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

“Mobile chemistry - chemistry in your hands and in your face”

May 2010 issue

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) press release

 

 

The technology we've got used to accessing through our desktops is moving at high speed to our mobile phones, says Antony Williams. It is amusing to watch movies from the 1980s and see the stars of the period holding a so-called 'mobile phone' to their ear. This mobile device used to be the size of a brick, with a pull-out antenna to boot. It served one function: to allow two people to talk to each other across a connection challenged by static and dropouts. How things have changed… Chemistry publishers have focused their smartphone applications to support access to science news stories and information regarding their latest publications. These can deliver just the abstracts, or even provide the full text for immediate review or for saving locally to review later. The American Chemical Society (ACS) application also offers a search across more than 850,000 scientific research articles and book chapters archived on the ACS Web Editions Platform. Searches are possible by author, keyword, title, abstract, digital object identifier or bibliographic citation.

 

 

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

“Scientists devise wound dressings that trick bacteria into suicide”

April 29, 2010

 

Scientists are turning harmful bacteria into agents of their own destruction. In an effort to create antibacterial wound dressings, a new material comes laden with microbial booby traps that are triggered by the activity of harmful bacteria, scientists report online April 20 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society… Toby Jenkins and his colleagues have set out to build a better dressing by peppering it with tiny capsulelike vesicles that look to bacteria exactly like cells prime for infection. But when the bacteria do attack, they release an antibacterial agent that kills them and any of their kind that happen to be nearby. The researchers tested their strategy by inoculating pieces of fabric with two harmful bacteria — a species of Staphylococcus and a member of the Pseudomonas group, famed for glomming onto medical devices — as well as a harmless type of E. coli. When they placed the fabric scraps in petri dishes along with bacteria, the harmless E. coli grew readily. But the toxin-releasing Staph and Pseudomonas barely grew at all.

 

 

Medical News Today (U.K.: 1.1 million monthly unique users)

“Multi-Purpose 'Green' Decontaminants Developed By Military For Terrorist Attack Sites”
April 29, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

Chemists with the United States military have developed a set of ultra-strength cleaners that could be used in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The new formulas are tough enough to get rid of nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax. But they are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products. A detailed evaluation of the cleansers appears in ACS' Industrial Engineering and Chemistry Research, a bi-monthly journal. George Wagner and colleagues explained that chlorine- and lye-based decontamination agents have serious drawbacks. In addition to being potentially hazardous, they can react with chemical weapons and materials in the environment to form new toxic substances. Wagner describes putting the new cleaning agents through an exhaustive battery of tests. His team concluded that each formula can break down toxic chemicals, rather than just washing them away. They also showed that Decon Green is quite good at killing anthrax spores, and removing radioactive cesium and cobalt from smooth surfaces.

 

 

Daily Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 686,679)

“Russia's boreal forests may help to combat climate change”

April 29, 2010

 

Scientists believe Russia's ancient forests are the country's best natural weapon against climate change, even though the stockpile of carbon beneath the ground also makes these areas vulnerable to carbon release. A recent study found that half the world's carbon is stored within land in the permafrost region, about two-thirds of which lies in Russia. Overlying former glaciers, they are a coniferous mix called the boreal forest… According to Nicolas Vuichard, principal author of a paper published in Environmental Science and Technology of Washington, DC, using the grasses to make ethanol would sequester in the ground, over 60 years, about 10 million tons of carbon a year – one quarter as dead root matter in the soil and the rest in producing cellulosic ethanol as a substitute for petroleum-based fuels.

 

 

Softpedia (Bellevue, Wash.: 4.7 million monthly unique users)

“Creating Custom Liposomes Now Possible”

April 29, 2010

 

Drawing inspiration from everyday life, a group of researchers from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland devised a new way of producing custom-built liquid-filled vehicles called liposomes. These lipid bubbles hold great promise for protecting drugs during delivery throughout the human body. Generally, foreign chemicals come under attack from the immune systems, or are too unstable on their own to endure, and so protecting them inside liposomes could significantly increase their lifetime, and also their effectiveness. he NIST/UM group now details its new manufacturing method, called COntrolled Microfluidic Mixing And Nanoparticle Determination (COMMAND), in a new scientific study, which was published in the March 31 issue of the esteemed scientific journal ACS Nano. This process can produce liposomes with a tunable diameter of between 50 and 150 nanometers, or billionths of a meter, the experts say.

 

 

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

“Using piezoelectronics to wire thousands of neural nanosensors into a single optical output”

April 30, 2010

 

One of the most neglected aspects in the nanoelectronics field is the problem of wiring. How do we wire individual nanoelectronic devices within a nanointegrated circuit together? Furthermore, how do we extract and input information from such a circuit – i.e. how do we let it communicate with the outside world? The first problem has been looked at to a limited degree, but the second even less so. A nanoscale circuit or sensor array will lose its advantages of nanoscale integration if the wiring makes the final system just as bulky or even larger than conventional systems. In our work, authored by Akram Sadek, Rassul Karabalin, Jiangang Du, Michael Roukes, Christof Koch, and Sotiris Masmanidis, we show that these devices can also be used to transduce analogue AC signals, as long as the frequency is much lower than the resonant actuating frequency. Our bandwidth for signal transduction is at least 30 kHz, which is well suited to transducing signals from most analogue sensors. (Nano Letters)

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Green Agenda

“Military develops multi-purpose ‘green’ decontaminants for terrorist attack sites”

April 28, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Chemists with the United States military have developed a set of ultra-strength cleaners that could be used in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The new formulas are tough enough to get rid of nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax. But they are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products. A detailed evaluation of the cleansers appears in ACS’ Industrial Engineering and Chemistry Research, a bi-monthly journal.

 

 

Ice Gems

Nanotechnology 'may help cancer patients with medical alert jewellery'”

April 29, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

An American government programme to harness nanotechnology to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer is producing 'innovations'. That is the view of National Cancer Institute Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer after the conclusion of its research. Piotr Grodzinski and his colleagues writing in ACS Nano, a monthly journal published by the American Chemical Society, discussed a range of advances in clinical trials involving such technology 'that are poised to make a big impact on cancer'.

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Army  creates ultra-strength decontaminants”

April 28,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

U.S. chemists  and military scientists say they have created a group of ultra-strength cleaners  designed for use in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The researchers led by  George Wagner at the Army's Edgewood  Chemical Biological Center in Maryland said the cleaners are tough enough to  neutralize nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes and anthrax. But Wagner  said the cleaners are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods,  cosmetics and other consumer products. The scientists charged with developing  the new decontaminant said they were initially faced with several problems in  that chlorine- or lye-based decontamination agents are potentially hazardous and  can react with chemical weapons and materials in the environment to form new  toxic substances. So if the military needed to decontaminate a large area, the  runoff from such chemicals could harm people and the environment. A detailed  evaluation of the cleansers appears in the journal Industrial Engineering and Chemistry  Research.

 

 

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Gypsy  moth still shrugs off pesticides”

April 28,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Scientists say the gypsy moth that  has plagued the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada  for more than 100 years remains impervious to pesticides. An article in the  American Chemical Society's weekly magazine, Chemical & Engineering News, says the  gypsy moth, a highly destructive insect that has damaged millions of acres of  forests and urban landscapes, is still spreading across the nation despite the  use of safer, more effective pesticides. The magazine's senior correspondent,  Stephen Ritter, said the leaf-munching insects rapidly defoliate trees, leaving  them vulnerable to destruction by disease or other pests. Pest-management  workers have counterattacked with a series of powerful pesticides and other  weapons over the years, but all of them -- including a sex hormone that disrupts  mating and a virus-based pesticide that kills gypsy moth larvae -- have failed  to halt their progress.

 

 

Associated  Content (Denver, Colo.:  23.7 million monthly unique users)

“Remedies  for Your Upset Stomach Can Be Found on Your Kitchen  Shelf”

April 28,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Let's face it, developing an upset  stomach can wreak havoc on your daily life. Not only can it put a damper on your  daily plans, it can cause frustration on finding effective relief. It doesn't  have to be complicated, because relief can be found right on your kitchen shelf. At  least that what I've learned from my own experience in dealing with stomach  distress. When I feel bloated or a bout of indigestion coming on, I simply reach  for a cup of chamomile tea. I find the soothing comfort seems to settle my  stomach immediately, and it's not really a mystery as to why this remedy works.  Claims and studies show that chamomile is effective in treating a myriad of  medical symptoms. Inflammation and intestinal distress is one of them. According  to a study published by the Journal of  Agricultural and Food Chemistry, chamomile has many health benefits.  Personally I find it's great at relieving stomach cramps, or nausea or  indigestion. Experiments conducted over the years have shown chamomile's  protective healing effects on the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract  An added benefit is it is very relaxing before  bedtime.

 

 

South  Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.: daily circulation  70,000)

“Local  Briefs: Dedication of landmark Saturday”

April 29,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

Encouraging Technology and Hands On  Science (ETHOS) will host the American  Chemical Society's National Historic Chemistry Landmark dedication  Saturday. The public dedication will take place at 1 p.m. at ETHOS, 1127 Miles Ave., the  former Bayer  Building. Along with a  reception for the community, ETHOS will present hands-on activities for children  after the ceremony in its science museum. The landmark dedication is in honor of  Elkhart's  Miles/Bayer/Siemens Corp. being the developer of patient-friendly diagnostic  test strips used for various medical conditions, such as  diabetes.

 

 

RedOrbit.com (Dallas, Tex.: 3 million monthly unique  users)

“Imaging  Method For Eye Disease Used To Eye Art  Forgeries”

April 28,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Scientists in Poland  are describing how a medical imaging technique has taken on a second life in  revealing forgery of an artist's signature and changes in inscriptions on  paintings that are hundreds of years old. A report on the technique, called  optical coherence tomography (OCT), is in ACS' Accounts of Chemical Research, a monthly  journal. They used OCT to analyze two oil paintings from the 18th and 19th  centuries. In one, "Saint Leonard of Porto Maurizio," OCT revealed evidence that  the inscription "St.  Leonard" was added approximately fifty years after  completion of the painting. In the other, "Portrait of an unknown woman," OCT  found evidence of the possible of forgery of the artist's  signature.

 

 

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

“Infection,  kill thyself”

April 28,  2010

 

 

Scientists are turning harmful  bacteria into agents of their own destruction. In an effort to create  antibacterial wound dressings, a new material comes laden with microbial booby  traps that are triggered by the activity of harmful bacteria, scientists report  online April 20 in the Journal of the  American Chemical Society. Bacterial infections are a serious problem  for patients with burns and other wounds, says study coauthor Toby Jenkins of  the University of Bath in England. While many wound dressings  today contain silver to thwart microbial activity, the metal can hurt human  cells that are trying to regrow. The silver may also cull out weaker bacteria,  leaving the survivors even more of a threat than before. Jenkins and his  colleagues have set out to build a better dressing by peppering it with tiny  capsulelike vesicles that look to bacteria exactly like cells prime for  infection.

 

 

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

“Synthetic  Enzymes Could Help ID Proteins”

April 28,  2010

 

 

Using a rare metal that's not  utilized by nature, Rice University chemists have created a  synthetic enzyme that could help unlock the identities of thousands of  difficult-to-study proteins, including many that play key roles in cancer and  other diseases. The research was recently published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.  "We have combined the chemical capabilities of rhodium with what biology already  knows about recognizing and selecting specific proteins," said study co-author  Zachary Ball, assistant professor of chemistry at Rice. "The result is a tool  that, in many ways, is more powerful than any biological or chemical approach  alone."

 

 

The  Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.: 213,200 monthly unique  users)

“Pearl  River High School chemistry whiz qualifies for prestigious  contest”

April 29,  2010

 

 

Kathy Wang doesn't have a lot of  free time these days. Last month, Wang competed in the National Chemistry Olympiad Competition.  Sponsored by the American Chemical  Society, the prestigious high-school science competition draws more  than 10,000 high school science whizzes from across the country. Winners are  invited to a two-week intensive study camp held in June at the U.S. Air Force  Academy in Colorado  Springs and go on to the International Chemistry  Olympiad. Wang was one of only 19 students in the New  York area and the only student from Rockland who scored high enough on the  four-and-a-half hour exam to qualify for the national competition. It was the  third year in a row Wang qualified even though she hasn't set foot in a  chemistry class since sophomore year.

 

 

Greenville News (Greenville, S.C.: daily circulation  88,898)

“Lap-a-Thon  and more news from Plain Elementary School”

April 28,  2010

 

 

Congratulations to 4th Grader Ryan  Jones for having his poem selected by the Western Carolina Local Section as the  top poem for the 3rd-5th grade level and has been sent forward to the national  competition. Ryan submitted his poem during the 2010 CCED Celebration sponsored  by the American Chemical Society from Furman  University.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Daily  Beauty

“How sunscreen  could harm your kids and pets”

April 29,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Sunscreen isn't meant to be  swallowed, obviously. Accidents happen, though, and children and pets may not  know to keep it out of their mouths. This could have a toxic effect, especially  if the formula features nanotechnology. An increasing number of sunscreens  feature nanoscale particles of sun-filtering ingredients like zinc oxide,  because of its purported protective benefits. However, the beauty and health  industries have increasing concerns about nanotechnology. Adding to these  concerns is a recent finding published by the American Chemical Society, which shows that  zinc oxide nanoparticles are twice as toxic to colon cells as larger particles  if ingested.

 

 

Boil  This Down

“Effective Technical Writing – Tips and  Strategies Every Scientist Should Know”

April 27,  2010

 

 

Does your job require frequent  technical writing?  Do you ever feel frustrated with technical writing, either  with your own or that of others?  Technical writing is a regular, but often  considered painful, part of life for many scientists.  Fortunately, there is  help! Improve your technical and scientific writing skills without leaving your  desk!  Join our speaker Aline Harrison, the instructor for Effective Technical  Writing Short Course offered by the American  Chemical Society Office of Professional Education, as she shares tips  on how to improve your ability to write technically, the “pain-free”  way. 

 

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

“How Policy Change Can Spur Green Chemistry Design”

April 27, 2010

 

 

Federal regulatory policies need to be strengthened to better drive green chemistry. Just as targeted phase-outs of individual chemicals such as brominated flame retardants and bisphenol-A have hastened the use of replacement materials, broad federal chemical policy reform is necessary to speed chemical transition on a wider scale… Judged by independent chemical experts convened by the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute, the awards, presented during an annual multiday green chemistry research conference, highlight successes in research, development, and industrial application of new technologies. They are awarded in such categories as academia, small business, alternative synthetic pathways, alternative chemical manufacturing processes, and designing safer chemicals. For example, the 2003 award for designing safer chemicals was given to Shaw Industries Inc. of Dalton, Ga., one of the largest floor-covering manufacturers in the United States. Shaw won the award for the development of EcoWorx carpet tile.

 

 

WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 18.2 million monthly unique users)

“A Urine Test for Colon Cancer?”

April 27, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

It won't happen anytime soon, but researchers say they may be on the path to developing a simple urine test that could both diagnose colorectal cancer and follow its progress. Using a relatively new science known as metabolomics, researchers identified unique chemical patterns in urine samples from cancer patients that could help them develop just such a test. Metabolomics is the study of small molecule metabolites, which are the by-products of metabolism -- the chemical process necessary for life in which the body breaks down or synthesizes organic matter. The idea is that people have unique metabolic profiles that are altered by diseases like cancer, study researcher Wei Jia, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro tells WebMD. The research appears in the latest issue of the American Chemical Society's Journal of Proteome Research.

 

 

Biodiesel Magazine (Grand Forks, N.D.: bi-monthly circulation 5,000)

“TV tech finds alternative fuel application”

May 2010 issue

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

The American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in San   Francisco publicized a presentation made by Albin Czernichowski, which detailed using the processes at work in big-screen plasma televisions to make a renewable diesel fuel. The GlidArc reactor, designed by Czernichowski, is named for the gliding arc of electricity that produces plasma inside the reactor. The plasma allows for conversions at reduced temperatures, taking gases from heated biomass that become clean and chemically active to produce clean fuels. “Low-tech and low cost are the guiding principles behind the GlidArc reactors,” said Czernichowski. Czernichowski said glycerin coproduct from biodiesel processing, which can be expensive to refine, would be a suitable candidate feedstock for syngas-to-biofuels production.

 

 

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

“Cactus gum could make clean water cheap for millions”

April 27, 2010

 

Forget expensive machinery, the best way to purify water could be hiding in a cactus. It turns out that an extract from the prickly pear cactus is effective at removing sediment and bacteria from dirty water. Many water purification methods introduced into the developing world are quickly abandoned as people don't know how to use and maintain them, says Norma Alcantar at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The team extracted the cactus's mucilage - the thick gum the plant uses to store water. They then mixed this with water to which they had added high levels of either sediment or the bacterium Bacillus cereus. Alcantar found that the mucilage acted as a flocculant, causing the sediment particles to join together and settle to the bottom of the water samples. The gum also caused the bacteria to combine and settle, allowing 98 per cent of bacteria to be filtered from the water (Environmental Science and Technology)

 

 

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

“A Robot Called WANDA”

April 26, 2010

 

Berkeley Lab scientists have established a revolutionary nanocrystal-making robot, capable of producing nanocrystals with staggering precision. This one-of-a-kind robot, named WANDA, provides colloidal nanocrystals with custom-made properties for electronics, biological labeling and luminescent devices. Since this robot is controlled by software protocols, novice users can direct WANDA to perform complex workflows that traditionally require extensive chemistry experience. No longer attributable to human error—Berkeley Lab scientists have established a revolutionary nanocrystal-making robot, capable of producing nanocrystals with staggering precision. This one-of-a-kind robot provides colloidal nanocrystals with custom-made properties for electronics, biological labeling and luminescent devices. A paper reporting this research titled, “Reproducible, high-throughput synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals for optimization in multidimensional parameter space,” appears in the journal Nano Letters and is available in Nano Letters online.

 

 

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

“Molecular glass fibers”

April 26, 2010

 

 

Dutch nanotechnologists from the MESA+ research institute of the University  of Twente have discovered that the photosynthesis system of bacteria can be used to transport light over relatively long distances. They have developed a type of 'molecular glass fibre', a thousand times thinner than a human hair. The results of their research are published in the April edition of the leading journal Nano Letters. All plants and some bacteria use photosynthesis to store energy from the sun. Researchers from the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente have now discovered how parts of the photosynthesis system of bacteria can be used to transport light.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Minyanville

“Is Email Killing Your Bathroom Experience?”

April 26, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

The toilet paper industry finds itself at a crossroads -- a difficult situation that some blame on the advent of email, the rise of the Apple (AAPL) iPad, the Amazon (AMZN) Kindle, the Barnes & Noble (BKS) Nook, and products like PowerPoint from Microsoft (MSFT). According to a report in the current issue of Chemical and Engineering News, used white paper is “increasingly hard to find and much more costly thanks to growth in electronic communications.”

 

 

Nano Technology

“Batteries nanotube fabrics”

April 27, 2010

 

Carbon nanotubes used to make batteries from fabrics. They have become normal tissues of cotton and polyester in batteries that retain their flexibility. This demonstration is an impulse for the emerging field of “electronic items” in which the devices are integrated into clothing and textiles. The approach, based on submerging the tissues in an “ink” of tiny carbon tubes was demonstrated for the first time last year in photocopy paper. The new application to the tissues described in the journal Nano Letters.

 

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

“Moving Closer to a Urine Test for Colon Cancer”

April 26, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

It may be possible to develop a urine test to screen for colon cancer, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed urine samples from 60 people with colon cancer and 63 cancer-free people. They identified unusual levels of 16 substances in the urine of the cancer patients, including elevated levels of tryptophan, one of the 22 amino acids found in proteins. The findings demonstrate the potential of using a urine test as a way to diagnose colon cancer, Wei Jia, of the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and colleagues wrote. The study is published in the Journal of Proteome Research.

 

 

National Geographic (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 5.6 million)

“Pet Food Sucking Up U.S. Water”

April 26, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

U.S. industry is a huge drain on freshwater resources, a new study says. Researchers investigated the hidden costs of water use by estimating the amount of H20 consumed per U.S. dollar of end product by different industrial sectors, including agriculture. For instance, it takes about 270 gallons (1,022 liters) of water to produce a dollar’s worth of sugar, about 200 gallons (757 liters) to make a dollar’s worth of pet food, and 140 gallons (530 liters) to make a dollar’s worth of milk. Agriculture and power generation—which requires large amounts of water for plant cooling—were the major consumers, accounting for 41 percent of the country’s total water footprint. Each dollar’s worth of grain production, for example, sucks up 1,400 gallons (5,300 liters) of water. Take the indirect water cost of feeding the dog. Per dollar of pet food, 140 gallons (530 liters) of water are used indirectly in the production process, for a total of 200 gallons (757 liters). Water is needed to produce the meat and cereals that go into making the pet food, said study co-author Michael Blackhurst, whose research was published in February in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

 

 

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

“American Chemical Society emerges from 2009 financially healthy”

April 26, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

The 2009 American Chemical Society Annual Report is now available online at www.acs.org/annualreport. The report stresses that the Society remains financially healthy and committed to providing its more than 161,000 members with the best programs, products and services to further their careers and advance their science. While acknowledging that 2009 was one of the most economically difficult years in decades, the report emphasizes that ACS successfully rose to this challenge, launching several new initiatives and reinventing or reinvigorating others to help its members and other scientists and engineers continue to improve people's lives through the transforming power of chemistry.

 

 

DOTmed.com (New York, N.Y.: 163,300 monthly unique users)

“Chemical Society Names Elkhart Invention National Landmark”

April 26, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

A home-testing method developed by Elkhart scientists at Miles Laboratories that forever transformed the lives of people with diabetes and kidney disease will be designated a National Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society (ACS) on May 1, 2010. "The work of Alfred and Helen Free in developing dip-and-read diagnostic strips was a major biochemical advance," said ACS Board of Directors Chair Bonnie Charpentier. "The work of the Frees and other researchers at Miles Laboratories gave doctors and patients the tools to easily and inexpensively monitor diabetes and kidney diseases. Their research and the subsequent development of Clinistix® demonstrate how the transforming power of chemistry can improve people's lives." To honor the Frees' work, Charpentier will present a plaque on behalf of ACS during a ceremony that will be held at ETHOS, Inc., a science museum in Elkhart, Ind., beginning at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 1.

 

 

CNBC.com (New York, N.Y.: 6.6 million monthly unique users)

“ChromaDex Launches pTeroPure Pterostilbene Pterostilbene”

April 26, 2010

 

ChromaDex Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: CDXC), a natural products chemistry company which provides novel and innovative ingredients to the dietary supplement, food, beverage and cosmetic markets, announced today the launch of pTeroPure(TM) pterostilbene(tero-STILL-bean). This exciting new product introduction is based on the grant of an exclusive worldwide license to all patent rights of pterostilbene from the University of Mississippi and the Agricultural Research Service, which is the principle intramural scientific agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The term of the license is up to and including the expiration of various pterostilbene patents held by the licensors. As a result of the licensing agreement, ChromaDex plans to immediately pursue clinical studies and commercialization of its new product, pTeroPure(TM) pterostilbene. Research chemist Agnes Rimando first encountered pterostilbene when she was a graduate student at the University  of Chicago. Rimando works with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Natural Products Utilization Research Unit, housed in the University of Mississippi National Center for Natural Products Research. When studies in the 1990s suggested that resveratrol provided substantial health benefits, Rimando began experimenting with pterostilbene in hopes of finding similar activity… Rimando and colleagues at other institutions have continued to study the compound. Preliminary results of a new study of its effectiveness for protecting cognitive function against age-related diseases, completed by Rimando and scientists at Case Western Reserve University, were presented at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, on March 21-25 in San   Francisco.

 

 

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

“'Tissue Paper' Could Stop Bullets, Harness Solar Energy”

April 27, 2010

 

A soft "tissue paper" made from normally brittle germanium and silicon contains individual fibers as strong as bulletproof Kevlar. Woven into traditional fabric or embedded in hard plastics, the new nanowires could stop bullets, harvest solar energy or perform dozens of other tasks. "Paper is made of wood fibers compressed together," said Brian Korgel, a scientist at the University of Texas at Austin and co-author of a new paper in ACS Nano that describes the germanium nanowires. "In this case, we took bulk semiconductors, turned them into nanowires and compressed them together to make a material with a tissue paper consistency." Germanium is usually quite hard and brittle. "When I handle a block of the bulk material, I have to handle it very carefully so it doesn't break," said Korgel. Unlike bulk germanium, however, germanium tissue paper is flexible and won't break when bent. The individual nanowires that make up the tissue paper are also incredibly strong, having a similar strength-to-weight ratio as Kevlar. They can even absorb blows that would ordinarily shatter a block of germanium.

 

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.4 million monthly unique users)

“Nano-Infused Filters Prove Effective”

April 26, 2010

 

Rice University researchers and their colleagues in Finland and Hungary have found a way to make carbon nanotube membranes that could find wide application as extra-fine air filters and as scaffolds for catalysts that speed chemical reactions. The results reported in the journal ACS Nano show how such filters can remove up to 99 percent of particulates with diameters of less than a micrometer -- or a millionth of a meter. (A human hair is about 100 micrometers wide.) Using chemical vapor deposition (CVD), a team led by Rice's Robert Vajtai, a faculty fellow in mechanical engineering and materials science, created devices that, at the start of the process, look like tiny showerheads. After 30 minutes in the CVD furnace, the laser-created holes in these silicon dioxide templates fill up with a forest of carbon nanotubes through which only particles on the nanometer scale can pass.

 

 

Broadcast TV

 

 

WLS-CHI (ABC) (Chicago, Ill.: daily audience 163,964)

“Antioxidants in green tea could be good for eyes”

April 26, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

[KSWB-SD (FOX) (San Diego, Calif.), WVNY-BUR (ABC) (Burlington, Vt.) and News 12-CT (Norwalk, Conn.) also covered the story.]

 

Vitamins C and E acted as antioxidants reducing harmful stress lasting up to 20 hours in animals that drank green tea. The finding is in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

…From the Blogs

 

 

New York Times’ Green blog

“Smog in a Rural Valley? Mystery Is Solved”

April 26, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

The smog in California’s San Joaquin Valley has puzzled scientists for years. Even though the region is largely rural and agricultural, its smog levels exceed those of densely populated cities like Los Angeles. Some have speculated that animal waste or pesticides are the cause: both emit ozone, a primary ingredient in smog. But a recent study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology suggests that the primary culprit is actually cattle feed.

 

 

Science Magazine News

“Oil Droplets Can Navigate Complex Maze”

April 27, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

Simple oil droplets can navigate a complex maze using a special chemical approach that could lead to improved delivery of anti-cancer drugs. The scientists developed postage-stamp-sized mazes, and infused them with an alkaline solution, and placed a gel containing a strong acid at the exit. That created a pH gradient, a difference between the acid-alkaline levels. Their study is in the weekly Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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

“Developing  a urine test to screen for colon cancer”

April 23,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

Researchers at University of North  Carolina at Greensboro are examining whether urine tests  might provide another alternative to (colonoscopy and virtual colonoscopy) for  colon cancer screening. In an initial study, published in the American Chemical  Society's Journal of Proteome  Research, investigators recruited 123 participants—60 who had been  diagnosed with colon cancer, and 63 who had not. They analyzed urine samples  from all participants to determine whether there were notable composition  differences in the samples taken from cancer patients. They found that 16  different substances were present in unusual amounts in cancer patients'  urine—including elevated levels of the amino acid tryptophan. The elevated  levels of the amino acid in urine may be an indicator of colorectal cancer, they  say: "[O]ur  observations may indicate that the up-regulated tryptophan metabolism is highly  associated with [colorectal cancer] morbidity."

 

 

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

“Drinking  Green Tea May Protect Eyes”

April 24,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Beneficial ingredients in green tea  penetrate into the tissues of the eye and may help protect against glaucoma and  other eye diseases, says a new study. Researchers analyzed eye tissue from rats  that drank green tea and found that the lens, retina and other tissues absorbed  significant amounts of green tea catechins, which are antioxidants believed to  protect the eye. Catechins include vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin.  The action of the green tea catechins in reducing harmful oxidative stress in  the eyes lasted for up to 20 hours. "Our results indicate that green tea  consumption could benefit the eye against oxidative stress," wrote Chi Pui Pang  of the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Eye Hospital, and colleagues. The findings are  published in the Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry.

 

 

Buffalo  News (Buffalo, N.Y.:  daily circulation 181,540)

“Plants  get food poisoning”

April 25,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Carnivorous plants have been on the  decline in the Southeastern United States for  decades, plagued both by poachers and human development. Now scientists say they  could face another threat—food poisoning from the insects they eat. Researchers  from Bournemouth University in England tested whether the  swamp-dwelling pitcher plant Sarracenia leucophylla would be affected if the  bugs it ate contained high levels of trace metals. The study was published in  March in the journal Environmental Science  and Technology.

 

 

Toronto Sun (Toronto, Ontario: daily circulation 179,004)
“Electronic  communication may affect toilet paper supplies?

April 22,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

The rise of electronic communication  may soon affect your bottom line in restrooms. A paperless world means consumers  are no longer filling their recycling bins with the high-quality newspaper and  printer paper necessary to make toilet paper. The shortage has paper companies  scrambling to find new paper supplies, according to a study published in  Chemical and Engineering News.  Toilet paper needs pulp with long, strong fibres to be soft. Each time paper is  recycled, the fibres become shorter and weaker, creating a scratchier tissue.  Virgin pulp creates the best toilet paper, but about 270,000 trees are flushed  each year, according to the World Watch Institute.

 

 

AT&T (Dallas, Tex.: 2.1 million monthly unique  users)

“Study:  Cow feed may be causing Valley air problem”

April 22,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Air officials for years have blamed  dairy cow emissions for the unusually high ozone levels in California's San Joaquin Valley, but a new study points more to  what goes into the animals than what comes out. The study - funded by the U.S.  Department of Agriculture, California Air Resources Board and the San Joaquin  Valley Air Pollution Control District - initially was intended to measure the  impact of animal manure, urine and flatulence on ozone levels. University of California, Davis researchers, however, found that the  bigger ozone culprit appears to be millions of tons of fermenting cattle feed.  This previously unrecognized source is likely the reason why ozone levels have  not dropped even as the region has implemented control programs, scientists  said. The study was published this month in the American Chemical Society's  journal of Environmental Science &  Technology. More studies are required to ensure that the team's  findings are correct, Kleeman said.

 

 

New  Beauty Magazine (Boca Raton, Fla.: annual circulation 1  million)

“Soybean  sunscreen?”

April 26,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Sunscreen use has skyrocketed, but  so have concerns over the ingredients contained in some formulas. So the search  is on for active ingredients that protect skin from the sun without potential  side effects. Joseph Laszlo, PhD, recently presented his ideas for an  alternative at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. He reported that  he and his colleagues developed a way to combined ferulic acid with soybean oil  to create a water-resistant substance that protects against both UVA and UVB  rays. Called feruloyl soy glycerides, or iSoy, the material can be incorporated  into cosmetic products for protection against not only the sun, but also other  environmental aggressors. "The skin ages not just from exposure to the sun but  also from air pollutants and other environmental effects," Laszlo explained at  the ACS meeting.

 

 

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

“Scientists  Say Growing Grain For Food Is More Energy  Efficient”

April 23,  2010

 

 

Using productive farmland to grow  crops for food instead of fuel is more energy efficient, Michigan State  University scientists concluded, after poring over 17 years’ worth of data to  help settle the food versus fuel debate. "It's 36 percent more efficient to grow  grain for food than for fuel," said Ilya Gelfand, an MSU postdoctoral  researcher. "The ideal is to grow corn for food, then leave half the leftover  stalks and leaves on the field for soil conservation and produce cellulosic  ethanol with the other half." Other studies have looked at energy efficiencies  for crops over shorter time periods, but this MSU study is the first to consider  energy balances of an entire cropping system over many years. The results are  published in the April 19 online issue of the journal Environmental Science &  Technology.

 

 

Broadcast  TV

 

 

KCBS-LA (Los Angeles, Calif.: daily audience  37,436)

“Green  tea may protect the eyes”

April 26,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Another newly revealed benefit of  green tea. It may protect the eye lens the retina and other tissues an also help  prevent other eye diseases. The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

KFMB-SD (San Diego, Calif.: daily audience  14,033)

“Green  tea protects eyes?”

April 26,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Green tea is good for you. It may  even protect your eyes. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  drinking green tea may protect you from glaucoma and other eye diseases.  Researchers studied eye tissue from rats who drank green tea and found that the  lens, retina and other tissue absorbed beneficial  ingredients.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

As  we are saying

“The  Anthropocene: human harm, Earth's fate”

April 23,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Humankind may be at the dawn of a  new age, one that might not bring the word 'Aquarius' to mind. In fact, the  arrival of the Anthropocene epoch may include the sixth-largest mass extinction  in the Earth's history, according to a report in the journal Environmental Science &  Technology.

 

 

Ready  Nutrition

“Better  Tomatoes Via a Fertilizer of…Human Urine?”

April 24,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Apparently, human urine works  remarkably well as a fertilizer for tomatoes, according to a new study out of  Finland. In taste tests, the  urine-fertilized tomatoes tasted different from those fertilized with urine and  ash, but tasters didn’t have a preference — “all tomato samples were evaluated  as being equally good by the tasters,” the study says. The results are reported  in the latest Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry.

 

Associated Press (New York, N.Y.: published by more than 1,700 newspapers and more than 5,000 television and radio broadcasters)

“Study: Cow feed may be causing Valley air problem”

April 22, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

 

[More than 500 media outlets, including the New York Times (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation 928,000), Yahoo! News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 37.9 million monthly unique users), the Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, Calif.: daily circulation 723,181), the New York Post (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation 508,042), Forbes (New York, N.Y.: bi-monthly circulation 900,000), the Washington Times (Washington D.C.: daily circulation 102,258 and the Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.: daily circulation 157,546), also carried the story.]

 

 

Air officials for years have blamed dairy cow emissions for the unusually high ozone levels in California's San Joaquin Valley, but a new study points more to what goes into the animals than what comes out. The study — funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California Air Resources Board and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District — initially was intended to measure the impact of animal manure, urine and flatulence on ozone levels. University of California, Davis researchers, however, found that the bigger ozone culprit appears to be millions of tons of fermenting cattle feed. This previously unrecognized source is likely the reason why ozone levels have not dropped even as the region has implemented control programs, scientists said. "The take-home is that feed sources might be more important than all of the things we've been caring about in the past," said Michael J. Kleeman, a professor in UC Davis' department of civil and environmental engineering who was the study's lead investigator. The study was published this month in the American Chemical Society's journal of Environmental Science & Technology. More studies are required to ensure that the team's findings are correct, Kleeman said. "There are still other reasons to care about those waste emissions, but for the urban regional ozone problem, it looks like the waste isn't as important as feed," Kleeman said.

 

 

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

“Soon, urine test to diagnose colon cancer”

April 22, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Scientists are close to developing a urine test for detecting colon cancer. Such a test could compliment or even reduce the need for colonoscopy, the mainstay screening test used to diagnose the disease currently... For the study, the team analysed urine samples from 123 people - 60 with colon cancer and 63 without - for differences in its composition. They identified 16 substances that appear in unusual amounts in colon cancer. The changes include increased levels of tryptophan, one of the 22 amino acids found in proteins. The study team said results show the potential of using urine as a tool for diagnosing colon cancer. The study has appeared in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research.

 

 

Daily Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 686,679)

“Green tea 'could help stave off eye disease'”

April 23, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Drinking green tea could help stave off eye disease, experts say. The tea has always been known for its antioxidant effects and disease fighting properties, but now researchers say the benefits could help the eyes. The report, the first to study how the lens, retina, and other eye tissues absorb these substances, suggests that the drink may protect against glaucoma and other common eye diseases. Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Chi Pui Pang and colleagues say that "catechins", a type of antioxidant found in green tea, can pass from the stomach to tissues in the eye.

 

 

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

“Is Your iPad Making Toilet Paper Scratchier?”

April 22, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Last year, the New York Times reported on the staggering environmental impact of making super-soft toilet paper from virgin forests. But now, according to this week's cover story in Chemical & Engineering News, it's getting harder to make soft TP out of recycled paper: As consumers ditch magazines, newspapers, and paper bills in favor of the electronic versions, companies that produce recycled paper products are facing a shortage of raw materials. One major problem is offices are using less white paper—which is coveted by producers of recycled toilet paper because its long fibers make for a softer product. That means manufacturers are now using lower-quality recycled paper, so the fibers are shorter and produce a rougher product—and the more times paper gets recycled, the shorter those fibers become.

 

 

Zimbio (San Carlos, Calif.: 21.1 million monthly unique users)

“Like Walnuts? Research Says Walnuts Fight Cancer!”

April 16, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Walnuts happen to be a rich plant source of omega-3s, the fatty acids also located in cold water fish such as salmon. Omega-3s are acknowledged to reduce the likelyhood associated with a variety of health difficulties from depressive disorders to heart disease. Walnuts are also packed with gamma tocopherol (a type of vitamin E), phytochemicals (also known as as polyphenols), and antioxidants. Now, for the first time, researchers have revealed that these nutrient-rich nuts have got the power to help reduce the size as well as the progress associated with prostate cancer. Researchers from the University of California-Davis just described their finding at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), being held in San   Francisco this week. “Walnuts should be part of a prostate-healthy diet,” Paul Davis, Ph.D., who headed the investigation, proclaimed in a statement to the press. “They should be part of a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables.”

 

 

Celsias.com (Auckland, New Zealand: 24,500 monthly unique users)

“Plants and Plastics - ACS Video and Podcasts”

April 22, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

 

To celebrate Earth day's 40th anniversary, the American Chemical Society (ACS) has released six informative podcasts looking at plants. The podcasts look at plant based medicines, pollution fighting plants, plants as 'green' machines and plants and energy. You can listen to this great series here. ACS have also released a video clip, episode 2 of their ChemMatters series, titled "Pastics go Green." This episode looks at how scientists are trying to make plastic, one of the world's most abundant man-made materials, more environmentally friendly by using plant materials.

 

 

PhysOrg.com (Evergreen, Va.: 1.6 million monthly unique users)

“Media, small businesses invited to ACS webinar on consulting practices in chemistry”

April 22, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

 

News media, scientists and others interested in finance, entrepreneurships and the chemical sciences are invited to join an American Chemical Society (ACS) Small & Medium Business Webinar on how to run a successful chemistry consulting practice. Scheduled for Thursday, April 29, 2 - 3 p.m. EDT, the free Webinar, "Success Factors for a Consulting Practice in Chemistry," will feature William Golton, Ph.D., Vice President (ret..) of The CECON Group, and a founder and the first chair of the Chemical Consultants Network. Among the topics Golton will cover are: What chemical consultants do and who hires chemical consultants; Do you have the skills? Defining your expertise.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Your Green Ability

“Plants and Plastics – ACS Video and Podcasts”

April 22, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

 

To celebrate Earth day’s 40th anniversary, the American Chemical Society (ACS) has released six informative podcasts looking at plants. The podcasts look at plant based medicines, pollution fighting plants, plants as ‘green’ machines and plants and energy. You can listen to this great series here.

 

 

London Free Press (London, England: 59,900 monthly unique users)

“Soft toilet paper endangered”

April 23, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

The rise of electronic communication may soon affect your bottom line in restrooms. A paperless world means consumers are no longer filling their recycling bins with the high-quality newspaper and printer paper necessary to make toilet paper. The shortage has paper companies scrambling to find new paper supplies, according to a study published in Chemical and Engineering News.

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

“Toilet  Paper Problem: Good Raw Material Being Wiped  Out”

April 21,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

A shortage of high-quality paper for  recycling could mean scratchy toilet tissue. To keep consumers happy and avoid  any chafed rear ends, companies are now on a quest to find new paper supplies,  according to an article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN).  The problem: Consumers once could fill up large bins with their recycled  newspapers, magazines and print paper. But as electronic communication surges,  these sources of recycled paper are becoming scarce. The shortage could impact  those who choose toilet paper with a bulky amount of recycled material, but most  household tissue products contain very little recycled paper, according to WWF,  an international environmental organization. For those who prefer the  eco-brands, high-end choices are more than about status. High-quality paper  contains long cellulose fibers with intact cell walls, so it can be used to make  high-end products, including toilet paper. The gold standard is virgin pulp from  newly harvested trees, whose fibers are long and strong. Each time that paper  gets recycled, the fibers become shorter and weaker, with lower-quality brown  paper producing recycled material with the shortest, weakest fibers.

 

 

Ladies’  Home Journal (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 3.8  million)

“Reason  to smile”

April 2010  issue

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Too much mercury in your fish may be  harmful, but the small amount in your fillings is probably fine. After testing  20-year-old silver amalgam fillings with special X-ray techniques, researchers  at the University of Saskatchewan, in Canada,  determined that the mercury had dissipated to a level where it was unlikely to  cause health problems. The findings confirm the don’t-remove-fillings advice of  major health groups, including the American Dental Association, the FDA, the  Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. (Chemical Research in  Toxicology)

 

 

The  Atlantic (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation  400,000)

“Carnivorous  Climate Skeptics in the Media”

April 22,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Earlier this month, the food news  cycle took a spin for the better for carnivores concerned with the environmental  impact of their diet. Fox News and the Washington Times offered the brightest  rays of hope, introducing stories with the headlines "Eat Less Meat, Reduce  Global Warming—Or Not" and "Meat, dairy diet not tied to global warming." As it  turns out, the enthusiasm was premature: yet another tawdry example of the media  either misreading or willfully distorting a study in order to indulge in another  irresistible dose of sensationalism… With substantial funding from the Beef  Checkoff Program, Dr. Frank Mitloehner researched and wrote a peer-reviewed  article called "Clearing the Air: Livestock's Contribution to Climate Change."  In a talk delivered last month to the American Chemical Society, he drew upon  this article to challenge the claim that livestock produce more greenhouse gas  than transportation. The authors of the FAO report, he revealed, took their  transportation figure from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The  comparison of livestock and transportation, he argued, was essentially a  comparison between apples and oranges.

 

 

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

“Green  tea may help fight glaucoma”

April 22,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Green tea, renowned for its powerful  antioxidant and disease-fighting properties, has been found to help protect  against glaucoma and other eye diseases. The new study, the first documenting  how the lens, retina and other eye tissues absorb these substances, opens the  possibility that green tea may protect against glaucoma and other common eye  diseases. Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve is damaged, leading to  progressive, irreversible loss of vision. These findings were published in the  ACS’ bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry.

 

 

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

“Rural  ozone can be fed by feed (as in silage)”

April 21,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Livestock operations take a lot of  flak for polluting. Manure lagoons not only irritate neighbors’ noses but also  leak nitrogen — sometimes fostering dead zones up to 1,000 miles downstream.  Researchers are now linking ozone to livestock as well. But this time the  pollution source is not what comes out the back end of an animal but what’s  destined to go in the front. State air-quality managers have been puzzling over  why some rural areas suffer high ozone pollution. It’s been a real conundrum in  California’s San Joaquin Valley, home to three of the nation’s six  most ozone-ravaged counties. Environmental engineer Cody Howard and his  colleagues at the University of  California at Davis looked into this idea  because it certainly made sense. A ruminant’s digestive system ferments grains.  A byproduct of that — alcohol — is a reactive organic gas that can drive the  atmospheric chemistry responsible for making ozone. “Ethanol and especially  larger alcohol species account for more than 50 percent of the ozone formation  for most types of feed,” Howard and his colleagues now report online, ahead of  print, in Environmental Science &  Technology.

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.5 million monthly unique  users)

“'Ancestral  Eve' Crystal May Explain Origin of Life's  Left-Handedness”

April 21,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Scientists are reporting discovery  of what may be the "ancestral Eve" crystal that billions of years ago gave life  on Earth its curious and exclusive preference for so-called left-handed amino  acids. Those building blocks of proteins come in two forms -- left- and  right-handed -- that mirror each other like a pair of hands. Their study, which  may help resolve one of the most perplexing mysteries about the origin of life,  is in ACS' Crystal Growth &  Design, a bi-monthly journal. The scientists used mixtures of both  left- and right-handed aspartic acid (an amino acid) in laboratory experiments  to see how temperature and other conditions affected formation of crystals of  the material. They found that under conditions that could have existed on  primitive Earth, left-handed aspartic acid crystals could have formed easily and  on a large scale.

 

 

RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 3.2 million monthly unique  users)

“Toward  A Urine Test For Detecting Colon Cancer”

April 21,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Scientists are reporting an advance  toward development of a urine test for detecting colon cancer, the third most  common cancer in the United  States. Such a test could eventually compliment  or even reduce the need for colonoscopy, the mainstay screening test used today.  The study, which analyzes chemical differences in the urine of humans with and  without colon cancer, is in ACS’ Journal of  Proteome Research, a monthly publication… The scientists analyzed  urine samples from 123 people — 60 with colon cancer and 63 without — for  differences in its composition. They identified 16 substances that appear in  unusual amounts in colon cancer. The changes include increased levels of  tryptophan, one of the 22 amino acids that are found in  proteins.

 

 

International  Scientific Communications (Shelton, Conn.)

“New  American Chemical Society podcast series celebrates 40th anniversary of Earth  Day”

April 21,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

The American Chemical Society (ACS) today  released a package of seven podcasts in observation of Earth Day 2010 (April  22), the 40th anniversary of this landmark event. The podcasts reflect the theme  of this year’s ACS “Chemists Celebrate Earth Day Program” — Plants -The Green  Machines! — with a focus on the chemistry and uses of plants. One episode is a  new high-definition video podcast based on content from ChemMatters, ACS’  award-winning high school chemistry magazine. The podcast highlights how  scientists are developing “green” plastics using plant materials. By 2020, these  “bioplastics” could provide an environmentally friendly alternative for about  one-fifth of the estimated 200 billion pounds of plastics manufacturers produce  each year worldwide, the video notes. It is available at  www.BytesizeScience.com.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Earth  Science Videos

“Plastics go  green”

April 21,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

ChemMatters is  celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with its second episode, which  highlights how scientists are trying to make plastic, one of the world's most  abundant man-made materials, more environmentally friendly. In this episode,  find out how scientists are developing more environmentally friendly plastics  using plant materials.

 

 

Futurity.org

“What would nature do (with all  this CO2)?”

April 22,  2010

 

 

Is there an organism out there—or  could one be created—that chemically breaks down the greenhouse gas carbon  dioxide into a useful form? A recent discovery has a team of scientists asking  that question. University of Michigan biological chemist Steve Ragsdale, along  with research assistant Elizabeth Pierce and scientists led by Fraser Armstrong  from the University of Oxford in the U.K., have figured out a way to efficiently  turn carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide using visible light, like sunlight. The  results are reported in the recent online edition of the Journal of the American Chemical  Society.

Harper’s  Magazine (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation  216,924)

“Findings”

May 2010  issue

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

 

 

A recent earthquake in  Chile was found to have  shifted the city of Conception ten feet to the west, shortened  Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three  inches. The salt spray of the sea was detected in Colorado… A report  presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society concluded that  most American supermarkets use inappropriate refrigeration temperatures for  queso fresco.

 

 

KABC-TV  – Channel 7 (Los Angeles, Calif.: 935,500 monthly unique  users)

“Be  part of the solution: Save water at home”

April 20,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

The world’s water supply needs  protection on all sides. Industrial pollution and human waste contaminate water  supplies across the globe, while chemical- and pharmaceutical-laden runoff  compromised the water re-supplying our streams and aquifers. Deforestation and  development have drained wetlands, half of which disappeared in the last  century. Climate change is further depleting water supplies. Decreased snow caps  and river output across parts of China, Pakistan and India  have left 1 billion people without access to safe drinking water, according to  the Pacific Institute. Water supplies are under stress from industrialized food  and consumer processes. A study by ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology,  that breaks down water use among industries found that the ones that use the  most do it indirectly – by way of packaging or processing. The report, detailed  in Science Daily, reveals that: $1 worth of sugar takes about 270 gallons of  water to make; $1 of dog or cat food sucks up 200 gallons, and $1 of milk  consumes 140 gallons.

 

 

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

“From  movies you’ll love to drugs you’ll take”

April 20,  2010

 

 

Drug companies could save millions  on research by employing a mathematical strategy akin to the one Netflix uses to  suggest movies you’ll love. Scientists have developed an algorithm that ranks  chemical compounds based on their potential drug activity. The new technique,  reported online in the Journal of Chemical  Information and Modeling, outperforms current computational methods  that seek therapeutic needles in enormous chemical haystacks. The cost of  developing a new drug is estimated by industry to be more than $1 billion. Much  of this expense comes from the cost of pursuing initially promising molecules  that ultimately fail, notes study coauthor Shivani Agarwal of MIT’s Computer  Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Of 10,000 tested compounds, only  one or two will make it to market. Many researchers are turning to computers for  help sorting through the millions of molecules in chemical libraries.  Machine-learning techniques, which train computers with known solutions to a  problem so it can then seek novel solutions on its own, can help researchers  focus on the small number of really promising molecules, says Cynthia Rudin, an  MIT expert in machine learning who was not involved with the  research.

 

 

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

“Universitat Jaume starts  project on nanotechnology-based solar cells”

April 20,  2010

 

 

After responding to a call for  proposals, the research group led by Juan Bisquert at Universitat Jaume I of  Castelló has won the bid for a scientific and technological research project on  new types of solar cells based on nanotechnologies. The project entitled  “Células solares nanodiseñadas de bajo coste basadas en nanocristales  semiconductores” (“Low cost nanodesigned solar cells based on semiconductor  nanocrystals”) will be funded with a 25 000 € grant from the Ministry of Science  and Innovation for a period of three years. The development of the project is  based on the research carried out by Iván Mora Seró, from the Bisquert group, in  collaboration with a group led by Taro Toyoda in Japan.  This collaborative research work has already given rise to a joint study on the  properties of solar cells based on quantum dots, which was published in the  prestigious journal Accounts of Chemical  Research. Bisquert has also led the arrangements for the first  international congress on the topic, which will take place in Jerusalem in February  2010.

 

 

e!  Science News (55,000 monthly unique  users)

“Carbon  nanotubes boost cancer-fighting cells”

April 20,  2010

 

 

Yale University engineers have found  that the defects in carbon nanotubes cause T cell antigens to cluster in the  blood and stimulate the body's natural immune response. Their findings, which  appear as the cover article of the April 20 issue of the journal Langmuir, could improve current adoptive  immunotherapy, a treatment used to boost the body's ability to fight cancer.  Adoptive immunotherapy involves extracting a patient's blood so that the number  of naturally occurring T cells (a type of white blood cell) can reproduce more  effectively in the laboratory. Although the body produces its own tumor-fighting  T cells, they are often suppressed by the tumor and are too few to be effective.  Scientists boost the production of T cells outside the body using different  substances that encourage T cell antigens to cluster in high concentrations. The  better these substances are at clustering T cell antigens, the greater the  immune cell proliferation.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

News  and Views (Seattle, Wash.: 506,200 monthly unique  users)

“Little  Melamine Appears In Eggs From Chickens On Highly Contaminated  Feed”

April 21,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Eggs from chickens that consumed  extremely high levels of melamine in their feed still did not contain levels of  the potentially toxic contaminant that exceeded U. S. Food and Drug  Administration (FDA) limits. That was the conclusion of the first study to check  on the effects of melamine-contaminated feed in laying hens. It appears in ACS’  Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry.

 

 

EmpowHER (Scottsdale, Ariz.: 454,100 monthly unique  users)

“Possible  New Drug for Menstrual Cramps”

April 20,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

How many times you have prayed for  someone to invent a pill that could cure menstrual cramps? Scientists have found  a possible new drug with no apparent side effects. The drug is intended to  suppress the vasopressin hormone that causes the contractions and can be taken  orally as a pill. The scientists presented their study at the 239th National  Meeting of the American Chemical  Society (ACS) in San  Francisco in March 2010.

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

“Calculating  Water Use, Direct and Indirect”

April 19,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

How much water do you use every day?  Your household water meter only tells part of the story — what was directly used  for washing, cooking and other tasks. But what about the water that was used to  grow the food you ate for dinner? Or to manufacture the book you bought or the  gasoline your car burned? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have estimated this kind of  direct and indirect water use — not for households, but for American industries.  Their goal was to create a tool for better assessing the impact on water use of  decisions made up and down the industrial supply chain, just as one might assess  cost or carbon footprint. Their findings are reported in Environmental Science and Technology. Most  of the direct water use, they report, is accounted for by the broad categories  of power generation and agriculture. As for individual sectors, almost all use  more water indirectly than directly. For example, in cane sugar refining,  relatively little water is used at the mills. More than 95 percent is used  indirectly, to grow the cane, generate electricity for the mills and in other  parts of the supply chain.

 

 

Environmental  Protection Magazine (Dallas, Tex.:  11,000 monthly unique users)

“Microemulsion  May Allow Manufacturers to Recover  Nanoparticles”

April 20,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Scientists are reporting first use  of a new method that may make it easier for manufacturers to recover, recycle,  and reuse nanoparticles, some of which ounce for ounce can be more precious than  gold. The method could speed application of nanotechnology in new generations of  solar cells, flexible electronic displays, and other products, the scientists  suggest. Their study appears in the American Chemical Society's Langmuir, a bi-weekly journal. Julian  Eastoe, Ph.D., School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol in the United  Kingdom and colleagues point out that scientists are seeking better ways to  recover and reuse nanoparticles, which are barely 1/50,000th the width of a  human hair. Eastoe and colleagues describe the development of a special type of  microemulsion — a mixture of oil and water (mayonnaise is an edible emulsion) —  that may solve this problem. In laboratory tests using cadmium and zinc  nanoparticles, they showed how the oil and water in the microemulsion separated  into two layers when heated. One layer contained nanoparticles that could be  recovered and the other contained none.

 

 

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

“Two New  Phytochemicals With Anti-Inflammatory Activity Found in Noni  Fruit”

April 20,  2010

 

 

Tahitian Noni International  announced that two new phytochemicals have now been identified in noni fruit  from Tahiti that were previously unknown to the  world. In a peer-reviewed study published by the prestigious Journal of Natural Products, TNI's Research  and Development team of Shixin Deng, Afa Palu, Brett West, Chen Su, and Bing Nan  Zhou reported that two completely new compounds, as well as seven other known  compounds isolated in the study, exhibited good anti-inflammatory effects.  Besides the two new compounds, three of the seven known compounds were isolated  for the first time in the noni fruit. Noni fruit from Tahiti is the basis for Tahitian Noni(R) Bioactive  Beverages(TM), the world-wide leader in bioactive beverages. "For years, people  have been drinking Tahitian Noni(R) Original for its healthful benefits," stated  Brett West, director of Noni Benefits Research. "We are now beginning to isolate  the specific compounds within the juice that are responsible for those benefits.  We have also isolated two new compounds that are not found anywhere else in the  world."

 

 

New  York Daily News (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation  632,595)

“University  of Michigan computer that learns and recognizes uses cat brain as  model”

April 19,  2010

 

 

You knew cats had nine lives, but  did you know they’re also smarter than sophisticated supercomputers? Since  computers are slower than a cat’s brain, a new computer project involving the  University of  Michigan will use a feline  brain as a model, www.dnaindia.com reports. University of Michigan computer  engineer Wei Lu, who already has built a “memristor,” a machine that can  remember past voltages it was subjected to, now is working toward developing a  revolutionary computer capable of learning and recognizing. Despite all the  bells and whistles, the computer, Lu wrote in his paper (online in Nano Letters) still performs 83 times more  slowly than a cat’s brain.

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.4 million monthly unique  users)

“Food Vs.  Fuel: Growing Grain for Food Is More Energy  Efficient”

April 19,  2010

 

 

Using productive farmland to grow  crops for food instead of fuel is more energy efficient, Michigan State University scientists concluded, after  analyzing 17 years' worth of data to help settle the food versus fuel debate.  "It's 36 percent more efficient to grow grain for food than for fuel," said Ilya  Gelfand, an MSU postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the study. "The ideal  is to grow corn for food, then leave half the leftover stalks and leaves on the  field for soil conservation and produce cellulosic ethanol with the other half."  Other studies have looked at energy efficiencies for crops over shorter time  periods, but this MSU study is the first to consider energy balances of an  entire cropping system over many years. The results are published in the April  19 online issue of the journal Environmental  Science & Technology.

 

 

Green  Car Congress (Washington D.C.: 30,600 monthly unique  users)

“Another  Potential Pathway to Biomass-Derived Gasoline: Aqueous Phase  Hydrodeoxygenation”

April 19,  2010

 

 

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, led by Dr. George  Huber, have selectively tuned the chemistry of their aqueous phase  hydrodeoxygenation (APHDO) process of biomass to make biogasoline with about 70%  carbon yield. Dr. Huber presented a talk on the work at the recent 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical  Society in San  Francisco. The tuned process leaves some of the oxygen  from the aqueous carbohydrate feedstock on the molecules, so the gasoline is  mainly a mixture of C2-C6 alcohols and C5-C6 alkanes. The octane number of the  gasoline ranges from 70-85. “We can very efficiently use the carbon in the  biomass to make a high octane gasoline from this hydrodeoxygenation process and  we can do this with both C5 and C6 sugars as well as the aqueous phase of  biooils,” Huber said.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

ScienceBlog.com (306,200  monthly unique users)

“Shampoo  Forms Harmful Substance in Waste Water”

April 19,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Toiletries and other cleaning  products contain ingredients that form cancer-causing contaminant in water, a  new study has claimed. Scientists at the Department of Chemical Engineering of  Yale University have found that certain ingredients in shampoos, detergent and  other household cleaning agents may be a source for formation of suspected  cancer-causing contaminant in water that is supplied from sewage treatment  plants. The study sheds new light on possible environmental sources of this  poorly understood water contaminant, called NDMA, which is of ongoing concern to  health officials, Environmental Science and  Technology journal reported.

 

 

New  York Times’ Vain Glorious (New York, N.Y.: 70,100 monthly unique  users)

“Kiehl’s  Earth Day Initiative”

April 19,  2010

 

 

Jeff Koons, Julianne Moore, Pharrell  Williams and Malia Jones have designed limited-edition labels for Kiehl’s Açaí  Damage-Protecting Toning Mist in honor of Earth Day… The açaí berry has become  the pervasive antioxidant in new beauty products, thanks to what the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry calls “an extremely high scavenging capacity for oxygen, by far the highest of  any fruit or vegetable tested to date.”

 

The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.: daily circulation 375,913)

“Study: Carnivorous plants get ‘food poisoning’ from metal”

April 18, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

Carnivorous plants have been on the decline in the Southeastern United  States for decades, plagued both by poachers and human development. Now scientists say they could face another threat -- food poisoning from the insects they eat. Researchers from Bournemouth University in England tested whether the swamp-dwelling pitcher plant Sarracenia leucophylla would be affected if the bugs it ate contained high levels of trace metals. After letting maggots feast on dog food laced with copper or cadmium, the researchers fed the maggots to the plants. They found that those that had eaten maggots full of copper were largely unharmed, and those devouring cadmium-filled larvae showed smaller, less-healthy shoots. The study was published in March in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

 

 

Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.: daily circulation 157,546)

“Lots of ways to recognize Earth Day”

April 17, 2010

 

Earth Day, an annual event initiated by Sen. Gaylord Nelson, D-Wisconsin, began 40 years ago, on April 22, 1970. It focused public attention on pollution and environmental concerns and made "ecology" a household word. The world's largest secular holiday and the only event celebrated by more than a half-billion people of all backgrounds, faiths, and nationalities, it is sponsored by many national and international organizations with outreach programs showcasing positive contributions that environmental science makes to improve the health of our planet and its citizens. In response to the activity spurred by the first Earth Day, President Richard M. Nixon helped amend the Clean Air Act of 1970, which has improved our air quality, reducing nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead by 46%, 71%, 79% and 92%, respectively. The American Chemical Society will observe Earth Day by emphasizing the positive contributions chemistry makes to our environment, reminding us that all our actions and choices impact the health of our planet. A special field, "green chemistry" with its own journal, develops environmentally benign chemical products and processes in the context of renewable resources.

 

 

Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa: daily circulation 146,050)

“Green Guide: For better and worse: 40 years of Earth Day”

April 18, 2010

 

Forty years ago, green was just a color and the environment was a radical's concern. Even after Rachel Carson's 1962 book "Silent Spring" introduced startling degradation, there was little collective action. Then Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson suggested a little "teach-in," which became the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. It galvanized an environmental movement, and over the next 40 years much has changed - for better and worse. In Iowa, citizens became more aware of water and air pollution problems, began buying local foods and explored alternative energy with such zeal that wind now accounts for a fifth of the state's electricity production. Yet water pollution has worsened in the last 15 years, largely from farmland runoff, says Lynn Laws of the Iowa Environmental Council, and air quality in some areas has declined…The 40th Earth Day is celebrated on vastly different landscape. In an Earth Day commentary in Environmental Science and Technology, the University of Iowa's Jared Schnoor threw out some numbers, the first set sobering, the second a solution. In 1970, 3.7 billion people lived on the planet and today there are 6.8 billion; there were 300 million cars and trucks, now there are three times that; and we emit twice as many greenhouse gases as in 1970. But a solution is also supplied in numbers: Today we have 300 million Facebook users; 183 billion e-mail messages and 3 million tweets are sent each day. "Why not use grass-roots social networking to organize the survival of our planet on the next Earth Day?" he writes.

 

 

PhysOrg.com (Evergreen, Va.: 1.6 million monthly unique users)

“Recycling nanoparticles”

April 19, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Some nanoparticles are more precious than gold, so being able to recycle them would offer manufacturers important cost savings. Professor Julian Eastoe at the University of Bristol, and colleagues, report the development of a special type of microemulsion that may make it easier for manufacturers to recover, recycle, and reuse nanoparticles. Julian Eastoe at the University of  Bristol, and colleagues, report the development of a special type of microemulsion - a mixture of oil and water (mayonnaise is an edible emulsion) - that may make it easier for manufacturers to recover, recycle, and reuse nanoparticles. In laboratory tests using cadmium and zinc nanoparticles, they demonstrate how the oil and water in the microemulsion separated into two layers when heated. One layer contained the nanoparticles that could be recovered and the other contained none. The study appears in Langmuir, a bi-weekly journal of the American Chemical Society.


Medical News Today (U.K.: 1.1 million monthly unique users)

“Free IPhone App For Molecule Of The Week Unveiled By American Chemical Society”

April 17, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

The American Chemical Society's (ACS) Molecule of the Week (MOTW) is one of the most popular destinations on the ACS Web site, and it may be getting more popular. The reason: ACS has unveiled a MOTW mobile application for iTunes. Current MOTW enthusiasts - and everyone else interested in science - also can download the new app from http://www.acs.org/motwapp. Each week, the MOTW presents a different molecule, with a description, image of the molecular structure, links to records from the Chemical Abstracts (CAS) RegistrySM, and other information.

 

 

The Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 516,000 monthly unique users)

“Molecular gastronomy revolutionizes dining experience in some famous restaurants”

April 17, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

A new and relatively little-known scientific discipline called molecular gastronomy has quietly revolutionized the dining experience in some famous restaurants and promises to foster a wider revolution in other restaurant and home kitchens. That's the conclusion of an article in ACS' Chemical Reviews, a monthly journal. In the article, Peter Barham and colleagues present a sweeping overview of molecular gastronomy, which focuses on the science behind food preparation techniques, including the chemistry of cooking. "Our basic premise is that the application of chemical and physical techniques in some restaurant kitchens to produce novel textures and flavor combinations has not only revolutionized the restaurant experience but also led to new enjoyment and appreciation of food," the scientists note. Examples include the restaurants El Bulli in Spain and Fat Duck in the United   Kingdom, which have become regarded by some as among the finest in the world after adopting this scientific approach to cooking.

 

 

Natural News (Toronto, Ontario: 300,581 monthly unique users)

“Another Study Confirms Memory-Boosting Effect of Blueberries”

April 19, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

As the prevalence of dementia continues to rise, a recent study has demonstrated that a common food may have a role to play in the prevention and treatment of the condition. A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown that blueberries had a measurable improvement in learning and world list recall, which backs up a 2008 study with the same conclusions. Dr Krikorian recruited nine elderly subjects with an average age of 76.2 and gave them a daily dose of wild blueberry juice; the subjects received between 6 and 9ml per kilo of bodyweight, which would equate to around 525ml per day in the average 70kg/155lb man. The memory improvements were compared to the performance of a separate demographically-matched group who consumed a placebo drink, ruling out any doubt that the observed changes in memory were attributable to practice effects.

 

 

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

“Cat brain inspires computers of the future”

April 16, 2010

 

 

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

 

Electronic devices that mimic how brain cells in a cat work could allow computers to one day learn and recognize information more like humans do. Such brain-like devices might accomplish more complex decisions and perform more tasks simultaneously than conventional computers are capable of, researchers added. "We are building a computer in the same way that nature builds a brain," said researcher Wei Lu, a computer engineer at the University of Michigan. Microchips typically rely on transistors, which are essentially switches that can flick on or off to represent data as the binary digits or bits 0 and 1. The devices that investigators at the University  of Michigan are developing instead employ "memristors." These circuit elements, unlike others, carry memories of their past: When you turn off voltage to the device, memristors remember how much was applied beforehand and for how long… Lu and his colleagues will detail their findings in the April issue of the journal Nano Letters.

 

 

AOL Health (New York, N.Y.: 803,200 monthly unique users)

“Substance in Coconut Oil, Breast Milk Can Fight Acne”

April 16, 2010

 

A natural substance found in coconut oil and breast milk has been found to be an effective way to treat acne, according to a study done by a graduate student in California. Lauric acid kills bacteria on the skin that causes acne without producing many of the side effects that are common among other treatments like redness and burning. Thailand native Dissaya "Nu" Pompattananangkul, a bioengineering student at the University California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, developed a system to apply nano-scale bombs filled with lauric acid directly to the skin-dwelling bacteria that causes most acne, called Propionibacterium acnes. Her study was published in the March issue of the journal ACS Nano. "It's a good feeling to know that I have a chance to develop a drug that could help people with acne," Pompattananangkul said in a statement.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Lockergnome (Seattle, Wash.: 506,200 monthly unique users)

“Stanford Researchers Find Electrical Current Stemming From Plants”

April 16, 2010

 

Stanford scientists have plugged in to algae cells and harnessed a tiny electric current. They found it at the very source of energy production — photosynthesis, a plant’s method of converting sunlight to chemical energy. It may be a first step toward generating “high efficiency” bioelectricity that doesn’t give off carbon dioxide as a byproduct, the researchers say. “We believe we are the first to extract electrons out of living plant cells,” said WonHyoung Ryu, the lead author of the paper published in the March issue of Nano Letters.

 

 

Moms Like Me

“Events: The Scoop! April 19-25”

April 18, 2010

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 24, Houston - American Chemical Society Demonstrations
Noon to 2 p.m. -- Children’s Museum  of Houston -- 1500 Binz -- www.cmhouston.org. Learn about the chemistry of the Earth with demonstrations from the experts.

 

 

To unsubscribe, e-mail newsroom@acs.org.

 

 

Glenn Ruskin

Director, Office of Public Affairs

Office of the Secretary and General Counsel

American Chemical Society

202-872-6293

 

 

The  Oregonian (Portland, Ore.: daily circulation  319,625)

“Ginkgo  supplements may cause seizures in some people”

April 15,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

Ginkgo biloba leaves, and the herbal  remedies made from them, may contain a poison that could cause seizures,  especially in people taking epilepsy drugs. Products made from ginkgo are among  the most popular herbal supplements, often marketed to improve memory and blood  flow. But tests have shown that ginkgotoxin, a chemical in the plant, can cause  seizures — some of them fatal — in animals including rats, rabbits and cattle.  Dozens of people have died from eating ginkgo seeds in Asia, and at least one death has been reported that may be  caused by ginkgo supplements interfering with seizure medicine… In the current  Journal of Natural Products, the  researchers warn people with seizures to be wary of ginkgo products and talk to  a doctor before using them.

 

 

Vitality  Magazine (Toronto, Ontario: monthly circulation 2  million)

“Newsbriefs: Walnuts may  fight prostate cancer; Pesticide labels  misleading”

April 2010  issue

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  releases

 

 

For the first time, a study has  found that walnuts, previously shown to help prevent heart disease, might fight  prostate cancer. After two months, the equivalent for humans of 14 shelled  walnuts, or 2.5 ounces, kept prostate cancers in mice about 50% smaller than  those in the no-walnut group. The cancers also grew 30% more slowly. The study  was presented March 24 at the 239th National  Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco… A study has  found that misleading labels on household pesticides may cause consumers to use  excessive amounts that could subject family members and pets to increased  exposures. Labels often stipulate minimum amounts and minimum treatment time,  but present no maximum levels, leading some consumers to assume “if a little is  good, more is better.” The study was presented March 25 at the American Chemical Society’s 239th National  Meeting in San  Francisco. Ask your natural health physician if household  pesticides are for you, whether there are alternatives, and how to use  them.

 

 

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.5 million monthly unique  users)

“New  way found to recover nanoparticles”

April 14,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

British scientists say they have  developed a method that might make it easier for manufacturers to recover,  recycle and reuse nanoparticles. The researchers, led by Professor Julian Eastoe  of the University  of Bristol, said their  technique could speed application of nanotechnology in new generations of solar  cells, flexible electronic displays and other products. Eastoe said scientists  have been seeking better ways to recover and reuse tiny nanoparticles, but  recovering and recycling nanoparticles is especially difficult because they tend  to form complex, hard-to-separate mixtures with other substances. The  researchers said they developed a special type of microemulsion -- a mixture of  oil and water -- that might solve the problem. In laboratory tests using cadmium  and zinc nanoparticles, they showed how the oil and water in the microemulsion  separated into two layers when heated. The research appears in the American  Chemical Society journal Langmuir.

 

 

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

“American  Chemical Society honors Congressmen Baird and Culberson for public  service”

April 14,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

Rep. Brian N. Baird (D-WA) and Rep.  John A. Culberson (R-TX) have received the American Chemical Society's (ACS) 2010 Public Service  Award for their vision and leadership in science and engineering  policy. In presenting the awards at a Capitol Hill ceremony, ACS President  Joseph S. Francisco, Ph.D., said: "Our nation and our world are facing a future  filled with challenges: Curing diseases; protecting public health and our  natural resources; dealing with a changing climate; ensuring national security  and a strong economy; and developing cleaner energy sources. All these  challenges also represent great opportunities to integrate research, innovation,  education, and wise policymaking to guide us to a more sustainable future." Rep.  Baird, a clinical psychologist and one of the few members of Congress with a  scientific background, Baird has played an active role on a broad range of  issues important to the science and technology community….Rep. Culberson, a  former civil attorney, is a perennial advocate for national investments in  science and medical research. Despite the economic downturn and partisan strife,  Culberson continues to champion scientific breakthroughs as the key to  U.S. economic health and competitive  success in a global economy.

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.5 million monthly unique  users)

“Cat Brain:  A Step Toward the Electronic Equivalent”

April 15,  2010

 

 

A cat can recognize a face faster  and more efficiently than a supercomputer. That's one reason a feline brain is  the model for a biologically-inspired computer project involving the University of Michigan. U-M computer engineer Wei Lu has  taken a step toward developing this revolutionary type of machine that could be  capable of learning and recognizing, as well as making more complex decisions  and performing more tasks simultaneously than conventional computers can. Lu  previously built a "memristor," a device that replaces a traditional transistor  and acts like a biological synapse, remembering past voltages it was subjected  to. Now, he has demonstrated that this memristor can connect conventional  circuits and support a process that is the basis for memory and learning in  biological systems. A paper on the research is published online in Nano Letters and is scheduled to appear in  the forthcoming April edition of the journal.

 

 

True/Slant (New York, N.Y.: 979,100 monthly unique  users)

“China,  India steal U.S. solar jobs”

April 14,  2010

 

 

One of the more specious Republican  claims about a carbon bill is that it will cost America  jobs. China and  India are taking advantage of  America’s climate bill  stalemate to build an industry in renewable energy sources that has already cost  America jobs. BP Solar halted  production of solar cells at its plant in Frederick, Maryland, this month, according to Chemical & Engineering News, and will  lay off 320 of the plant’s 430 workers. The plant had already shed 140 jobs in  prior cuts. BP Solar’s headquarters will remain in the U.S., and the firm will continue to sell solar  panels here, but the panels will now be manufactured in Xi’an, China, and Bangalore, India. Earlier this year China  became the world leader in the manufacture of wind turbines and solar  panels. China’s manufacturing  boom coincided with China’s passage of a law last year  requiring utilities to derive 15 percent of energy from renewable  sources.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Health  News

“Coconut  oil, breast milk potent new treatment for acne”

April 15,  2010

 

 

A natural product found in both  coconut oil and human breast milk - lauric acid — could be a possible new acne  treatment, research says. A bioengineering doctoral student from the University  of California San Diego (UCSD) developed a “smart delivery system”, capable of  delivering lauric acid-filled nano-scale bombs directly to skin-dwelling  bacteria that cause common acne. The findings have been published in ACS Nano.

 

 

Clean  Energy Sector

“U.S.  Scientists Harness Electric Current from Living Algae  Cells”

April 14,  2010

 

Stanford University scientists have  created a tiny electrode that can harness an electric current from a single  algae cell, a breakthrough they hope will one day lead to the creation of an  inexpensive source of renewable energy. The nanoelectrode, made of gold and  specifically designed to probe inside cells, is so sharp that it is able to  penetrate the algae cell membrane without killing the cell. “This is potentially  one of the cleanest energy sources for energy generation,” said WonHyoung Ryu,  lead author of the paper published in the journal Nano Letters.

Natural  News (Toronto, Ontario: 300,581 monthly unique  users)

“Migratory  birds are teaching humans about the benefits of superfood  berries”

April 14,  2010

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

 

 

Birds such as sparrows, thrushes and  warblers are apparently experts on preventing disease and optimizing their  bodies to deal with stress. If that sounds like an exaggeration, consider this:  scientists at the University of Rhode Island (URI) have discovered these  migratory birds eat certain nutrient-packed berries instead of their usual diet  of bugs at certain times of the year. Why would this change in eating habits be  beneficial? It turns out, according to the URI researchers, that the superfood  fruit the birds eat offers protection against oxidative stress that occurs  during long flights. This news is important because oxidative stress is known to  trigger inflammation and a host of serious diseases -- in both birds and humans.  The new research, recently announced at the American Chemical Society's 239th national  meeting held last month in San  Francisco, revealed that birds stopping over on Block Island specifically go after arrow-wood berries  which contain more anti-oxidants and pigments than the 11 other berries that  grow on the island.

 

 

Modesto Bee (Modesto, Calif.: daily circulation  79,370)

“Bugs as  meal a threat for some plants”

April 11,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Carnivorous plants have been on the  decline in the Southeastern United States for  decades, plagued both by poachers and human development. Now scientists say they  could face another threat -- food poisoning from the insects they eat.  Researchers from Bournemouth  University in England  tested whether the swamp-dwelling pitcher plant Sarracenia leucophylla would be  affected if the bugs it ate contained high levels of trace metals. After letting  maggots feast on dog food laced with copper or cadmium, the researchers fed the  maggots to the plants. They found that those that had eaten maggots full of  copper were largely unharmed, and those devouring cadmium-filled larvae showed  smaller, less-healthy shoots. The study was published in February in the journal  Environmental Science and  Technology.

 

 

Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 974,900 monthly unique  users)

“First  step towards carbon-free ‘power-plant’”

April 13,  2010

 

 

We’ve looked at recent research into  the development of artificial photosynthesis to generate clean power, but now  researchers at Stanford University have been successful in  harnessing energy directly from plants as they convert sunlight into chemical  energy. The researchers say it could be the first step toward generating  high-efficiency bioelectricity that doesn't give off carbon dioxide as a  byproduct. To tap into the electron activity in individual algae cells the  research team developed a unique, ultra-sharp nanoelectrode made of gold,  specially designed for probing inside cells. They gently pushed it through the  algal cell membranes, which sealed around it, and the cell stayed alive. The  paper detailing the Stanford University team’s research entitled,  “Direct Extraction of Photosynthetic Electrons from Single Algal Cells by  Nanoprobing System,” appears in the journal Nano Letters.

 

 

PhysOrg.com (Evergreen,  Va.: 1.6  million monthly unique users)

“Drug discovery, Netflix  style?”

April 14,  2010

 

 

In the last 10 years, the growth of  the Internet has made ranking algorithms one of the hottest topics in computer  science. The most famous ranking algorithm is Google's, which determines the  order of search results, but close behind are the Netflix and Amazon algorithms  that make recommendations on the basis of customers' prior decisions. Now  researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have shown that ranking algorithms  could find an important application in a somewhat surprising field: drug  development. Drug companies have been using artificial-intelligence algorithms  to help select drug candidates since the late 1990s. But in a paper appearing in  the next issue of the American Chemical  Society’s Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, Shivani  Agarwal, a postdoctoral associate in the Computer Science and Artificial  Intelligence Laboratory, Deepak Dugar, a graduate student in chemical  engineering, and the Harvard Medical School’s Shiladitya Sengupta showed that  even a rudimentary ranking algorithm can predict drugs’ success more reliably  than the algorithms currently in use.

 

 

Metromix  Baltimore (Baltimore, Md.: 12,810 monthly unique  users)

“Earth  Day Celebration”

April 14,  2010

 

 

Guests can conduct experiments with  members of the American Chemical  Society, make flower baskets and get advice on gardening from the  Maryland Master Gardeners, compete in a recycling relay and bring home their own  saplings. Earth Day will also feature performances by the environmental artist  group Bash the Trash, who will spread the message of recycling and conservation  through music, dance and storytelling. Visitors will learn the science behind  music and create their own instruments with recycled materials. When: April 24th  : noon - 4 p.m., Where: Maryland Science Center

 

 

Greenville News (Greenville, S.C.: daily circulation  88,898)

“Spring  carnival and more news from Plain Elementary  School”

April 13,  2010

 

 

Congratulations to the following 4th  graders who are the school winners in the Earth Day Poetry Art Contest: Will  Campbell, Ryan Jones, Hannah Stone, and Cole Temples. This contest is sponsored  by the American Chemical Society at Furman University. These  winner's poetry art work will now enter the regional contest. Thank you to  science teacher Buffie Taylor for organizing the contest for the 4th  grade.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Matzav.com

“Almost  50 Percent of Foods in US Supermarkets Are  Kosher”

April 13,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

According to an article in the most  recent Chemical & Engineering  News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, there  is a paradox about the growing popularity of kosher products. With observant  Jews numbering barely one million in a United States population of 310  million, why are almost 50 percent of food items on supermarket shelves kosher?  asks the ACS report. The report notes that the number of kosher products on  supermarket shelves has grown from about 3,000 in 1970 to more than 70,000  today. Those products meet the strict dietary and preparation standards set by  Jewish law. The report points out that the strict standards for kosher foods has  broadened its appeal to other individuals and other  markets.

 

 

Green  Air Teknowledge

“School Classroom Air  May Be More Polluted With Ultrafine Particles Than Outdoor  Air”

April 13,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

The air in some school classrooms  may contain higher levels of extremely small particles of pollutants — easily  inhaled deep into the lungs — than polluted outdoor air, scientists in  Australia and Germany  are reporting in an article in Environmental  Science & Technology. The aim of this work was to investigate  ultrafine particles (<0.1 μm) in primary school classrooms, in relation to  the classroom activities. The investigations were conducted in three classrooms  during two measuring campaigns, which together encompassed a period of 60 days.  Initial investigations showed that under the normal operating conditions of the  school there were many occasions in all three classrooms where indoor particle  concentrations increased significantly compared to outdoor  levels.

 

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

“Studying Sea Life for a Glue That Mends People”

April 12, 2010

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

 

 

Along one wall of Russell J. Stewart’s laboratory at the University of  Utah sits a saltwater tank containing a strange object: a rock-hard lump the size of a soccer ball, riddled with hundreds of small holes. It has the look of something that fell from outer space, but its origins are earthly, the intertidal waters of the California coast. It’s a home of sorts, occupied by a colony of Phragmatopoma californica, otherwise known as the sandcastle worm. Actually, it’s more of a condominium complex. Each hole is the entrance to a separate tube, built one upon another by worm after worm. P. californica is a master mason, fashioning its tube, a shelter that it never leaves, from grains of sand and tiny bits of scavenged shell. Dr. Stewart is one of a handful of researchers around the country who are developing adhesives that work in wet conditions, with worms, mussels, barnacles and other marine creatures as their guide. While there are many possible applications — the Navy, for one, has a natural interest in the research, and finances some of it — the biggest goal is to make glues for use in the ultimate wet environment: the human body… So the goal of these researchers is not to duplicate natural adhesives that work well underwater, but to imitate them and make glues that are even better suited for humans. “We want to take elements of the structural adhesives that chemists have made and combine them with the unique elements that nature has used,” Dr. Stewart said.

 

 

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

“Europe Finds Clean Energy in Trash, but U.S. Lags”

April 12, 2010

 

 

The lawyers and engineers who dwell in an elegant enclave here are at peace with the hulking neighbor just over the back fence: a vast energy plant that burns thousands of tons of household garbage and industrial waste, round the clock. Far cleaner than conventional incinerators, this new type of plant converts local trash into heat and electricity. Dozens of filters catch pollutants, from mercury to dioxin, that would have emerged from its smokestack only a decade ago. In that time, such plants have become both the mainstay of garbage disposal and a crucial fuel source across Denmark, from wealthy exurbs like Horsholm to Copenhagen’s downtown area… Waste is burned to heat a boiler that generates steam for a turbine. The turbine runs a generator to create electricity. One year’s worth of waste could generate 80 million MWh of electricity, enough to power seven million homes for one year. (Source of multimedia: Environmental Science & Technology)

 

 

Natural News (Toronto, Ontario: 300,581 monthly unique users)

“BPA hormone disruptor now contaminates Earth's oceans, scientists warn”

April 13, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

Earlier this year, research linked bisphenol A (BPA), a common component of plastics and a powerful hormone disrupter, to heart disease… But at least you can avoid plastics and therefore avoid exposure to the BPA, right? Unfortunately, another group of scientists has just announced that's getting harder and harder to do. Bottom line: there is now solid evidence that Earth's oceans have been contaminated on a global scale with BPA. Katsuhiko Saido, Ph.D., of Nihon University in Chiba, Japan, and his colleagues announced their startling and worrisome findings at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society held in San Francisco recently. He stated that the massive BPA contamination of oceans resulted from hard plastic trash thrown in the seas as well as from another surprising source -- the epoxy plastic paints used to seal the hulls of ships.

 

 

WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 18.2 million monthly unique users)

“10-Minute Healthy Home Makeover”

April 12, 2010

 

No matter how busy you are, there are no excuses for not making a healthier home. Here’s how you can make a significant difference in only 10 minutes! Set your timer and follow these steps: Step 3 – Make a shoe drop-spot. Consider every place you walk when you leave your house and then think of what you could be tracking back inside – pesticides from a freshly sprayed lawn, lead dust from contaminated soil, gasoline from stopping to fuel your car, feces from your neighbor’s dog and much more. One of the most recent studies published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology, found that toxic coal tar, a known carcinogen used in driveway sealants (among other places), is tracked into homes from driveways and parking lots. Keep contaminants out by leaving dirt at the door.

 

 

United Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.5 million monthly unique users)

“Medicine residues can threaten fish”

April 12, 2010

 

Swedish scientists say traces of many medicines can be found in fish swimming in treated wastewater, with some of the drugs leading to fish infertility. Researchers from Umea University and the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, said one such medicine, the hormone levonorgestrel, was found in higher concentrations in the blood of fish than in women who take the contraceptive pill. The fish in the study were exposed to treated wastewater from three sewage treatment plants in Stockholm, Umea and Gothenburg. The study showed levonorgestrel can affect the environment and constitutes a risk factor for the ability of fish to reproduce. Levonorgestrel is designed to mimic the female sex hormone progesterone and is produced synthetically. A previous study from Germany showed less than a billionth of a gram of levonorgestrel per liter inhibited the reproduction of fish in aquarium-based trials. The findings appear in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

 

 

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

“Top honours”

April 13, 2010

 

 

Prasun Chatterjee, an Indian environmental engineering student whose research has contributed to a new way of detecting toxic lead and copper in water, has won one of the highest US research honours. Chatterjee, a research student at the University of Lehigh, Pennsylvania, will receive the 2010 C. Ellen Gonter Environmental Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Environmental Chemistry Division when ACS holds its fall national meeting in Boston in August.

 

 

RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 3.2 million monthly unique users)

“Size Affects Structure Of Hollow Nanoparticles”

April 12, 2010

 

 

A new study from North Carolina State  University shows that size plays a key role in determining the structure of certain hollow nanoparticles. The researchers focused on nickel nanoparticles, which have interesting magnetic and catalytic properties that may have applications in fields as diverse as energy production and nanoelectronics. “The principles we’re uncovering here have great potential for nanofabrication – the creation of materials that have very small features, with many applications in fields ranging from electronics to medicine,” says Dr. Joe Tracy, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at NC State and co-author of the study. The study, “Size-Dependent Nanoscale Kirkendall Effect During the Oxidation of Nickel Nanoparticles,” is published in the journal ACS Nano.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Vince Tracy Podcasts

“Water, Water, Everywhere: How creams and lotions contribute to water pollution”

April 13, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

If you're slathering on topical creams, antibiotic ointments, medicated patches and hormone lotions, you're not just marinating yourself in unnecessary meds -- you're sharing them with your friends and neighbors as well. An alarming new study presented at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting shows that when you bathe, these drugs head right into the water table, where they make a beeline for taps all over town.

 

 

Eco Child’s Play

“Arsenic in Children’s Saliva and Urine: Study says CCA Playgrounds Not to Blame”

April 12, 2010

 

Arsenic-treated wood has been used to build many outdoor structures such as decks, picnic tables and play equipment. Chromated-copper arsenate (CCA) was widely used over the last thirty years as an insecticide and preservative in pressure-treating wood for outdoor structures. Of the 3 chemicals (arsenic, copper and chromium), arsenic is considered the most toxic… Children come in contact with arsenic residue from hand to the mouth after playing on CCA pressure-treated wood playground equipment. The Environmental Working Group reports: ‘We know that arsenic in drinking water is dangerous for children, but what we found was that the arsenic in lumber is an even greater risk.’ A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology contradicts these findings.  According to the study’s abstract: Results show that there is no significant difference in the concentration or speciation of arsenic between the samples from children playing on CCA and non-CCA playgrounds.

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

“Hazardous  chemicals in soaps, sanitizers?”

April 9,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

New research suggesting that  triclosan, an antibacterial chemical found in common household soaps and  detergents, may cause adverse health effects has prompted the Food and Drug  Administration to take a closer look at the chemical, the Washington Post  reports. Meanwhile, a study from Yale researchers published this week in the  journal Environmental Science and  Technology also suggests that, once in the water supply, chemicals  found in common soaps, shampoos and other household cleaners could potentially  contribute to the formation of a cancer-causing  compound.

 

 

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

“Carnivorous plants' diets may be a danger”

April 9,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Carnivorous plants have been on the  decline in the Southeastern United States for  decades, plagued both by poachers and human development. Now scientists say they  could face another threat -- food poisoning from the insects they eat.  Researchers from Bournemouth  University in England  tested whether the swamp-dwelling pitcher plant Sarracenia leucophylla would be  affected if the bugs it ate contained high levels of trace metals. After letting  maggots feast on dog food laced with copper or cadmium, the researchers fed the  maggots to the plants. They found that those that had eaten maggots full of  copper were largely unharmed, and those devouring cadmium-filled larvae showed  smaller, less-healthy shoots. The study was published in February in the journal  Environmental Science and  Technology.

 

 

Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.: daily circulation  80,950)

“CI  to Present Symposium on Climate Change”

April 9,  2010

 

 

The Biology and Chemistry  Departments of CSU Channel Islands (CI) will present the annual Poe Symposium on  Friday, April 16, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., in Aliso Hall Auditorium on CI’s  campus. The program is entitled, “Climate Change in the 21st Century”. The  program is free and open to the public. Dr. Simone Aloisio, Associate Professor  of Chemistry at CI, stated that, “The purpose for the symposium is to educate  the campus and community about the ongoing research on the topic of climate  change.” An impressive line-up of speakers will address the audience. They  include California Senator Fran Pavley (Twenty-third District), who authored AB  32 (Global Warming Solution Act); Dr. Spencer Weart, author of The Discovery of  Global Warming; Dr. Paul Wennberg, professor of chemistry at of Cal Tech,  MacArthur Fellow and Director of the Linde Center for Global Environmental  Science; Dr. Joseph FranciscoWilliam E. Moore Distinguished Professor at  Purdue University and President of  the American Chemical Society.

 

 

KLTV-7 (Tyler, Tex.: 324,100 monthly unique  users)

“Coming  soon: a low-heartburn coffee?”

April 9,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

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 presented at the American Chemical  Society's annual meeting in San Francisco.

 

 

Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.: daily circulation  279,032)

“Nutrition  quiz: Carrots”

April 11,  2010

 

 

Orange is the  standard-issue carrot color at the supermarket, of course, but it's hardly the  only color of the mighty (nutritious) carrot. Take our quiz on carrots of all  hues… 5. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  a phytonutrient called falcarinol in carrots reduced the size of precancerous  colon lesions in which test subjects? a) Rats b) Nematodes c) Men ages 70 to 85  in Boca Raton, Fla.

 

 

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

“America  needs women and minorities to become scientists and  engineers”

April 11,  2010

 

 

Soon after taking office in 2009,  President Barack Obama launched "Educate to Innovate," an initiative designed to  improve the participation and performance of America's students, particularly  girls, African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians in science, technology,  engineering and mathematics or STEM. Those of us leading STEM companies  understand just how important this initiative is. Until recently, women and  these minorities have held few jobs in the nation's STEM fields. And, today,  despite making up more than two-thirds of the country's population, they still  comprise only 25 percent or less of our STEM workforce… If a STEM company  doesn't have these kinds of programs in place, there are plenty of well-known  science organizations that do. One that Bayer supports is the American Chemical Society's Project SEED.  By offering economically disadvantaged high school students six- to  eight-week-long summer internships at industrial, academic and government  laboratories, SEED builds students' self-esteem and  confidence.

 

 

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

“Pencil  Innards and Other Novel Solar Tech”

April 11,  2010

 

 

Viable materials for making solar  power work can easily sound like Avatar's unobtanium. With cheaper alternatives  to silicon on par with platinum for rarity, research into winning solar tech  materials is heating up. What if we could use a more abundant material that's  affordable and less problematic? Indiana University scientists are closer to making  it happen by using highly-conductive graphene--a carbon sheet that's one atom  thick. Chemist Liang-shi Li led research into using the compound, which is  related to graphite in pencils, to absorb light. The problem is controlling the  size of a graphene sheet because when they reach a certain size, they tend to  stick to each other and lose their beneficial qualities. Li and his team  attached carbon and hydrogen "sidegroups" to the graphene, successfully forming  a protective layer, sort of like wax paper around sticky candy. An article they  just published in Nano Letters details their approach.

 

 

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

“Traffic’s  soot elevates blood pressure”

April 9,  2010

 

 

Legions of studies have shown that  air pollution can harm the heart and blood vessels.  Identifying how has proven  trickier. Scientists now have linked airborne concentrations of tiny  black-carbon particles — soot — with increasing blood pressure in older men.  They also showed that the genes we inherit appear to play a big role in  determining our vulnerability to soot’s pressurizing impacts… They might even be  cautioned to drive in ways that limit the infiltration of traffic-generated  pollutants. (That’s my take, based on reading an Australian paper, also  available online, ahead of press, and due to appear in Environmental Science & Technology. It  shows that shutting off access to outdoor air when traffic is congested and  pollutant loadings high, can dramatically lower in-car concentrations of  potentially toxic ultrafine particles.)

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Bare  Essentials

“Burger  Burn-off Bad for Health”

April 12,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Commercial food cooking is a known  source of air pollutants, as smoke is emitted from the cooking process, thereby  exposing humans and the environment to a variety of gases and tiny solid  particles. University of Minnesota researchers have found that  fatty foods cooked with high heat, especially with open flames, such as cooking  hamburger patties on a conveyor broiler, are a prime culprit. Presented at the  239th National Meeting of the American  Chemical Society, March 2010.

 

 

Café  Pacifico

“Tequila  Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss”

April 11,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

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.

 

FOX News’ ‘The O'Reilly Factor’ (New York, N.Y.: nightly audience 3.5 million)

“San Francisco Approves Meat-Free Mondays”

April 8, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

 

In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight: The food police are out in force in San   Francisco. The board of supervisors, those madcap folks, are unanimously now approving a measure to make Mondays meat-free. Joining us now from the City by the Bay, Hope Bohanec, who's the campaign director for the group In Defense of Animals. Hope, are you cheering this? Is this a great day for you? Click here to watch the debate! Hope Bohanec, campaign director, in defense of animals: Absolutely. We're very excited and very proud of the board of supervisors. We want to thank them for being forward-thinking and choosing to embrace and support a compassionate, environmental and healthy diet. Well, you know, we really need to start looking to our diet for some of our environmental problems, our health problems. More and more people, there's an awareness around food issues and our food systems and just how bad it's gotten. And there's more awareness growing. People are wanting to eat more local, more organic, more plant-based. And if you look at vegetarian diets, they really are the green superstars. There was a wonderful study by the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology that found that eating just two meals a week vegetarian would do more ecologically for your environmental impact than buying all locally sourced food. So, you know, and if we look to San Francisco, San Francisco's impact could be incredible. If everyone adopted a meat-free diet just on Mondays, it would be the equivalent of taking 123,000 cars off the streets of San Francisco for the year. So we could really have some positive change.

 

 

FOX News (New York, N.Y.: 16.8 million monthly unique users)

“Study: Some Sunscreens May Be Toxic When Eaten”

April 8, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

A new study reveals that small particles of zinc oxide, which are commonly found in sunscreens, can be toxic to the colon if accidentally eaten, according to a study in ACS’ Chemical Research in Toxicology Journal. Zinc oxide particles in sunscreen that are smaller than 100 nanometers are more toxic because they are more soluble. If ingested, the direct particle contact could cause death. Even though zinc oxide can be found in some foods and cosmetics, scientists are concerned about the potential toxicity of these nanoparticles in sunscreen because of the high risk of children ingesting it. Their experiments compared zinc oxide nanoparticles with larger-sized particles and their effects on colon cells. The toxicity of the nanoparticles was twice as high as the larger size. Only about 0.1 ounce of sunscreen, or 2 grams, was the amount that if eaten, would cause damage to the colon cells.

 

 

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

“Shampoo forms harmful substance in waste water”

April 8, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Beware ladies. Toiletries and other cleaning products contain ingredients that form cancer-causing contaminant in water, a new study has claimed. Scientists at the Department of Chemical Engineering of Yale University have found that certain ingredients in shampoos, detergent and other household cleaning agents may be a source for formation of suspected cancer-causing contaminant in water that is supplied from sewage treatment plants. The study sheds new light on possible environmental sources of this poorly understood water contaminant, called NDMA, which is of ongoing concern to health officials, Environmental Science and Technology journal reported. The team said, scientists have known that NDMA and other nitrosamines can form in small amounts during the disinfection of wastewater and water with chloramine, but while they found nitrosamines in a wide variety of sources like processed meats and tobacco smoke, they did not have any knowledge about their precursors in water.

 

 

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

“Potential New Alzheimer's Drugs Advancing In Clinical Trials”

April 9, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

After years of preparation and anticipation, scientists who discover and develop new medications are about to answer a key question about Alzheimer's disease: Will drugs that block formation of abnormal clumps of protein in the brain called amyloid-beta slow the progression of the devastating disease? The cover story in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine, assesses the scientific foundation and clinical landscape of those amyloid-beta blockers. C&EN Senior Editor Lisa Jarvis notes that amyloid-beta is at the heart of a central hypothesis - and simmering controversy -about Alzheimer's disease. Some scientists are convinced that amyloid-beta is the root cause of the nerve-cell death and subsequent mental decline in individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Others think that something else, perhaps a still-unidentified environmental neurotoxin, is the real culprit. That mystery agent, they suspect, triggers formation of beta-amyloid.

 

 

Science360 News (Arlington, Va.: 157,000 monthly unique users)

“Toward A Better Dining Experience: The Emerging Science Of Molecular Gastronomy”

April 9, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

A new and relatively little-known scientific discipline called molecular gastronomy has quietly revolutionized the dining experience in some famous restaurants and promises to foster a wider revolution in other restaurant and home kitchens. That's the conclusion of an article in ACS' Chemical Reviews, a monthly journal. In the article, Peter Barham and colleagues present a sweeping overview of molecular gastronomy, which focuses on the science behind food preparation techniques, including the chemistry of cooking. "Our basic premise is that the application of chemical and physical techniques in some restaurant kitchens to produce novel textures and flavor combinations has not only revolutionized the restaurant experience but also led to new enjoyment and appreciation of food," the scientists note. Examples include the restaurants El Bulli in Spain and Fat Duck in the United   Kingdom, which have become regarded by some as among the finest in the world after adopting this scientific approach to cooking.

 

 

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

“New Method to Study Key Targets in Alzheimer's Disease and Prostate Cancer”

April 8, 2010

 

When designing a drug against a disease, chemists often used detailed plans of the proteins affected and against which the drugs must act. However, about a third of the proteins of our bodies have not yet been "photographed" because they generally vary in form, are in constant movements and have very little structure. This lack of "photographs" hinders the design of drugs against diseases involving proteins that are structurally "evasive," such as those in Alzheimer's disease and in prostate cancer that does not respond to conventional drugs. A group headed by Xavier Salvatella, ICREA researcher with the Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Programme at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), has developed a method to obtain structural information about intrinsically disordered proteins. The study appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

The Daily Press (Newport News, Va.: daily circulation 83,000)

“People in the News”

April 9, 2010

 

Newsmakers: Melissa Lowder was recently accepted to Yale University for the Ph.D. program in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. She is a published contributor in Organic Letters, a research journal by the prestigious American Chemical Society, and she will be graduating from the University  of Virginia in May as an Echols Scholar. Lowder will be entering Yale in the fall on full scholarship, and she plans to pursue a career as a chemistry professor at a major research institution.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Osteoporosis Solution

“Fabled ‘vegetable Lamb’ Plant Contains Potential Treatment For Osteoporosis”

April 8, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

The “vegetable lamb” plant – once believed to bear fruit that ripened into a living baby sheep – produces substances that show promise in laboratory experiments as new treatments for osteoporosis, the bone-thinning disease. That’s the conclusion of a new study in ACS’ monthly Journal of Natural Products.

 

 

Utilize Gold

“Gold nanoparticles used in temperature research”

April 8, 2010

 

 

Gold has been used in an experiment to precisely measure how electromagnetic irradiation affects the temperature of microscopic metal nanoparticles. The work was carried out by Poul Bendix, Nader Reihani and Lene Oddershede of the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, ACS Nano reports. In their paper, they explained that when metallic nanoparticles absorb electromagnetic irradiation, they heat up significantly, which can be beneficial in some biomedical contexts.

 

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

“Sunscreen nanoparticles could be toxic if eaten”

April 8, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

 

Nanoparticles of zinc oxide present in sunscreens could prove toxic if consumed accidentally, according to a study. Particles smaller than 100 nanometers are slightly more toxic to colon cells than conventional zinc oxide. Solid zinc oxide was more toxic than equivalent amounts of soluble zinc, and direct particle to cell contact was required to cause cell death. Philip Moos and colleagues note that there is ongoing concern about the potential toxicity of nanoparticles of various materials, which may have different physical and chemical properties than larger particles. Nanoparticles are used in foods, cosmetics and other consumer products. Some sunscreens contain nanoparticles of zinc oxide. "Unintended exposure to nano-sized zinc oxide from children accidentally eating sunscreen products is a typical public concern, motivating the study of the effects of nanomaterials in the colon," noted the scientists. The study is published in ACS’ Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal.

 

 

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

“Livestock emissions threat overstated”

April 8, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

The author of a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report that has been used to argue that eating less meat would save the planet has admitted the study overstated the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. The 2006 FAO report, Livestock's Long Shadow, stated that livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The paper was at odds with the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which stated just 4 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock. Last month, Frank Mitloehner, from the University of California, slammed the FAO report, saying that not only was it scientifically inaccurate, but it distracted people from embracing effective solutions to global warming. Professor Mitloehner told the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society that reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products would not have a major impact in combating global warming.

 

 

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

“Water, water everywhere”

April 7, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Next time you need a spoonful of sugar to help your medicine go down, be thankful for an ample water supply: It takes more than a gallon of water to produce that single heaping tablespoon of sweetness. A couple of years ago, I wrote about how changing dietary habits in China in recent decades (largely resulting from increased living standards), along with a rising population, will increasingly strain that nation’s water resources (SN: 1/19/08, p. 36). Now, a study published in the March 15 Environmental Science & Technology gives an outline of the United   States’ “water footprint” — and it’s a big footprint indeed. Take, for example, that sugar. It’s jam-packed with “virtual water,” a term that describes the water not actually included in a product but needed to manufacture the item. It takes more than 88 gallons (333 liters) of water to produce a 5-pound (2.3-kilogram) bag of sugar, says Chris Hendrickson, a civil engineer at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

 

 

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

“The Emerging Science Of Molecular Gastronomy”

April 8, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

A new and relatively little-known scientific discipline called molecular gastronomy has quietly revolutionized the dining experience in some famous restaurants and promises to foster a wider revolution in other restaurant and home kitchens. That's the conclusion of an article in ACS' Chemical Reviews, a monthly journal. In the article, Peter Barham and colleagues present a sweeping overview of molecular gastronomy, which focuses on the science behind food preparation techniques, including the chemistry of cooking. "Our basic premise is that the application of chemical and physical techniques in some restaurant kitchens to produce novel textures and flavor combinations has not only revolutionized the restaurant experience but also led to new enjoyment and appreciation of food," the scientists note. Examples include the restaurants El Bulli in Spain and Fat Duck in the United Kingdom, which have become regarded by some as among the finest in the world after adopting this scientific approach to cooking.

 

 

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

“Human Enzyme That Breaks Down Potentially Toxic Nanomaterials Identified”

April 8, 2010

 

 

An international study based at the University of Pittsburgh provides the first identification of a human enzyme that can biodegrade carbon nanotubes-the superstrong materials found in products from electronics to plastics-and in laboratory tests offset the potentially damaging health effects of being exposed to the tiny components, according to findings published online in Nature Nanotechnology…Carbon nanotubes are one-atom thick rolls of graphite 100,000 times smaller than a human hair yet stronger than steel. They are used to reinforce plastics, ceramics, or concrete; are excellent conductors of electricity and heat; and are sensitive chemical sensors. However, a nanotube's surface also contains thousands of atoms that could react with the human body in unknown ways. Tests on mice have shown that nanotube inhalation results in severe lung inflammation coupled with an early onset of fibrosis. The tubes' durability raises additional concern about proper disposal and cleanup. In 2008, Star and Kagan reported in Nano Letters that carbon nanotubes deteriorate when exposed to the plant enzyme horseradish peroxidase, but their research focused on cleanup after accidental spills during manufacturing or in the environment.

 

 

Thaindian News (Bangkok, Thailand: 2.6 million monthly unique users)

“Indian student wins top US research award”

April 8, 2010

 

 

Prasun Chatterjee, an Indian environmental engineering student whose research has contributed to a new way of detecting toxic lead and copper in water, has won one of the highest US research honours. Chatterjee, a research student at the University of Lehigh, Pennsylvania, will receive the 2010 C. Ellen Gonter Environmental Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Environmental Chemistry Division when ACS holds its fall national meeting in Boston in August. The Gonter award, named after a noted research chemist and consultant, is given to a graduate student for an outstanding research paper. Chatterjee, who received his BS and MS in chemical engineering from Jadavpur University in India and is hoping to complete his PhD in environmental engineering this year.

 

 

Natural News (Toronto, Ontario: 300,581 monthly unique users)

“Seaweed could hold key to natural weight loss”

April 7, 2010

 

 

Scientists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom have discovered a substance that reduces fat uptake in the body by more than 75 percent. This potential obesity fighter isn't a drug but a natural substance found in seaweed. The research team, headed by Dr. Iain Brownlee and Professor Jeff Pearson, tested more than 60 different fibers in the laboratory to see how effective they were in absorbing fat. The results? The scientists found that alginate, a natural fiber in sea kelp, blocks the body from absorbing fat far more effectively than anti-obesity treatments currently sold over the counter. The Newcastle University findings were presented March 22 at the American Chemical Society Spring meeting in San   Francisco.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Science Centric (Sofia, Bulgaria: 17,600 monthly unique users)

“Potential new Alzheimer's drugs advancing in clinical trials”

April 8, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

After years of preparation and anticipation, scientists who discover and develop new medications are about to answer a key question about Alzheimer's disease: Will drugs that block formation of abnormal clumps of protein in the brain called amyloid-beta slow the progression of the devastating disease? The cover story in the current issue of Chemical and Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine, assesses the scientific foundation and clinical landscape of those amyloid-beta blockers.

 

 

Reverse Osteopenia Now

“Blue Agave Tequila and Osteoporosis”

April 7, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

At the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, in Washington, D.C., Mercedes Lopez of the National Polyteachnic Institute in Guanajuato, Mexico reported on experimental studies using “fructans” from the agave plant.   It was found that these fructans may be beneficial in stimulating the immune system of the body and reduction in the risk of many diseases. Lopez and her associates observed that mice fed agave fructans absorbed more calcium from their food, excreted less calcium, and showed a 50% increase in levels of a protein associated with the building of new bone tissue.

 

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Ill.: daily circulation 516,032)

“Clearing the air: Electronic, air and vacuum filters get the dust you can't”

April 5, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

 

No matter how often you clean house, there is always a fresh supply of dust. Where does it come from? A recent report in the journal Environmental Science and Technology says most seeps in or is tracked in from outside. It looks innocent enough, just fine airborne dirt. But among a surprising array of ingredients, researchers found traces of DDT, a pesticide banned almost 40 years ago. Other components include deteriorating fabric fibers, bits of flooring, furniture and other building materials, decomposing insects, shed human skin and the dust mites that feed on it. Those microscopic pests produce allergens that can trigger symptoms in people suffering from asthma. You can't eliminate dust because even tightly built houses have an air-exchange rate such that all the indoor air is replaced more than twice a day. But to help control dust you can install filters to reduce its flow through the home.

 

 

KMGH-TV (Denver, Colo.: 956,600 monthly unique users)

“Do Anti-Cancer Superfoods Really Work?”

April 5, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

Some supposed anti-cancer foods really do work. While studies are ongoing, and in many cases experts still don't know exactly how these superfoods work, there's strong evidence that certain fruits and vegetables rich in plant-based nutrients can both prevent tumors from starting and halt their growth. Here are some of the top foods to work into the family diet if you'd like to cut cancer risk or help those with cancer recover. And who wouldn't? 1. Blueberries, Acai Berries, Raspberries and Cranberries. The rich, dark colors of blueberries, Brazilian acai berries, raspberries and cranberries come from phytochemicals that protect against numerous types of cancer. In studies particularly important to women, cranberries have recently been discovered to be an important weapon in the fight against deadly ovarian cancer. Studies reported at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society found that ovarian cancer cells that were becoming resistant to platinum chemotherapy -- the standard of care for ovarian cancer -- became six times more sensitive when exposed to a compound in cranberries.

 

 

Voices (Southbury, Conn.: 679,400 monthly unique users)

“Your Health: Shaking the Salt Habit Could Lead to Low Iodine Intake”

April 3, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

If you're thinking about cutting back on your consumption of table salt, it may be a good idea to boost your intake of iodine-rich foods while you're at it. In the typical American diet, iodized table salt is the primary source of iodine, a mineral that is essential to good health. There's no doubt that most Americans eat far too much salt. On average we consume 10 grams of the stuff daily, the amount in 2 teaspoons and double the 5 grams per day recommended by the World Health Organization… While a teaspoon of iodized salt typically offers around 400 micrograms of iodine, more than enough to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), the content may vary. According to a report published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, 53 percent of iodized salt samples tested in 2008 contained less than the FDA-recommended level.

 

 

Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa: daily circulation 146,050)

“Central Academy chemistry teacher wins national award”

April 6, 2010

 

 

Jeffrey Hepburn, a high school chemistry teacher at Central Academy in Des Moines, likes to give his students a little "CPR" in the classroom: That's chemistry, problem solving and relevance. "I present the chemistry material that needs to be presented," he said. "This is enhanced by the problem solving, which is completed by multiple types of activities. The relevance is the crucial component. Students need to see the relevance behind the material being presented and why it is important to their everyday experiences." Hepburn estimates that 20 percent to 25 percent of his students start college in a chemistry-related field, and each year his students score well above the national average on the Advanced Placement chemistry examination. He was honored among his peers in San Francisco on March 23 when the American Chemical Society presented him with the James Bryant Conant Award in High School Chemistry Teaching.

 

 

RichardDawkins.net (Washington D.C.: 257,600 monthly unique users)

“Comet crash creates potential for life”

April 5, 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. The researchers wanted to find out what chemical events might occur in an ice grain trapped inside a comet glancing off a planet. They used around one million computer hours on the powerful Atlas computer cluster at Lawrence Livermore to simulate the possible chemical processes occurring in a single ice grain during such an impact. In particular, they were looking for amino acids — markers of potential life.

 

 

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

“Contraceptive Residues May Threaten Fish Reproduction”

April 6, 2010

 

 

Researchers at Umea University and the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University  of Gothenburg have discovered that traces of many medicines can be found in fish that have been swimming in treated waste water. One such medicine, the hormone levonorgestrel, was found in higher concentrations in the blood of fish than in women who take the contraceptive pill. Elevated levels of this hormone can lead to infertility in fish. The study is published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The fish in the study were exposed to treated waste water from three sewage treatment works in Stockholm, Umeå and Gothenburg. The study shows that levonorgestrel - which is found in many contraceptive pills, including the morning-after pill - can impact on the environment and constitutes a risk factor for the ability of fish to reproduce. Levonorgestrel is designed to mimic the female sex hormone progesterone and is produced synthetically. A study from Germany showed very recently that less than a billionth of a gram of levonorgestrel per litre inhibited the reproduction of fish in aquarium-based trials.

 

 

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

“Berkeley researchers light up white OLEDs”

April 5, 2010

 

 

Light-emitting diodes, which employ semiconductors to produce artificial light, could reduce electricity consumption and lighten the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. However, moving this technology beyond traffic signals and laser pointers to illumination for office buildings and homes—the single largest use of electricity—requires materials that emit bright, white light cheaply and efficiently. White light is the mix of all the colors, or wavelengths, in the visible spectrum. Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), based on organic and/or polymer semiconductor materials, are promising candidates for general lighting applications, as they can cover large-area displays or panels using low-cost processing techniques. Indeed, single-color OLED displays are already available commercially. A mix of red-, green- and blue-emitting materials can be used to generate white light, but these bands of color often interact with one another, degrading device performance and reducing color quality. A paper reporting this research titled, “Site isolation of emitters within cross-linked polymer nanoparticles for white electroluminescence,” appears in the journal Nano Letters and is available in Nano Letters online.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Advanced Biofuels

“Motorists to Drive on World’s First ‘Green’ Tires within Next 5 Years”

April 5, 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 Coffee Cup

“Next-Generation Insecticides From Proteins In Unroasted Coffee Beans”

April 6, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

Scientists in Brazil are reporting for the first time that coffee beans contain proteins that can kill insects and might be developed into new insecticides for protecting food crops against destructive pests. Their study, which suggests a new use for one of the most important tropical crops in the world, appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

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

“A  fifth question for Passover: Why are there so many kosher  foods?”

April 2,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

[United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.6 million monthly unique users) also  covered the story.]

 

 

There are roughly 6.5 million Jews  in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau,  and only about 1 million of them keep kosher. This week, as Jews observe  Passover, that task becomes more onerous – in addition to eschewing pork  products and certain kinds of beef, they also avoid foods containing wheat,  oats, corn, rice and other starches. Food manufacturers go through a lot of  trouble to rejigger their recipes to make their products kosher for Passover.  One of them is Coca-Cola, which temporarily substitutes cane sugar for the usual  high-fructose corn syrup. Bottles that are kosher for Passover are so designated  with a Hebrew-inscribed yellow cap. In the latest issue of Chemical & Engineering News, University of Delaware food historian Roger Horowitz  explains that Muslims, vegetarians, vegans and even garden-variety health-food  enthusiasts now look to the kosher symbol as an indicator of purity and  quality.

 

 

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

“The  fly's revenge: Are cadmium-contaminated insects killing endangered meat-eating  plants?”

April 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Around the world carnivorous plants  are on the decline, the victims of habitat loss, illegal poaching and pollution.  But now a new factor has come to light: The very insects the plants rely on for  food may be poisoning them. According to new research by Christopher Moody and  Iain Green of Bournemouth University in England, prey insects could be  contaminated with toxic metals such as cadmium that, when ingested by  meat-eating flora, affect the plants' growth. Their research was published in  February in the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology. As  part of their research, Moody and Green fed maggots that had elevated levels of  cadmium and copper to endangered white-topped pitcher plants (Sarracenia  leucophylla). Whereas the plants processed copper successfully, and it is in  fact important to plant health, the cadmium built up in their systems, "where it  was related to a reduction in shoot biomass." (In other words, the plants did  not grow well when there was too much cadmium in their  stems.)

 

 

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

“Skin  as a source of drug pollution”

April 2,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Traces of over-the-counter and  prescription meds taint the environment. The presumption  ̶  and it's a good one  ̶  has been that most of  these residues come from the urine and solid wastes excreted by treated  patients. But in some instances, a leading source of a drug may be skin  ̶  either because the  medicine was applied there or because people sweat it out. When either occurs,  patients risk not only polluting the outdoor environment  ̶  via sewer inputs from  showers and laundering  ̶  but also exposing  their homes and families. Or so explained physician Ilene Ruhoy of the Touro  University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Henderson, Nev., last week, at the American Chemical Society spring national  meeting. Ruhoy reviewed calculations that she and Christian Daughton of the  Environmental Protection Agency in Las  Vegas made after poring over 177 papers for an  encyclopedic, 27-page analysis that they published in Environmental  Toxicology and Chemistry, last December.

 

 

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

“Next-Generation  Insecticides From Proteins In Unroasted Coffee  Beans”

April 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Scientists in Brazil  are reporting for the first time that coffee beans contain proteins that can  kill insects and might be developed into new insecticides for protecting food  crops against destructive pests. Their study, which suggests a new use for one  of the most important tropical crops in the world, appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  a bi-weekly publication. Peas, beans and some other plant seeds contain  proteins, called globulins, which ward off insects. Coffee beans contain large  amounts of globulins, and Paulo Mazzafera and colleagues wondered whether those  coffee proteins might also have an insecticidal effect. The high heat of  roasting destroys globulins, so that they do not appear in brewed  coffee.

 

 

Concord Monitor (Concord, N.H.:  daily circulation 20,107)

“The  quest to unlock the secrets of nature”

April 5,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Two science experiments being  conducted on vastly different scales could greatly add to human knowledge. One  is being conducted on tabletops in labs all around the world. The other took the  creation, at enormous cost, of the world's largest machine. It occupies 17 miles  of tunnels more than 300 feet below ground. A few weeks ago, at the American Chemical Society's meeting in  San Francisco,  researchers presented the results of their cold fusion experiments. Among the  labs that found evidence that the reactions exist was the U.S. Navy's Space and  Naval Warfare systems Center in San  Diego, Calif. An  electrochemist with the California-based SRI International told National Public  Radio Science Friday reporter Ira Flatow that one company's experiment got 25  times more energy coming out as heat than going in as  electricity.

 

 

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

“Medicine  Residues May Threaten Fish Reproduction, Swedish Study  Finds”

April 5,  2010

 

 

Researchers at Umeå University and the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have discovered that traces  of many medicines can be found in fish that have been swimming in treated waste  water. One such medicine, the hormone levonorgestrel, was found in higher  concentrations in the blood of fish than in women who take the contraceptive  pill. Elevated levels of this hormone can lead to infertility in fish. The study  is published in the journal Environmental  Science and Technology. The fish in the study were exposed to treated  waste water from three sewage treatment works in Stockholm, Umeå and Gothenburg. The study shows  that levonorgestrel -- which is found in many contraceptive pills, including the  morning-after pill -- can impact on the environment and constitutes a risk  factor for the ability of fish to reproduce.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Houston Chronicle’s SciGuy (Houston, Tex.)

“How  much water does it take to make ... ?”

April 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

It takes the amount of water from a  small in-ground pool, about 4,000 gallons, to make that 20-pound bag of dog food  at the supermarket. And that bag of sugar? It took nearly five bathtubs of water  to produce. Those are some findings from a new assessment, the first of its kind  in 30 years, published in Environmental  Science & Technology.

 

 

Nanotechnology  Now

“Shining Light on  Graphene-Metal Interactions”

April 2,  2010

 

 

By controlling the layered growth of  graphene - a relatively "new" form of carbon that's just a single atom thick -  researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory have uncovered intriguing details  about the material's superior electrical and optical properties. Their findings  could help position graphene as the next-generation material for future  computers, digital displays, and electronic sensors. Their findings were  published in the July 8, 2009 edition of Nano  Letters.

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

“BPA  widespread in ocean water and sand”

April 1,  2010

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

 

 

Japanese scientists testing ocean  water and sea sand have found widespread contamination with high levels  bisphenol A, a chemical used to make plastic that's able to mimic the female  hormone estrogen in living things. Its presence in sea water comes from the  breakdown of the plastic trash being dumped into the sea and from the use of the  compound in anti-rusting paints applied to the hulls of ships. BPA is man-made  and does not occur naturally in the environment. The researchers took samples at  more than 200 sites, mainly on the coasts around North America and Southeast Asia. They detected the chemical along the  shorelines of 20 countries and in every batch of water or sand tested. The  research results were presented last week in San Francisco at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, and one of the  scientists who conducted the sampling says it shows there is widespread  decomposition in the environment of the hard type of plastic, known as  polycarbonate, made from BPA.

 

 

Self  Magazine (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 1.5  million)

“Eat  to beat”

April 1,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

The food on your plate has the power  to brighten your mood, heal your muscles, help prevent cancer, ward off weight  gain and more—as long as you choose the right bites. Here, 50 edibles to improve  every inch of you… Indulge! In a study published in the Journal of  Proteome Research, people who ate 1 1/2 oz dark  chocolate daily had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who  didn't eat the sweet. Researchers suggest that polyphenols in chocolate may  alter metabolism in ways that affect production of the hormone. Be choosy:  Sugary chocolate could spike blood sugar and lead to a  crash.

 

 

The  Independent (London, England: daily circulation  183,547)

“Mythical  plant to cure osteoporosis”

April 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Korean researchers found the  isolation of compounds from the mythical vegetable lamb plant (Cibotium  barometz) prevents bone deterioration. Young Ho Kim, PhD, lead researcher of the  study and professor at the College of  Pharmacy, Chungnam National University, Republic of Korea concluded that the isolated  compounds, which prevented bone deterioration and destruction in 97 percent of  cells without affecting other cells, "could be used in the development of  therapeutic targets for osteoporosis". The original study was published in the  Journal of Natural Products, a  journal of the American Chemical Society, in the September edition. With Easter  taking place on April 4, more attention is being brought to this research  because of the myth surrounding the vegetable lamb plant, namely that in the  Middle Ages, as an explanation for how cotton grows, the C. barometz was  believed to bear fruit that produced a lamb.

 

 

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

“Unroasted  coffee beans the next-gen insecticides?”

April 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Proteins in unroasted coffee beans  may become next-generation insecticides, scientists in Brazil  have reported. The boffins claimed that coffee beans contain proteins that can  kill insects and might be developed into new insecticides for protecting food  crops against destructive pests. Their study, which suggests a new use for one  of the most important tropical crops in the world, appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  a bi-weekly publication.

 

 

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

“That  Tortilla Costs More Than You Think”

April 1,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

[United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.6 million monthly unique users) also  covered the story.]

 

 

Which costs more, a dollar's worth  of sugar or a dollar's worth of paint? That's not a trick question-the sugar  costs more, if you count the liters of water that go into making it, according  to a new study. Uncovering the water behind the dollars in sectors including  cotton farming and movie making could help industries use water more wisely, the  study's authors say. Not surprisingly, grain and cotton farming top the list,  with about 5000 liters of water going into every dollar of the final product.  But the model's ability to trace water flow between sectors revealed water where  you might not expect to find much. For example, manufacturing $1 of tortillas  requires a scant liter of water. But because the process starts with corn or  wheat as an ingredient and occurs in factories that run on electricity, that  buck's worth of tortilla actually consumes about an additional 500 liters. In a  whopping 96% of the sectors analyzed (power generation and agriculture are the  two big exceptions), this indirect water consumption outweighed direct water  consumption, Hendrickson and colleagues reported 15 March in Environmental Science and  Technology.

 

 

Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho:  daily circulation 61,000)

“New  'smart’ roof adjusts to temperature changes”

April 1,  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. Soon, you may be able to have it both ways. Scientists this month reported  the development of a smart roof coating, made from waste cooking oil from fast  food restaurants. The coating can read a thermometer and automatically switches  roles, reflecting or transmitting solar heat, when the outdoor temperature  crosses a preset point that can be tuned to the local climate, according to a  news release from the American Chemical  Society.

 

 

Gainesville Sun (Gainesville, Fla.: daily circulation  45,659)

“Researchers  Report Progress on E. Coli Test”

April 1,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

It’s not the pathogenic E. coli  microbe itself that harms people who eat ground beef or other foods that contain  it. Rather, it’s the toxins that E. coli produces that do the actual damage.  Proper testing of food should look for both, though, since it is possible for  one to be present without the other. That usually means two separate tests. But  now scientists with the Agricultural Research Service of the United States  Department of Agriculture report significant advances toward a single test that  can detect both pathogenic E. coli and its toxins. J. Mark Carter, leader of a  research unit at the research service’s office in Albany, Calif., said the test, described last week at  the annual meeting of the American Chemical  Society, uses tiny polystyrene beads that are coated with antibodies  for the proteins found on the bacteria and two of the major toxins it  produces.

 

 

Tuscaloosa News (Tuscaloosa, Ala.: daily circulation  32,700)

“Menstrual  cramp drug in works”

April 1,  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 at the annual  meeting of the American Chemical  Society in San  Francisco last week. 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. 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.”

 

 

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

“The Amazing  Popularity Of Kosher Foods, A Passover Paradox”

April 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Here's a paradox for Passover and  year-round: With observant Jews numbering barely one million in a United  States population of 310 million, why are 40-50  percent of food items on supermarket shelves kosher? Those and other insights  into the amazing and constantly growing popularity of kosher foods appear in an  article in Chemical & Engineering  News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. C&EN Senior Editor  Bethany Halford notes that the number of kosher products on supermarket shelves  has grown from about 3,000 in 1970 to more than 70,000 today. Those products  meet the strict dietary and preparation standards set by Jewish law. The article  explains that the strict standards for kosher foods broaden its appeal to other  individuals and other markets.

 

 

Charlotte  Observer (Charlotte, N.C.: daily circulation  187,633)

“Celgard  fits Obama's energy, jobs agenda”

April 2,  2010

 

 

The White House called last week,  asking the Charlotte Chamber to suggest a few companies for a possible visit.  The chamber dashed off a list of four or five, and by Tuesday, it was official:  President Barack Obama was coming to Celgard. The Charlotte company, which makes  a critical part for lithium-ion batteries - used in everything from notebook  computers to hybrid vehicles - was a natural fit, given the government's push  for greener jobs and better electric cars, said Jeff Edge, the chamber's senior  vice president for economic development. In 2008, [chemist Mitch] Pulwer told an  industry trade publication he was excited about the opportunity car batteries  presented. He noticed that every carmaker at the North American International  Auto Show in Detroit "had a display on the auto floor with power packs and  lithium-ion batteries," according to the article in Chemical & Engineering  News.


… From the  Blogs

 

 

Health  News Update

“Vitamin E in Contact Lenses May  Treat Glaucoma”

April 1,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Vitamin E has many health benefits  when taken as a nutritional supplement, but recent research by Anuj Chauhan, Ph.  D., presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco,  the use of vitamin E on contact contact lenses deliver more medication for  glaucoma and maybe other diseases to the eye.  Eye drops that treat the pressure  build up in glaucoma, are the typical treatment. However, medication delivered  by eye drops does not usually meet the targeted  tissue.

 

 

Organic  Chemistry

“Green Chemistry and Drug  Discovery”

April 1,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

Last week, at the San Francisco American Chemical Society meeting, I was  invited to participate in a panel discussion on green chemistry and its role in  industry.  This was an interesting opportunity for me because, while I am aware  of and fully support the philosophies behind green chemistry, I had never  reduced these philosophies to practice in the execution of my laboratory  responsibilities. For those of you who have never heard of green chemistry,  green chemistry is defined as the design of products and processes that minimize  the use and generation of hazardous substances.  This definition is supported by  the 12 principles of green chemistry developed by Paul Anastas and John C.  Warner.

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

“The  Perils of Plastic”

April 1,  2010

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

 

 

On the first Earth Day, celebrated  40 years ago this month, the U.S. was a poisoned nation. Dense air  pollution blanketed cities like Los  Angeles, where smog alerts were a fact of life. Dangerous  pesticides like DDT were still in use, and water pollution was rampant —  symbolized by raging fires on Cleveland's  Cuyahoga  River, captured in a famous  1969 story for TIME. But the green movement that was energized by Earth Day —  and the landmark federal actions that followed it — changed much of that. Today  air pollution is down significantly in most urban areas, the water is cleaner,  and even the Cuyahoga is home to fish again. Though climate change looms as a  long-term threat, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day will see a much cleaner  country. But if the land is healing, Americans may be sickening. Since World War  II, production of industrial chemicals has risen rapidly, and the U.S.  generates or imports some 42 billion lb. (19 billion kg) of them per day,  leaving Americans awash in a sea of synthetics... One such solution may lie in  the new field of green chemistry, in which chemicals are designed in a way that  minimizes hazardous risk from the start. The EPA's Presidential Green Chemistry  Challenge Awards recognize achievements in sustainable design like a new  biocatalytic process for cosmetics that uses no toxic solvents, and at last  month's annual meeting of the American  Chemical Society, more than 1,600 of 12,000 presentations were  dedicated to sustainability.

 

 

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

“Researchers  Report Progress on E. Coli Test”

March 31,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

[The Sarasota  Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, Fla.: daily circulation 118,328) also carried  the story.]

 

 

It’s not the pathogenic E. coli  microbe itself that harms people who eat ground beef or other foods that contain  it. Rather, it’s the toxins that E. coli produces that do the actual damage.  Proper testing of food should look for both, though, since it is possible for  one to be present without the other. That usually means two separate tests. But  now scientists with the Agricultural Research Service of the United States  Department of Agriculture report significant advances toward a single test that  can detect both pathogenic E. coli and its toxins. J. Mark Carter, leader of a  research unit at the research service’s office in Albany, Calif., said the test, described last week at  the annual meeting of the American Chemical  Society, uses tiny polystyrene beads that are coated with antibodies  for the proteins found on the bacteria and two of the major toxins it produces.  The beads are mixed with a sample of ground beef that has been further chopped  up in a blender, and then separated from the sample and analyzed. Dr. Carter  said that in addition to its two-in-one nature, the test is also quicker than  current E. coli tests, with results in less than 24 hours rather than about a  week.

 

 

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

“Unroasted  coffee beans the next-gen insecticides?”

April 1,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Proteins in unroasted coffee beans  may become next-generation insecticides, scientists in Brazil  have reported. The boffins claimed that coffee beans contain proteins that can  kill insects and might be developed into new insecticides for protecting food  crops against destructive pests. Their study, which suggests a new use for one  of the most important tropical crops in the world, appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  a bi-weekly publication. Peas, beans and some other plant seeds contain  proteins, called globulins, which ward off insects. Coffee beans contain large  amounts of globulins, and Paulo Mazzafera and colleagues wondered whether those  coffee proteins might also have an insecticidal effect. The high heat of  roasting destroys globulins, so that they do not appear in brewed  coffee.

 

 

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

“Diet of  Contaminated Insects Harms Endangered Meat-Eating  Plants”

March 31,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Scientists in the United  Kingdom are reporting evidence that consumption  of insects contaminated with a toxic metal may be a factor in the mysterious  global decline of meat-eating, or carnivorous, plants. Their study describes how  meals of contaminated insects have adverse effects on the plants. It appears in  ACS' semi-monthly journal Environmental  Science & Technology. Iain Green and Christopher Moody note that  many species of carnivorous plants -- which have the amazing ability to lure,  trap and digest insects -- have become endangered through habitat loss, illegal  poaching, and pollution. They fed contaminated house fly maggots to a group of  endangered white-topped pitcher plants (Sarracenia leucophylla) and found that  cadmium accumulated in the plants' stems in a way that can be toxic and disrupt  growth.

 

 

CNET  News (San Francisco, Calif.: 18 million monthly unique  users)

“Raise  high the 'smart roof' carpenters”

March 31,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

A group of scientists with funding  from the Department of Energy has presented a new type of roof coating that  would allow all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of black and white roofs  combined. It's long been agreed that a white roof, because it naturally reflects  sunlight, reduces the amount of heat a building absorbs in extremely hot and  sunny situations, thus, contributing to keeping the building cool (think  Greece). Some have even gone as far  as to propose white "green" roofs as a geoengineering idea for reducing global  warming because they may both reduce air conditioning use and reflect more  sunlight back into space if used en masse. The polymer invention was presented  in March at this year's 239th American  Chemical Society national conference in San  Francisco.

 

 

Voice  of America  News (Washington D.C.: weekly audience 134  million)

“Too  Few Women in Science”

March 31,  2010

 

 

Two new studies have investigated  why fewer females, compared to males, study and work in the so called STEM  subjects in the United  States.  Those subjects are science,  technology, engineering and mathematics. The American Association of University  Women examined existing research. Its report, called “Why So Few?,” also  suggested ways to interest more girls and women in the STEM fields. The  researchers found that cultural and environmental factors make a difference. The  other study was carried out by the Campos company  for the Bayer Corporation in the United States.  It asked more than  one thousand women and minority members of the American Chemical Society about their  experiences. Seventy-seven percent said not enough women and minorities are  working in STEM professions today. This is because they were not identified or  urged to study those subjects in school. This is the VOA Special English  Education Report.

 

 

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

“Study:  Prescribed burns could reduce USA's carbon  footprint”

March 31,  2010

 

 

Using prescribed burns to manage  western forests could help the USA reduce its carbon footprint,  reports a new study. Researchers found that these burns, often used by forest  managers to reduce underbrush and protect bigger trees, release much less carbon  dioxide than wildfires of the same size. "It appears that prescribed burns can  be an important piece of a climate change strategy," says study lead author  Christine Wiedinmyer, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Wildfires  often consume large trees that store large amounts of carbon. Prescribed fires  burn underbrush and small trees, which store less carbon. By clearing out the  underbrush, these controlled burns reduce the chances of potentially high-impact  wildfires, thereby protecting large trees and keeping more carbon locked up in  the forest. The results found that carbon emissions were reduced by anywhere  from 37% to 63% for the forests that had been subject to prescribed burns,  depending on the vegetation mix and location of the forests. The study was  published earlier this month in the journal Environmental Science and  Technology.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Science  Codex (37,000 monthly unique  users)

“Passover  paradox: The amazing popularity of kosher  foods”

March 31,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Here's a paradox for Passover and  year-round: With observant Jews numbering barely one million in a United  States population of 310 million, why are 40-50  percent of food items on supermarket shelves kosher? Those and other insights  into the amazing and constantly growing popularity of kosher foods appear in an  article in Chemical & Engineering  News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. C&EN Senior Editor  Bethany Halford notes that the number of kosher products on supermarket shelves  has grown from about 3,000 in 1970 to more than 70,000 today.

 

 

Nanotechnology  Now

“UW-Madison faculty  honored by American Chemical Society”

March 31,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

On March 23, five  University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty members and one former  student were recognized by the American  Chemical Society at its annual meeting in San Francisco. Ron Seely,  senior lecturer, life sciences communication: Seely won the Grady-Stack award  for his coverage of science and environment at the Wisconsin State Journal  during more than 20 years. His reporting has ranged from scientific discoveries  at UW-Madison to city drinking water and, most recently, the environmental  challenges posed by manure disposal at large concentrations of farm  animals.