Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Fla.:  daily circulation 226,990)

“U.F.  researchers trying to improve glaucoma  treatment”

March 30,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) National Meeting press release

 

 

Researchers at the University of Florida think they have come up with a  better way to deliver a substance that helps control a common eye ailment that  can rob people of sight if not properly treated. Tears can within minutes wash  away eye drops containing medicines that help control glaucoma. So Anuj Chauhan  and his team in Gainesville decided to develop a slower,  more-persistent way of delivering glaucoma medications. As outlined in a  presentation March 24 to the 2010 national meeting of the American Chemical Society, their solution  is contact lenses containing vitamin E. Chauhan and his colleagues decided what  was needed was a way of keeping the medicine from quickly leaving the eye. They  think they have done this by clumping Vitamin E molecules together within  contact lens to form invisible clusters called  "nanobricks."

 

 

Discovery  News (Silver Spring, Md.: 2.9 million monthly unique  users)

“Outing  Horrific Parasites with an Easy Diagnostic  Test”

March 30,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

If life's got you down today, then  here's some news that might cheer you up. Chances are you're not suffering from  Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, or African trypanosomaisis (also known as  "sleeping sickness.") All three are parasitic infections are all members of the  trypanosomatidae family. All three together affect millions around the world  each year, and together they kill tens of thousands. All three are also chronic,  which means many people suffer with these parasites for years before being  diagnosed. And when I say suffer, I mean suffer: heart problems, digestive  system damage, nervous system failure. Those who battle Chagas and the like have  been looking for a less expensive, less resource-intensive way to test. SRI  International in California is lab testing a system that uses  special dyes that reveal the presence of the parasites in the blood sample. Take  the blood sample, apply the dye, and then hold up a simple ultraviolet light to  it...and voila. All in less than an hour. "We hope that our low-cost, simple  test will play a role in helping poorer parts of the world combat these diseases  and the poverty they engender," says SRI medicinal chemist Ellen  Beaulieu.

 

 

The  Journal-Times (Racine, Wisc.: daily circulation  27,627)

“Drug  for menstrual cramps in the works”

March 31,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

A British company is attempting to  develop a medication designed to target the specific cause of menstrual cramps.  The researchers presented data from a Phase 2 clinical trial Tuesday at the  annual meeting of the American Chemical  Society in San  Francisco. Menstrual cramps are caused by contractions of  the uterus and an increase in the hormone vasopressin. The goal of the  experimental medication, called VA111913, is to block this hormone. The other  remedies women use for relief - painkillers and birth control pills - only  address the symptoms of menstrual cramps, not the cause. "This is a different  approach," said Andy Crockett, vice president of business development for Vantia  Ltd., the company developing the drug. "Right now, the current therapies for  menstrual cramps are poorly tailored." While half of all women experience some  menstrual cramps, about 10 percent to 20 percent have a severe condition, called  dysmenorrhea. "It's one of the leading causes of work and school absenteeism in  the United  States," Crockett said. "We certainly believe  this drug has the potential to be a breakthrough."

 

 

Biofuels  Watch

“Plasmas for  Biofuels”

March 30,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

According to recent reports  announced on the 239th at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (more  commonly known as the ACS) the same processed used for the picture generation in  big-screen plasma televisions is being applied to  biofuel generation processes as well. The device operating at the center of this  method is known as a GlidArc reactor, a relatively inexpensive construct roughly  the size of a refrigerator that can be made primarily  from parts found at a local hardware store and can produce in three steps  super-clean fuels by utilizing electrically-charged gas clouds for chemical  processing.

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.7 million monthly unique  users)

“Compound  Screening for Drug Development Made Simpler”

March 30,  2010

 

 

The identification of compounds that  could be promising candidates for drug development has become easier following  research by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute's medicinal chemistry group. Dr  Jonathan Baell and Dr Georgina Holloway have developed a series of 'filters'  that can be used to weed out those molecules likely to come up as false  positives when screening a chemical library for compounds that could be useful  in drug development. Dr Baell said about 10 per cent of compounds in any  commercially available screening library might show up as false positives,  potentially wasting hundreds of hours of scientists' time as they undertake  labour-intensive medicinal chemistry to optimise these molecules. The filters  were made publically available on 4 February through online publication in the  Journal of Medicinal  Chemistry.

 

 

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

“University of  Cincinnati's William Vanooij earns first Ohio Patent Award from Ohio Academy of  Science”

March 30,  2010

 

 

University of  Cincinnati Engineering Professor Emeritus William  Vanooij and co-inventors are receiving the  first Ohio Patent Award from the Ohio Academy of Science (OAS) and the Ohio  State Bar Association (OSBA) Intellectual Property Law Section. The award also  recognizes their attorney, Martin J. Miller of Cincinnati. Vanooij will receive an engraved  plaque at the annual meeting of the Ohio Academy of Science on April 10, 2010.  Now retired from the University of Cincinnati, Vanooij is the chief scientist  of his spin-off company, ECOSIL, which is a leader in the application of robust  silane surface treatments for corrosion protection of many kinds of metals. In  fact, Vanooij is receiving the Melvin Mooney Distinguished Technology Award from  the American Chemical Society's Rubber  Division. He will be presenting a discussion of the tires and tire  bonding in his Award Lecture at the spring meeting of the  division.

 

 

Daily  Review Atlas (Monmouth, Ill.: 13,800 monthly unique  users)

“Monmouth  College chemistry students coming to a classroom near  you”

March 30,  2010

 

 

The Monmouth College  chapter of the American Chemical Society has been performing  chemistry demonstrations at local schools throughout the academic year,  including an appearance at Monmouth’s Willits Elementary  School last week. Junior Charrina Crawford of  Monmouth, sophomores Victoria Green of Pittsfield, Matt Jefferson of Andalusia and Sammie Nania of  Tinley Park, and freshman Patrick Corrigan of  Peoria staged  the scientific performances at Willits. In one of the demonstrations, a  combination of dry ice, soapy water and food coloring was used to make a  “crystal ball.” Other chemical tricks included a hard-boiled egg fitting into a  glass bottle, melting a styrofoam cup with acetone, popping lids off of film  canisters and creating a fountain when Mentos are dropped into a two-liter  container of Diet Coke.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Raw  Earth

“Birds  Fuel Up on Super Foods Before Migrating”

March 30,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Birds that normally eat insects  switch to antioxidant-rich berries just before starting their long journey south  for winter. “It has been known for some time, this phenomenon of birds switching  to fruits in the fall,” said bird researcher Scott McWilliams of the University of Rhode Island. “It’s a fairly sophisticated  biochemical analysis,” said McWilliams. The work was presented Wednesday at the  meeting of the American Chemical  Society in San  Francisco.

 

 

Science  Review

“Study  finds elevated levels of air pollution from commercial  cooking”

March 30,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

A new study reveals that a  surprisingly large amount of air pollutants is produced by commercial cooking,  and may prove hazardous to the environment and human health. The topic was  discussed at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San  Francisco.

Wall  Street Journal (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation 2.1  million)

“Tea  and Mockery, Global Warmists Have a Cow”

March 29,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) National Meeting press release

 

 

Time magazine reports on the latest  "climate change error," this one committed by the U.N. Food and Agriculture  Organization: This latest tempest erupted when Frank Mitloehner, air quality  expert in UC Davis' Animal Science department, gave a paper at a conference of  the American Chemical Society. In  that talk he noted that a much-cited comparison in the FAO report--that  livestock produce more carbon emissions worldwide, at 18%, than transportation,  at 15%--was based on a faulty comparison. To calculate the impact of animal  agriculture, the FAO reports' authors relied on a method called life cycle  assessment, which charts the emissions of every aspect of raising meat,  beginning with the carbon costs of clearing land for planting the grain the  animals eat, and following it all the way through until a package of beef is  sitting in the supermarket.

 

 

Reuters (New York, N.Y.: “viewed by more than 1 billion  monthly”)

“Tires Made From  Renewable Materials Commercially Possible Within 5  Years”

March 29,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[New  Scientist (London,  England: weekly  circulation 170,000) also covered the story.]

 

 

There are about 1 billion tires made  each year; each and every one of them uses 7 gallons of crude oil to produce.  Although 7 billion gallons is just a small blip (0.5%) of the overall global  annual use of crude oil (~1.3 trillion gallons), figuring out a way to make  tires from something other than crude oil will, nonetheless, clearly help us in  our goal to a sustainable transportation future. At the American Chemical Society Meeting in  San Francisco  yesterday, Joseph McAuliffe, a scientist from biotech company Genencor,  announced that he and his team have discovered a method to produce one of the  key ingredients for tires from sugars derived from sugarcane, corn, corn cobs,  switchgrass and/or other biomass. This key ingredient, a chemical known as  isoprene, is typically used to make synthetic rubber for  tires.

 

 

CNN (Atlanta, Ga.: 38.7 million monthly unique  users)

“How to save  our economy: 2 technologies that can rescue us  all”

March 29,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

There is one, and only one, answer  to America's burgeoning national debt,  now in the many trillions of dollars and seemingly impossible to repay. There is  a way - and also a means - and both can be summed up in one word each. The first  is prosperity. That's where we come to the second word: energy. Back in 1988,  "cold fusion" and its discoverers, the late Dr. B. Stanley Pons of the  University of  Utah and English chemist  Dr. Martin Fleischmann, were being tarred and feathered for their claims by both  the media and fellow scientists. A "60 Minutes" segment in November 2009 would  later rehabilitate them and their theory, which now has been replicated at least  2,000 times…Despite the validation of cold fusion - now called LENR, for Low  Energy Nuclear Reaction - and the laudatory revelations of the November 2009 "60  Minutes" piece and groundbreaking presentations at the March 26, 2010,  convention of the American Chemical  Society, Chu is not parting with money for more research. The Dept.  of the Navy and a private form had to finance the latest  study.

 

 

CNN (Atlanta, Ga.: 38.7 million monthly unique  users)

“Passover  health: Matzoh, soup and family”

March 29,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

For Jews, Passover is somewhat like  Thanksgiving: Families and friends gather to eat a lot of food. This holiday,  commemorating the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt,  begins tonight and lasts for eight days, during which observers do not eat any  leavened bread or various grains. Some traditionally also avoid beans, corn, and  other starches. The Passover meal - called a "seder," meaning "order," -  traditionally happens on the first night, during which participants go through a  series of symbolic foods representing elements of the Passover story. Some  families have a seder on the second night also. A 2009 study in the American  Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural  and Food Chemistry showed that chicken soup, otherwise known as  "Jewish penicillin," may have medicinal properties. Researchers gave proteins  from chicken legs' collagen to rats. In the rats used to model hypertension,  blood pressure went down, researchers said. This line of research is credible  and may explain the benefits of this "Jewish penicillin," Regenstein  said.

 

 

Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Tex.:  daily circulation 263,810)

“Clinical  trial studies medication that targets menstrual  cramps”

March 30,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

A British company is attempting to  develop a medication designed to target the specific cause of menstrual cramps.  The researchers presented data from a Phase 2 clinical trial recently at the  annual meeting of the American Chemical  Society in San  Francisco. Menstrual cramps are caused by contractions of  the uterus and an increase in the hormone vasopressin. The goal of the  experimental medication, called VA111913, is to block this hormone. The other  remedies women use for relief – painkillers and birth-control pills – only  address the symptoms of menstrual cramps, not the  cause.

 

 

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

“Restaurant  cooking can be polluting”

March 29,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

As you stroll along rows of  restaurants and take in the aroma of steaks, burgers or grilled veggies, keep  this in mind: You may be in an air pollution zone. Scientists in Minnesota have reported  that commercial cooking is surprisingly a large source of a range of air  pollutants that could pose risks to human health and environment. "While that  mouth-watering smell may whet our appetites, it comes from the emission of smoke  from the cooking process into the air that we breathe," Deborah Gross of  Carleton  College said. Research  conducted in the US shows that cooking is by far the  largest source of respirable particles generated in the home, as well. These  findings were presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San  Francisco.

 

 

Science  News (Washington D.C.: bi-weekly circulation  130,000)

“Mothballs  deserve respect”

March 29,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

I don’t use mothballs — except  sometimes to sprinkle down the burrows of animals excavating tunnels beneath the  deck floor of my pergola. It’s the most effective stop-work order for wildlife  that I’ve found. But I won’t use these stinky crystals inside my home because  they scare me. And those fears appear justified, according to Linda Hall of the  California Environmental Protection Agency. At the American Chemical Society spring national  meeting, here, last week, she spoke about why moth crystals deserve more respect  than they seem to get. And if we get sick using them — as some people do — it  may be partly our own fault for not following labeled instructions. The active  ingredient in many, para-dichlorobenzene, can poison the liver, skin, and  central nervous system — and is a “possible human carcinogen,” according to the  U.S. EPA. But product labels don’t say that, Hall pointed out. They merely  instruct consumers to use the moth repellent in an airtight container and to air  out treated fabrics.

 

 

Science  News (Washington D.C.: bi-weekly circulation  130,000)

“Cap  or cork, it’s the wine that matters most”

March 29,  2010

 

 

Don’t judge a wine by its cover. In  a survey of the chemistry and flavor of pinot noir and chardonnay, consumers  couldn’t discern wines capped with natural corks from screw caps, scientists  reported March 25 at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society. The results  suggest that the way its bottle is stopped has little if any effect on a wine’s  flavor. “Wine quality should really be judged by the wine, not the cork,” said  Michael Qian of Oregon State University in Corvallis, who led the research. “The right  kind of screw cap is just as good as a cork, or even better, because it is more  consistent.” The permeability of a wine’s cork determines the amount of oxygen  that enters the wine, and this acts on other compounds that affect flavor. Some  traditionalists assert that real corks are the only way to get just the right  amount of healthy gas exchange needed for a flavorful wine, while screw caps are  suffocating. But Qian’s survey found that wine was just as appealing to taste  testers whether it was aged in bottles topped with screw caps or traditional  corks.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Science  and Technology Updates

“Contact  Lenses Loaded With Vitamin E May Treat  Glaucoma”

March 29,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

The popular dietary supplement  vitamin E, loaded into special medicated contact lenses, can keep glaucoma  medicine near the eye -- where it can treat that common disease -- almost 100  times longer than possible with current commercial lenses, scientists report. In  a presentation at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in  San Francisco,  they described use of vitamin E to develop contact lenses that may deliver more  medication for glaucoma and perhaps other diseases to the  eye.

 

 

Vienna  Coffee Co.

“A  study shows that darker roasted coffee is easier on the stomach”

March 29,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

In a study presented at the meeting  of the American Chemical Society,  food chemists found that dark roasting coffee produces a chemical compound that  keeps stomach cells from producing the excess acid often caused by coffee  drinking.

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

“Meat-Eating  Vs. Driving: Another Climate Change Error?”

March 27,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) National Meeting press release

 

 

[Yahoo!  News (Sunnyvale,  Calif.: 37.9 million monthly unique  users) also covered the story.]

 

 

Here we go again. On March 22, a  scientist at the University of  California at Davis pointed out a flaw in  "Livestock's Long Shadow," a 2006 report by the United Nation Food and  Agriculture Organization (FAO) that attributes 18% of the world's carbon  emissions to animal agriculture. It didn't take long for the bashing to begin  again. "Eat Less Meat, Reduce Global Warming — or Not" ran a headline on the  FoxNews website… This latest tempest erupted when Frank Mitloehner, air quality  expert in UC Davis' Animal Science department, gave a paper at a conference of  the American Chemical Society. In  that talk he noted that a much-cited comparison in the FAO report — that  livestock produce more carbon emissions worldwide, at 18%, than transportation,  at 15% — was based on a faulty comparison. To calculate the impact of animal  agriculture, the FAO reports' authors relied on a method called life cycle  assessment, which charts the emissions of every aspect of raising meat,  beginning with the carbon costs of clearing land for planting the grain the  animals eat, and following it all the way through until a package of beef is  sitting in the supermarket.

 

 

AOL  News (New York, N.Y.: 23.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Scientists  Find First-Ever Colon Cancer Biomarkers”

March 22,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

A blood test could soon offer an  accurate diagnosis of colon cancer's progression, according to Chinese  researchers who say they've found two biomarkers that indicate the spread of the  disease. The scientists, whose study is in this week's Journal of Proteome Research, would be the  first to discover blood-based indicators for colon cancer. The absence of blood  proteins that signal the disease's spread has hampered efforts at better  diagnosis and appropriate treatment. By comparing blood samples of cancer  patients in different stages of the illness, researchers pinpointed two proteins  that were significantly more prevalent in metastized cancer cells, compared with  original cancer cells. In other words, as colon cancer spreads, the proteins  become more common in the blood. In particular, the proteins, labeled TFF3 and  GDF15, were prevalent among patients whose cancer had spread to the lymph nodes.  The finding could help scientists develop a better diagnostic test for  early-stage colon cancer and also determine whether a cancer tumor is likely to  spread. A tumor whose cell biomarkers threatened to spread would then be treated  more aggressively.

 

 

USA Today (McLean, Va.:  daily circulation 1.9 million)

“Measures  across U.S. target port pollution”

March 24,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Joe Johnson isn't a scientist, but  he knows that the giant, smoke-spewing ships that dock at the Port of Baltimore can't be good for his health —  or that of his 9-year-old son. "Those things just look evil," says Johnson, a  handyman who lives in a row house just east of the port. "When the wind blows  the wrong way, there's no telling what kind of (pollutants) we're breathing."  Indeed, approximately 87 million Americans who live near major seaports are  breathing some of the nation's dirtiest — and most dangerous — air, the  Environmental Protection Agency says. A 2007 study published by the American Chemical Society estimated that,  worldwide, pollution from ocean-going ships causes about 60,000 premature deaths  a year from heart and lung cancers and other ailments. Environmental problems at  ports "flew under the radar" until just a few years ago, says Elena Craft of the  Environmental Defense Fund, a non-profit group. She says a series of lawsuits  and petitions by community and environmental groups, especially in California, helped  persuade ports and cargo companies to act.

 

 

National  Public Radio (Washington D.C.: weekly audience 32.7  million)

“Scientific  Disciplines Mix At Chemistry Meeting”

March 26,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  releases

 

 

At the American Chemical Society meeting in  San Francisco  this week, scientists presented work on everything from the greenhouse gas  emissions of livestock to the effect of human skin oils on office air quality.  Ira Flatow and guests discuss these stories and other news from the meeting.  This is SCIENCE FRIDAY from NPR News. I'm Ira Flatow. Air pollution in your  office, phytonutrients in maple syrup, tabletop fusion reactors, the snacking  habits of birds, ocean pollution, smart roof tiles that take their own  temperature to save you energy: You know what all this stuff has in common? It's  all chemistry research reported at the American Chemical Society Meeting in  San Francisco  this week, where around 18,000 scientists gathered to present their latest  findings. This hour, we'll be talking about some of that research, and to help  us guide through guide us through some selected short subjects in science is  Janet Raloff. She is senior editor at Science News in Washington. FLATOW:  Another interesting story I heard about coming out of the meeting was having to  do with medications that we take getting flushed down the toilet and into  waterways. RALOFF: We've heard about that kind of stuff, but at this meeting, it  also happens when we take a shower. it turns out in some cases, we sweat a lot  of drugs out, and so actually our whole surface skin becomes a big drug pad. So  when you take a shower, it can wash off. When your clothes can pick it up.  Someone who gives you, you know, a handshake can pick it up, and certainly you  can be leaving, you know, little repositories of sometimes fairly toxic drugs on  door handles, on food that you handle, just all over the place.

 

 

About.com (48.3  million monthly unique users)

“Carbon-14  Dating Reveals Vintage Wine Fraud”

March 26,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

You knew that carbon-14 dating could  be used to estimate the age of really old organic material, like mummies or the  Shroud of Turin, but did you know it could be applied to date much more recent  materials, such as vintage wines? Cosmos Magazine reports that up to 5% of  vintage wines are frauds. The false age of the wines can be detected using  carbon-14 dating. In this case, the ratio between the levels of the carbon-12  and carbon-14 in the wine closely follows the levels of these two isotopes in  air. Samples of the Earth's atmosphere have been taken for many years now, so  the variation in that ratio has been cataloged. The relative level of carbon-14  rose after the invention of the nuclear bomb. As more and more fossil fuels have  been burned, the carbon-14 was essentially diluted, so the ratio has changed  over time. Australian researcher Graham Jones of the University of Adelaide and his team presented their  findings at the annual American Chemical  Society meeting. Using carbon-14 dating, the researchers were able to  correctly identify the vintage year of 20 Australian red wines produced from  1958 to 1997.

 

 

Daily  Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation  842,912)

“Artificial  leaves could provide cheap energy”

March 29,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Scientists produced a design concept  they hope will make it possible to manufacture fuel by photosynthesis. If  successful, it could help pave the way to a green and cost-efficient ''hydrogen  economy''. Photosynthesis enables plants to use energy from sunlight to convert  carbon dioxide and water into organic compounds. The chemistry involved is  complex and has never been reproduced artificially. Today, a team of Chinese  scientists revealed the blueprint of an ''Artificial Inorganic Leaf'' (AIL)  based on Mother Nature's own design. The new research was presented today at the  annual meeting of the American Chemical  Society in San  Francisco.

 

 

Scientific  American (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation  676,000)

“Lowering  the Ceiling on Roof Energy Losses”

March 26,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Buildings consume about a third of  the energy and two-thirds of the electricity in the U.S. Roofs are a good place  to try to cut those figures. Because traditional black asphalt roofs heat up in  summer and strain the air conditioners. White roofs are better. But they don’t  retain heat in winter, so furnaces work harder. Now scientists from the United  Environment and Energy company think they have a roof fix, which they presented  at a recent meeting of the American Chemical  Society. Via a proprietary technique, the researchers turn waste  cooking oil into a liquid polymer, which hardens after application. As a roof  coating, the polymer can reflect or absorb depending on conditions: it changes  reflectivity at a particular temperature and so goes from reflecting light and  emitting heat in the dog days to absorbing light and retaining heat in the  cold.

 

 

Examiner.com (St. Louis, Mo.: 13.4 million monthly unique  users)

“Showering  and bathing a health hazard”

March 26,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Your early morning shower or late  night soak in the bath are a new source of medical pollution according to  reports by scientists at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. When we're lying  in the water, we forget the fact it holds chemicals we cannot see. We live in an  illusion that the water we bathe in is clean. Forty-eight hours ago, researchers  reported at the meeting that active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs, are  secreted into sewerage water and reenter the body by absorption through the  skin. Medicine commonly soaked-up include hormones and antibiotics, as well as  several others that may surprise you. APIs may go right through the disinfection  process at Atlanta's water treatment plants, and enter  lakes, rivers, and oceans.

 

 

Science  News (Washington D.C.: bi-weekly circulation  130,000)

“Walnuts  slow prostate cancer growth”

March 27,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

A new study suggests that mice with  prostate tumors should say “nuts to cancer.” Paul Davis of the University of California, Davis, hopes follow-up data by his team and  others will one day justify men saying the same. Davis and his colleagues  decided to test walnuts in a mouse model of prostate cancer. The line of rodents  they used are genetically programmed to spontaneously develop prostate cancer.  When fed what is for mice a normal quantity of fat – five percent of calories –  the tumors grow slowly.  But bump the fat content of their diet up to a whopping  20 percent of calories and tumor growth mushrooms. Except if that 20 percent of  fat calories comes from walnuts, Davis reported this week at the American Chemical Society spring national  meeting.

 

 

Science  News (Washington D.C.: bi-weekly circulation  130,000)

“Smokin’  entrees: Charcoal grilling tops the list”

March 27,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

At the American Chemical Society meeting, earlier  this week, I stayed at a hotel that fronted onto the kitchen door of a Burger  King. That grungy portal was locked most of the time, but explained the source  of the beefy scent that perfumed the air from mid-morning on – the restaurant’s  exhaust of smoke and meat-derived aerosols. A study presented at the ACS meeting  confirmed what my nose observed: that commercial grilling can release relatively  huge amounts of pollutants. University of Minnesota researchers have now taken a  different approach to studying grilling pollution and for a somewhat different  reason. Under contract to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and  Air-Conditioning Engineers, better known as ASHRAE, they measured the relative  pollutant output of different grilling technologies and ovens. They focused on  the most common systems used in American restaurants. At ACS, they reported  measurements for five of these: a gas-fired conveyor-system pizza oven, two  gas-fired broilers, an electric griddle and mesquite-charcoal-fueled broiler.  And “in terms of total mass of particles emitted, the charcoal one won,” notes  Deborah Gross of Carleton  College in Northfield, who worked with the Minnesota team while on  sabbatical. It coughed out 35 pounds of particles per 1,000 pounds of burgers  grilled.

 

 

Wired  Magazine (San Francisco, Calif.: monthly circulation  531,491)

“Diagnosing  Parasite Infections With Dye and a Blacklight”

March 28,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

An inexpensive dye could give some  of the world’s poorest people an early warning if they are infected with deadly  parasites. The dye reacts with a molecule that is produced by trypanosomes, the  microbes that cause leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and sleeping sickness. If the  patient is infected, the chemical turns fluorescent green and glows brightly  under a blacklight. “Early diagnosis is the key to improving treatment of these  diseases,” said Ellen Beaulieu, a chemist at SRI International who helped to  develop the dye, March 21 here at the meeting of the American Chemical Society. “Diagnosis with  conventional tests is difficult in developing countries where these diseases  occur.” Trypanosomes infect millions of people each year, and sicken great  numbers of livestock as well. As far as parasitic diseases go, the death toll  from trypanosome infections is second only to  malaria.

 

 

ABC  News (New York, N.Y.: 12.2 million monthly unique  users)

“Stealing  Electricity From Algae”

March 28,  2010

 

 

Why spend the time and expense  necessary to harvest energy when you can simply steal it? For the first time,  scientists from California and Korea  have successfully stolen an electric current from algae. The research could  eventually create a new and environmentally friendly way to generate  electricity. "We have shown that we can steal an electrical current from algae,"  said Fritz Prinz, a scientist from Stanford University and co-author of the ACS  Nano Letters article. Creatures  have been stealing energy from plants and algae for nearly as long as plants and  algae have been around. Usually they steal the chemical energy, stored as sugar,  starch and other molecules. In the scientists' case, they stole electrons from a  widespread and well studied algae called Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. To be able  to extract energy from the algae, the scientists must first essentially  jump-start the cells by applying what's called an over voltage, a tiny current  of electricity that zaps the cell into action.

 

 

Nature.com (London, England: 851,800 monthly unique  users)

“Comet  crash creates potential for life”

March 26,  2010

 

 

Striking a glancing blow to a planet  could create the perfect conditions in a comet's icy core to create amino acids  — molecules that are vital to forming life on Earth. This shock-compression  theory for making amino acids has been developed by Nir Goldman and his  colleagues at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. Goldman presented their results on  24 March at the American Chemical  Society meeting in San  Francisco, California.

 

 

Discovery  News (Silver Spring, Md.: 2.9 million monthly  users)

“Mother of  Pearls Mass-Produced”

March 25,  2010

 

 

A natural pearl is a rare treasure,  but new mass-produced mother of pearl could soon be as cheap and versatile as  paper. Flameproof yet flexible, thinner than office paper but 20 times as  strong, the new material could eventually make aircraft lighter and comfortably  protect police from bullets. "Natural nacre is this perfect marriage of  stiffness, strength and toughness," said Andreas Walther, a researcher at the  Helsinki University of Technology and a co-author of a recent paper in the  journal Nano Letters. "Our  artificial nacre compares very well to the natural material." Synthetic nacre  has long been a goal for both material scientists and biologists. For material  scientists man-made nacre could provide strong, lightweight, cheap and  environmentally-friendly material for a huge variety of products.

 

 

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.8 million monthly unique  users)

“Maple  syrup reduces cancer, diabetes risk”

March 26,  2010

 

 

Maple syrup can substantially slow  the growth of cancerous cells in several cancers and help reduce the risk of  diabetes, U.S. researchers found. Navindra  Seeram of the University of Rhode  Island found 13 new antioxidant compounds that were  not known to exist in syrup until now. Several of these antioxidants newly  identified in maple syrup are reported to have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and  anti-diabetic properties. Seeram presented his findings on Canadian maple syrup  at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in San  Francisco.

 

 

Broadcast  Radio

 

 

National  Public Radio (Washington D.C.: weekly audience 32.7  million)

“News  from the American Chemical Society’s National  Meeting”

March 28,  2010

 

 

At the American Chemical Society meeting in  San Francisco  this week, scientists presented work on everything from the greenhouse gas  emissions of livestock to the effect of human skin oils on office air quality.  Ira Flatow and guests discuss these stories and other news from the  meeting.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Daily  Times

“Restaurant cooking can be  polluting”

March 29,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Scientists in Minnesota have reported  that commercial cooking is surprisingly a large source of a range of air  pollutants that could pose risks to human health and environment. “While that  mouth-watering smell may whet our appetites, it comes from the emission of smoke  from the cooking process into the air that we breathe,” Deborah Gross of  Carleton  College said. These  findings were presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.

 

 

iHealth  Bulletin

“Seaweed alginate fiber reduces  fat absorption 75 percent”

March 29,  2010

 

 

Seaweed fiber could hold the key to  tackling obesity after it was found it reduces fat absorption from the diet by  more than 75 per cent, new research has shown. Now the team at Newcastle University is adding seaweed fiber to  bread to see if they can develop foods that help you lose weight while you eat  them. A team of scientists led by Dr Iain Brownlee and Prof Jeff Pearson have  found that dietary fiber in one of the world’s largest commercially-used seaweed  could reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the body by around 75 per cent.  Presenting their findings at the American  Chemical Society Spring meeting in San Francisco, Dr Brownlee said the next step  was to recruit volunteers and study whether the effects they have modeled in the  lab can be reproduced in real people, and whether such foods are truly  acceptable in a normal diet.

 

Breaking news from ACS’ 239th National Meeting

 

 

Reuters (New York, N.Y.: “viewed by more than 1 billion monthly”)

“Conditioners for Hair Can Clean the Air”

March 25, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) National Meeting press release

 

 

A new technology that uses aminosilicones, a product found in hair conditioners and fabric softeners, has proven successful in removing 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from the simulated flue gases created by coal-fired power plants. Chemists at General Electric Global Research, reporting their findings at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, said that using aminosilicones as a scrubber material holds the promise of stripping CO2 from flue gases more efficiently and cheaply that current compounds being tested as CO2 scrubbers. Robert Perry, a chemist who helped invent the aminosilicone scrubber system, said the material will soon be used on a pilot scale at a power plant. If that test is successful, the aminosilcone solvents could be used in large absorber systems that capture CO2 from coal plants and then are transferred to special "desorption" units, where the carbon dioxide would be removed from the aminosilicone and sequestered in liquid form underground.

 

 

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

“Human origins: It's complicated”

March 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

Love this press release today that says that we're dumping loads of hormones and weird chemicals -- unmetabolized -- into the environment every time we take a shower or a bath. We're shedding pharmaceuticals from our skin. I wish I had gone to the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco (bet you can score some chemicals in that town!), because I need to learn more about the molecular soup of modern society. There's all this tiny stuff that we know nothing about, because its not at our scale of existence.

 

 

MSNBC (New York, N.Y.: 39.9 million monthly unique users)

“Birds fuel up on super foods before migrating”

March 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Discovery News (Silver Spring, Md.: 2.9 million monthly unique users), the Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines: daily circulation 260,000) and Medical News Today (U.K.: 928,500 monthly unique users) also covered the item.]

 

 

Bug-chomping songbirds have been discovered doing something remarkable before migrating south for the winter: They switch, awkwardly, to berries rich in antioxidants. The dietary change has less to do with fattening up and more to do with stocking up on nutrients to help their bodies deal with the stresses of migration, say researchers. "It has been known for some time, this phenomenon of birds switching to fruits in the fall," said bird researcher Scott McWilliams of the University of Rhode Island. It was assumed that the birds were packing in extra fats or carbs during cooler weeks when insects were on the wane. "But that didn't explain it enough." "It's a fairly sophisticated biochemical analysis," said McWilliams. The work was presented Wednesday at the meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco. "This study is one of the new generation of bird food studies that is … not just looking at energy and protein but looking at micronutrients," said ecologist Douglas Levey of the University of Florida in Gainesville.

 

 

Wine Spectator (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 200,000)

“Monkey Business in South Africa, plus atomic wine testing”

March 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

Scientists at the University of Adelaide in Australia have developed the first test that can accurately identify the vintage of any wine produced after 1945. The test, presented at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society and developed by Dr. Graham Jones, a professor of wine and horticulture at the University of Adelaide, measures the ratio of carbon 14 to carbon 12 in the wine. For most of history, that ratio remained consistent from year to year. However, postwar nuclear testing altered the carbon isotope ratio in the atmosphere in specific, recorded ways. By correlating the ratio of carbon isotopes in a wine to the altered atmospheric carbon ratios that resulted from A-bomb detonations, the University of Adelaide scientists can pinpoint the exact birthday of any wine.

 

 

Zimbio (San Carlos, Calif.: 22.4 million monthly unique users)

“French Scientists Reveal Low-Tech, Low-Cost GlidArc Reactor to Produce Super-Clean Bio-Fuels”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

The process that lights up big-screen plasma TV displays is getting a new life in producing ultra-clean fuels, according to a report at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). It described a small, low-tech, inexpensive device called a GlidArc reactor that uses electrically-charged clouds of gas called “plasmas” to produce in three steps super-clean fuels from waste materials. One is a diesel fuel that releases 10 times less air pollution than its notoriously sooty, smelly conventional counterpart. “Low-tech and low cost are the guiding principles behind the GlidArc reactors,” said Albin Czernichowski, Ph.D., who presented the report. “Almost all the parts could be bought at your local hardware or home supply store. We use common ‘plumber’ piping and connections, for instance, and ordinary home insulation. Instead of sophisticated ceramics, we use the kind of heat-resistant concrete that might go into a home fireplace. You could build one in a few days for about $10,000.” Czernichowski pointed out production of biofuels results in huge amounts of glycerol byproduct — 200 pounds for every 2,000 pounds of biodiesel. The glycerol is expensive to refine to the high purity needed for commercial use. GlidArc reactors could transform glycerol into a clean synthesis gas (the carbon monoxide and hydrogen) for production of fuels, he said.

 

 

FOX News (New York, N.Y.: 12.3 million monthly unique users)

“Medicated Bath Products to Blame for Worsening Water Pollution”

March 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Business Week (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568), Yahoo! Health (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 4.3 million monthly unique users), MSN Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique users) and Health.com (New York, N.Y.: 1.2 million monthly unique users) also covered the story.]

 

 

Bracing morning showers and soothing bedtime soaks were blamed late Wednesday for increased water pollution due to medicated soaps and shampoos. In a study unveiled at a National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco, scientists said they have zeroed in on a major source of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that are an ever-worsening environmental concern. "We've long assumed that the active ingredients from medications enter the environment primarily as a result of their excretion via urine and feces," said Dr. Ilene Ruhoy. "However, for the first time, we have identified potential alternative routes for the entry into the environment by way of bathing, showering, and laundering." Ruhoy said lotions, creams, gels and skin patches are to blame for a significant amount of the APIs in ground water. She encouraged consumers to use their medicated products sparingly and doctors to prescribe lower-dosage levels to cut down APIs.

 

 

CTV News (Toronto, Ontario: 6.4 million monthly unique users)

“New contact lenses could improve glaucoma treatment”

March 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

A team of Florida researchers has created special contact lenses loaded with vitamin E that they say can help keep glaucoma medications against the eye, making the drugs more effective. Anuj Chauhan, an associate professor in the department of chemical engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville, led a recent study on the use of vitamin E-infused contact lenses. He says current eye drop treatments are inefficient. "The problem is within about two to five minutes of putting drops in the eye, tears carry the drug away and it doesn't reach the targeted tissue," said Chauhan. "Much of the medicine gets absorbed into the bloodstream, which carries it throughout the body where it could cause side effects. Only about one to five per cent of drugs in eye drops actually reach the cornea of the eye." Chauhan and his colleagues presented their findings this week at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in San Francisco.

 

 

ConsumerAffairs.com (1.7 million monthly unique users)

“Walnuts May Help Fight Prostate Cancer”

March 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

Walnuts -- already renowned as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that fight heart disease - have been found to reduce the size and growth rate of prostate cancer in test animals. That word from scientists in California, who described their findings at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). "Walnuts should be part of a prostate-healthy diet," said Paul Davis, Ph.D., of the University of California-Davis, who headed the study. "They should be part of a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables." Evidence suggests that is among the largest factors that influence a man's risk for developing prostate cancer and that tomatoes and pomegranate juice -- for instance -- may reduce the risk. Davis and colleagues note that walnuts are a rich source of healthful substances, including omega-3 fatty acids found in more expensive foods like salmon; gamma tocopherol (a form of vitamin E), polyphenols, and antioxidants.

 

 

The Financial Express (New Delhi, India: daily circulation 70,000)

“Coming: World’s first ‘green’ tires”

March 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

A revolutionary new technology that produces a key tire ingredient from renewable feedstocks rather than petroleum-derived feedstocks will enable motorists to drive on the world’s first “green” tires within the next five years. The technology, described at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), stands to reduce the tire industry’s reliance on crude oil — seven gallons of which now go into each of the approximately one billion tires produced each year worldwide. The process can use sugars derived from sugar cane, corn, corn cobs, switchgrass or other biomass to produce the ingredient, a biochemical called isoprene, derived from renewable raw materials.

 

 

Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1.1 million monthly unique users)

“Drawing inspiration from Mother Nature in designing an ‘artificial leaf’”

March 26, 2010

Origin” OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

Producing an artificial leaf capable of harnessing Mother Nature’s ability to produce energy from sunlight and water via photosynthesis has been a long-sought goal for researchers aspiring to provide an environmentally-friendly way to free to world of its dependence on coal, oil, and other carbon-producing fuel sources. Now a group of Chinese scientists has presented a design strategy based on the chemistry and biology of natural leaves that could lead to working prototypes of an artificial leaf that captures solar energy and uses it efficiently to change water into hydrogen fuel. The structure of green leaves provides them with an extremely high light-harvesting efficiency. Within their architecture are structures responsible for focusing and guiding solar energy into the light-harvesting sections of the leaf, and other functions. For this reason the scientists from State Key Lab of Matrix Composites at Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China, decided to mimic that natural design in the development of a blueprint for artificial leaf-like structures. It led them to their recipe for the "Artificial Inorganic Leaf" (AIL), based on the natural leaf and titanium dioxide (TiO2) - a chemical already recognized as a photocatalyst for hydrogen production. The team from the State Key Lab of Matrix Composites at Shanghai Jiaotong  University will present its design strategy report at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society being held this week.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Lockergnome (Seattle, Wash.: 523,100 monthly unique users)

“Keeping Queso Fresco Fresh”

March 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

Queso fresco, a quintessential ingredient in Mexican cuisine, would retain higher quality in supermarket display cases if stored at a lower temperature. That’s the conclusion of a report presented here today at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

The study was part of a broader effort to establish so-called “standards of identity” for the Hispanic foods now finding a new home in the United   States, where Hispanics and Latinos now constitute 15 percent of the population.

 

 

Tonic

“Pure Maple Syrup, Now With Medical Benefits”

March 25, 2010

 

 

If you eat pancakes, French toast or waffles (and might I suggest waffles today, since March 25 is International Waffle Day), I'd recommend using pure maple syrup. Not just because it probably doesn't have all those funky additives and preservatives most other maple syrups have, but also because it will be medically beneficial. ScienceDaily reported that, according to University  of Rhode Island researcher Navindra Seeram, there are more than 20 compounds in Canadian maple syrup with links to human health. According to Seeram, the American Chemical Society's Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry's 2009 Young Scientist of the Year, his goal is "to educate the research community and the public about the many benefits of a variety of plant and berry foods, as well as natural products."

 

 

 

Breaking news from ACS’ 239th National Meeting

 

 

CNN (Atlanta, Ga.: 38.7 million monthly unique users)

“Scientist: Don't blame cows for climate change”

March 24, 2010

 

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) National Meeting press release

 

[The Hindu (Chennai, India: daily circulation 1.45 million), the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Pittsburgh, Pa.: daily circulation 150,253), the Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa: daily circulation 146,050) and the Canada Free Press (Toronto, Ontario: 205,794 monthly unique users) also carried the story.]

 

 

A scientist in the United States has questioned the impact meat and diary production has on climate change, and accused the United Nations of exaggerating the link. In 2006, a report published by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) titled "Livestock's Long Shadow," claimed meat production was responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, which it added was greater than the impact of transport. Livestock farming already occupies 30 percent of the world's surface and its environmental impact will double by 2050 unless drastic action is taken, the U.N. warned. Environmentalists and leading campaigners including Paul McCartney, used the findings to urge consumers to eat less meat and save the planet. Last year the former Beatle's much hyped-campaign featured the slogan: "Less meat = less heat." But Frank Mitloehner, an air quality specialist from the University  of California at Davis (UCD), said the U.N. reached its conclusions for the livestock sector by adding up emissions from farm to table, including the gases produced by growing animal feed; animals' digestive emissions; and processing meat and milk into foods.

 

 

MSNBC (New York, N.Y.: 39.9 million monthly unique users)

“Medicines washing down the shower”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[U.S. News & World Report (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 1.5 million), the Daily Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 842,912) and Discovery News (Silver Spring, Md.: 2.9 million monthly unique users) also covered the story.]

 

 

Researchers have detected substances in water supplies that have come from prescription drugs and toiletries. In the past environmental concerns have focused on sewage as a source chemical pollution as it is thought antibiotics and the active ingredients of pills are flushed down the lavatory. But now the new research by the US Environment Protection Agency suggests that waste from showers and baths should also be looked at. Dr Ilene Ruhoy, who coauthored the study reported at the American Chemical Society annual meeting, said that scientists have long known that bathrooms are a "portal" for release of so-called active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) into the environment. An active ingredient in a pill is the medicine, usually combined with binders to hold the pill together, stabilisers, and other inactive ingredients. However, scientists and pollution control officials had previously assumed that lavatories were the main culprit, with APIs excreted in urine and faeces and flushed into sewers and sewage treatment plants. But now the new sources of the pollutants have been found. "These routes may be important for certain APIs found in medications that are applied topically, which means to the skin," said Dr Ruhoy.

 

 

MSNBC (New York, N.Y.: 39.9 million monthly unique users)

“Could new test settle Shroud of Turin debate?”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Discovery News (Silver Spring, Md.: 2.9 million monthly unique users) also covered the story.]

 

 

The Shroud of Turin, the controversial piece of linen that some believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, could finally be dated accurately. A new method "stands to revolutionize radiocarbon dating," according to research presented on Tuesday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco. Called "non-destructive carbon dating," the method basically avoids the removal of a sample of the object. "It expands the possibility for analyzing museum collections that have previously been off limits because of their rarity or intrinsic value," said Marvin Rowe, professor emeritus at Texas A&M University College Station. Conventional carbon dating estimates the age of an artifact based on the decay rate of the radioactive isotope carbon-14, a variant of carbon that is incorporated in all living organisms. Any material of plant or animal origin, including textiles, wood, bones and leather, can be dated by its content of carbon-14. Scientists typically remove a small sample from an object, treat the sample with a strong acid and a strong base, and then burn it in a small glass chamber to produce carbon dioxide gas.

 

 

Yahoo! News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 37.9 million monthly unique users)

“New Contact Lenses Could Improve Glaucoma Treatment”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[U.S. News & World Report (Washington  D.C.: monthly circulation 1.5 million), the Daily Mail (London, England: daily circulation 1.99 million), People’s Daily Online (Beijing, China: daily circulation 3.5 million), Business Week (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568), the Times of India (New Delhi, India: daily circulation 3.15 million), Everyday Health (Brooklyn, N.Y.: 9.8 million monthly unique users), LiveScience (New York, N.Y.: 38,800 monthly unique users), RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 2.6 million monthly unique users) and Nanowerk (Honolulu, Hawaii: 70,700 monthly unique users) also covered the item.]

 

 

A team of researchers has created special contact lenses for glaucoma patients that come loaded with vitamin E, using a design that could essentially lengthen the amount of time a medication bathes an afflicted eye. This strategy could reduce the significant waste of medication that happens with traditional eye drops, but so far the concept has only been tested in beagles. "Currently, the way we deliver medication to the eye is very bad and very ineffective," said study author Anuj Chauhan, an associate professor in the department of chemical engineering at the University of Florida in Gainesville. "And this approach is wonderful because it delivers drugs for a long period of time." Chauhan and his colleagues are to present their findings Wednesday at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in San Francisco. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma starts as a symptom-less disease that, through damage to the optic nerve, can ultimately rob a patient of his or her sight.

 

Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, Calif.: daily circulation 723,181)

“Drug for menstrual cramps in the works”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


[Everyday Health (Brooklyn, N.Y.: 9.8 million monthly unique users) and Discovery Health (Silver Spring, Md.: 2.9 million monthly unique users) also carried the item.]

 


Well, it's about time. If men had menstrual cramps, I think we'd have more treatment options than Midol by now. OK, enough complaining. A British company is attempting to develop a medication designed to target the specific cause of menstrual cramps. The researchers presented data from a Phase 2 clinical trial Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco. Menstrual cramps are caused by contractions of the uterus and an increase in the hormone vasopressin. The goal of the experimental medication, called VA111913, is to block this hormone. The other remedies women use for relief -- painkillers and birth control pills -- only address the symptoms of menstrual cramps, not the cause. "This is a different approach," said Andy Crockett, vice president of business development for Vantia Ltd., the company developing the drug. "Right now, the current therapies for menstrual cramps are poorly tailored." While half of all women experience some menstrual cramps, about 10% to 20% have a severe condition, called dysmenorrhea.

 


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

“New Contact Lenses Could Improve Glaucoma Treatment”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


[Yahoo! News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 37.9 million monthly unique users), MSN Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique users) and HealthDay (Norwalk, Conn.: 57,200 monthly unique users) also carried the item.]

 


A team of researchers has created special contact lenses for glaucoma patients that come loaded with vitamin E, using a design that could essentially lengthen the amount of time a medication bathes an afflicted eye. Chauhan and his colleagues are to present their findings Wednesday at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in San   Francisco… At the same meeting, a research team out of Iowa State University is scheduled to report Wednesday on a new technology that might be able to catch glaucoma in its pre-symptomatic, early stages. Led by Iowa State assistant professor Chenxu Yu, the team said they believe they are on the verge of a diagnostic "breakthrough" with the aid of infrared laser light -- via a method called "Raman spectroscopy" -- that shines through the eye's pupil to take a "snapshot" of the retina. They hope the high-tech picture could one day be used to identify biochemical signs of glaucoma in its infancy.

 


Zimbio
(San Carlos, Calif.: 22.4 million monthly unique users)

“Tires Made From Sugars and Not Petroleum Available Within 5 Years”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


[Technology Review (Cambridge, Mass.: bimonthly circulation 315,000), Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1.1 million monthly unique users), Science Daily (Rockville, Md. 3.7 million monthly unique users) and Green Car Congress (28,100 monthly unique users) also covered the item.]

 


Motorists will be driving on the world’s first “green” tires within the next five years, scientists predicted at the American Chemical Society meeting, thanks to a revolutionary new technology that produces a key tire ingredient from renewable feedstocks rather than petroleum-derived feedstocks. The technology, described at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), stands to reduce the tire industry’s reliance on crude oil — seven gallons of which now go into each of the approximately one billion tires produced each year worldwide. The process can use sugars derived from sugar cane, corn, corn cobs, switchgrass or other biomass to produce the ingredient, a biochemical called isoprene, derived from renewable raw materials.

 


Yahoo! Health
(Sunnyvale, Calif.: 4.3 million monthly unique users)

“What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


The enticing aromas that restaurants emit are actually a type of air pollution that could pose a risk to your health and the environment, U.S. researchers report. Gases and tiny solid particles are among the pollutants pumped out by commercial food cooking, according to Deborah Gross, of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. "While that mouth-watering smell may whet our appetite, it comes from the emission of smoke from the cooking process into the air that we breathe," she said in a news release. Gross and a colleague measured the aerosol particles -- solid and liquid droplets -- while cooking food using typical commercial appliances -- pizzas in an oven, steaks in a broiler, and hamburgers on a griddle, clamshell broiler and charcoal fire. The highest levels of emissions came from fatty foods cooked with high heat, especially with open flames, such as cooking hamburgers on a conveyor broiler. For every 1,000 pounds of hamburger cooked, there were 25 pounds of emissions, they found. The study was to be presented March 23 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.

 


Wired News
(San Francisco, Calif.: monthly circulation 531,491)

“Chemical From Plastic Water Bottles Found Throughout Oceans”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


[Green Car Congress (28,100 monthly unique users) also covered the story.]

 


A survey of 200 sites in 20 countries around the world has found that bisphenol A, a synthetic compound that mimics estrogen and is linked to developmental disorders, is ubiquitous in Earth’s oceans. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is found mostly in shatter-proof plastics and epoxy resins. Most people have trace amounts in their bodies, likely absorbed from food containers. Its hormone-mimicking properties make it a potent endocrine system disruptor. In recent years, scientists have moved from studying BPA’s damaging effects in laboratory animals to linking it to heart disease, sterility and altered childhood development in humans. Many questions still remain about dosage effects and the full nature of those links, but in January the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that “recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.” The oceanic BPA survey, presented March 23 at an American Chemical Society meeting in San  Francisco, was conducted by Nihon University chemists Katsuhiko Saido and Hideto Sato.

 


Science Daily
(Rockville, Md.: 3.7 million monthly unique users)

“A Two-in-One Test for Detecting E. Coli in Ground Beef and Other Foods”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


[PhysOrg.com (Evergreen, Va.: 1.6 million monthly unique users) and OneIndia (Bangalore, India: 1 million monthly unique users) also carried the item.]

 


Scientists have reported on the development of the first two-in-one test that can simultaneously detect both the E. coli bacteria responsible for terrible food poisoning outbreaks, and the toxins, or poisons, that the bacteria use to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms in its victims. They described it at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), being held in San Francisco March 21-25. The bacteria -- a strain called E. coli O157 -- may be present in food for hours or days before improper storage conditions allow them to grow and produce the toxins that actually cause food poisoning. Those toxins can remain in food even after the bacteria are dead and gone. In the past, it took separate tests to protect against this double threat from the bacteria and the toxins. "Our test may be used in meat processing plants to allow in-house testing of products prior to sale," says project leader John Mark Carter, Ph.D.

 


United Press International
(Washington D.C.: 1.8 million monthly unique users)

“The stomach-friendly coffee: Dark-roasted”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


[Digg.com (San Francisco, Calif.: 22.7 million monthly unique users) also covered the story.]

 


German and Austrian researchers said dark-roasted coffee may contain substances that reduce stomach acid. Veronika Somoza of the University of Vienna in Austria and Thomas Hofmann of the Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany said the finding was counter-intuitive, yet good news. The researchers said their findings may mean future brews may be easier on the stomach yet retain coffee's rich taste and aroma. They noted processes now used to remove stomach irritants also reduce the amount of substances scientists link to benefits such as protection against diabetes and heart disease. The researchers found espresso, French roast and other dark-roasted coffee contain a substance not found in raw coffee beans -- N-methylpyridium -- that tells the stomach to reduce the production of acid. German and Austrian researchers said dark-roasted coffee may contain substances that reduce stomach acid. The findings were presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society being held in San   Francisco.

 


Chemie.de
(Berlin, Germany: 385,000 monthly unique users)

“Process in big-screen plasma TVs can produce ultra-clean fuel”

March 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


The process that lights up big-screen plasma TV displays is getting a new life in producing ultra-clean fuels, according to a report at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). It described a small, low-tech, inexpensive device called a GlidArc reactor that uses electrically-charged clouds of gas called "plasmas" to produce in three steps super-clean fuels from waste materials. One is a diesel fuel that releases 10 times less air pollution than its notoriously sooty, smelly conventional counterpart. "The main advantage of such biobased fuels that the GlidArc Technology can create is that they constitute "drop-in replacements" for fossil Diesel oil, gasoline or kerosene, and no modifications are needed in engines, vehicles and distribution systems," Albin Czernichowski said. "The biofuels can also be used as additives to various types of engine fuels to improve certain fuel properties. Another important advantage, of course, is their much lower toxicity for mankind and the environment compared to conventional fuels."

 


WFIE-TV
(Evansville, Ind.: 108,200 monthly unique users)

“Tequila plant may help fight bone loss”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


[KTVN-Channel 2 (Reno, Nev.: 32,700 monthly unique users) also carried the item.]

 


An ingredient in agave -- the plant used to make tequila -- may help fight bone-weakening osteoporosis and other diseases, Mexican researchers say. Agave, artichokes, garlic, onions and chicory are rich, natural sources of fructans -- nondigestible carbohydrates consisting of molecules of fructose linked together into chains, according to background information in a news release from the American Chemical Society. "Experimental studies suggest that fructans may be beneficial in diabetes, obesity, stimulating the immune system of the body, decreasing levels of disease-causing bacteria in the intestine, relieving constipation and reducing the risk of colon cancer," Mercedes Lopez, of the National Polytechnic Institute in Guanajuato, said in the news release. Previous research has also suggested that fructans stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine in a way that increases the body's absorption of minerals, including calcium and magnesium, which are needed for bone growth.

 

Broadcast TV

 


WJBK-DET
(Detroit, Mich.: daily audience 131,024)

“Ingredient found in tequila plant fights diseases like osteoporosis”

March 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


They're called fructans, found in agave, the source of tequila. Experimental studies show that the ingredient can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The findings were reported at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society. This is not an excuse to enjoy extra margaritas; it turns into alcohol when processed into tequila. Fructans are also found in garlic and onions.

 


… From the Blogs

 


FavStocks

“Genencor and Goodyear Partnering on Process to Develop BioIsoprene from Sugars; To be Used in Manufacture of Tires”

March 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, have established a research collaboration to develop an integrated fermentation, recovery and purification system for producing BioIsoprene from renewable raw materials for use in tires. Genencor intends to commercialize the technology within the next five years… In a presentation at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Dr. Joseph McAuliffe of Genencor described how Genencor engineered bacteria to efficiently convert sugars derived from sugar cane, corn, corn cobs, switchgrass or other biomass to isoprene and how the smooth integration of fermentation and recovery processes can deliver a new route to this strategically important ingredient used to make synthetic rubber.

 


The Daily Galaxy

“Why Some Minds Stay Razor Sharp Despite Aging”

March 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 


The brains of some elderly people with super-sharp memory seem to escape the formation of destructive "tangles" that increase with normal aging and peak in people with Alzheimer’s. A study of the brains of people who stayed mentally sharp into their 80s and beyond challenges the notion that brain changes linked to mental decline and Alzheimer's disease are a normal, inevitable part of aging. In a presentation at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Changiz Geula, principal investigator of the Northwestern University Super Aging Project and a professor of neuroscience at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, and colleagues described their discovery of elderly people with super-sharp memory — so-called "super-aged" individuals — who somehow escaped formation of brain "tangles."

 


Diabetes News

“Tequila Plant Ingredient May Fight Osteoporosis And Other Diseases”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

The plant that gave the world tequila contains a substance that seems ideal for use in a new genre of processed foods — so-called “functional foods” — with health benefits over and above serving as a source of nutrients, scientists reported at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

 

 

Breaking news from ACS’ 239th National Meeting

 

Yahoo! News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 37.9 million monthly unique users)

Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss”

March 23, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) National Meeting press release

 

 

[U.S. News & World Report (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 1.5 million), Business Week (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568), the Times of India (New Delhi, India: daily circulation 3.15 million), MSN Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique users), the Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla. daily circulation 134,350), HealthDay (Norwalk, Conn.: 57,200 monthly unique users), CBS42.com (Birmingham, Ala.: 98,000 monthly unique users) and Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.7 million monthly unique users) also covered the story.]

 

 

An ingredient in agave -- the plant used to make tequila -- may help fight bone-weakening osteoporosis and other diseases, Mexican researchers say. Agave, artichokes, garlic, onions and chicory are rich, natural sources of fructans -- nondigestible carbohydrates consisting of molecules of fructose linked together into chains, according to background information in a news release from the American Chemical Society. "Experimental studies suggest that fructans may be beneficial in diabetes, obesity, stimulating the immune system of the body, decreasing levels of disease-causing bacteria in the intestine, relieving constipation and reducing the risk of colon cancer," Mercedes Lopez, of the National Polytechnic Institute in Guanajuato, said in the news release. Previous research has also suggested that fructans stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine in a way that increases the body's absorption of minerals, including calcium and magnesium, which are needed for bone growth.

 

 

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

“UN body to look at meat and climate link”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[FOX News (New York, N.Y.: 12.3 million monthly unique users), the Daily Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 842,912), the China Post (Taipei, Taiwan: daily circulation 400,000), the Register (London, England: 5 million monthly unique users), and Pork Magazine (Lincolnshire, Ill.) also carried the story.]

 

 

UN specialists are to look again at the contribution of meat production to climate change, after claims that an earlier report exaggerated the link. A 2006 report concluded meat production was responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions - more than transport. The report has been cited by people campaigning for a more vegetable-based diet, including Sir Paul McCartney. But a new analysis, presented at a major US science meeting, says the transport comparison was flawed. Sir Paul was one of the figures launching a campaign late last year centred on the slogan "Less meat = less heat". But curbing meat production and consumption would be less beneficial for the climate than has been claimed, said Frank Mitloehner from the University  of California at Davis (UCD). "Smarter animal farming, not less farming, will equal less heat," he told delegates to the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in San   Francisco. One of the authors of Livestock's Long Shadow, FAO livestock policy officer Pierre Gerber, told BBC News he accepted Dr Mitlohner's criticism. "I must say honestly that he has a point - we factored in everything for meat emissions, and we didn't do the same thing with transport," he said.

 

 

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

“New Inhaled Insulin Shows Promise for Diabetes”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Business Week (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568), the Times of India (New Delhi, India: 3.15 million monthly unique users), MSN Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique users), Health.com (New York, N.Y.: 1.2 million monthly unique users), Diabetes.co.uk (Coventry, England) and HealthDay (Norwalk, Conn.: 57,200 monthly unique users) also covered the story.]

 

 

A new form of inhaled insulin appears to help people with diabetes who must use insulin, with fewer potential risks than an earlier form of inhaled insulin that is no longer on the market. The new drug, Afrezza, which is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, works faster, keeps blood sugar levels at a closer to normal level and has less risk of causing low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) than currently available injectable insulins, researchers say. It also appears to have less risk of causing lung problems than its inhaled predecessor, Exubera. "Afrezza is an ultra-rapid-acting insulin, and clinical studies have shown us that it has the potential to change diabetes therapy, because in the body, Afrezza looks like the insulin that's normally in a person's body," said Andrea Leone-Bay, vice president of pharmaceutical development for MannKind Corp., manufacturer of Afreeza. Leone-Bay was to explain the Technosphere technology Tuesday at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in San   Francisco. MannKind hopes the technology used in Afrezza might help deliver drugs that treat pain and osteoporosis, too.

 

 

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

“BPA Found Beached and at Sea”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Science News (Washington D.C.: bi-weekly circulation 130,000) and PhysOrg.com (Evergreen, Va.: 1.6 million monthly unique users) also covered the item.]

 

 

Chemists have been showing for years that bisphenol A, an estrogen-mimicking building block of polycarbonate plastics and food-can coatings, can leach into food and drinks. But other materials contain BPA – and leach it – such as certain resins used in nautical paint. And Katsuhiko Saido suspects those paints explain the high concentrations of BPA that his team has just found in beach sand and coastal seawater around the world. Saido, a chemist at Nihon University’s College of Pharmacy, in Chiba, Japan, reported his findings here, today, at the American Chemical Society’s spring national meeting. At the last ACS national meeting, Saido showed that Styrofoam and related polystyrene-based materials can degrade in seawater and taint the coastal environment with styrene, a toxic building block of the foams. When he announced his styrene findings last September, reporters asked him: What about BPA? Does this potentially toxic breakdown product of the widely used plastics also show up at the beach? He hadn’t a clue. So he went back and reanalyzed samples of seawater and sand that he had collected for the polystyrene study. And sure enough, BPA was there.

 

 

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

“What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Discovery News (Silver Spring, Md. 2.9 million monthly unique users), MSN Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique users), the Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.: 134,350) and HealthDay (Norwalk, Conn.: 57,200 monthly unique users) also carried the item.]

 

 

The enticing aromas that restaurants emit are actually a type of air pollution that could pose a risk to your health and the environment, U.S. researchers report. Gases and tiny solid particles are among the pollutants pumped out by commercial food cooking, according to Deborah Gross, of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. "While that mouth-watering smell may whet our appetite, it comes from the emission of smoke from the cooking process into the air that we breathe," she said in a news release. Gross and a colleague measured the aerosol particles -- solid and liquid droplets -- while cooking food using typical commercial appliances -- pizzas in an oven, steaks in a broiler, and hamburgers on a griddle, clamshell broiler and charcoal fire. The highest levels of emissions came from fatty foods cooked with high heat, especially with open flames, such as cooking hamburgers on a conveyor broiler. For every 1,000 pounds of hamburger cooked, there were 25 pounds of emissions, they found. For every 1,000 pounds of pizza cooked, there were three pounds of emissions. The study was to be presented March 23 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.

 

 

Daily Mail (London, England: daily circulation 1.99 million)

Pill to end period pain: Drug that brings relief for millions of sufferers could be available by 2010”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Yahoo! News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 37.9 million monthly unique users), U.S. News & World Report (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 1.5 million), WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 19 million monthly unique users), the Daily Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 842,912), Business Week (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568), MSN Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique users) and HealthDay (Norwalk, Conn.: 57,200 monthly unique users) also carried the story.]

 

 

A drug that could free women from the misery of period pain has been devised by scientists. The 'hot water bottle in a pill' is designed to tackle the cause of the crippling cramps that plague up to 90 per cent of young and middle-aged women each month. Taken ahead of a woman's period, it could prevent the pain. Alternatively, it could be taken when required, easing pain when it hits. Likely to be prescription only, the drug could be on the market in just four years. Period pain, or dysmenorrhea, blights the life of between 45 and 90 per cent of women of child-bearing age and is the leading cause of absenteeism from school and work in women in their teens and 20s. The pain is caused by the womb contracting during a period. Preliminary tests on a small group of women showed it to be safe, with no side- effects, an American Chemical Society conference in California heard.

 

 

Daily Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 842,912)

“New dating technique could establish age of the Turin Shroud”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 2.6 million monthly unique users), OneIndia (Bangalore, India: 1 million monthly unique users) and ScienceDaily (Rockville, Md.: 3.7 million monthly unique users) also carried the story.]

 

 

The researchers said the new method was so safe it could allow scientific analysis of hundreds of artefacts that until now were off limits because museums and private collectors did not want the objects damaged. "This technique stands to revolutionise radiocarbon dating," said Dr Marvin Rowe, who led the research team at the Texas A&M  University. "It expands the possibility for analysing extensive museum collections that have previously been off limits because of their rarity or intrinsic value and the destructive nature of the current method of radiocarbon dating. "In theory, it could even be used to date the Shroud of Turin." Traditional carbon dating involves removing and burning small samples of the object.

 

 

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

“Here’s why ‘super-aged’ have sharp memory”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Medical News Today (U.K.: 928,500 monthly unique users), Ivanhoe (Orlando, Fla.: 18,000 monthly unique users) and PhysOrg.com also carried the story.]

 

 

The secret behind the super-sharp memory in elderly people—the so-called "super-aged" individuals—has now been unveiled. Dr. Changiz Geula, and colleagues said that the "super-aged" individuals, actually somehow escaped formation of brain "tangles”, which consist of an abnormal form of a protein called "tau" that damages and eventually kills nerve cells. Named for their snarled, knotted appearance under a microscope, tangles increase with advancing age and peak in people with Alzheimer’s disease. "This discovery is very exciting. It is the first study of its kind and its implications are vast. We always assumed that the accumulation of tangles is a progressive phenomenon throughout the normal aging process. Healthy people develop moderate numbers of tangles, with the most severe cases linked to Alzheimer’s disease. But now we have evidence that some individuals are immune to tangle formation. The evidence also supports the notion that the presence of tangles may influence cognitive performance. Individuals with the fewest tangles perform at superior levels. Those with more appear to be normal for their age," said Geula.

 

 

MSNBC (New York, N.Y.: 2.4 million monthly unique users)

“Fusion's ups and downs”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Io9 (San Francisco, Calif.: 2 million monthly unique users), Nature.com (London, England: 851,800 monthly unique users) also carried the item.]

 

 

There's more than one way to do fusion energy research: Some approaches rely on applying well-accepted physics, at a cost of billions of dollars, on a timeline that could stretch out for decades. Other approaches follow unconventional paths that could get to the goal much more quickly, for much less money ... but could also lead to dead ends. Over the past couple of weeks, the folks following unconventional paths to fusion have signaled that they're a little surer about their progress - while some of the folks following the mainstream path are running into a little more trouble. Does that mean low-budget fusion will prevail? Not necessarily. But it does mean that fusion research could heat up in the years to come… This week, scientists gathered at the American Chemical Society's spring meeting in San   Francisco to turn the spotlight on a highly unorthodox path: the effect known as cold fusion.

 

 

Scientific American (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 676,000)

“Nuclear Bombs Expose Fake Wines”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

Here are two seemingly unrelated facts. One: from the late 1940s through 1963, we tested atomic bombs in the atmosphere. Two: wine lovers are sometimes duped into spending exorbitant amounts for fake vintage bottles that weren’t from the year they were supposedly grown. But Graham Jones at Australia’s University of Adelaide thought he could use bomb information against counterfeit wines. [He talked about his research at the meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.] Carbon dating works by comparing the amount of carbon 14, which is a less common and less stable form of carbon, to the more abundant carbon 12. For thousands of years, the ratio between the two has been the same. But those two decades of atomic bomb tests increased the C-14 in the atmosphere. And as growing grapes absorb carbon dioxide, they take in trace amounts of the heavier carbon isotope—which eventually show up in the wine.

 

 

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

“New 'Smart' Roof Saves Energy in Hot and Cold Climates”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[The Register (London, England: 5 million monthly unique users) also covered the item.]

 

 

Top a building with a light-colored "cool roof," and it reflects sunlight, cutting air conditioning bills in summer, but increasing winter heating costs. Choose black shingles, and the roof soaks up sunlight to cut winter heating costs but makes the roof bake in the summer sun. One or the other. You can't have it both ways. Until now. Scientists today reported the development of a "smart" roof coating, made from waste cooking oil from fast food restaurants, that can "read" a thermometer. The coating automatically switches roles, reflecting or transmitting solar heat, when the outdoor temperature crosses a preset point that can be tuned to the local climate. They described the coating at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), being held here this week. Roofs coated with the material would reflect scorching summer sunlight and reduce sticker-shock air-conditioning bills. When chilly weather sets in, the coating would change roles and transmit heat to help warm the interior.

 

 

Marie Claire (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 950,000)

“Why strong coffee could be healthier”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[The Hindu (Chennai, India: daily circulation 1.45 million) also covered the story.]

 

 

Your morning espresso might give you the jitters - but new research shows rich and dark-roasted coffees could be kinder on the stomach than milder ones. A new study suggests dark-roasted coffee might produce less acid in the stomach than other forms. One in five people are thought to suffer stomach problems from drinking coffee - often forcing them to abstain from a daily brew. The report to the American Chemical Society by Austrian scientists identified three compounds that give coffee drinkers acid stomachs: caffeine, catechols and N-alkanoly-5-hydroxytryptamides.

 

 

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

“Soybeans can provide safer sunscreens”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.7 million monthly unique users), Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (New Rochelle, N.Y.: biweekly circulation 65,000), RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 2.6 million monthly unique users) and PhysOrg.com (Evergreen, Va.: 1.7 million monthly unique users) also covered the story.]

 

 

Say goodbye to that petroleum based sunscreen lotion and get ready to grab a bottle of a more natural sun-protecting product, which is made of soybean oil. Scientists have developed a new method for converting soybean oil into a highly effective bio-based sunscreen active ingredient, called feruloyl soy glycerides (FSG), which does not carry the potential health concerns of ingredients in some existing sunscreens. The new, natural sunscreen agent could replace petroleum-derived ingredients in a variety of personal-care products. Dr. Joseph Laszlo, who headed the research, pointed out that sales of sunscreens and other skin-care products that protect against the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) light have been booming.

 

 

The Hindu (Chennai, India: daily circulation 1.45 million)

“Walnuts: good for the heart, prostate”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

Walnut consumption slows the growth of prostate cancer in mice and has beneficial effects on multiple genes related to the control of tumour growth and metabolism, researchers have found. Paul Davis, nutritionist and researcher with the UC Davis Cancer Centre in California, said the findings provide additional evidence that walnuts, although high in fat, are healthy. “This study shows that when mice with prostate tumours consume an amount of walnuts that could easily be eaten by a man, tumour growth is controlled,” he said. “This leaves me very hopeful that it could be beneficial in patients,” he added. The findings were presented Monday at the annual national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San   Francisco.

 

 

Nature.com (London, England: 851,800 monthly unique users)

“ACS: The greening of the EPA”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

The big hitters are out in force to tell us how important Green Chemistry is. None other than the father of green chemistry-turned EPA science advisor gave a talk this evening in impressive style. Paul Anastas breezed onto the stage to sit nonchalantly atop a high stool, and spoke for about 45 minutes about the virtues of green chemistry. Anastas is on faculty at Yale  University and also appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Office of Research and Development. In 1998 Anastas and his colleague John Warner developed the 12 principles of green chemistry, which are all about making chemical processes and reactions benign and sustainable.

Anastas was on great form. The huge ballroom was packed, and the notes-less Anastas seemed to love the attention. But what did he say? Well, his speech seemed to be a rallying cry, telling chemists to make sure that green chemistry was at the heart of every process they develop in future. "Green chemistry is not a sub-discipline of chemistry, it's a thread that runs through all chemistry," he said.

 

 

United Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.8 million monthly unique users)

“Simple test for parasitic diseases created”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

[Medical News Today (U.K.: 928,500 monthly unique users) also carried the item.]

 

 

U.S. scientists say they're creating a simple, inexpensive three-in-one "dipstick" test to identify three parasitic diseases plaguing some developing nations. The test is designed to identify Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis and "sleeping sickness" or African trypanosomiasis. Together, the diseases cause tens of thousands of deaths each year, researchers said. Scientists said current tests used to identify the diseases either take too long, involve expensive lab equipment or require specially trained healthcare workers. The research was presented this week in San Francisco during a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

Broadcast TV

 

 

WTVT-TB (Tampa Bay, Fla.: daily audience 123,143)

“Ingredient in the tequila plant could reduce the risk of osteoporosis and diabetes”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

An ingredient in the tequila plant could reduce the risk of osteoporosis and diabetes. The findings were reported at the national meeting of American Chemical Society.

 

 

KHON-HON (Honolulu, Hawaii: daily audience 44,963)

“Adding alginate to foods could help up to three quarters of fat from meals pass through the body”

March 23, 2010

 

 

Researchers think adding alginate to foods eaten regularly will help up to three quarters of fat from a meal simply pass through the body. They presented the findings at the American Chemical Society's conference.

 

 

WZTV-NAS (Nashville,  Tenn.: daily audience 10,679)

“Ingredient found in tequila plant could fight diseases like osteoporosis”

March 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

An ingredient found in the tequila plant could help fight diseases like osteoporosis. They're called fructans -- a non-digestible carbohydrate found in the agave plant, which is the source for tequila. Experimental studies show the ingredient could reduce the risk of not only the bone disease but diabetes as well. The findings were reported at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Scientific Blogging (39,100 monthly unique users)

“Cold Fusion Press Conference Video: ACS 2010”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

The American Chemical Society's Spring 2010 National Meeting and Exposition includes numerous research findings in the field of cold fusion, also known as Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR). Here is the video of the live press conference that gives a broad introduction to the people involved and their views on this controversial part of science.

 

 

Science Blog (315,800 monthly unique users)

“New method could revolutionize dating of ancient treasures”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

Scientists today described development of a new method to determine the age of ancient mummies, old artwork, and other relics without causing damage to these treasures of global cultural heritage. Reporting at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), they said it could allow scientific analysis of hundreds of artifacts that until now were off limits because museums and private collectors did not want the objects damaged.

Breaking news from ACS’  239th National Meeting

 

 

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

“'Smart'  Roof Responds to Temperature, Saves Energy”

March 22, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) National Meeting  press release

 

 

[The Times  of India (New Delhi, India: daily circulation 3.15 million), CBC  News (Toronto, Ontario: 4.8 million monthly unique users), Science360 News Service (Arlington,  Va.: 130,500 monthly unique users) and LiveScience (New York, N.Y.: 38,800 monthly unique users) also covered the  story.]

 

 

A new material made from cooking oil could change your  roof into a chameleon of sorts. Instead of changing the color of its skin, the  roof coating morphs its optical properties - reflecting the sun's rays on hot  days and absorbing the rays when it's cold. The result: A roof that lessens the  load on your home's heating and cooling systems. The idea of using special  building materials and coatings to reduce your utility bill, and the toll on  Mother Nature, isn't new. But past "green" roofs were only made for one season.  For instance, "cool" roofing, or white tiles that reflect the sun's rays, help  to cool your home on summer days. But those same cooling properties are counter  productive during chilly winter days. The new "smart" coating is made out of a  cooking oil-based polymer - molecules strung together in long chains - that  hardens into a plastic. Wen and his colleagues presented their development at  the 239th National Meeting of the American  Chemical Society (ACS) held in San Francisco last  week.

 

 

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

“Pesticide  Labels Too Vague”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting  press release

 

 

[Yahoo!  News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 17.8 million monthly unique users), Business  Week (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568), the Palm  Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.: daily circulation 134,350), Science  Daily (Rockville, Md. 3.7 million monthly unique users), MSN  Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique users), RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 2.6 million monthly unique users), HealthDay (Norwalk,  Conn.: 57,200 monthly unique users) and PhysOrg.com (Evergreen,  Va.: 1.6 million monthly unique users) also carried the  item.]

 

 

Labels on some common household pesticide products lack  clear information about how to use them safely, a new study shows. Directions  suggest that "if a little is good, more is better," which could lead consumers  to use excessive amounts of pesticides that could pose a threat to the health of  family members and pets, according to the California Environmental Protection  Agency researchers. Linda M. Hall and colleagues analyzed labels on mothballs  and other products that contain a chemical called para-dichlorobenzene (pDCB).  Other products with the chemical are used to protect caged birds against lice  and mites and for mildew prevention. "Recently, several national studies have  shown that minority groups including African-Americans and Hispanics are likely  to have elevated blood levels of a variety of indoor air pollutants. Very  important among these indoor air pollutants is pDCB, the mothball ingredient.  All uses of pDCB in California are residential. Therefore, it is  important that labels clearly define conditions for safe use by untrained  residential consumers," Hall said in a news release. The study was to be  presented Monday at the national meeting of the American Chemical  Society.

 

 

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

“Coming  Soon: A Low-Heartburn Coffee?”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[WebMD (Orlando, Fla.:  19 million monthly unique users), Scientific  American (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 676,000), Business  Week (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568), Wired  Magazine (San Francisco, Calif.: 2.4 million monthly unique users), MSN  Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique users), Health.com (New York, N.Y.: 1.2 million monthly unique users) and Science  News (Washington D.C.: bi-weekly circulation 130,000) also covered the  story.]

 

 

For millions of coffee-lovers with delicate stomachs,  scientists may have found a way to enjoy an eye-opening cup of java without  gastrointestinal discomfort. European researchers studying stomach-irritating  chemicals in coffee have unexpectedly found one that actually inhibits acid  production in the stomach. "The major import of our work is that it provides  scientific evidence that you can produce a more stomach-friendly coffee by  varying the processing technology," said study author Veronika Somoza, professor  and chair of the Research Platform of Molecular Food Science at the University  of Vienna, Austria. The finding offers the promise that coffee makers can  produce a blend that will be easier on the tummy, Somoza said. The results were  to be presented Sunday at the American  Chemical Society's annual meeting in San Francisco.

 

 

Montreal Gazette (Montreal, Quebec: daily circulation  454,200)

“Carbon  science pinpoints a wine's age to within a  year”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[Discovery  News (Silver Spring, Md.: 2.9 million monthly unique users), Discover  Magazine (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 850,000) and China  Post (Taipei,  Taiwan: daily  circulation 400,000) also covered the item.]

 

 

Ever paid top dollar for a bottle of wine that says on  the label it's from a much-sought-after year, only to find that it tasted like  cheap, non-vintage plonk? Well, a team of researchers in Australia, who think "vintage fraud"  is widespread, has come up with a test that uses radioactive carbon isotopes  left in the atmosphere by atomic bomb tests last century and a method used to  date prehistoric objects to determine what year a wine comes from, or its  vintage. The test works by comparing the amount of carbon-12 and carbon-14 in  grapes. Both are isotopes of carbon and are captured by the grape plants when  they absorb carbon dioxide, the main nutrient used by living plants in their  growth cycle. "Until the late 1940s, all carbon-14 in the Earth's biosphere was  produced by the interaction between cosmic rays and nitrogen in the upper  atmosphere," said Graham Jones of the University of Adelaide, who led the study and presented its findings  yesterday at the annual meeting of the  American Chemical Society, held in California.

 

 

Daily  Mail (London, England: daily circulation 1.99  million)

“Veggies  are wrong and eating less meat will NOT save planet”
March 22,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[Yahoo!  News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 17.8 million monthly unique users), the Daily  Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 842,912), the National Post (Toronto, Ontario: daily circulation 203,781), France  24 (Paris, France: 5 million monthly unique users), the Sydney  Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia: daily circulation 212,700), the Age (Melbourne, Australia: daily circulation 196,250), the Australian (Sydney, Australia: daily circulation 135,000), the Vancouver  Sun (Vancouver, B.C.: daily circulation 166,151), the Washington  Times (Washington D.C.: daily circulation 102,258) and Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.7 million monthly unique users) also covered the  story.]

 

 

From Paul McCartney to Gwyneth Paltrow, green-minded pop  stars and actors have long been urging people to save the planet by eating less  meat. But according to a new report, they have been exaggerating the links  between farming and global warming. Dr Frank Mitloehner, an air quality expert  at the University of California, Davis, says meat and milk production generates  less greenhouse gas than most environmentalists claim. He blames a 2006 report  from the United Nations for overstating the contribution of livestock to manmade  climate change. 'We certainly can reduce our greenhouse-gas production, but not  by consuming less meat and milk,' Dr Mitloehner told the American Chemical Society meeting in  San Francisco  today.

 

 

WebMD (Orlando,  Fla.: 19 million monthly unique  users)

“Walnuts  may help fight prostate cancer”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[The Daily  Mail (London, England: daily circulation 1.99 million), the Daily  Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 842,912), the Times  of India (New Delhi, India: daily circulation 3.15 million), the Charleston  Post & Courier (Charleston, S.C.: daily circulation 81,821), R&D  Magazine (Rockaway, N.J.: monthly circulation 80,000), RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 2.6 million monthly unique users), Medical News  Today (U.K.: 928,500 monthly unique users), e!  Science News (47,000 monthly unique users) also covered the  item.]

 

 

Scientists in California are reporting that walnuts reduce  the size and growth rate of prostate cancer in test animals. The findings were  announced at the 239th National Meeting of  the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific  society. "Walnuts should be part of a prostate-healthy diet," said Paul Davis,  PhD., the research nutritionist, who headed the study. "They should be part of a  balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables." Prostate cancer is  the most common cancer in men in the UK. A quarter of all new cases of  cancer diagnosed in men are prostate cancers. The Prostate Cancer Charity is the  UK’s leading charity working with  people affected by the disease. It says one man dies every hour in the  UK from prostate  cancer.

 

 

Popular  Science (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 1.3  million)

“At  Annual Convention, Chemists Warm to Cold  Fusion”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Looking for new energy solutions, scientists are  increasingly embracing the idea of cold fusion, once considered a junk science  along the lines of alchemy. "Cold fusion" describes the nuclear fusion of atoms  at close to room temperatures, as opposed to the epic temperatures at which  nuclei fuse inside stars. If realized on a practical scale, it could provide the  world with a virtually limitless source of energy. Several new frontiers in cold  fusion research are on display this week at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in San  Francisco. One researcher is working on a new kind of  battery that uses a new cold fusion process and has a longer shelf life than  conventional batteries. Another researcher has experimental evidence that some  forms of bacteria use a type of cold fusion, and their biologically driven  transmutations could help dispose of nuclear waste. German chemist Jan Marwan,  who organized the Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions symposium at the ACS meeting,  said scientists are no longer afraid to talk about cold fusion. "I've also  noticed that the field is gaining new researchers from universities that had  previously not pursued cold fusion research. More and more people are becoming  interested in it," he said in a statement.

 

 

Examiner.com (St. Louis,  Mo.: 13.3 million monthly unique  users)

“Three  parasitic diseases diagnosed using a simple “dipstick” method appears  promising”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[More than 150 publications, including Forbes (New York, N.Y.: 6.5 million monthly unique users), Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.7 million monthly unique users), TMCNet (Norwalk,  Conn.: 1 million monthly unique users), Daily  News Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.: 583,626 monthly unique users), KWWL-TV (Cedar Rapids, Iowa: 133,309 monthly unique users), the Atlanta  Business Chronicle (Atlanta, Ga.: 143,734 monthly unique users) and WAVE3-TV,  (Louisville, Ky.: 587,448 monthly unique users), also covered the  item.]

 

 

During the 239th  National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, scientists from  SRI International discussed the development of a simple, inexpensive 3 in 1 test  to diagnose three related parasitic species that cause the following diseases;  Chaga’s disease, leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness. These parasites cause tens  of thousands of deaths and innumerable amount of suffering throughout many parts  of the developing world. A major goal of the new test method according to Ellen  Beaulieu, Ph.D., a medicinal chemist at SRI, is to provide cheap and simple  early diagnosis of these parasites which would ultimately improve the treatment  options. The late stage disease of these three parasites typically requires the  use of very toxic drugs with potentially fatal side  effects.

 

 

Malaysia Sun (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: daily circulation  265,443)

“Process  that lights up big-screen plasma TVs can produce super-clean  fuel”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[Science  Daily (Rockville,  Md.: 3.7 million monthly unique  users) and Green  Car Congress (28,100 monthly unique users) also covered the  item.]

 

 

The technology used to light up big-screen plasma TVs  has a hidden application - creating ultra-clean fuel, say researchers. Albin  Czernichowski, a professor at the University of Orleans in France, described a  small, low-tech, inexpensive device called a GlidArc reactor that uses  electrically-charged clouds of gas called "plasmas" to produce super-clean fuels  from waste materials in three steps. One is a diesel fuel that releases 10 times  less air pollution than its notoriously sooty, smelly conventional counterpart.  Czernichowski noted that the reactors, about the size of a refrigerator, are  custom designed to clean dirty gases produced by a low-tech gasification of  locally available wastes, biomass, or other resources to produce clean mix of  carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas to synthesize biofuels. The research has been  presented at the 239th National Meeting of  the American Chemical Society.

 

 

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

“Here's  why maple syrup is very good for your health”

March 22, 2010

 

 

Good news for sweet tooths everywhere: that sticky syrup  you love to pour on pancakes and waffles is not only bad for you — it might be  good for you, too. Sure, it’s sugary and calorie-packed. But real maple syrup is  also full of compounds touted for their health benefits, according to a  professor from the University of Rhode  Island. Navindra Seeram, an assistant professor of  pharmacy who specializes in medicinal plant research, found a cocktail of 20  antioxidants in 20 litres of the sweet stuff from Quebec, including 13  never before found in maple syrup. Although he says more research is needed to  determine whether people can actually benefit from maple syrup, Seeram adds the  compounds are reported to have antibacterial, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic  properties. His findings, presented this week at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in San  Francisco, are great news for the booming maple syrup  industry.

 

 

Science  News (Washington D.C.: bi-weekly circulation  130,000)

“Athlete’s  foot therapy tapped to treat bat-killing  fungus”

March 22, 2010

 

 

Over the past four years, a mysterious white-nose fungus  has struck hibernating North American bats. Populations in affected caves and  mines can experience death rates of more than 80 percent over a winter. In  desperation, an informal interagency task force of scientists from state and  federal agencies has just launched an experimental program to fight the plague.  Their weapon: a drug ordinarily used to treat athlete’s foot. John Eisemann of  the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, better  known as APHIS, in Fort  Collins, Colo.,  mentioned the new program during his talk, here, at the American Chemical Society’s spring national  meeting. He was describing legal tactics by which wildlife officials  can thwart invasive vertebrate species with off-the-shelf chemicals.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Science  Codex (34,300 monthly unique  users)

“EPA  RD Chief: Green chemistry will guide US into a sustainable  future”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Scientific advances in a rapidly emerging field termed  "green chemistry" offer the brightest promise for guiding the American economy  into a new era of sustainability, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's  top R&D official said today. Paul T. Anastas, Ph.D., assistant administrator  for the EPA's Office of Research and Development, described that future epoch as  one in which people use water, air, energy, and other resources in ways that  meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to  meet their needs. Anastas delivered the keynote address at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical  Society (ACS), being held here this week. More than 1,600 of the  12,000 technical presentations on the ACS' agenda are devoted to sustainability,  which is the central theme of a meeting expected to draw more than 18,000  scientists and others.

 

 

Functional  Foods

“Walnuts  slow prostate tumors in mice”

March 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Walnut consumption slows the growth of prostate cancer  in mice and has beneficial effects on multiple genes related to the control of  tumor growth and metabolism, UC Davis and the U.S. Department of Agriculture  Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif.  have found. The study, by Paul Davis, nutritionist in the Department of  Nutrition and a researcher with the UC Davis Cancer Center, announced the  findings today at the annual national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San  Francisco.

Breaking news from ACS’  239th National Meeting

 

 

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

“Scientists  use carbon-dating to check wine vintages:  study”

March 21, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) National Meeting  press release

 

 

[The Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 842,912), the Guardian (London, England: daily circulation 335,615), the Times  of India (New Delhi: daily circulation 3.15 million), the Sydney  Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia: daily circulation 212,700), France  24 (Paris, France: 5 million monthly unique users), Cosmos  Magazine (Sydney, Australia: bimonthly circulation 25,000), and Science  Daily (Rockville, N.J.: 3.7 million monthly  unique users) also covered the  news.]

 

 

Ever paid top dollar for a bottle of wine that says on  the label it's from a much-sought-after year, only to find that it tasted like  cheap, non-vintage plonk? Well, a team of researchers in Australia, who think  "vintage fraud" is widespread, have come up with a test that uses radioactive  carbon isotopes left in the atmosphere by atomic bomb tests last century and a  method used to date prehistoric objects to determine what year a wine comes  from, or its vintage. The test works by comparing the amount of carbon-12 and  carbon-14 in grapes. Both are isotopes of carbon and are captured by the grape  plants when they absorb carbon dioxide, the main nutrient used by living plants  in their growth cycle. "Until the late 1940s, all carbon-14 in the Earth's  biosphere was produced by the interaction between cosmic rays and nitrogen in  the upper atmosphere," said Graham Jones of the University of Adelaide. "This changed in the late 1940s  up to 1963 when atmospheric atomic explosions significantly increased the amount  of carbon-14 in the atmosphere," said Jones, who led the study and presented its  findings Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, held in  California.

 

 

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

“Dark  coffee ‘good for your tummy’”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[Metro (London, England: daily circulation 1.36 million), PhysOrg.com (Evergreen,  Va.: 1.6 million monthly unique users) and OneIndia (Bangalore,  India: 1 million  unique monthly users) also covered the story.]

 

 

Espresso, French roast, and other dark-roasted coffee  are not harmful for the tummy as was previously believed because these roasts  contain a substance that tells the stomach to reduce production of acid,  according to a study. And people who resist from enjoying that much-desired  morning cup of coffee, because of fear of stomach irritation can also take a  sigh of relief because scientists have discovered the culprits behind that  heartburn and stomach pain in every cup. The research could lead to a new  generation of stomach-friendly brews with the rich taste and aroma of regular  coffee, said the scientists. "This discovery is going to help a lot of people  who suffer from coffee sensitivity. As coffee-lovers, we’re very excited about  this research," said Dr. Veronika Somoza from the University of Vienna in Austria, and Dr. Thomas Hofmann, from the  Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany, who conducted the study. The  study has been presented at the 239th  National Meeting of the American Chemical  Society.

 

 

Zimbio (San Carlos,  Calif.: 22.4 million monthly unique  users)

“New  Bacteria Additive Makes Bread Healthier and Tastier Say Scientists of Dextran  Producing Microbes”

March 21, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[The International  Business Times (Sydney, Australia), Science  Daily (Rockville, N.J.: 3.7 million monthly unique users), the Birmingham  Star (Sydney, Australia) and DailyIndia.com also covered  the story.]

 

 

What better venue than San Francisco –– sourdough capital of the world  –– to unveil a new natural sourdough ingredient that could replace conventional  additives in a variety of other breads, while making them tastier and more  healthful? And that's what scientists described at the American Chemical Society's 239th National  Meeting, being held there. In the study, Maija Tenkanen, Ph.D., and  colleagues reported discovery and use of a new strain of bacteria that convert  the sugars in bread dough into produce dextrans. Dextrans are sugar molecules  linked together into long chains that improve the texture and taste of the  sourdough and help keep the bread fresh. These bacteria are available  commercially, but produce large amounts of lactic acid along with dextrans. "The  advantage of this new strain of bacteria is that while it produces 10 times more  dextran than products on the market now, it doesn't produce large amounts of  acid," Tenkanen said. "Because of this feature, and because the added amount of  natural dextran could actually improve the flavor, this could be used in place  of additives for a broad variety of breads."

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, N.J.: 3.7 million monthly unique  users)

“'Cold  Fusion' Moves Closer to Mainstream Acceptance”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[Softpedia (Bellevue, Wash.: 5 million monthly unique users), TG  Daily (Culver City, Calif.: 387,100 monthly unique users), SiFy  News(247,500 monthly unique users), Space  Daily (36,700 monthly unique users), Green  Car Congress (28,100 monthly unique users), and Chem.Info also covered the story.]

 

 

A potential new energy source so controversial that  people once regarded it as junk science is moving closer to acceptance by the  mainstream scientific community. That's the conclusion of the organizer of one  of the largest scientific sessions on the topic -- "cold fusion" -- being held  here for the next two days in the Moscone Center during the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical  Society (ACS). "Years ago, many scientists were afraid to speak about  'cold fusion' to a mainstream audience," said Jan Marwan, Ph.D., the  internationally known expert who organized the symposium. Marwan heads the  research firm, Dr. Marwan Chemie in Berlin, Germany. Entitled "New Energy  Technology," the symposium will include nearly 50 presentations describing the  latest discoveries on the topic. The presentations describe invention of an  inexpensive new measuring device that could enable more labs to begin cold  fusion research; indications that cold fusion may occur naturally in certain  bacteria; progress toward a battery based on cold fusion; and a range of other  topics.

 

 

RedOrbit (Dallas,  Tex.: 2.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Global  Sustainability Technology Featured At ACS  Meeting”

March 21, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[R&D  Magazine (Rockaway, N.J.: monthly circulation 80,000), PhysOrg.com (Evergreen, Va.: 1.6 million monthly unique users) and Eureka!  Science News (47,000 monthly unique users) also carried the  item.]

 

 

Chemistry's often-overlooked role in fostering  sustainability goes on parade this week with one of the largest and most  comprehensive series of scientific reports on advances toward that goal and the  challenges lying ahead. The 1,600 reports and other presentations are part of  the theme — "Chemistry for a Sustainable World" — of the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the  world's largest scientific society, which opens here today. "Theme presentations  account for more than 10 percent of the 13,000 technical papers scheduled for  the meeting," said Robert PeoplesPh.D., Director of the ACS Green Chemistry  Institute (GCI) and organizer of the sustainability plenary  symposium. "This unique event is designed to shepherd scientists' and engineers'  collective knowledge, interests, and passion to address the world's  sustainability challenges. I cannot imagine a more-timely  topic.

 

 

News-Medical.net (Sydney,  Australia:  538,900 monthly unique users)

“'Dipstick'  3-in-1 test for detection of Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis and African  trypanosomiasis”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[Genetic  Engineering & Biotechnology News (New Rochelle, N.Y.: biweekly circulation 65,000) also  covered the item.]

 

 

A new simple, inexpensive three-in-one test to diagnose  a terrible trio of parasitic diseases that wreak havoc in the developing world  is passing preliminary tests, scientists reported here today. Described during  the 239th National Meeting of the American  Chemical Society the test is for Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis, and  "sleeping sickness" or African trypanosomiasis. This year will see about 800,000  new cases of Chagas disease, 2 million of leishmaniasis, and 70,000 of sleeping  sickness (see sidebar). Most cases are discovered at a late stage, and together  they cause tens of thousands of deaths each year and untold suffering. The drugs  used to treat late-stage infections are often toxic and have potentially fatal  side effects. "Early diagnosis is the key to improving treatment of these  diseases," said Ellen Beaulieu, Ph.D., a medicinal chemist in the Center for  Infectious Diseases in the Biosciences Division of SRI International in  Menlo Park, Calif., who reported on the test.

 

 

TG  Daily (Culver City, Calif.: 387,100 monthly unique  users)

“'Smart  roof' could slash energy costs”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[Science  Daily (Rockville, N.J.: 3.7 million monthly unique users), RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.:  2.6 million monthly unique users), OneIndia (Bangalore, India: 1 million unique monthly  users) and Scientist  Live (London, England) also carried the story.]

 

 

A white roof reflects heat and cools a building; a dark  one absorbs it. But until now there hasn't been a material that could do both.  But a new 'smart' roof coating - rather amazingly, made from waste cooking oil  from fast food restaurants - can 'read' a thermometer and switch between roles.  When the outdoor temperature crosses a preset point, the roof can change from  absorbing heat to reflecting it. "This is one of the most innovative and  practical roofing coating materials developed to date," said Ben Wen, leader of  the research project and vice-president of United Environment & Energy.  Tests on the new coated asphalt shingles showed that they could reduce roof  temperatures by up to 80 percent in warm weather - and warm it by the same  amount when the weather is cold. By changing the coating's composition, Wen and  colleagues can tune the substance, so that it changes from reflective to  transmitive at a specific temperature.

 

 

Mail  Online (London, England: daily circulation 1.99  million)

“Cakes  and biscuits could make you LOSE weight... thanks to  seaweed”

March 22,  2010

 

 

It is every dieter's dream: mouthwatering chocolate,  cakes and biscuits that help the weight drop off. And these mythical treats  could soon be on their way to your plate, thanks to a breakthrough by British  scientists. Newcastle University experts have discovered that a  fibre found in seaweed is more effective than most weight loss supplements in  stopping the body from absorbing fat from food - and even enhances flavour. The  Newcastle  scientists looked at how good 60 different types of fibre were at preventing the  body absorbing fat. The lab tests were won by alginate, a sea kelp fibre already  used in small quantities by manufacturers to thicken and stabilise foods. It cut  fat absorption by 75 per cent, an American  Chemical Society conference will hear today.

 

 

News-Medical.net (Sydney,  Australia:  538,900 monthly unique users)

“Freeslate  announces the launch of Core Module automation  system”

March 22, 2010

 

 

Today, Freeslate, Inc. announced the launch of its third  generation Core Module automation system (CM3); designed to optimize workflow  integration, it enables scientists to leverage a single automated platform to  run a diverse array of laboratory applications. The CM3, the latest product from  Freeslate, gives scientists a configurable system for preparing, processing and  testing intricate samples including biologic formulations, biomass samples, and  other complex mixtures. “The CM3 will streamline how applications are run in  today’s labs, ultimately optimizing efficiency, reducing overall R&D costs  and accelerating scientific discovery for researchers.” “We’re excited to debut  our latest product offering to the chemical community at the American Chemical Society's Spring 2010  meeting,” said John Senaldi, chief executive officer of Freeslate.  “The CM3 will streamline how applications are run in today’s labs, ultimately  optimizing efficiency, reducing overall R&D costs and accelerating  scientific discovery for researchers.”

 

 

Broadcast  TV

 

 

KPNX-PHX (Phoenix, Ariz.: daily audience 96,584)

“Seaweed  could tackle obesity”

March 21, 2010

 

 

The dietary fiber in commercially used seaweed could  reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the body by around 75 percent. The team  presented their findings today at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco. You find  seaweed in sushi and soup; they are trying to include it in bread  too.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Science  Blog (316,900 monthly unique  users)

“New  'smart' roof reads the thermometer, saves energy in hot and cold  climates”

March 21, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Top a building with a light-colored "cool roof," and it  reflects sunlight, cutting air conditioning bills in summer, but increasing  winter heating costs. Choose black shingles, and the roof soaks up sunlight to  cut winter heating costs but makes the roof bake in the summer sun. One or the  other. You can't have it both ways. Until now. Scientists today reported the  development of a "smart" roof coating, made from waste cooking oil from fast  food restaurants, that can "read" a thermometer. The coating automatically  switches roles, reflecting or transmitting solar heat, when the outdoor  temperature crosses a preset point that can be tuned to the local climate. They  described the coating at the 239th National  Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), being held here this  week.

 

 

Science  Codex (30,800 monthly unique  users)

“Global  sustainability technology breakthroughs featured at ACS  meeting”

March 21, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Chemistry's often-overlooked role in fostering  sustainability goes on parade this week with one of the largest and most  comprehensive series of scientific reports on advances toward that goal and the  challenges lying ahead. The 1,600 reports and other presentations are part of  the theme — "Chemistry for a Sustainable World" — of the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical  Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, which opens  here today.

 

 

Science and  Technology Blog

“Toward  a 3-in-1 ‘dipstick’ test for early detection of parasitic  diseases”

March 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

A new simple, inexpensive three-in-one test to diagnose  a terrible trio of parasitic diseases that wreak havoc in the developing world  is passing preliminary tests, scientists reported here today. Described during  the 239th National Meeting of the American  Chemical Society the test is for Chagas’ disease, leishmaniasis, and  “sleeping sickness” or African trypanosomiasis. This year will see about 800,000  new cases of Chagas disease, 2 million of leishmaniasis, and 70,000 of sleeping  sickness.

Time  Magazine (New York, N.Y.: 11.9 million monthly unique  users)

“Sláinte!  It's St. Patrick's Day”

March 17,  2010

 

 

[The Los  Angeles Times (Los Angeles,  Calif.: daily circulation 723,181) and the  Washington  Post (Washington D.C.: daily circulation 673,180) also covered  the story.]

 

 

Despite its religious origins, since  Boston Irish first marked the occasion with a parade in 1737, St. Patrick's Day,  for many, has evolved into a secular, and international, festival of excess. And  while there's nothing wrong with donning some green and enjoying a pint or two  of Guinness in honor of the Emerald Isle, before you toss back too much tinted  beer and the world goes wobbly through your shamrock glasses, it's worth  reviewing the dangers of overdoing it. To understand more about why it's best to  celebrate in moderation, it's worth viewing two fascinating videos from the  American Chemical Society about  alcohol's effects on the body. Sporting a headband with two springy green  shamrocks that bounce as she lectures, Dr. Diane Bunce, a chemistry professor at  Catholic University of America, walks through the way that our body processes  alcohol, beginning her lecture with admonitions about the dangers of  excess—including the grim statistic that alcohol abuse is a factor in one third  of all car crashes.

 

 

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

“Study  Calls for More Prescribed Burns to Reduce Forest Fire Emissions”

March 18,  2010

 

 

A new study offers a prescription to  increase carbon storage in western U.S. forests: Use more controlled  burns to prevent a completely scorched earth. Increasingly, forest managers are  setting so-called "prescribed" fires to clear out underbrush and small trees  that, if left to accumulate, can quickly escalate a single spark into a  catastrophic blaze. Prescribed practices mimic the natural, smaller burns,  caused by lightning or set by Indians, that were all but eliminated by decades  of unnatural fire suppression. Today, in many Western forests, piles of fuels  are just waiting for a spark. The study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, found  that widespread prescribed burns might have slashed fire-related carbon dioxide  emissions in 11 Western states by an average of 18 to 25 percent between the  years 2001 and 2008, and by as much as 60 percent in some forest  systems.

 

 

Nature (London, England: 851,800 monthly unique  users)

“News briefing:  18 March 2010 - The week ahead”

March 18,  2010

 

 

21–25 March, The American Chemical Society holds its 2010  spring meeting in San  Francisco, California.  The conference's theme is green and sustainable  chemistry.

 

 

 

The  Hindu (Chennai, India: daily circulation 1.45  million)

“Turning  solar energy to sugars”

March 18,  2010

 

 

In natural photosynthesis, plants  take in solar energy and carbon dioxide and then convert it to oxygen and  sugars. The oxygen is released to the air and the sugars are dispersed  throughout the plant — like that sweet corn we look for in the summer.  Unfortunately, the allocation of light energy into products we use is not as  efficient as we would like. Now engineering researchers at the University of Cincinnati are doing something about that.  The researchers are finding ways to take energy from the sun and carbon from the  air to create new forms of biofuels, thanks to a semi-tropical frog species.  Their results have just been published online in the journal Nano Letters.  Research Assistant Professor David Wendell, student Jacob Todd and College of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Carlo  Montemagno co-authored the paper. (Nano  Letters)

 

 

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

“Algae's  solar electrons hijacked to steal power”

March 17,  2010

 

 

An international gang of biologists  has carried out an audacious heist, stealing valuable electrons from  photosynthesising algae. The power grab could open a route to more efficient  exploitation of photosynthesis to power machines: with biofuels we are already  converting solar power into a form that engines can use, but almost  three-quarters of the sunlight energy absorbed by the organisms is lost before  it can be turned into the sugars or starches used to make biofuels. Grabbing  photosynthetic energy earlier in the process should allow much more to be  extracted, says WonHyoung Ryu at Yonsei  University in Seoul, South Korea. "Theoretically we should  be able to collect all photosynthetic electrons." (Nano Letters)

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Selected  Science News

“Scientists  make tiny new magnets from old bugs”

March 17,  2010

 

 

Scientists in Manchester have found a  clean and green way of making tiny magnets for high tech gadgets – using natural  bacteria that have been around for millions of years. The work by a team of  geomicrobiologists from the University of Manchester paves the way for  nanometer-size magnets – used in mobile phones and recording devices – to be  made without the usual nasty chemicals and energy intensive methods. A paper –  ‘Harnessing the extracellular bacterial production of nanoscale cobalt ferrite  with exploitable magnetic properties’ – outlining the research was published  recently in the journal ACS  Nano.

 

 

Science  Resources

“ACS  Introduces Application for iPhone and iPod Touch  Devices”

March 17,  2010

 

 

The Publications Division of the American Chemical  Society has introduced a mobile application for iPhone and iPod touch  devices: ACS Mobile provides readers with a multi-journal, up-to-the-minute live  stream of new peer-reviewed research content published across the ACS' portfolio  of scholarly research journals, including the flagship, Journal of the American Chemical Society.  The application also includes a "latest news" feed from Chemical and Engineering News, the  Society's news magazine.

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

“Proteins  May Predict Spread of Colon Cancer”

March 8,  2010

 

 

Two proteins that might serve as  biomarkers for predicting the spread of colon cancer have been identified by  Chinese scientists. They compared proteins produced by primary and metastatic  colon cancer cells and found that two proteins occurred at much higher levels in  the metastatic cancer cells than in the primary cancer cells. Blood tests to  check for the two proteins could help predict the spread of colon cancer,  leading to earlier intervention and treatment, said researcher Maode Lai and  colleagues. The study was published in the Journal of Proteome Research. In 2009,  about 150,000 new cases of colon and rectal cancer were diagnosed in the  United  States, and nearly 50,000 people died of the  diseases, according to the American Cancer Society.

 

 

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

“Supermarket  Display May Make Spinach Even Healthier”

March 8,  2010

 

 

Fluorescent lighting in grocery  stores might increase the nutritional value of fresh spinach, a new study  suggests. Many food stores display fresh spinach in clear plastic containers,  kept at around 39 degrees Fahrenheit in coolers exposed to fluorescent light 24  hours a day. In the study, researchers exposed fresh spinach leaves to  continuous fluorescent light or darkness for three to nine days. After just  three days, the spinach stored under the lights had significantly higher levels  of vitamins C, K, E and folate, as well as higher levels of lutein and  zeaxanthin, which are healthful plant pigments. The finding could lead to  improved methods of preserving and boosting the nutritional value of spinach and  other fresh vegetables, the researchers stated in a news release from the  American Chemical Society. The study findings were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry.

 

 

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.9 million monthly unique  users)

“Soil  microbes more antibiotic resistant”

March 8,  2010

 

 

A team of British and Dutch  scientists say they've found disturbing evidence that soil microbes are becoming  increasingly resistant to antibiotics. The researchers said that trend during  the past 60 years continues despite more stringent rules on the use of  antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, as well as improved sewage treatment  technology that broadly improves water quality in surrounding environments.  David Graham of Britain's  Newcastle  University and his  colleagues said scientists have known for years that resistance was increasing  in clinical situations, but the new study is the first to quantify the same  problem in the natural environment over long time-scales. The study appears in  the journal Environmental Science and  Technology.

 

 

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

“IBM  makes Earth-friendly plastic from plants”

March 9,  2010

 

 

IBM researchers on Tuesday said they  have discovered a way to make Earth-friendly plastic from plants that could  replace petroleum-based products tough on the environment. The breakthrough  promises biodegradable plastics made in a way that saves on energy, according to  Chandrasekhar "Spike" Narayan, a manager of science and technology at IBM's  Almaden Research Center in Northern  California. Almaden and Stanford University researchers said the discovery  could herald an era of sustainability for a plastics industry rife with  seemingly eternal products notorious for cramming landfills and littering the  planet. Details of the work are in a paper published this week in the American Chemical Society journal Macromolecules.

 

 

CBS  News (New York, N.Y.: 4.8 million monthly unique  users)

“Kitchens,  Bathrooms No Place for Vitamins”

March 4,  2010

 

 

The kitchen or bathroom may be the  worst place in the house to store your vitamins. A new study shows high humidity  and temperatures, such as those found in the bathroom and kitchen, can quickly  degrade the potency of vitamin C and shorten the shelf life of vitamin  supplements -- even if the bottle cap is on tightly. Researchers found the most  common types of vitamin C used in vitamin supplements and other fortified  products are prone to a process called deliquescence, in which humidity causes a  water-soluble substance to dissolve. "Opening and closing a package will change  the atmosphere in it. If you open and close a package in a bathroom, you add a  little bit of humidity and moisture each time," researcher Lisa Mauer, associate  professor of food science at Purdue University, says in a news release. The  results, published in the Journal of  Agricultural and Food Chemistry, showed relative humidity had the  largest impact on vitamin C degradation, and this effect was magnified at  elevated storage temperatures.

 

 

Azocleantech (Sydney, Australia: 44,400 monthly unique  users)

“Web Site Hopes to  Determine How Much Carbon Countries Emit”

March 8,  2010

 

 

How much carbon does your country  emit - and where does it come from? Norwegian University of Science and Technology  (NTNU) Professor Edgar Hertwich and colleague Glen Peters wanted to know the  answer to that question -- and created a website to do so. Now, the article  describing this website has won an Editor's Choice Award from a leading American  scientific journal, Environmental Science and  Technology. The paper was originally published in the June 15 edition  of Environmental Science and Technology and details the greenhouse gas emissions  associated with the final consumption of goods from 73 nations and 14 world  regions. Hertwich and Peter's paper was selected as the best policy paper  published by ES&T in 2009, and was selected from among 80 papers nominated  by the journal's editors. ES&T is published by the American Chemical Society and features  nearly 1500 scientific articles each year.

 

 

Broadcast  TV

 

 

C-SPAN (Washington D.C.: weekly audience 28.5  million)

“Sen.  Boxer urges Senate on climate legislation”

March 8,  2010

 

 

They are attacking groups like the  American Association for the Advancement of  Science, the American Geophysical Union, the  American Meteorological Society, the Society of Plant Biologists, the American Chemical Society… There has been a shift today.  This is big news. We're now seeing the other side attack our own people in  America who are not political, who care about this country, who love this  country, who dedicate themselves to making sure that we get the  facts.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Science  Alert

“'Clingy'  bacteria causes infection”

March 9,  2010

 

 

Researchers from Swinburne  University of Technology have made a discovery that could go a long way to  improving the success rates of artificial implants and reduce the risk of  bacterial outbreaks in hospitals. In a paper published in Langmuir, the journal of the American Chemical Society, the researchers  debunked a common theory about the way bacteria adhere to  surfaces.

 

 

Green  Agenda

“Learning  from nature: Scientists break down carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide using  visible light”

March 8,  2010

 

 

A recent discovery in understanding  how to chemically break down the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into a useful  form opens the doors for scientists to wonder what organism is out there — or  could be created — to accomplish the task. The results are reported in the  recent online edition of the Journal of the  American Chemical Society.

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

“Greens Get a  Boost Under the Supermarket’s Glow”

March 5,  2010

 

 

 

Gene E. Lester, a plant physiologist  with the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Weslaco, Tex., was in the produce aisle of his local  grocery store when a thought occurred to him. He knew that the nutrition content  of leafy vegetables like spinach — the amount of vitamins A, B9, C and others —  was related to photosynthesis, since they are synthesized for that process in  the plant. And he noticed that like all the produce in the store, the spinach  was sitting under continuous light. “I was wondering if having the light on the  leaves is a good thing for it, or a bad thing,” Dr. Lester recalled. So he  devised an experiment back in his laboratory, where he exposed two varieties of  spinach, flat- and crinkle-leaf, to simulated supermarket conditions — stored in  clear sealed plastic at 39 degrees Fahrenheit under continuous fluorescent light  — for up to nine days. Then he tested the leaves for their vitamin content,  comparing the results with spinach that had been kept in darkness. As he and  several colleagues report in The Journal of  Agricultural and Food Chemistry, leaves exposed to light had higher  levels of all the vitamins except some from the vitamin A family.

 

 

Mother  Jones (San Francisco, Calif.: bi-monthly circulation  233,000)

“Ozone  Solution Worsens Warming, Acid Rain”

March 3,  2010

 

 

 

We already knew that the  hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) used to replace ozone-destroying  chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are proving to be a super greenhouse gas—4,500 times  more potent than carbon dioxide. Nevertheless, we're still using them in  everything from spray cans to refrigerators to air-conditioners. Now a new paper  in Journal of Physical Chemistry A finds that HCFCs may also be increasing acid rain. Computer models show HCFCs  break down in the upper atmosphere to form oxalic acid, one culprit in acid  rain. The researchers suggest the new computer model could help determine  whether replacements for the replacements are as environmentally friendly as  they appear before manufacturers spend billions of dollars marketing  them.

 

 

MedicineNet.com (San Clemente, Calif.: 8 million monthly unique  users)

“Blood  Test May Predict Colon Cancer Spread”

March 4,  2010

 

 

 

A blood test may soon be able to  predict which colon cancers are likely to spread to other parts of the body,  according to a new study. Researchers found two proteins in the blood that may  serve as potential biomarkers of colon cancers that are more aggressive and  likely to spread. Colon cancer is a leading cause  of cancer death in the U.S. with more than 50,000 deaths  reported each year. Surgery is the main treatment for the disease, but almost  half of those treated for colon cancer experience a recurrence of the disease  within five years due to cancer cells spreading to other parts of the body.  Researchers say determining which colon cancers will spread is difficult because  there are no reliable chemical markers in the body for predicting its spread,  known in medical terms as metastasis. In the study, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, Chinese  researchers compared proteins produced by the original colon cancer tumor cells  to those of metastasized cells from a single person with colon  cancer.

 

 

Discovery  News (Bethesda, Md.:  2.9 million monthly unique users)

“Dust  Bunnies Tainted with Toxins?”

March 5,  2010

 

 

Environmental health experts in the  United States and Canada  have been hunting down dust bunnies recently, as studies have shown that the  seemingly innocuous fluff may contain traces of threatening toxins. For  starters, residents unwittingly track in outdoor contaminants, including lead  and arsenic, which can settle into the layers of dust and recirculate in indoor  air if disturbed, according to a 2009 study from the University of Arizona published in Environmental Science & Technology. The  researchers derived a formula to calculate the amount of outdoor soil and  airborne particles that intermixes with indoor dust. Based on their mathematical  model, they determined that around 60 percent of floor dust comes from soil  stuck on shoes. And if someone lives near a contaminated Superfund site or  industrial plant, that dirt could be loaded with toxins.

 

 

CNN (Atlanta, Ga.: 22.1 million monthly unique  users)

“Opinion:  Creating a sea of change”

March 7,  2010

 

 

Ever since the Industrial Revolution  in the 18th and 19th centuries it seems the barometers of success and modernity  within society have been measured by our interaction, or lack of interaction,  with the natural world… Tragically, it's now conceivable that we have reached a  point at which whole generations are no longer aware of or in touch with the  true, raw, and unadulterated natural world. Nature is often no longer perceived  as natural unless it comes in a glossy plastic package with an instruction  manual… It's not well-known or even thought about but ever since Leo Hendricks  unveiled the first fully synthetic moldable hard plastic called Bakelite to the  American Chemical Society in 1909,  except for a very small percentage that has been incinerated, every single  molecule of plastic ever manufactured still exists somewhere in our  environment.

 

 

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

“For  smaller chips, borrow 18th-century tricks”

March 5,  2010

 

 

A new take on a centuries-old  printing technique could shrink silicon chips and lead to advances in  ultra-high-density computer storage. Computer chips are made by a process called  photolithography, in which intricate patterns are etched into silicon wafers at  the nanoscale to mark the areas where the insulators, metal tracks and  substrates that form the chips are to go. But as the size of electronic  components shrinks, this technique is approaching its useful limit: it becomes  too costly and difficult to go smaller. Now Paul Nealey's team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison thinks a new variation  on the original lithographic technique could be the answer. Nealey's team's new  technique – dubbed molecular transfer printing (MTP) – also involves the  transfer of ink from a master to a replica, and they have shown that it can be  used to duplicate one costly master silicon chip 20 times. (ACS Nano)

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Lockergnome (Seattle, Wash.: 523,100 monthly unique  users)

How  Long Is A Piece Of Thread? Long Enough To Save A  Life

March 5,  2010

 

 

 

A discovery by Monash University  scientists could see humble cotton thread emerge as a core material in low-cost  ‘lab-on-chip’ devices capable of detecting diseases such as kidney failure and  diabetes. In a world first, the researchers have used ordinary cotton thread and  sewing needles to literally stitch together the uniquely low-cost microfluidic  analytical device, which is the size of a postage stamp. Associate Professor  Shen, whose discovery is detailed in the latest issue of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, said  the low-cost simplicity of the cotton-thread concept belied its power and  potential to make a huge difference to healthcare in many parts of the  world.

 

 

Univeristy  of Delaware

“UD in the  News”

March 5,  2010

 

 

 

Norman Wagner, Alvin B. and Julia O.  Stiles Professor and chairperson of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was  quoted in a Feb. 22 Chemical and Engineering  News article about the use of neutrons in studying the structure and  dynamics of materials. The article devoted several paragraphs to Wagner's  research in shear thickening fluids and the value of neutron-scattering  measurements in his work.

The  Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington D.C.: weekly circulation  80,000)

“Germany  Opens Center in New York to Foster Research  Partnerships”

February 24,  2010

 

 

German officials unveiled in  Manhattan last week a "one-stop shop" for  American academics and institutions looking to establish scientific and  technological research collaborations in Germany. The new German Center  for Research and Innovation underscores the country's growing attractiveness as  a research-and-study destination, said Annette Schavan, Germany's minister of education and  research. The opening ceremony featured leading figures in German scientific  research, as well as Madeleine Jacobs, executive director of the American Chemical  Society. The center could become the nucleus for a new era of  scientific partnership between the two countries, Ms. Schavan said. She had  earlier been in Washington to sign a bilateral science-and  technology agreement intended to foster such  collaborations.

 

 

Reuters (New York, N.Y.: “viewed by more than 1 billion  monthly”)

“Light helps keep  spinach full of vitamins: study”

March 4,  2010

 

 

 

Supermarket lights help keep spinach  fresh and producing new vitamins, U.S. government researchers reported  on Wednesday. The surprising findings should apply to other fresh vegetables and  may offer insights into how to keep produce fresher longer, the researchers  reported in the Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry. They may also suggest ways to boost nutrients in  fresh foods, said Gene Lester of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's  Agricultural Research Service. He said the idea for the experiment came to him  when he was shopping. Supermarkets often display fresh spinach in clear plastic  containers at around 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees C) under fluorescent light  24 hours a day. Lester wondered if this was good or bad for the leaves. "It is  about time we asked some of these questions and do some of the science," Lester  said in a telephone interview. His team kept fresh spinach leaves under  continuous light or darkness for three to nine days. Spinach kept under lights  for as little as three days had significantly higher levels of vitamins C, K, E  and folate, as well as more the colorful and healthful carotenoids lutein and  zeaxanthin, they reported.

 

 

WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 19 million monthly unique  users)

“Blood  Test May Predict Colon Cancer Spread”

March 4,  2010

 

 

 

A blood test may soon be able to  predict which colon cancers are likely to spread to other parts of the body,  according to a new study. Researchers found two proteins in the blood that may  serve as potential biomarkers of colon cancers that are more aggressive and  likely to spread. Colon cancer is a leading cause  of cancer death in the U.S. with more than 50,000 deaths  reported each year. Surgery is the main treatment for the disease, but almost  half of those treated for colon cancer experience a recurrence of the disease  within five years due to cancer cells spreading to other parts of the body.  Researchers say determining which colon cancers will spread is difficult because  there are no reliable chemical markers in the body for predicting its spread,  known in medical terms as metastasis. In the study, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, Chinese  researchers compared proteins produced by the original colon cancer tumor cells  to those of metastasized cells from a single person with colon  cancer.

 

 

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

“What  makes hair curly, skin smooth”

March 4,  2010

 

 

 

Contending the old adage, "beauty is  only skin deep”, researchers at Loreal have found that what makes hair curly or  straight and skin smooth or rough is much deeper. It actually is linked to  molecules within the body, says the study. The study has been published in  Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) , ACS' weekly newsmagazine. C&EN Senior Editor Lisa M. Jarvis  points out that Loreal, one of the biggest spenders on R&D in the personal  care market, is researching beauty "from the cell to the gesture," referring to  all aspects of that elusive phenomenon. The company's broad studies include  research into the origins of hair shape, searching for a new ingredient to  better protect skin from the sun and understanding the effects of the dabs and  strokes a woman in a particular country uses to apply makeup. The researchers  are trying to research the molecular origin of hair curliness because they say  understanding the basic biology and physics might enable them to take an  entirely new approach to hair straightening, curling and even hair  colour.

 

 

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

“Evidence Of  Increasing Antibiotic Resistance”

March 5,  2010

 

 

 

A team of scientists in the  United Kingdom and the  Netherlands are reporting disturbing  evidence that soil microbes have become progressively more resistant to  antibiotics over the last 60 years. Surprisingly, this trend continues despite  apparent more stringent rules on use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture,  and improved sewage treatment technology that broadly improves water quality in  surrounding environments. Their report appears in ACS' bi-weekly journal  Environmental Science and  Technology. The study involved an analysis of 18 different antibiotic  resistance genes (ARGs) to four different classes of antibiotics in soil samples  collected in the Netherlands from 1940 to 2008. ARGs  are genes chosen to assess potential changes in resistance in microbes. Using  data from sites around the Netherlands, the scientists found  increasing levels in 78 percent of the ARG tested, clearly indicating increased  potential for resistance over time.

 

 

WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 19 million monthly unique  users)

“Kitchens,  Bathrooms No Place for Vitamins”

March 4,  2010

 

 

The kitchen or bathroom may be the  worst place in the house to store your vitamins. A new study shows high humidity  and temperatures, such as those found in the bathroom and kitchen, can quickly  degrade the potency of vitamin C and shorten the shelf life of vitamin  supplements — even if the bottle cap is on tightly. Researchers found the most  common types of vitamin C used in vitamin supplements and other fortified  products are prone to a process called deliquescence, in which humidity causes a  water-soluble substance to dissolve. The results, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  showed relative humidity had the largest impact on vitamin C degradation, and  this effect was magnified at elevated storage  temperatures.

 

 

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

“Silver  sputtered nano chips mimic brain synapse”

March 4,  2010

 

 

US researchers  aiming to emulate the functionality of a cat's brain have developed an  easily-fabricated, robust nanoscale device that imitates the connectivity  between neurons in the brain. The two-terminal electronic device, known as a  memristor ('memory' + 'resistor'), is similar to a biological synapse in that  its conductance can be precisely changed by controlling the charge running  through it. The researchers found that changing the way they embedded silver  ions in the silicon-based devices improved their performance. A memristor's  resistance is controlled by its 'memory' of the currents and voltages it has  been exposed to. 'It can be employed to build a computer in the way that nature  builds brains,' explained Wei Lu of the University of Michigan, Ann  Arbor. (Nano  Letters)

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Medical  News Base

“Research  reveals maple syrup and maple water contain abscisic  acid”

March 5,  2010

 

 

Thanks to modern science, the  closely guarded secrets of one of our nation’s most distinctive emblems, maple  syrup, are now being revealed. It has recently been reported that maple syrup  contains polyphenols and shows ORAC values which compare to commonly eaten  fruits and vegetables such as broccoli… Quebec  and Canadian maple products will also be in the spotlight in a seminar presented  by Dr Navindra Seeram from the University of Rhode  Island at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society taking place in  San Francisco  from March 21-25 of this year.

 

 

Meds  Pages

“Veteran  Great Lakes area journalist wins prestigious American Chemical Society  award”

March 4,  2010

 

 

 

Ron Seely, an accomplished reporter  for the Wisconsin State Journal, will be awarded the American Chemical Society’s prestigious  James T. Grady-James H. Stack  Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public. Seely will be  honored in San Francisco,  Calif., on March 23, 2010, during a  ceremony to be held at the Society’s 239th National Meeting and  Exposition.

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

“It's  electric! Harvesting energy from  body movement?”

March 3,  2010

 

 

As my colleague Bryan Walsh reported  back in 2008, wind farms and solar panels aren't the only places that scientists  have been looking for some extra electricity. From knee braces that tap into the  energy in a person's stride to vibration harvesters that soak up energy from the  buzz of a busy highway, researchers are hard at work coming up with little ways  to plug into the world around us, so to speak. And a new development reported  this week in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters may go some distance toward  achieving that—and even harvesting enough electricity to power small devices  like cell phones or even pacemakers. Integrating "highly efficient energy  conversion materials" onto thin, stretchy sections of bio-compatible rubber to  create a new material known as "piezo-rubber" may be the way forward to  designing "wearable energy harvesting systems," according to the team of  engineers from Princeton University and the California Institute of  Technology.

 

 

Montreal Gazette (Montreal, Quebec: daily circulation  454,200)

“Supermarket  lights keep vitamins flowing”

March 4,  2010

 

 

Supermarket lights help keep spinach  fresh and producing new vitamins, U.S. government researchers reported  yesterday. The surprising findings should apply to other fresh vegetables and  may offer insights into how to keep produce fresher longer, the researchers  reported in the Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry. They may also suggest ways to boost nutrients in  fresh foods, said Gene Lester of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's  Agricultural Research Service. He said the idea for the experiment came to him  when he was shopping. Spinach kept under lights for as little as three days had  significantly higher levels of vitamins C, K, E and folate, as well as more the  colourful and healthful carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, they  reported.

 

 

Malaysia Sun (Selangor, Malaysia: daily circulation  265,000)

“Chemicals  that protected ozone layer in 1990s may be worsening acid rain”
March 4,  2010

 

 

In a new study, scientists have  determined that chemicals that helped solve a global environmental crisis in the  1990s, namely, the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer, may be worsening the  problem of acid rain. The study was carried out by scientists Jeffrey Gaffney,  Carrie J. Christiansen, Shakeel S. Dalal, Alexander M. Mebel and Joseph S.  Francisco. They point out that hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) emerged as CFC  replacements because they do not damage the ozone layer. However, studies later  suggested the need for a replacement for the replacements, showing that HCFCs  act like super greenhouse gases, 4,500 times more potent than carbon dioxide.  The new study adds to those concerns, raising the possibility that HCFCs may  break down in the atmosphere to form oxalic acid, one of the culprits in acid  rain. (Journal of Physical Chemistry  A)

 

 

RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 1.8 million monthly unique  users)

“Beauty  May Be Much More Than Skin Deep”

March 3,  2010

 

 

Scientists at L'Oréal, in hot  pursuit of the hidden elements of beauty, seem well on their way to disputing  the old adage, "beauty is only skin deep." In fact, their work indicates that  what makes hair curly or straight and skin smooth or rough, is much deeper. It  actually is linked to molecules within the body, according to an article in  Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. C&EN Senior Editor Lisa M. Jarvis  points out that L'Oréal, one of the biggest spenders on R&D in the personal  care market, is researching beauty "from the cell to the gesture," referring to  all aspects of that elusive phenomenon. The company's broad studies include  research into the origins of hair shape, searching for a new ingredient to  better protect skin from the sun and understanding the effects of the dabs and  strokes a woman in a particular country uses to apply makeup. These researchers  are now looking into the molecular origin of hair curliness because they say  understanding the basic biology and physics might enable them to take an  entirely new approach to hair straightening, curling and even hair  color.

 

 

Science  News (Washington D.C.: 319,300 monthly unique  users)

“Plasticizers  kept from leaching out”

March 3,  2010

 

 

Keeping plasticizers in their place  has always been a slippery task. The compounds that add flexibility to harder  plastics may also migrate from these materials, raising health concerns about  human exposure via medical devices or children’s toys. Now, scientists working  with the widely used plasticizers known as phthalates have locked down these  compounds, preventing them from migrating. The research, published in the March  9 Macromolecules, may lead to  improved versions of hard plastics that don’t leach their ingredients. The  research team, led by Helmut Reinecke of the Institute of Polymer  Science and Technology in Madrid, Spain, worked with the phthalate  known as DEHP (Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate).

 

 

The  Australian (Sydney, Australia: daily circulation  135,000)

“Bumpy  ride with biofuels”

March 4,  2010

 

 

It’s one thing to want cleaner  fuels, but it's quite another to get investors to put up the money. Biofuel and  synthetic fuel stocks have languished on the Australian stock exchange. As this  was being written, Altus Renewable was struggling to get away a $12 million  initial public offering. The company's plan sounds environmentally friendly. It  aims to produce biofuel at a plant to be located beside the country's largest  sawmill, at Maryborough,  Queensland. Using waste from the  plantation timber, Altus will initially produce fuel pellets and  then build a power plant. The problem, however, is that the float was not being  rushed by investors. In the case of the former, the US Journal of Environmental Science and Technology reports a study which shows that mixing wood pellets -- made from forests where  there is sustainable management, of course -- with coal can reduce substantially  the emissions from coal-fired power plants. As coal burning accounts for  one-fifth of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, using replacing some coal with  wood makes a big difference.

 

 

Science  Magazine (Washington D.C.: weekly circulation  125,000)

“No  Gold Medal for Ski Wax”

March 3,  2010

 

 

The Olympic skiers who recently  dazzled the world on Canadian slopes couldn't have reached the speeds they did  without ski wax. But the material may have a dark side. Researchers have found  perfluorinated octanoic acid (PFOA)—a chemical found in ski wax and nonstick  cooking surfaces—in the blood of professional ski waxers at concentrations over  50 times normal, they report online in Environmental Science & Technology.  What's more, the substance seems to stick around in the body: Novice ski wax  technicians showed a spike in PFOA blood levels during the season that barely  diminished in the off-season; experienced technicians sported massive,  year-round concentrations similar to those seen in employees at plants  manufacturing the chemical.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

LA  Times’ Booster Shots (Los Angeles, Calif.: 2.1 million monthly unique  users)

“Does  your vitamin C live in the kitchen? You may want to relocate  it”

March 3,  2010

 

 

If you're like most people you  probably keep your vitamins in the kitchen, or maybe the bathroom. Bad idea, say  researchers from Purdue University, who found that humidity and high  temperatures may seriously degrade products such as vitamin C… The findings were  published last month in a study in the online version of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.  The researchers found that though humidity and temperature caused degradation in  both forms of vitamin C, humidity had a greater effect. They also noted that the  two conditions worked in tandem--higher temperatures caused more vitamin C  instability when it was stored above a certain humidity. Senior author Lisa  Mauer, an associate professor of food science at Purdue, noted that even when  humidity and temperatures drop and the vitamin C product goes back to a solid  state, it may already be too late.

 

 

My  Fitness Tips

“Not All Blueberries Are Created  Equal”

March 3,  2010

 

 

There is no doubt that blueberries  pack a powerful antioxidant punch. A study in the June 9, 2004 issue of the  Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry assessed the antioxidant content of over 100 foods,  including fruits, vegetables, cereals, breads, nuts, and spices. Blueberries  came out on top in the fruit category, having the highest antioxidant  capacity.

 

 

Muse  Green

“Which Is More Eco-friendly: A  Locavore or Vegan?”

March 3,  2010

 

 

When living an eco-friendly  lifestyle, there are several tips and tricks to reduce your carbon footprint  such as using natural cleaning products and carpooling. One of the most common  suggestions is to eat locally grown produce. But which is best for the  environment: becoming a locavore or a vegan?... According to a 2008 research  study by Christopher Weber and H. Scott Matthews published in Environmental Science &  Technology, “We find that although food is  transported long distances in general (1640 km delivery and 6760 km life-cycle  supply chain on average) the GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions associated with food  are dominated by the production phase, contributing 83% of the average U.S.  household’s 8.1 t CO2e/yr footprint for food  consumption.”

 

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

“Social Studies: A daily miscellany of information”

March 2, 2010

 

 

“It may not seem like it, but even the laziest of couch potatoes is a human dynamo,” Henry Fountain writes for The New York Times. “The act of breathing – of moving the ribs to draw air into the lungs and expel it – can generate about a watt of power. And if the potato actually gets up off the couch and walks briskly across the room, each heel strike can produce even more power, about 70 watts’ worth. That energy could be put to work, charging a cellphone, say, or a medical sensor inside the body. The problem is how to harvest it. Michael McAlpine of Princeton and colleagues have developed a promising approach for converting body movements into electricity: printing piezoelectric crystals onto flexible, biocompatible rubberlike material. (Nano Letters)

 

 

Purdue Exponent (West Lafayette, Ind.: daily circulation 17,000)

“Blind chemist encourages students with disabilities to enter sciences”

March 2, 2010

 

 

Chemistry can be a difficult subject for many students as it is, but for a blind student, there are many more challenges. When Cary Supalo, a Purdue alumnus, decided to take a physics course at Purdue, it was suggested he take a waiver for safety reasons. After all, Supalo has been blind since the age of 7. Supalo not only refused to take the waiver, but he was also one of the top students in the class. In the spring of 1999, Supalo graduated Purdue with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts. Since then, Supalo has spent his efforts educating and promoting the active participation of individuals with disabilities in the chemical sciences. Joseph Francisco, president of the American Chemical Society, said many people do not associate persons of disabilities with the sciences. “Traditionally, when people think about minorities in the sciences, they think of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans, but they do not realize persons of disabilities are considered under it as well.”

 

 

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

“Vitamins Stored in Bathrooms, Kitchens May Become Less Effective”

March 2, 2010

 

High humidity present in bathrooms and kitchens could be degrading the vitamins and health supplements stored in those rooms, even if the lids are on tight, a Purdue University study shows. Lisa Mauer, an associate professor of food science, said that crystalline substances -- including vitamin C, some vitamin B forms and other dietary supplements -- are prone to a process called deliquescence, in which humidity causes a water-soluble solid to dissolve. Keeping those supplements away from warm, humid environments can help ensure their effectiveness. "You might see salt or sugar start to cake in the summer, start to form clumps, and that's a sign of deliquescence," said Mauer, whose findings were published in the early online version of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

MSNBC.com (New York, N.Y.: 2.4 million monthly unique users)

“Water-blocking material mimics spider hair”

March 2, 2010

 

Scientists have created a flat surface patterned after the body hair of spiders that refuses to get wet. The surface also has the added benefit of being self-cleaning, since water does a pretty good job of picking up and carrying off dirt as it is being repelled. This makes the material ideal for some food packaging, windows, or solar cells that must stay clean to gather sunlight, scientists say. Boat designers might someday coat hulls with it, making boats faster and more efficient… The technique, detailed in the science journal Langmuir, can be applied to keep even absorbent materials like sponges from getting wet. It may also be safer than other forms of water-proofing since the method doesn't involve the use of chemicals.

 

 

China Post (Taipei, Taiwan: daily circulation 400,000)

“Cultivated camphor fungi as effective as wild ones”

March 2, 2010

 

The medical effect of wild stout camphor fungi is the same as cultivated ones, according to a study of the Department of Forestry at National Chung Hing University (NCHU). Wild camphor fungi has always been regarded as a very rare and sought-after folk medicine for its supposed beneficial effects, especially for cancer patients. Stout camphor is endemic to Taiwan. The average price of wild camphor fungi is about NT$500,000 per kilogram. Because of the high price, many gangs have chopped down and stolen stout camphor timber from forests and sold them on the black market. These illegal actions have damaged forests and killed many old trees. According to the Forestry Bureau, there are around 17 cases of timber theft each year and most involved the stout camphor. The Tai Tung Forest District Office has already uncovered five cases of theft of wild stout camphor fungi this year. The NCHU study is published in the internationally acclaimed Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 1.8 million monthly unique users)

“How Does Mercury Contaminate Fish?”

March 2, 2010

 

With concern over mercury contamination of tuna on the rise and growing information about the health effects of eating contaminated fish, scientists would like to know exactly where the pollutant is coming from and how it's getting into open-ocean fish species. A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology uses chemical signatures of nitrogen, carbon and mercury to get at the question. The work also paves the way to new means of tracking sources of mercury poisoning in people. In the current study, the researchers wanted to know if tuna and other open-ocean fish pick up methylmercury by eating contaminated fish that live closer to shore or by some other means. They studied 11 species of fish, including red snapper, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel and two species of tuna. Seven of the species studied live in the shallow, coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico; the two tuna species live far out in the ocean and are highly migratory; the remaining two species spend parts of their lives in both habitats.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Scientiae

“April Scientiae: Call for Posts”

March 3, 2010

 

 

The theme for the spring 2010 national meeting of the American Chemical Society is Chemistry for a Sustainable World. There have been a number of reports, op-eds, and blog posts about a diverse range of challenges in science. This phrase prompted me to see them as questions of sustainability. Whether discussing an individual career, a lab, funding, the academic research system, publishing, peer-review, or scientific innovation, at the heart of the issue is often the question of whether current practices are sustainable and what changes need to be made to ensure sustainability.

 

 

Global Information Network

“Natural compound in marine sponges could halt cancer metastasis”

March 3, 2010

 

A research team at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research has discovered a natural compound found in marine sponges that reduces the movement of cancer cells. This could be an important breakthrough in stopping the often deadly spread of cancer throughout the body — a process known as metastasis. What’s more, the compound (dubbed sceptrin) is virtually non-toxic. The research was just published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Chemical Biology.

Daily  Mail (London, England: daily circulation 2.18  million)

“Tattoo-removing  lasers used to lift dirt from great works of  art”

March 1,  2010

 

 

A laser technique that removes  unwanted tattoos has been used to clean several famous works of art, including  wall paintings. The technique removes material from a solid surface by  vaporising it with a laser beam. Called laser ablation, it can lift dirt without  damaging the underlying surface. Long used to preserve stone sculptures and  metal artifacts, it has now been applied to the delicate wall paintings of the  Sagrestia Vecchia and the Cappella del Manto in Santa Maria della Scala,  Italy. Dr Salvatore Siano and Renzo  Salimbeni from the Applied Physics Institute-CNR in Italy,  described the results in the journal of the American Chemical Society. Dr Siano said:  'This is a more delicate situation than metals or stone as the pigment is much  more fragile.'

 

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pa.: daily circulation  213,352)

“Converting Body  Movements Into Electricity”

March 1,  2010

 

 

Michael C. McAlpine of Princeton and colleagues have developed a promising  approach for converting body movements into electricity. They have printed  piezoelectric crystals onto flexible, biocompatible rubberlike material.  Piezoelectric crystals produce an electric current when bent and have many uses  -- the igniter on a gas barbecue grill being one of them. But highly efficient  crystals of the kind that might be useful in the body are made at high  temperatures that would destroy most plastics or rubbers. The solution developed  by Dr. McAlpine and colleagues, which is described in the journal Nano Letters, is to first make the  crystals, in a series of narrow ribbons, on a rigid substrate of magnesium  oxide. Then, after the substrate is etched away from the crystals, they are  transfer-printed on a flexible biocompatible polymer, called  PDMS.

 

 

Chemical  Online (Erie, Pa.:  20,858 monthly unique users)

“ACS  Webinar Features Developments In Online Water And Wastewater  Monitoring”

March 1,  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,  Professional Growth and Development, focusing on the $44B global water treatment  market. The session will feature discussion on the latest in online monitoring  equipment, how to meet water regulatory requirements for your company, and new  opportunities in the area of global sustainability. Scheduled for Thursday,  March 4, 2 – 3 p.m. Eastern Time, the free webinar will feature Edward Askew,  Ph.D., of Askew Scientific Consulting, specializing in laboratory and regulatory  management services, speaking on "Online Monitoring for Water and Wastewater  Processes – Global Sustainability at Your Fingertips." The ACS Webinar Series  connects you with subject experts and global thought leaders in chemical  sciences, management, and business to addresses current topics of interest to  scientific and engineering professionals.

 

 

Scientific  American (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation  676,000)

“Cyber  Bullying Intensifies as Climate Data  Questioned”

March 1,  2010

 

 

The e-mails come thick and fast  every time NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt appears in the press. Rude and crass  e-mails. E-mails calling him a fraud, a cheat, a scumbag and much worse. To  Schmidt and other researchers purging their inboxes daily of such  correspondence, the barrage is simply part of the job of being a climate  scientist. But others see the messages as threats and intimidation -  cyber-bullying meant to shut down debate and cow scientists into limiting their  participation in the public discourse. "I get a lot of hate mail," said Schmidt,  a climate modeler at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies who also runs  RealClimate.org, a website devoted to debunking myths and errors about climate  change. "They do not tend to be reasonable," said Rudy Baum, editor-in-chief of Chemical and Engineering  News, who has been covering science for the magazine for 30 years.  "They do not seem to be interested in dialogue. They are shrill, they are  unfriendly, and they are bullying."

 

 

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

“How  much water goes into making Fido’s food?”

March 1,  2010

 

 

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have found that it takes 200  gallons to make $1 worth of dog or cat food. (Probably more to make the  expensive brand my Coco and Charlie  prefer.....)  It's part of a comprehensive study to document just how much water  American industry uses. Chris T. Hendrickson, the Duquesne Light Professor of  Civil and Environmental Engineering, said that most of the use is indirect --  the result of processing, such as packaging and shipping of food crops to the  supermarket -- rather than direct use, like watering crops. The study also found  it takes almost 270 gallons of water to produce $1 worth of sugar; 140 gallons  to make $1 worth of milk. The study is featured in the Feb. 23 edition of the  journal Environmental Science &  Technology. It reports that because the companies don't use all the  water directly, a lot of water consumption is  hidden.

 

 

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

“'Green' nanomagnets made  from natural bacteria”

March 1,  2010

 

 

The work by a team of  geomicrobiologists from the University of Manchester paves the way for  nanometer-size magnets – used in mobile phones and recording devices – to be  made without the usual nasty chemicals and energy intensive methods. Researchers  studied iron-reducing bacteria that occur naturally in soils and sediments and  found they can be used to create iron oxide nanoparticles with magnetic  properties similar to those created through complex chemical processes. Working  with colleagues in Birmingham and Cardiff, the Manchester researchers also found a way of  exercisising precise control over the size and magnetic strength of nanomagnets  produced. The high-tech particle accelerators at the Advanced Light Source at  the famous Berkeley Labs near San Francisco, and  the UK’s Diamond Light Source  in Oxford at  Harwell were used to verify findings. A paper – ‘Harnessing the extracellular  bacterial production of nanoscale cobalt ferrite with exploitable magnetic  properties’ – outlining the research was published recently in the journal  ACS  Nano.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

The  World Today

“Environmental  Science And Technology Announces Video Contest: How Chemistry Helps You  Be Green”

March 1,  2010

 

 

The American Chemical Society (ACS)  peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Science  & Technology (ES&T), recently announced its first video  contest themed, “How Does Chemistry Help YOU Be Green?” to recognize the  significant milestones occurring in the environmental field this year. The year  2010 is a milestone for environmental awareness, marking the 40th anniversary of  the first observance of Earth Day, the founding of the U. S. Environmental  Protection Agency, passage of the Clean Air Act Extension of 1970 and  implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act that have all helped to  shape the way we think and the way we live our lives with respect to the  environment.

 

 

iHealth  Bulletin

“Angiotensin  receptor blocker candesartan helps prevent diabetic retina  problems”

March 2,  2010

 

 

New evidence is emerging that  certain high blood pressure drugs - angiotensin receptor blockers - 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, which looked at the drug candesartan, could lead to new ways to  prevent or treat the sight-threatening disease, they say. The findings are in  ACS’ Journal of Proteome  Research.

 

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

“Converting Body Movements Into Electricity”

February 26, 2010

 

It may not seem like it, but even the laziest of couch potatoes is a human dynamo. The act of breathing — of moving the ribs to draw air into the lungs and expel it — can generate about a watt of power. And if the potato actually gets up off the couch and walks briskly across the room, each heel strike can produce even more power, about 70 watts’ worth. That energy could be put to work, charging a cellphone, say, or a medical sensor inside the body. The problem is how to harvest it. Michael C. McAlpine of Princeton and colleagues have developed a promising approach for converting body movements into electricity. They have printed piezoelectric crystals onto flexible, biocompatible rubberlike material. Piezoelectric crystals produce an electric current when bent and have many uses — the igniter on a gas barbecue grill being one of them. The solution developed by Dr. McAlpine and colleagues, which is described in the journal Nano Letters, is to first make the crystals, in a series of narrow ribbons, on a rigid substrate of magnesium oxide.

 

 

Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Ind.: daily circulation 33,233)

“Event to highlight scientific work of the disabled”

February 26, 2010

 

 

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. Company President Cary Supalo lost his eyesight when he was seven years old.

 

 

Monsters & Critics (Indianapolis, Ind.: 1.6 million monthly unique users)

“Herbal remedy linked to seizures”

March 1, 2010

 

 

The herbal treatment ginkgo biloba could increase the risk of seizures, according to a team of German scientists. The researchers analysed the reports of adverse events with the herb - commonly-used for memory enhancement - and found ten reports which linked the herb to seizures. The report, published in the Journal of Natural Products, focussed on a chemical in ginkgo biloba, ginkgotoxin, which may cause seizures by causing an imbalance in neurotransmitters and interacting with anti-epileptic drugs.

 

 

Discover Magazine (New York, N.Y.: 1.2 million monthly unique users)

“Tattoo-Removing Lasers Also Remove Grime From Classic Works of Art”

February 26, 2010

 

It sounded like a good idea at the time: You’d had one too many at the pub, one thing led to another, and you ended with someone’s name tattooed on your back. When you rushed out as soon as possible for laser removal of the unfortunate ink, the practitioners were actually using the same techniques that some art restorers employ to remove dirt and grime from masterpieces. And according to a new study in the journal of the American Chemical Society, Accounts of Chemical Research, laser ablation is getting better and more widespread in the art world. Salvatore Siano at the Applied Physics Institute-CNR in Florence, Italy, tried out the method on a few classic works of art to record the results scientifically. He cleaned parts of a wall painting from a church in Siena,  Italy, and also worked on Lorenzo Ghiberti’s gilded bronze panels Porta del Paradiso, or Gate of Paradise, and Donatello’s Renaissance bronze statue of David.

 

 

Ars Technica (San Francisco, Calif.: 717,100 monthly unique users)

“My oil droplet is smarter than your lab mouse”

February 28, 2010

 

One of the images that says "science experiment" to the public is that of a rat finding its way through an experimenter's maze. We tend to associate the ability of rats to quickly solve mazes with their navigational skills and intelligence. Mazes also present an interesting challenge to robotics researchers, who can use them to test the navigation skills of their creations. But, as it turns out, some mazes can be navigated without all that much in the way of smarts. A team of chemists and chemical engineers from Northwestern University have developed an oil droplet that is capable of running through a simple maze, running along the optimal path no less. With no need for food, the oil drop found its way thanks to a combination of a surface active chemicals and a pH gradient that is present in the maze. The system is described in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

The Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 514,700 monthly unique users)

“Caddisfly silk and sandcastle worm glue: Potential adhesives during surgery”

March 1, 2010

 

Like silkworm moths, butterflies and spiders, caddisfly larvae spin silk, but they do so underwater instead on dry land. Now, University of Utah researchers have discovered why the fly's silk is sticky when wet and how that may make it valuable as an adhesive tape during surgery. "Silk from caddisfly larvae - known to western fly fishermen as 'rock rollers' - may be useful some day as a medical bioadhesive for sticking to wet tissues," says Russell Stewart, an associate professor of bioengineering and principal author of a new study of the fly silk's chemical and structural properties. "I picture it as sort of a wet Band-Aid, maybe used internally in surgery - like using a piece of tape to close an incision as opposed to sutures," he adds. "Gluing things together underwater is not easy. Have you ever tried to put a Band-Aid on in the shower? This insect has been doing this for 150 million to 200 million years." The new study, funded by the National Science Foundation, is set for publication this week in Biomacromolecules, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

Nevada Appeal (Carson City, Nev.: daily circulation 16,500)

“More research needed into ‘biochar' for soil”

February 27, 2010

 

 

With biochar, the idea is to burn vegetable matter waste, such as crop residues, to reduce the release of CO2 into the air while improving soil health. Putting this burned material, biochar, back into the soil can increase and maintain soil fertility. Using biochar prevents the leaching of nutrients, rather than allowing them to run off into rivers and groundwater. It stays in the soil a long time, outlasting composts, manures or unburned crop residue. “Charcoal fertilization can permanently increase soil organic matter content and improve soil quality, persisting in soil for hundreds to thousands of years,” said Mingxin Guo, Ph.D., and colleagues in an American Chemical Society report. Biochar may be a solution to the global impact of farming operations, particularly the agriculture waste. Research and projects are still in the early stages, although it is thought that pre-Columbian Amazon natives used biochar to enhance their soils. It is thought to greatly benefit severely weathered or depleted soils with little organic matter.

 

 

ABC News Online (New York, N.Y.: 13.1 million monthly unique users)

“Perfect Insulator Could Eliminate Heating Bills”

February 27, 2010

 

A perfect insulator, or a material that reflects heat while absorbing none of it, has been created by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Sandia National Laboratories. Besides eliminating your heating bill, perfect insulators could make computers cooler and speed up cell phone downloads. "All the heat that hits it gets shot back in the other direction," said Edwin Thomas, a scientist at MIT and co-author of a recent paper in the journal ACS Nano Letters describing the creation of a low-temperature perfect insulator. "If you could put the right material on the wall (of a home), the heat from your body would be enough to heat it." Now the MIT scientists have created structures 10 nanometers across that manipulate even tinier hypersonic waves gigahertz in size. Most people know hypersonic waves by a different name however: heat. When a sound wave becomes incredibly tiny, it actually functions as a heat wave.

 

 

Scientific American (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 676,000)

“Artificial arthropod hair makes for top-notch waterproofing”

February 26, 2010

 

Engineers continue to tinker with plastics and chemical coatings for use in products designed to stay dry (or keep their wearers dry), but nature solved the problem of water resistance a long time ago. The leaves of plants such as lotus and nasturtium, for instance, make water bead up like rain on a freshly waxed car, and the African Stenocara beetle uses water-repellent channels on its back to funnel water droplets into its mouth. Shu-Hau Hsu and Wolfgang Sigmund of the University of Florida report in the February 2 issue of Langmuir that they created almost perfectly hydrophobic surfaces by melting polypropylene sheets and pressing them against molds dotted with tiny pores. When the mold was removed, the material that had filled the pores formed a network of hair-like appendages rising above the surface of the polypropylene sheet in a "Γ" shape.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Cars and Trucks

“Study Finds Availability of Low-CO2 Electricity and Hydrogen May Paradoxically Delay Large-Scale Transition to Electric and/or Hydrogen Vehicle Fleet”

 

February 27, 2010

 

Increased availability of low CO2 sources of electricity and hydrogen could counter-intuitively delay, rather than accelerate, a large-scale transition to an electric and/or hydrogen vehicle fleet, according to a new study by researchers from Ford Motor Company and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. They reported the results of their modeling study online 26 February in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

 

 

Nano Academic

“Nanotube Thermocells Hold Promise as Energy Source”

February 28, 2010

 

A study published in the American Chemical Society’s journal Nano Letters reveals that thermocells based on carbon nanotube electrodes might eventually be used for generating electrical energy from heat discarded by chemical plants, automobiles and solar cell farms.