February 9,  2010

 

 

Scientists studying burbot in the  Mackenzie River, one of the country's most  pristine rivers, have been surprised to discover that mercury, PCBs and DDT in  the fish are rising rapidly, a finding they say is linked to climate change. The  increase in the amount of harmful chemicals has been huge. In the period from  the mid-1990s to 2008, PCBs have risen up to six times, DDT by three times, and  mercury by 1.6 times in the burbot, a delicacy in the north described as tasting  like a freshwater lobster. A peer-reviewed paper outlining the findings appeared  earlier this year in the journal Environmental Science and  Technology.

 

 

Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta: daily circulation  115,612)

“Natural  listeriosis killer found in mango pits”

February 9,  2010

 

 

A University of Alberta food researcher has found a  compound in mango pits that kills the listeriosis bacteria while also acting as  a food preservative. PhD student Christina Engels has been studying mangoes  since March 2008 and recently published her findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.  Creating a preservative from the discarded and inedible pits would not only  reuse a major byproduct from the mango juicing and canning plants, but should  also create a healthier food alternative. “No chemicals, but just a natural  substance,” said Engels. “These substances are really concentrated in the pits  but they are in the flesh of the mango as well, so for centuries people were  eating those in mango flesh and they didn’t have any impact on their bodies. But  if we use a chemical preservative, we might not be sure what impact it  has.”

 

 

MSN  Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 1.8 million monthly unique  users)

“Good  News About Coffee”

February 8,  2010

 

 

Coffee lovers may be raising their  cups—and perhaps eyebrows—at the recent news (in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)  that the drink contains soluble fiber, the type that can help lower cholesterol.  With about 1 gram per cup, coffee's fiber impact is modest. But the report is  the latest in a growing stream of positive news about coffee. Some of the most  promising findings come from studies of diabetes. When Harvard researchers  combined data from nine studies involving more than 193,000 people, they found  that regular coffee drinkers had a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes  than those who abstained. The more they drank, the lower their  risk.

 

 

News  10 Now (Syracuse, N.Y.: 34,000 monthly unique  users)

“Young  scientists compete in Olympiad”

February 6,  2010

 

 

For Katherine Zaslavsky, the first  time was the charm. "I'm super, super happy," said the Maine Endwell freshman.  "We've never gotten a time even close to this good." A top performance for the  first time science Olympian and her rubber band operated helicopter have earned  her and her teammate a spot at the state competition next month. The pair was  two of more than 200 students from a dozen high schools in our area to  participate in the Southern Tier Science Olympiad, the culmination of months of  hard work. The Olympiad was sponsored by Endicott Interconnect, Binghamton University and the local chapter of the  American Chemical  Society.

 

 

…  From the Blogs

 

 

The  Boston Globe’s Green Blog

“Painters' drop cloths may help  monitor global pollutants”

February 11,  2010

 

 

How do you know if banned chemicals  are still being used? A University of Rhode  Island researcher says look in the sea. Rainer  Lohmann, associate professor at the Graduate School of Oceanography and a  Canadian colleague says a global monitoring network needs to be established to  verify that banned chemicals, such as PCBs and others that can accumulate in the  food web - are truly disappearing in the environment. While atmospheric testing  is done in some parts of the world, Lohmann says aquatic monitoring is critical  because people and wildlife can ingest the banned chemicals by eating fish,  shellfish and other marine organisms. He recently called for the network in the  journal Environmental Science and  Technology.

 

 

Science  Blog

“Researchers envision high-tech  applications for 'multiferroic' crystals”

February 12,  2010

 

Two of The Florida State  University's most accomplished scientists recently joined forces on a  collaborative research project that has yielded groundbreaking results involving  an unusual family of crystalline minerals. Their findings could lay the  groundwork for future researchers seeking to develop a new generation of  computer chips and other information-storage devices that can hold vast amounts  of data and be strongly encrypted for security purposes. Dalal, Kroto and their  colleagues recently published a paper on their findings in the peer-reviewed  Journal of the American Chemical  Society (JACS).

Tuskegee News (Tuskegee, Ala.: weekly circulation  4,000)

“Carver  Convocation stresses connection between history, achievement”

February 4,  2010

 

 

“History impacting the future” was  the unofficial but apparent theme at the 11th Annual George Washington Carver  Convocation Friday, January 29, in the Tuskegee University Chapel. The yearly  event recognizes the achievements and legacy of world-renowned scientist and  educator George Washington Carver (1864- 1943). Dr. Joseph S. Francisco, William H. Moore  Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University, delivered the address. He  referred to Carver as his “hero” and stressed the importance of being in the  environment where Carver executed his works. Francisco, the second black  president of the American Chemical  Society, reflected upon the partnership between Tuskegee University and the organization to ensure  Carver’s legacy is prominently recognized by the generations after his  lifetime.

 

 

Toronto Star (Toronto, Ontario: daily circulation  436,694)

“Scientists  figure out how to ‘set phasers to stun’”

February 4,  2010

 

 

 

Canadian scientists have figured  out, for the first time, a way to use light to paralyze an animal and then  reverse the effect. And while the discovery may have undertones of Star Trek  phasers, researcher Dr. Neil Branda says the most exciting real use should be in  medicine: turning on molecules once they arrive at the spot in the body that  needs treatment. “I was surprised by the magnitude” of what the Simon Fraser University chemists found, Branda told the  Star Thursday. “I didn’t think it would be as effective.” Researchers created a  colourless molecule that is photosensitive, radiated it with ultraviolet light  and created a new one that turned blue, Branda explained. When fed the blue  molecule, the pinhead-sized worms became paralyzed. When they were exposed again  to ordinary light, the molecule became colourless again and the paralysis ended.  (Journal of the American Chemical  Society)

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 2 million monthly unique  users)

“Optical  imaging detects art forgeries”

February 4,  2010

 

 

Polish scientists say they've used a  medical imaging technique to detect the forgery of an artist's signature and  changes in paintings hundreds of years old. Associate Professor Piotr Targowski  of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland, said easel paintings prepared  according to traditional techniques consist of multiple layers… In the new  study, the scientists utilized a medical technique called Optical Coherence  Tomography that is used to produce three-dimensional images of the layers of the  retina. The research is detailed in the journal Accounts of Chemical  Research.

 

 

LiveScience.com (New York, N.Y.: 1.4 million monthly unique  users)

“This  Tree's a Lady!”

February 4,  2010

 

 

Scientists have discovered the  female sex hormone progesterone in a walnut tree, shaking up what's known about  the difference between plants and animals. Until now, scientists thought that  only animals could make progesterone. A steroid hormone secreted by the ovaries,  progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy and maintains pregnancy. A  synthetic version, progestin, is used in birth control pills and other  medications. "The significance of the unequivocal identification of progesterone  cannot be overstated," write ***** F. Pauli and colleagues in the American  Chemical Society's Journal of Natural  Products. "While the biological role of progesterone has been  extensively studied in mammals, the reason for its presence in plants is less  apparent."

 

 

Globe  and Mail (Toronto, Ontario: daily circulation  322,807)

“Profit  motive is the solution to CO2 emissions”

February 5,  2010

 

 

Supply-side economics holds that  supply ensures demand by friendly (though competitive) persuasion. Everything  gets sold, at one price or another. Conventional economics holds that  governments are necessary arbiters of these transactions, either compelling  consumption (for example, by "stimulation") or rationing it (for example, by  "cap and trade"). We are now approaching a decisive test of these doctrines,  both of which cannot be right. The test is: Can supply-side economics solve  global warming all on its own? The quick answer is yes - probably. Although  supply-side environmental scientists attract little public attention, they are  hard at work turning surplus carbon emissions into useable products. By way of  example, Chemical and Engineering  News, the professional journal of the American Chemical Society,  reported last week that a team of scientists led by chemist Elisabeth Bouwman of  Leiden University in the Netherlands has developed a catalyst that reacts with  ambient CO{-2} to form oxalate, a white crystalline powder, "a useful feedstock"  for the production of organic compounds. The transformation, the journal said,  requires very little energy.

 

 

Discovery  News (Silver Spring, Md.: 3.2 million monthly unique  users)

“World's  First Light-Powered Circuit Created”

February 3,  2010

 

 

The iPad has yet to hit store  shelves, and yet the technology that powers Apple's latest gadget may already be  yesterday's news. For the first time, scientists have created a circuit that can  power itself, as long as it's left in a beam of sunshine. Created by scientists  from the University of Pennsylvania, the world's first  photovoltaic circuit could eventually power a new line of consumer devices or  even model the human brain. "This as the potential to create a new generation of  optical and electronic devices," said Dawn Bonnell, a scientist from the  University of  Pennsylvania who  co-authored a recent ACS Nano paper describing the research. "The touchscreen of your computer could act as  both the electrical charger and the computer chip." Right now Bonnell and her  colleagues can only coax minuscule amounts of electricity from their  photovoltaic circuits, far too little to power consumer electrical devices.  Those amounts could quickly skyrocket.

 

 

Science  Magazine (Washington D.C.: 325,600 monthly unique  users)

“Taken  for Granted: Where Two Issues Stand”

February 5,  2010

 

 

I am writing these lines on 16  January 2010 and thinking of Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji. The 23-year-old  University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), laboratory technician died exactly  a year ago today of the burns she suffered in an explosion while working in late  December 2008 in the lab of Patrick Harran, professor and chair of chemistry and  biochemistry. The intervening months have brought some progress -- but not  nearly enough -- on the issue of safety in academic labs… Other major  organizations, including the American  Chemical Society and the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technologies  of the National Academies, are also showing renewed interested in the safety  issue, he adds. Work is under way, for example, on an update of the Academies'  book Prudent Practices in the Laboratory.

 

 

PhysOrg.com (Evergreen,  Va.: 1.5  million monthly unique users)

“Compound could become  important new antidepressant”

February 4,  2010

 

 

Chemists at Oregon State University have discovered and synthesized  a new compound that in laboratory and animal tests appears to be similar to, but  may have advantages over one of the most important antidepressant medications in  the world. A patent has been applied for on the compound, and findings on it  published in the Journal of Medicinal  Chemistry. Continued animal studies and eventually, human clinical  trials will be necessary before the compound could be approved for human medical  use, researchers say. "Based on our results so far, this promises to be one of  the most effective antidepressants yet developed," said James White, a professor  emeritus of chemistry at OSU. "It may have efficacy similar to some important  drugs being used now, but with fewer side effects."

 

 

Azom.com (Sydney, Australia: 319,600 monthly unique  users)

“There is Still a Strong Demand  for Old Style CRT TVs”

February 5,  2010

 

 

Many people may assume that  conventional television sets and computer monitors - the kind that use picture  tubes (technically known as cathode ray tubes, or CRTs) rather than flat panel  screens - have virtually disappeared from the market, like buggy whips and  8-track cassette tapes. But a new MIT study reports that demand for these  devices is still greater than the supply of old discarded CRTs, whose glass is  recycled to make new ones. The demand comes mostly from the world's developing  nations, where inexpensive TV sets using CRTs are one of the first luxury items  people tend to buy as soon as they have a little bit of disposable income… There  is one other use for the recycled glass - as an additive in smelters used to  produce metals. "Any kind of smelter will use silica [the main ingredient in  glass] as a flux, to separate out anything in the mix they don't want," says  Jeremy Gregory SM '00, PhD '04, a research scientist in MIT's Materials Systems  Laboratory and lead author of the new study, published in the December issue of  the journal Environmental Science and  Technology.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

All  about Lawsuits

“Study  Suggests Carbon Nanotubes can cause  Mesothelioma”

February 4,  2010

 

 

A major study published in Nature  Nanotechnology suggests some forms of carbon nanotubes — a poster child for the  “nanotechnology revolution” — could be as harmful as asbestos if inhaled in  sufficient quantities. The study used established methods to see if specific  types of nanotubes have the potential to cause mesothelioma — a cancer of the  lung lining that can take 30-40 years to appear following exposure. The results  show that long, thin multi-walled carbon nanotubes that look like asbestos  fibers, behave like asbestos fibers... Leading forecasting firms say sales of  all nanotubes could reach $2 billion annually within the next four to seven  years, according to an article in the U.S. publication Chemical & Engineering  News.

 

 

Target  Health Global

“New Compound Improves MRI Contrast  Agents”

February 4,  2010

 

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has  become an indispensable medical diagnostic tool because of its ability to  produce detailed, 3D pictures of tissue in the body. Radiologists often inject  patients with contrast agents to make certain tissues, such as tumors, stand out  more on the final image. Now, researchers have synthesized an MRI contrast agent  that is 15 times more sensitive than the compounds currently used. “We’ve done  this with many classes of nanoparticles and have never seen this extraordinary  increase in sensitivity,” says Thomas J. Meade, the Eileen M. Foell professor of  chemistry and director of the Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging at  Northwestern  University. He and his  colleagues published their findings online in Nano Letters last  month.

 

The  Independent (London, England: daily circulation  215,504)

“Remember  to eat blueberries to remember”

February 4,  2010

 

 

A research study published in  January in the Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry concluded that blueberries could improve memory in the  elderly. It is never too early to boost your memory, simply incorporate  blueberries into your daily diet. Blueberries are not always in season, so if  fresh blueberries are not at your market there are some other forms in which you  can get the natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits found in  blueberries. According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, internationally respected  dermatologist and author, blueberries are a superfood and “brain-beauty”  food; because of their anti-inflammatory properties, blueberries cannot only  keep dementia at bay but also ward off wrinkles.

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Enlisting  a Drug Discovery Technique in the Battle Against Global  Warming”

February 3,  2010

 

 

Scientists in Texas are reporting that  a technique used in the search for new drugs could also be used in the quest to  discover new, environmentally friendly materials for fighting global warming.  Such materials could be used to capture the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from  industrial smokestacks and other fixed sources before it enters the biosphere.  The new study appears in ACS' bi-monthly journal Energy & Fuels. Michael Drummond and  colleagues Angela Wilson and Tom Cundari note that greener carbon-capture  technologies are a crucial component in mitigating climate change. Existing  technology is expensive and can generate hazardous waste. They point out that  proteins, however, can catalyze reactions with carbon dioxide, the main  greenhouse gas, in an environmentally friendly way. That fact got the scientists  interested in evaluating the possibility of using proteins in carbon capture  technology.

 

 

RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 2.4 million monthly unique  users)

“Making  Plastics Safer”

February 3,  2010

 

 

Scientists have published the first  report on a new way of preventing potentially harmful plasticizers — the source  of long-standing human health concerns — from migrating from one of the most  widely used groups of plastics. The advance could lead to a new generation of  polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics that are safer than those now used in  packaging, medical tubing, toys, and other products, they say. Their study is in  ACS' Macromolecules, a bi-weekly  journal. The scientists describe development of a way to make phthalate  permanently bond, or chemically attach to, the internal structure of PVC so that  it will not migrate. Laboratory tests showed that the method completely  suppressed the migration of plasticizer to the surface of the  plastic.

 

 

PhysOrg.com (Evergreen,  Va.: 1.4  million monthly unique users)

“Alternative  chemicals ease safety concerns about nonstick, repellent  coatings”

February 3,  2010

 

 

Amid concern about the potential  toxic effects of the fluorochemicals used in nonstick cookware, water-repellent  clothing, and other consumer products, manufacturers are using new versions of  these chemicals that may be safer. That's the topic of the cover story in the  current issue of Chemical & Engineering  News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. C&EN Senior Editor  Stephen K. Ritter cites indications that long-chain compounds like  perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) can cause  developmental problems, liver toxicity, and cancer in animals. Uncertainty  exists over their health effects in people. Nevertheless, chemical companies are  working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to phase out PFOS  and are in the process of phasing out PFOA. The companies are replacing these  chemicals with shorter chain fluorochemicals that perform just as well but  appear to be safer.

 

 

WBAY-TV (Green Bay, Wisc.: 173,933  monthly unique users)

“Diet  Detective's 11 Food and Exercise Tips to a Healthier Love  Life”

February 3,  2010

 

 

According to a study published in  the Journal of Proteome Research,  eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced  levels of stress hormones and other stress-related biochemical imbalances in  people who rated themselves as feeling highly stressed. In addition to  phenylalanine, chocolate contains a number of chemicals that affect brain  activity. One of these is tryptophan, the building block of serotonin, which is  a relaxation-inducing neurotransmitter that, in large doses (chocolate has small  amounts), causes elated or ecstatic feelings. Scientists have also isolated a  substance that stimulates the same brain cell receptors as THC, the psychoactive  substance in marijuana that induces feelings of euphoria. Furthermore, chocolate  contains phenylethylamine, a brain chemical known to promote feelings of  attraction, excitement and giddiness.

 

 

Medical  News Today (U.K.:  928,500 monthly unique users)

“Engineers Explore  Environmental Concerns Of Nanotechnology”

February 3,  2010

 

 

As researchers around the world  hasten to employ nanotechnology to improve production methods for applications  that range from manufacturing materials to creating new pharmaceutical drugs, a  separate but equally compelling challenge exists. History has shown that  previous industrial revolutions, such as those involving asbestos and  chloroflurocarbons, have had some serious environmental impacts. Might  nanotechnology also pose a risk? Linsey Marr and Peter Vikesland, faculty  members in the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia  Tech, are part of the national Center for the Environmental Implications of  NanoTechnology (CEINT), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2008.  Based on the measurements of her study, done with Behnoush Yeganeh, Christy Kull  and Mathew Hull, all graduate students, they concluded that engineering controls  at the facility "appear to be effective in limiting exposure to nanomaterials,"  and reported their findings in the American Chemical Society's publication  Environmental Science and  Technology.

 

 

The  Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 472,100 monthly unique  users)

“Subject  experts address a variety of career topics at ACS  Webinar”

February 3,  2010

 

 

News media and others interested in  the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society (ACS) Webinars,  Your Career Matters! featuring speakers that address a variety of pertinent  career topics impacting science and engineering professionals. Scheduled for  Thursday, Feb.11, 2 - 3 p.m. Eastern Time, the free webinar will feature Carolyn  Fisher, Regulatory Manager at McCormick & Company, speaking on "Love Food as  well as Chemistry? How to Find and Build a Career in the Food and/or Flavor  Industries."

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

New  York Times’ Green Inc. (New York, N.Y.: 64,000 monthly unique  users)

“Household  Pesticide Is Finding Its Way Into California Rivers, Study  Suggests”

February 3,  2010

 

 

Pyrethroids, a common home  pesticide, have been found in California rivers at levels toxic to some  stream-dwellers, according to a new study. The pesticide is often used in  California to kill ants and other insects, and  has been found in sewage treatment outflow and storm runoff in the Sacramento area. Scientists  found the toxin in low levels in the San  Joaquin River and the  American  River, according to  research published yesterday in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology. The  scientists found the toxin present at about four parts per trillion, an  extremely small amount, but enough to kill small aquatic larvae, the researchers  said. “It probably takes 100 times more to kill a fish,” said Donald Weston, one  of the study’s authors and a professor of integrative biology at the  University of California, Berkeley. “The concern would be the  invertebrates that the fish depend on for food.”

 

 

Brain  & Consciousness Research

“Ginkgo  herbal medicines may increase seizures in people with  epilepsy”

February 3,  2010

 

 

Restrictions should be placed on the  use of Ginkgo biloba (G. biloba) - a top-selling herbal remedy - because of  growing scientific evidence that Ginkgo may increase the risk of seizures in  people with epilepsy and could reduce the effectiveness of anti-seizure drugs, a  new report concludes. The article appears in ACS' monthly Journal of Natural Products. It also  suggests that Ginkgo may have harmful effects in other people after eating raw  or roasted Ginkgo seed or drinking tea prepared from Ginkgo  leaves.

 

 

All  About Tea

“Chamomile  Tea Lowers Blood Sugar in Diabetics by 25%”

February 4,  2010

 

 

A common and popular herbal remedy  may be able to help diabetics control their blood sugar and prevent serious  complications, according to a study conducted by researchers from Aberystwyth University in Wales and the University of Toyama in Japan, and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry.

Softpedia (Bellevue, Wash.: 661,000 monthly unique  users)

“Obama's  New Budget Boosts Basic Research”

February 3,  2010

 

 

In addition to sacking NASA's plans  to go to the Moon by 2020, the new budget proposal that the White House  forwarded to the Congress also includes more funding for basic science. Despite  the federal freeze that has been proposed on all non-defense discretionary  spending, American science agencies and organizations would receive more money  in 2011 than they did this year. “Given the president's announcement last week  that domestic discretionary funding would be frozen at FY10 levels, we are very  heartened by the increased science and education funding levels provided,”  Glenn  Ruskin, an expert at the American Chemical Society (ACS), said in  reply to the new budget.

 

 

Education  Daily (Alexandria, Va.)

“Budget  2011 - Advocates: Budget provides anchor for STEM  education”

February 3,  2010

 

 

The Education Department’s FY 2011  budget request proposed $300 million for a new program to raise American  students’ literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for FY  2011 — a surprise to STEM advocates who say the hefty request may face stiff  opposition from Congress. The $300 million allotted for the proposed Effective  Teaching and Learning: STEM program, represents a $119.5 million increase over  the department’s antecedent STEM initiatives. “The challenge moving forward will  be to defend such robust spending,” James  Brown, cochair of the STEM Education Coalition, told Education  Daily®. “There are some tangible things there that, quite frankly, are very  pleasantly surprising considering the budget  crisis.”

 

 

Yahoo!  India (Mumbai, India: 28 million monthly unique  users)

“Green  way of decomposing toxic plastic found”

February 3,  2010

 

 

Research has found a 'green' way of  disposing toxic plastic waste. Plastic used in screwdriver handles, eyeglass  lenses, DVDs, and CDs, among other things, can be pretreated to dispose it off  in an environment-friendly way, a new study shows. Some studies have suggested  that BPA may have a range of adverse health effects, sparking the search for an  environmentally safe way of disposing off waste plastic to avoid release of BPA.  The scientists found that fungi grew better on pretreated plastic, using its BPA  and other ingredients as a source of energy and breaking down the plastic, says  a release of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The new study was published in  ACS journal Biomacromolecules.

 

 

Healthcare  Today (U.K.:  monthly circulation 15,000)

“Epilepsy warning on  herbal remedy”

February 2,  2010

 

 

People who suffer from epilepsy  should be careful when taking ginkgo biloba, according to recent German  research. The research team found that the herbal remedy might increase people's  risk of having an epileptic seizure. For the purposes of the study, the research  team collated 10 different studies about the herb's effect on epilepsy. Ginkgo  biloba has been used by millions of people worldwide for problems related to  memory loss, dizziness, and even Alzheimer's disease. However, all ginkgo  remedies contain a molecule known as ginkgotoxin, which the researchers believe  must be responsible for reports of epilepsy seizures in ginkgo users. The  researchers said that ginkgotoxin probably acts on the same chemical signalling  pathway that gets protected by anti-seizure drugs. (Journal of Natural  Products)

 

 

FirstScience (London, England: 21,000 monthly unique  users)

“ACS  webinar features tips for finding and building a career in the food and flavor  industries”

February 2,  2010

 

 

News media and others interested in  the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society (ACS) Webinars,  Your Career Matters! featuring speakers that address a variety of pertinent  career topics impacting science and engineering professionals. Scheduled for  Thursday, Feb.11, 2 – 3 p.m. Eastern Time, the free webinar will feature Carolyn  Fisher, Regulatory Manager at McCormick & Company, speaking on "Love Food as  well as Chemistry? How to Find and Build a Career in the Food and/or Flavor  Industries."

 

 

Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta: daily circulation  115,612)

“Nano-sized  silicone implant could power cellphone,  pacemaker”

February 1,  2010

 

 

A team of American scientists has  developed a microscopic silicone implant that generates small electric currents,  leading researchers to believe that a motion as simple as walking could one day  power a cellphone. The tiny implants are made of ceramic strips encased in  silicone that when flexed or folded produce electricity. If an implant was to be  placed near the lungs, for example, the natural contraction and expansion of the  organs could coerce enough energy out of the device to power a pacemaker,  according to the Princeton University group. The findings are  published in the most recent issue of Nano  Letters, a journal on nanotechnology published by the American  Chemical Society.

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Storm  Runoff and Sewage Treatment Outflow Contaminated With Household  Pesticides”

February 3,  2010

 

 

Pyrethroids, among the most  widely-used home pesticides, are winding up in California rivers at levels toxic to some stream-dwellers,  possibly endangering the food supply of fish and other aquatic animals,  according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Southern Illinois University  (SIU). Although the pyrethroid levels were low -- around 10-20 parts per  trillion -- they were high enough to kill a test organism similar to a small  shrimp that is used to assess water safety. "These indicator organisms are 'lab  rat' species that are very sensitive, but if you find something that is toxic to  them, it should be a red flag that there could be potential toxicity to resident  organisms in the stream," said study leader Donald P. Weston, UC Berkeley  adjunct professor of integrative biology. Weston's study, conducted with Michael  J. Lydy (LIE-dee) of SIU in Carbondale and funded by the Surface Water  Ambient Monitoring Program of the California Environmental Protection Agency,  appears online in the journal Environmental  Science & Technology.

 

 

Stuff (Auckland, N.Z.: 1 million  monthly unique users)

“A  better way of making the medicine go down”

February 2,  2010

 

 

Developing drugs to treat disease  can involve using a host of chemicals, but researcher Emma Dangerfield has found  greener ways. For the past two years, Mrs Dangerfield, 25, of Wellington, has been trying  to make drug molecules in ways that use fewer resources and create less waste  than is generated in traditional methods. Carrying out the work as part of a  joint project between Victoria University and the Malaghan Institute of  Medical Research, she has found a way to make the molecules used to treat  diseases such as diabetes, cancer and HIV more quickly and efficiently. Mrs  Dangerfield, whose method has been published in the journal Organic Letters, said she hoped the concept  would be used in university curriculums as well as in drug  manufacture.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Tech  News

“Magnetic nanoparticles target  human cancer cells”

February 3,  2010

 

 

In 2008, scientists at the Georgia  Institute of Technology and the Ovarian Cancer Institute developed a  potentialtreatment to fight cancer using magnetic nanoparticles designed to  attach themselves to cancer cells. They found in their groundbreaking tests on  mice that the particles not only attached to cancer cells, but they also moved  those cells. Lead Georgia Tech researcher Ken Scarberry explains how it works.  He published his first paper on the particles targeting cancer cells in  the Journal of the American Chemical  Society in July 2008.

 

 

Wildfire  Today

“Researchers:  smoke promotes the germination of some seeds”

January 28,  2010

 

 

We used to say “Wood smoke is good  smoke”, when downplaying the negative aspects of putting smoke into the air  during a prescribed fire. But apparently to some species that is literally the  truth. Researchers have found that plant-derived smoke is a potent seed  germination promoter for many species. In the latest discovery about smoke’s  secret life, an international team of scientists are reporting discovery of a  plant growth inhibitor in smoke. The study appears in ACS’s Journal of Natural  Products.

Chemistry  World (London, England: “read by 65,000 scientists  monthly”)

“Science  shines in Obama's budget proposal”

February 2,  2010

 

 

US science agencies would fare quite  well under President Obama's newly unveiled budget proposal for fiscal year  2011, despite his plan to reduce the nation's trillion-dollar deficit by  freezing non-defence discretionary spending. The move reinforces the message  that science is one of his top priorities, observers say. The president's budget  request, released on 1 February, would bolster the US  government's overall investment in non defence research and development  (R&D) by $3.7 billion (£2.3 billion) to $66 billion, which amounts to almost  a 6 per cent increase. Given the president's announcement last week that  domestic discretionary funding would be frozen at FY10 levels, we are very  heartened by the increased science and education funding levels provided,' says  the American Chemical Society's Glenn  Ruskin.

 

 

New  York Times (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation  928,000)

“Converting  Coal Plants to Biomass”

February 1,  2010

 

 

Coal-powered generating stations  retrofitted to run on a mixture of coal and dried wood pellets can produce  cost-competitive, emission-reduced electricity even without the advent of a  cap-and-trade system, according to a new biomass life cycle analysis published  in the Journal of Environmental Science and  Technology. For utilities under pressure to meet renewable portfolio  standards, biomass should be considered along with wind, solar and small-scale  hydro, says Heather MacLean, the lead researcher and an associate professor of  civil engineering at the University of Toronto. “The study results suggest that  biomass utilization in coal generating stations should be considered for its  potential to cost-effectively mitigate” greenhouse gases from coal-based  electricity, the paper concluded.

 

 

Washington Post (Washington D.C.: daily circulation  673,180)

“Science  News”

February 2,  2010

 

 

The thick black eye makeup worn by  Egyptian men and women during the time of the pharaohs was not just for beauty.  According to researchers with the Louvre and the Pierre and Marie  Curie University in Paris, the distinctive makeup, so clearly  portrayed on the famous death mask of King Tut, contained lead-based substances  that very probably protected the wearers against common eye ailments. Ancient  Egyptians apparently believed that if a person wore the eye makeup, he or she  "could be directly protected by [the gods] Horus and Ra against several  illnesses," the researchers wrote in a paper published last month in Analytical Chemistry, the journal of the  American Chemical Society. That belief, they said, turned out to be based on  more than myth.

 

 

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 2 million monthly unique  users)

“Way  found to dispose of plastic with BPA”

February 1,  2010

 

 

Researchers in India report fungi might provide an eco-friendly  way of decomposing polycarbonate plastic waste that contains bisphenol A. Mukesh  Doble and Trishul Artham of the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai,  (formerly Madras) said manufacturers produce about 2.7  million tons of plastic containing BPA each year. Polycarbonate is an extremely  recalcitrant plastic, used in everything from screwdriver handles to eyeglass  lenses, but some studies have suggested BPA may cause a range of adverse health  effects. That has sparked the search for an environmentally safe way of  disposing of waste plastic to avoid release of BPA. The study is reported in the  journal Biomacromolecules.

 

 

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 2 million monthly unique  users)

“Chemicals  in forest fire smoke studied”

February 1,  2010

 

 

South African scientists say  chemicals in smoke from forest fires may regulate seed germination and play a  key role in the rebirth of burned landscape. The researchers, led by Johannes  Van Staden of the University of  KwaZulu-Natal in Scottsville, South Africa, identified both plant  growth promoters and inhibitors in smoke. In their new research, the scientists  said they discovered an inhibitor compound that might block the action of the  stimulator, preventing germination of seeds. They suspect both compounds might  be part of a natural regulatory system for repopulating fire-ravaged landscapes.  The study appears in the American Chemical Society Journal of Natural  Products.

 

 

Alzheimer’s  Weekly (New York, N.Y.: 50,000 monthly  readers)

“Blueberries  & The Elderly”

January 31, 2010  issue

 

 

Scientists are reporting the first  evidence from human research that blueberries — one of the richest sources of  healthful antioxidants and other so-called phytochemicals — improve memory. They  said the study establishes a basis for comprehensive human clinical trials to  determine whether blueberries really deserve their growing reputation as a  memory enhancer. A report on the study appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  a bi-weekly publication: “Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older  Adults.”

 

 

Environmental  Protection Magazine (Dallas, Tex.)

“ACS  Announces 2010 Officers; Charpentier to Lead  Board”

January 29,  2010

 

 

In a recent press release, the  American Chemical Society (ACS)  announced its slate of officers for 2010. They include the following: Chair of  the board of directors ─ Bonnie A. Charpentier, Ph.D., vice president,  regulatory affairs, Metabolex, Inc., Hayward, Calif. An ACS board member since 2005, she is  serving her second three-year term as District VI director, representing more  than 17,000 chemical professionals living and working in the western  United States and Canada.  President ─ Joseph S. Francisco, Ph.D., William E. Moore Distinguished Professor  at Purdue University is 2010 president and will serve on the Board of Directors  through 2011.

 

 

Medical  News Today (U.K.:  928,500 monthly unique users)

“Important Advance In  Imaging Of Cell Death”

February 1,  2010

 

 

For quite some time, the "Holy  Grail" in medical imaging has been the development of an effective method to  image cell death as a means to intervene early in diseases and rapidly determine  the effectiveness of treatments. A new paper by researchers at the University of  Notre Dame and the Washington University School of Medicine describes important  progress in using a synthetic probe to target dead and dying cells in mammary  and prostate tumors in living animals. The research, described in the Journal of the American Chemical Society,  was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Notre Dame's Walther Cancer Center and the Notre Dame Integrated  Imaging Facility.

 

 

Broadcast  News

 

 

WNET-TV (New York, N.Y.: daily audience  15,163)

“Percy  Julian: A man of great determination”

February 2,  2010

 

 

In 1999, the American Chemical Society recognized Julian's synthesis of  the glaucoma drug physostigmine as one of the top 25 achievements in the history  of American chemistry.

 

 

WNET-TV (New York, N.Y.: daily audience  15,163)

“Julian  and the fight for equality”

February 2,  2010

 

 

Outside Julian's lab, America  was still a nation divided by race, and Julian was constantly reminded of it...  ...even at meetings of the American Chemical Society. Neither wealth nor fame could insulate Julian from bigotry. But with  success came the chance to do something about it. Increasingly, he set aside his  science to fight for racial equality. He joined the NAACP and the urban league  in their battle against discrimination in jobs and housing. He led a national  fundraising campaign to support civil rights lawyers. And in speech after  speech, he preached that education and the pursuit of excellence-- the hallmarks  of his own life-- were the key to black  advancement.

 

 

WNET-TV (New York, N.Y.: daily audience  15,163)

“Julian  at Depauw”

February 2,  2010

 

 

Over the next three years, 11 of the  student projects Julian supervised would lead to papers in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Eleven undergraduate papers  published in JACS, out of a  student body of that size, was not only unusual for the 1930s, it would be  unusual now. Julian took the talent in those students and put that institution  on the map for undergraduate research.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Smart  Planet

“Princeton  researchers develop silicone implants that generate  energy”

February 1,  2010

 

 

Princeton researchers  have developed a new kind of silicone implant that can generate energy from the  movements of the bodily area in which it is placed. “The beauty of this is that  it’s scalable,” said Yi Qi, a postdoctoral researcher who works with project  leader and Princeton professor Michael  McAlpine. “As we get better at making these chips, we’ll be able to make larger  and larger sheets of them that will harvest more energy.” Better still, the  material flexes when electrical current is applied to it, allowing for the  potential to be used in microsurgical devices. A paper on the new material was  published online Jan. 26 in Nano  Letters, a journal of the American Chemical  Society.

 

 

Journal  Watch Online

“Commuter  Kids”

January 31,  2010

 

 

Education policy can have a  significant effect on the amount of emissions generated transporting children to  and from school, researchers report in Environmental Science & Technology. New  “school choice” programs allow kids to attend schools outside their neighborhood  rather than simply enrolling in the closest school. School choice is backed by  the “No Child Left Behind” Act and will probably become more common in the  future, the team says.