CBS News (New York, N.Y.: 9.6 million monthly unique users)

“Gel Makes Teeth Regenerate? Substance Seen as Way to Fix Decay without Dentist's Drill”

June 29, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

 

What if your cavities could go away painlessly, with only the application of a gel. That's right - no drill, no needles. That tantalizing possibility is now being explored by French scientists, according to the journal ACS Nano. They're testing a substance - applied to teeth in a gel or thin strip - that seems to repair tooth decay painlessly by causing cells inside teeth to regenerate. Scientists got the idea to try out the substance - melanocyte-stimulating hormone, or MSH - on rodent teeth after previous research showed that MSH encourages bone regeneration. This tooth-repairing gel will have to undergo many clinical trials before it's made available for use by dentists. And the gel isn't meant to prevent cavities - only to treat them. So we'll still have to brush and floss. But when cavities do form, a trip to the dentist could become a whole lot less traumatic.

 

 

LiveScience (New York, N.Y.: 1.8 million monthly unique users)

“How Fireworks Work: Spark Color Recipes and Chemistry”

June 29, 2010

Origin: OPA Podcast

 

 

[The National Science Teachers’ Association (Arlington,  Va.: monthly circulation 308,000) also covered the item.]

 

 

Fireworks displays' brilliant colors and intricate shapes explode from a blend of science and art. Pyrotechnic expert John Conkling reveals the secrets of flame colors, fuse timing, burst charges other incendiary tricks. THINK SAFETY! (American Chemical Society)

 

 

NBC Action News (Kansas City, Mo.: 263,600 monthly unique users)

“Red, White, Blue & Green for Independence Day”

June 29, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

 

The 4th of July holiday means millions of people will be firing up the grill, setting off or just watching fireworks and of course, celebrate with everything red, white and blue. But this year, you may want to add some green into the mix. While it may not sound patriotic, it could help us celebrate America’s Independence for even more decades to come. To start, spend most of the day outdoors. By doing that, you will cut down on your electric usage because you won’t need to have the lights on or the air conditioner going at full blast. Finally, it is time to end the night with a bang. Of course, we are talking about fireworks! Because most fireworks are made using potassium perchlorate, which is a material that provides the oxygen the fireworks need to burn. Studies have shown that it can pollute the air and pose a health risk to people and wildlife. That is because it affects the iodine in the thyroid gland. So what is the alternative? Researchers have developed new pyrotechnic formulas that replace perchlorate with nitrogen-rich materials or nitrocellulose that burn cleaner and produce less smoke, according to an article in American Chemical Society weekly newsmagazine.

 

 

Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo, Hawaii: daily circulation 18,715)

“Hilo dean studies nature's potential to prevent cancer”

June 29, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Dean John Pezzuto was highlighted in an article in Chemical and Engineering News. The article focuses on the work Pezzuto has done in the area of cancer chemoprevention. Pezzuto has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health for more than 30 years. He is well known for his work using natural products for medicinal purposes, most notably for the discovery of resveratrol, the compound found in grapes and wine that is thought to have cancer preventative and many other biological activities. He leads a team of scientists from Purdue University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Scripts Institution of Oceanography. Most recently, the work has concentrated on deep-ocean microorganisms as a source of new drugs.

 

 

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

“Ivy nanoparticles promise sunblocks and other green products”

June 29, 2010

 

 

I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with English ivy that’s been devolving towards hate-hate. In my yard and neighboring ones, this invasive creeper sends fast-growing vines snaking through grasses, fencing and shrubs, then up trees, brick walls and light posts. But a new paper may temper my antipathy. It indicates that this backyard bully also offers a kinder, gentler alternative to the potentially toxic metal-based nanoparticles used in today’s sunscreens… Once it colonizes a site, ivy hangs on with impressive resolve. It’s effectively “a super glue,” [Mingjun] Zhang says, and he and his colleagues showed that this polymer was laden with nanoparticles some 70-billionths-of-a-meter in diameter. The nanobits function a bit like rebar — or the stones in concrete. A chemical crosslinking between the polymer and nanoparticles yields a composite material that, when dry, possesses surprising structural strength. In the May 8, 2008, Nano Letters, Zhang’s team described this organic glue that allows ivy to climb and to chemically adhere to any solid surface through hydrogen bonding.

 

 

WXIX-FOX 19 (Cincinnati, Ohio: 58,700 monthly unique users)

“Dr. Harry J. Guttman, Esq. Invited Speaker at 2010 Central Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society”

June 29, 2010

 

 

Dr. Harry J. Guttman, Esq., Of Counsel Attorney with Stipkala LLC, was an invited speaker and panel discussion participant at the 2010 Central Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (CeRMACS) held in Dayton, Ohio June 16-19, 2010. The 2010 CeRMACS attracted over 400 participants and focused on small business development and new technologies in addition to traditional chemical disciplines. Dr. Guttman's presentation entitled "Intellectual Property 101 for Entrepreneurial Companies" was part of the CeRMACS Small Chemical Business Symposium. Dr. Guttman highlighted the importance of patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights to the development and capitalization of the entrepreneurial business enterprise.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Alkaline Diet

“Pumpkin – The Amazing Food”

June 30, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

The most popular material for Jack-O-Lanterns in Halloween season, the favorite ingredient in pies, and the well-known and sought-after vegetable during the fall season is no other than pumpkin. The species is native to Asia but is now cultivated in warm regions of the world… Just recently, researches showed that the skin contains an antibacterial effect against any kind of microbes that causes yeast infections. Another study published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, conducted by Kyung-Soo Hahm, Yoonkyung Park and other researchers from the extracted proteins of pumpkin, they found that it has the potential to inhibit the growth of microbes with no toxic effect, like other antibiotics.

 

 

Life Sciences Institute

“Scientific Achievement”

June 30, 2010

 

The main focus of Prof Chang Young-Tae’s group is on the development of small-molecule probes that are able to detect distinct cell-states resulting from diseases or differentiation. His research team has developed various fluorescent probes detecting diverse cell-types including an alpha-cell sensor and a muscle-state sensor. The discovery of small molecules that affect cellular differentiation is one of the hot issues in chemical biology and their work was published on Journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

New York Times (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation 951,063)

“At German Airports, Bees Help Monitor Air Quality”

June 28, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

 

Airports in Germany have come up with an unusual approach to monitoring air quality. The Düsseldorf International  Airport and seven other airports are using bees as “biodetectives,” their honey regularly tested for toxins. “Air quality at and around the airport is excellent,” said Peter Nengelken, the airport’s community liaison. The first batch of this year’s harvested honey from some 200,000 bees was tested in early June, he said, and indicated that toxins were far below official limits, consistent with results since 2006 when the airport began working with bees…Most large airports are farther from residential communities, and also have buffer zones separating them. The health implications of ultrafine particles are not yet known, but some medical research suggests they could pose a serious risk because the extremely fine particles pass through cell walls easily and are able to penetrate far into the brain and circulatory system. Epidemiological studies have shown there are health risks from elevated levels of these particles emitted by cars and trucks, a concern for people who live near or frequently travel on busy highways, said Suzanne E. Paulson, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. But “we know next to nothing about the health effects of aircraft emissions” of these particles, Dr. Paulson said. She was a lead researcher on another study, published late last year in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

 

 

TMCNet (Norwalk, Conn.: 504,900 monthly unique users)

“Is Melittin the Answer to a Cure for Cancer?”

June 28, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

If you are one of those with a weak Immune System, which just can’t produce enough of antibodies to ward off infection, then you may have cause to smile, as synthetic antibodies could well be used somewhere in the future to compensate for the inability of the body to produce enough of the virus and bacteria-fighting proteins. Scientists at the University of California at Irvine have taken a very small step in that direction and are trying to create plastic antibodies that can halt the spread of deadly bee venom. Bee venom contains a toxic peptide called melittin that causes cells to rupture, and if large quantities of the venom are present, it can lead to organ failure and even death. The detailed findings are available in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, which designed the antibodies using a technique called “molecular imprinting.” What this technique did was to link melittin molecules with small molecules called monomers making it into a long polymer chain. After hardening of the plastic, the melittin was removed and the nanoparticles had small melittin-shaped holes.

 

 

Professional Beauty (London, England: monthly circulation 20,000)

“Nanoparticles in sunscreens may be toxic if eaten by accident”

June 28, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

Nanoparticles that are often found in zinc oxide sunscreens may prove toxic if they are eaten by accident, according to scientists. The report, which has been printed in the ACS’s Chemical Research in Toxicology publication, investigates “ongoing concern” regarding the toxicity of nanoparticles with sizes less than 100 nanometers. The study, carried out at the University of  Utah, found that these smaller-than-100-nanometers particles are slightly more toxic to colon cells than zinc oxide particles of a conventional size. The report said: “Manufactured nanoparticles are being marketed as having unique properties due to their size, shape, surface area, and composition as compared to bulk material, but there remain concerns regarding toxicities associated with these novel materials.”

 

 

Edmonton Journal (Edmonton, Alberta: daily circulation 118,944)

“Health Digest: Coffee may help prevent diabetes”

June 28, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Attention coffee lovers! That habit may not be so bad. Drinking coffee, a lot of it, may help prevent Type 2 diabetes, a disease affecting millions and on the rise across the globe, according to a new study published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It's the caffeine, say scientists from Nagoya University in Japan. The scientists fed either water or coffee to a group of lab mice. The coffee consumption prevented development of high-blood sugar and improved insulin sensitivity in the mice. There were also other benefits from drinking coffee, including improvements in fatty liver, which is a disorder where fat builds up in liver cells, primarily in obese people. That further reduces the risk of diabetes, the scientists said.

 

 

AzoSensors (Sydney, Australia: 266,500 monthly unique users)

“New Maglev Sensor for Food and Healthcare Industries”

June 29, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

In a bi-weekly journal of the American Chemical Society, scientists describe the new special sensor that utilizes magnetic levitation, also known as maglev. The maglev is a futuristic technology that made the high-speed passenger trains possible. In the journal article, the scientists explain how maglev can be used in an economic sensor for analysis of water, food, and beverages. Measuring the density of a substance is vital, especially in the health care and food industry, as these measurements provide the important information of the chemical composition of the substance. For instance, the measurement of density helps to quantify the alcohol content in wine, sugar content in soft drinks, or salt content in irrigation water. For these measurements, a simple, user-friendly, economic technology is needed, which the existing devices cannot offer.

 

 

The Future of Things (600,000 monthly readers)

“Turning Water into Hydrogen Fuel”

June 28, 2010

 

Materials scientists at the University  of Wisconsin-Madison recently announced a new way to harvest small amounts of waste energy, thus harnessing it to turn water into usable hydrogen fuel. The new process provides many benefits including simplicity, efficiency, and the ability to recycle otherwise-wasted energy into a useable form. Huifang Xu, geologist and crystal specialist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, led the team of researchers on this project. During their study, which was published March 2 in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, they grew nanocrystals of two common crystals, zinc oxide and barium titanate. Afterwards, the crystals were placed in water. When pulsed with ultrasonic vibrations, the nanofibers flexed and catalyzed a chemical reaction to split the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Laboratory Equipment

“The Chemistry Behind Fireworks”

June 29, 2010

Origin: OPA Podcast

 

 

From the sizzle of the fuse to the boom and burst of colors –– a new American Chemical Society (ACS) video brings you all of the exciting sights and sounds of Fourth of July fireworks. The Chemistry of Fireworks, part of the ACS Holiday Video Series, illustrates in brilliant high-definition detail how the familiar rockets and other neat products that light up the night sky all represent chemistry in action.

 

 

Discount Thoughts

Can oil and water mix?”

June 28, 2010

 

We all know that linear polymers of amino acids (proteins) adopt complex three-dimensional structures when they are dissolved in water. The process of forming these structures is called folding, and it is understood to occur because proteins are amphiphilic. Some parts of a protein chain like to interact with water (hydrophilic), while others are oily and want to get out of water (hydrophobic). Folding of the chain sticks all the oily parts together on the inside of the structure while the parts of the chain that have favorable interactions with water remain on the outside. An upcoming paper from the Journal of Physical Chemistry B suggests that sufficiently long alkanes might undergo a similar transition, even though they don't have any chemical groups that like to interact with water.

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

“Studies  Confirm Presence, Severity of Pollution in National  Parks”

June 25,  2010

 

 

Toxic contamination from pesticides,  the burning of fossil fuels, agriculture, industrial operations and other  sources are a continuing concern in national parks of the West, two new studies  confirm. In research performed by an international group of scientists over  several years, pollution was found in all eight of the national parks and  preserves that were studied, in terrain ranging from the Arctic to southern  California.  Most of it was caused by regional agriculture or industry, but some had traveled  thousands of miles from distant sources in Asia  and elsewhere. The two recent reports, both published in Environmental Science and Technology,  reinforce previous research that has identified such problems, scientists say,  and better quantify the extent of the concerns. “As scientists we’re getting  more used to these pollution problems,” said Staci Simonich, an associate  professor of environmental and molecular toxicology at Oregon State University, and lead investigator on both  studies.

 

 

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

“GreenSpace:  How oil has seeped deep into our lives”

June 28,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA)

 

 

If you want to make a statement  about the gushing oil in the Gulf of Mexico,  should you still wash your hair, put on lipstick, and take aspirin? Should you  also wear flip-flops, use scotch tape, and paint the living room? Those items  are much more connected to the BP catastrophe than they might seem. Every day a  tsunami of petroleum goes into myriad consumer products, including those listed  above, and it's all but impossible to avoid them. The petrochemical industry  started to saturate our lives in the 1950s and '60s. Plastics were its steroid,  its killer app…Ballpoint pen? Plastic. Many inks are petroleum-based, too.  Windshield wiper? Synthetic rubber, which is really just another plastic. As for  a simple bandage, the plastic is made from oil and the nonstick pad that covers  the wound is man-made cloth manufactured from petrochemicals. Here's another way  to look at it: "The carbon is like a Lego, and you can put it together in  different ways," says Dady  Dadyburjor, a chemical engineering professor at West Virginia University and a member of the American Chemical Society's petroleum  division. "By adding different things to it in different ways, you  can get a detergent bottle or a pair of nylons."

 

 

The  Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 445,900 monthly unique  users)

“Scientists  report first preliminary description of bed bug's  sialome”

June 25,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

With bed bugs reemerging as a  nuisance in some parts of the country, scientists are reporting the first  preliminary description of the bug's sialome - the saliva proteins that are the  secret to Cimex lectularius' ability to suck blood from its human victims and  escape to bite again with risking a lethal slap. The findings, which could have  medical applications in diagnosing bed bug bites and preventing the itch, appear  in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome  Research. Using adult bed bugs from a government-maintained colony,  the scientists removed salivary glands from male and female bugs, and analyzed  the proteins to find unique enzymes that characterize the saliva profile of the  bug. The substances could also offer insight into how insects evolved to a blood  diet. "Independent of their function, these proteins may also be used for immune  detection of humans and animals to bed bug exposure, or as part of  desensitization vaccines," the report says.

 

 

Nutraingredients (Montpellier, France: 120,000 monthly unique  users)

“No  risk posed from magnolia bark extract in gum and mints, says  ACNFP”

June 28,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

Magnolia bark extract could be used  in chewing gum and mint confectionery and is unlikely to pose any risk to  consumers at the use level specified by the manufacturer, according to the draft  opinion of the UK Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP). The  bark of the Magnoliae officinalis tree, a member of the biloba subspecies, has  been used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years, and is  reputed to have anti-stress properties. It is used in dietary supplements in  some countries. For a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2007, Wrigley scientists Michael Greenberg, Philip Urnezis, and Minmin Tian  investigated how the extract, and magnolol and honokiol, could inhibit bacteria  in human saliva samples.

 

 

Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.: daily circulation  155,540)

“Teens  picked to represent US at chemistry Olympiad”

June 27,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

Teens from Connecticut, Maryland,  New Jersey and New  York have been selected to represent the United States at the International Chemistry Olympiad in  Tokyo. Alexander  Siegenfeld, a resident of Westport, Conn., who attends the private Hopkins  School in New Haven, will compete in July with three teammates: Richard Li of  Clarksville, Md.; Colin Lu of Vestal, N.Y.; and Utsarga Sikder on Monmouth  Junction, N.J. They were picked from more than 11,000 students nationwide, and  will compete in chemistry competitions against teams from more than 65  countries.

 

 

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

“Capacitors  roll up for power on the nanoscale”

June 26,  2010

 

 

A nanoscale power-storage device has  just got even smaller, thanks to a trick borrowed from the large-scale world.  Capacitors store electrical energy on the surfaces of two conducting plates  separated by an insulating layer. Because they release energy more quickly than  chemical batteries, they are good for providing a sudden burst of power. In  large-scale devices, the layers are usually rolled up into a cylinder to make  the device more compact. Now Carlos César Bof' Bufon and his team at the Leibniz  Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden, Germany, have  created nanoscale capacitors in a similar way. They begin by depositing thin  layers of metal and insulating material on top of a host substrate. The lowest  metal layer of titanium and chromium is placed under strain, so once the  substrate is removed, the layers roll themselves up. (Nano Letters)

 

 

Broadcast  TV

 

 

News  12 CT (Hartford, Conn.)

“Hopkins  student representing U.S. at the International Chemistry  Olympiad”

June 28,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

Alexander Siegenfeld, who attends  the Hopkins School in New Haven,  will be representing the United  States at the International Chemistry Olympiad in  Tokyo next  month. Siegenfeld and three other students were chosen from more than 11,000  students nationwide. The team will compete in chemistry competitions against  similar teams from more than 65 countries.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Laboratory  Equipment

“China and U.S. Reinforce  Chemical Cooperation”

June 25,  2010

 

 

The American Chemical Society and the Chinese  Chemical Society signed a memorandum of collaboration on June 20 in the latest  effort to further strengthen bilateral ties. Both sides agreed to a three-year  cooperation alliance starting this year, promising to better serve chemical  scientists, engineers, and professionals in the two countries. An ACS delegation  attended the signing ceremony as well as the ensuing CCS biennial meeting in  Xiamen, China. "I am delighted that the  extensive exchanges between our two organizations have culminated in this next  and very important step," says Thomas Lane, immediate  past-president of ACS. "Together we will share our knowledge and experiences to  find sustainable solutions to far-reaching societal  challenges."

 

 

Oral  Cancer News

“New evidence that smokeless  tobacco damages DNA And key enzymes”

June 27,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Far from having adverse effects  limited to the mouth, smokeless tobacco affects the normal function of a key  family of enzymes found in almost every organ in the body, according to the  first report on the topic in ACS’ monthly journal Chemical Research in  Toxicology. The enzymes play important roles  in production of hormones, including the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone;  production of cholesterol and vitamin D; and help the body breakdown  prescription drugs and potentially toxic substances. Smokeless tobacco also  damages genetic material in the liver, kidney and  lungs.

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

“Scientists  Harness High Speed Train Technology To Test  Food”

June 24,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

Futurists take note: Magnetic  levitation — the discovery that was supposed to revolutionize high-speed rail  but hasn't really taken off commercially — might have a more practical and  cheaper application. Scientists have found the technology can be used to take  important measurements of our food. For example, whether water is too salty to  drink and how much fat is really in that lowfat milk. So how does it work? As a  kid, you probably impressed your friends with magnet tricks. So you know that  the opposite poles attract and the like poles repel each other. Magnets on the bottom of a maglev train repel magnets on a special  rail, and voila, you've got a high-speed, fossil-fuel free ride. But George  Whitesides and his colleagues at Harvard wanted to shrink that technology down  and see what else it could do. They built an ice-cube sized sensor using the  same technology to test the density of foods and beverages. The study appears in  the latest issue of Journal of Agricultural  and Food Chemistry.

 

 

The  Guardian (London, England: daily circulation  283,063)

“Particles  in sunscreen could be toxic if accidentally  eaten”

June 24,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Tiny particles in sunscreens could  be toxic to cells in the gut if they are accidentally eaten, researchers have  shown. They say that nano-particles of zinc oxide may be more likely to cause  harm than conventional zinc oxide. Nano-particles, very tiny particles barely  1/50,000 the breadth of a human hair, are used in many products including  cosmetics and sunscreens. But there has been concern about how safe they are,  because they can act differently to larger particles of the same substance. Zinc  oxide is a common ingredient of sunscreens because it can block the sun's rays.  But traditional zinc-based creams tend to leave white residue on the skin, which  some people find unsightly. Nano-particles of zinc oxide don't leave a residue,  so creams containing nano-particles have become a popular alternative. Zinc  oxide nano-particles are more toxic (poisonous) than normal sized zinc oxide  particles. The nano-particles of zinc oxide were toxic at concentrations about  half that of normal sized zinc oxide. The researchers described the differences  as "relatively modest".The study was done by researchers at the University of Utah in the US. It was published in a journal  called Chemical Research in  Toxicology, which is owned by the American Chemical  Society.

 

 

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

“Using  foods to prevent cancer a trend”

June 25,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

U.S. scientists,  who have tried for years to develop drugs to reduce the risk of cancer with  limited success, are turning to plant substances, researchers said. The  synthetic drugs finasteride and dutasteride, which treat enlargement of the  prostate gland, have been effective at deterring prostate cancer, while the  osteoporosis drug raloxifene and the breast cancer treatment tamoxifen --  synthetic -- have cut the breast cancer rate in half among high-risk women. Gary  D. Stoner of Ohio State University has been studying cancer prevention potential  of berries and beets and he and his team have used a freeze-dried and powdered  black raspberry mixture that blocks formation of esophageal and colon cancers in  rats. However, "this food-based approach to cancer prevention has been hurt" by  companies that have made health claims for foods "on the basis of very little  research," Stoner says in the article published in Chemical & Engineering  News.

 

 

International  Business Times (New York, N.Y.)

“Research  Targets Mass Producing Carbon Nanomaterials”

June 24,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

For scientists looking at the world  of the very small, carbon is the new black. Not just any carbon, but a form  called graphene. Graphene is carbon atoms in a single layer, arranged in a  regular pattern. It comes from graphite, the same substance used in pencils.  Victor Aristov and his colleagues at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State  and Materials Research in Germany say they found a way of  growing high-quality graphene on the surface of commercially available silicon  carbide wafers. It "represents a huge step toward technological application of  this material as the synthesis is compatible with industrial mass production,"  their report notes. The team reported their results in the American Chemical  Society's journal Nano  Letters. Aristov's method requires high temperatures and is more akin  to current methods of making silicon chips, but that is why it is easier to  adapt, Aristov says.

 

 

PhysOrg.com (Evergreen,  Va.: 1.3  million monthly unique users)

“American  Chemical Society Webinar focuses on protecting intellectual  property”

June 24,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

News media and others interested in  the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society (ACS) Webinars™,  focusing on protecting intellectual property. Scheduled for Thursday, July 1,  from 2 - 3 p.m. EDT, the free ACS Webinar™ will feature Tom Steinberg, a patent  attorney with Roberts, Mlotkowski, Safran & Cole in McLean, Va., speaking on From Laboratory to Licensing:  Protecting Your Intellectual Property Along the Way. Steinberg's topics will  include: Secure your innovations -- avoiding costly mistakes that scientists  make and laboratory documentation requirements to secure your patent priority  rights.

 

 

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

“CAS  Chemistry Research Report: 40 Years of Biofuel Research Reveal China Now Atop  U.S. in Patenting and Commercialization of  Bioethanol”

June 24,  2010

 

 

Chemical  Abstracts Service (CAS), the world's authority on  chemical information, reports that in 2009, China  surpassed all other countries in the production of bioethanol patents, emerging  as the global leader in the commercialization of bioethanol research. In the CAS  Chemistry Research Report: China Takes Lead in the Commercialization of  Bioethanol, CAS examines 40 years of scientific research into biofuel  development. Their key finding is that although U.S. researchers continue to publish more  scientific research about bioethanol than other countries, China  now produces more bioethanol-related patents than anyone. CAS, a division of the  American Chemical Society, is the  world's authority for chemical information.

 

 

Howard  County Times (Ellicott City, Maryland: weekly circulation  20,500)

“New  River Hill graduate a presidential scholar”

June 24,  2010

 

 

Three years ago, Richard Li had never taken a chemistry  class. Now, it's his favorite subject and what he plans to major in this fall at  Stanford  University. The 2010  graduate of River Hill High  School was feted this week as one of four U.S. presidential scholars from the state of  Maryland. "I  was very honored," Li said. "I wasn't expecting to get it." Li, a Clarksville resident, and 140 other scholars from  throughout the country spent June 19-22, in Washington, attending various events held in  their honor. "Chemistry is really my passion, and she helped me find that," Li  said of Jewett. Li is so passionate about chemistry that he took organic  chemistry at the University of Maryland his senior year and does home lab  experiments in his free time. He also has competed on the Science Olympiad and  the Chemistry Olympiad teams.  "It's kind of like the Olympics but nerdier and no one knows about it," Li said.  Li placed very high on the Chemistry Olympiad test last year and again this year  when he was selected as one of the top four students in the country.

 

 

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

“Science  News: Study shows turning off car A/C saves  fuel”

June 24,  2010

 

Swiss researchers say they've found  the use of car air conditioning systems can account for up to 30 percent of a  vehicle's fuel consumption in hot climates. Even in Switzerland, with its temperate  climate, the scientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing  and Research said the use of air conditioning systems is responsible for about 5  percent of total fuel usage, rising to about 10 percent in urban traffic. The  scientists said car air conditioning systems require energy to compress the  cooling agent, and the greater the degree of cooling required the more fuel they  use. The study appeared in the June 8 early, online edition of the journal  Environmental Science &  Technology.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

TempSensor  News

“The Chemistry of  Barbecue”

June 25,  2010

Origin: OPA  Podcast

 

 

With the Fourth of July weekend  rapidly approaching, what better time to watch a new American Chemical Society (ACS) video on  the dos and don’ts of cooking your favorite foods on the barbecue grill? The ACS  video below showcases a lecture on the topic by Shirley O. Corriher, an  award-winning author, and Sara J. Risch, Ph.D., a noted food chemist. If you can  not view it here, check the original on the YouTube Website at: www.youtube.com/user/BytesizeScience. There are many more  videos there, too.

 

 

Health  Cosmo

“6 Ways to Supercharge Your  Brain Power”

June 25,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Feeling scatterbrained? Simple  solutions such as snacking on blueberries can improve your brain health. Here  are the latest tips that will amp up your memory. Blueberries may help keep your  brain firing. A study in the Journal of  Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that the fruit’s wealth of  anthocyanins—the antioxidants that create the blue hue—foster neuron-to-neuron  communication in the brain, which may help delay memory  loss.

Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique  users)

“Saliva  holds bed bugs' blood-sucking secrets”

June 24,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

Scientists are reporting the first  preliminary description of the bed bug saliva proteins - a finding that could be  used in diagnosing bed bug bites and preventing the itch. The saliva proteins  give the bug its ability to suck blood from its human victims and escape to bite  again with risking a lethal slap. They have substances that make the victim's  blood vessels dilate (for a better flow of blood), inhibit clotting, and prevent  immediate pain and itching. Using adult bed bugs (male and female) from a  government-maintained colony, Jose Ribeiro and colleagues analysed the salivary  gland proteins to find unique enzymes that characterize the saliva profile of  the bug. The study appears in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome  Research.

 

 

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

“Protection Against  Anthrax Attacks With New Medical Weapons”

June 24,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

The 2001 anthrax attacks in the  United  States are fostering development of a new  generation of vaccines, antibiotics, and other medications to protect people  against the potentially deadly bacteria in any future bioterrorist incident.  That's the conclusion of a sweeping overview of scientific research on medical  technology to combat the anthrax threat. It appears in ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. In the  article, Dimitrios Bouzianas notes that several existing antibiotics are  available to combat an anthrax infection. However, the emergence of artificially  engineered B. anthracis strains, resistant to multiple antibiotics (including  the front-line agents ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, and β-lactam antibiotics) has  prompted researchers to pursue additional therapeutic options. Bouzianas  describes promising new treatments now in various stages of development. They  include a new genre of anthrax vaccines that would be more effective and yet  require fewer doses than current vaccines. Among them: A long-sought inhalable  vaccine that people might self-administer without a needle. Importantly, this  powered vaccine would not require refrigeration and would have a long shelf life  - ideal for the strategic drug stockpiles kept on hand for rapid distribution in  case of national emergencies.

 

 

The  Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 445,900 monthly unique  users)

“Scientists  identify promising candidates in natural products that prevent  cancer”

June 24,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Exciting headlines about the  cancer-preventing potential of berries, red wine, and other foods are in the  news almost every day. An article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN),  ACS' weekly newsmagazine, highlights the researchers trying to make medicines  based on substances in those foods and turn their potential into reality. The  article described how scientists, sifting through natural products from fruits  and vegetables, have identified a variety of promising candidates. These include  resveratrol, a substance found in red wine, and abyssinone, a substance found in  a plant from traditional Chinese medicine. Scientists are also studying  potential cancer-preventing substances in deep-ocean  microbes.

 

 

Sci-Tech  Today (Calabasas, Calif.)

“A  Dead Zone Was Already in the Gulf”

June 23,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

The environmental damage being done  to the Gulf of Mexico is often described as the size of either New Jersey or Massachusetts so the layman can understand its  vastness, and indeed its enormity. Most recently the damage has been estimated  to cover almost 9,000 square miles, an area that includes some of our most  important shrimp fishing grounds. Yes, long before Deepwater Horizon, there  already was an existing Dead Zone in the Gulf of  Mexico. And this 25-year-long environmental disaster was well-known  to many scientists. President Obama stated that this disaster has again taught  us that we need to move more quickly to alternative energy. Apparently he was  not aware of a study published in last October's Environmental Science & Technology,  which showed that the current mandate to increase ethanol production to 36  billion gallons a year by 2022 has the potential to increase the size of the  Gulf's Dead Zone substantially. More ethanol, the study concluded, would mean  using even more fertilizers for biofuels crops such as corn, soy, switchgrass,  and stover.

 

 

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

“Nanoconfined  chemistry for hydrogen storage”

June 24,  2010

 

 

Environmentally beneficial  nanotechnology applications could find numerous uses, and actually be quite  critical, in many areas of renewable energy, whether it’s solar power, battery  technology, or the hydrogen economy. With regard to hydrogen, the main obstacle  to building a 'hydrogen economy' – this much touted vision of a society where  the main energy carrier is hydrogen – is the lack of efficient hydrogen storage.  The research conducted in the hydrogen storage scientific community is aimed  towards mobile applications. In new work published in the June 10, 2010 online  edition of ACS Nano,  first-authored by PhD student Thomas K. Nielsen, the team introduces an  alternative bottom-up approach where nanoparticles of hydrides are synthesized  or melt infiltrated in a nanoporous inert scaffold material, which has several  advantages: 1) increased surface area of the reactants, 2) nanoscale diffusion  distances, and 3) increased number of grain boundaries, which facilitate release  and uptake of hydrogen and enhance reaction  kinetics.

 

 

Live  in the Now (Bethesda, Md.:  61,400 monthly unique users)

“Ditch  the Plastic to Prevent Infertility: New Reasons to Ban  BPA”

June 23,  2010

 

 

When I was pregnant with my son, I  threw out all the plastic containers and cups in our kitchen. I had read an  article in Discover Magazine about how exposure to plastic (specifically  bisphenol A, a chemical used to make plastic containers harder) could cause  infertility in boys. So it didn’t surprise me when I came across research that  found bisphenol A (BPA) exposure could affect thyroid function and reproductive  hormone levels in men — grown men. The study, published in the journal, Environmental Science and Technology,  measured urinary concentrations of BPA and compared them to levels of serum  thyroid and reproductive hormone levels in 167 men from an infertility clinic.  Eighty-nine percent of the urine samples had detectable levels of BPA in  them.

 

 

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

“Studies confirm presence,  severity of pollution in national parks”

June 23,  2010

 

 

Toxic contamination from pesticides,  the burning of fossil fuels, agriculture, industrial operations and other  sources are a continuing concern in national parks of the West, two new studies  confirm. In research performed by an international group of scientists over  several years, pollution was found in all eight of the national parks and  preserves that were studied, in terrain ranging from the Arctic to southern  California.  Most of it was caused by regional agriculture or industry, but some had traveled  thousands of miles from distant sources in Asia  and elsewhere. The two recent reports, both published in Environmental Science and Technology,  reinforce previous research that has identified such problems, scientists say,  and better quantify the extent of the concerns. "As scientists we're getting  more used to these pollution problems," said Staci Simonich, an associate  professor of environmental and molecular toxicology at Oregon State University, and lead investigator on both  studies. "Pesticide pollution is now so routine that we've had to look at museum  specimens to find baseline data that existed prior to pesticide  use.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Biomass  Digest

“US  can eliminate coal-fired emissions by 2030 with geo, wind, solar, biomass and  CC&S: report”

June 24,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

A report in Environmental Science & Technology concludes that the US could eliminate coal-fired  electric power CO2 emissions by 2030, using a combination of wind, solar,  geothermal, biomass and carbon capture & storage technologies. The research,  from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Columbia University Earth  Institute, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and 2030 Inc./Architecture  2030, examines the potential for carbon-negative power from a combination of  carbon capture and biomass generation using the sequestered  CO2.

 

 

Life  assurance

“Whole  Food Supplements”

June 23,  2010

 

 

Whole food supplements is currently  a topic of worldwide interest. A profusion of evidence has recently come to  light suggesting that ordinary synthetic multivitamin supplements may be  hazardous to your health. Anti-oxidant supplementation is, obviously, sought  after for its promised effects of protection against disease, cellular  breakdown, cancer and ultimately aging. In 2004, a study by the USDA revealed  the best dietary sources of anti-oxidants. Published in the peer-reviewed  publication of the American Chemical Society, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  the study showed that foods like beans and artichokes take pride of place in the  anti-oxidant-rich-food hierarchy. The study also demonstrated powerfully  beneficial effects from pecan nuts, cinnamon and russet  potatoes.

 

Huffington Post (New York, N.Y.: 32.9 million monthly unique users)

“Green Chemistry: Innovation or GreenWashing?”

June 22, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) press release

 

 

This week the American Chemical Society is holding a meeting on Green Chemistry -- a subject that holds much promise for the future. Chemicals are in the hot seat this year, as Congress is debating how to reform our disco-era policy -- the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) -- that allows thousands of chemicals to be used in consumer products, despite their known toxicity or the complete absence of information on their safety. Environmental and public health groups assert that green chemistry will receive a boost if pending legislation passes, prompting innovation and helping American manufacturers meet increasing worldwide consumer demand for safer products. With more and more evidence demonstrating the link between toxic chemicals and serious diseases such as cancer, learning disabilities and reproductive disorders, consumers are ready for a change. Already successful companies such as Staples, Steelcase, Kaiser, Construction Specialties and others have helped improve the safety of chemicals in products they make, sell, and use, by setting a higher bar than the government requires.

 

 

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

“Fuel from CO2, Safer Pesticides Earn Green Chemistry Awards”

June 22, 2010

 

 

Propylene oxide is one of the most produced chemicals in the world and is a building block for detergents, personal care products, de-icers and plenty of other products. The traditional production of it creates a significant amount of waste, but BASF and Dow Chemical have developed a way to make propylene oxide while creating only one byproduct: water. For that, BASF and Dow received one of the latest Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, which recognize green chemistry technologies that use cleaner processes and raw materials while creating safer products and less pollution. Technologies must also show how green chemistry can be technically feasible, marketable and profitable. (Nominations received for the awards are judged by an independent panel convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute.)

 

 

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

“Science News: Scientists create plastic antibodies”

June 22, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

U.S. scientists say they've developed the first plastic antibodies that have been successfully employed in live organisms to stop the spread of bee venom. University of California-Irvine researchers say they designed the tiny polymeric particles to match and encase melittin -- a peptide in bee venom that causes cells to rupture. Large quantities of melittin can lead to organ failure and death. The researchers led by Professor Kenneth Shea and project scientist Yu Hoshino said they prepared the nanoparticles by molecular imprinting -- a technique similar to plaster casting. The scientists said they linked melittin with small molecules called monomers, solidifying the two into a network of long polymer chains. After the plastic hardened, they removed the melittin, leaving nanoparticles with minuscule melittin-shaped holes. The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

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

“Time for a nature break”

June 22, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

If you’re like most Americans, you probably spend the vast majority of your time indoors, whether you’re working, sleeping or watching television. Data published by the Environmental Protection Agency suggest that adults in the United States typically spend about 90 percent of their lives in some type of building. All this time spent cooped up inside could be causing us to miss out on some important benefits linked to communing with nature. In a study of more than 500 college students, scientists at the University of Rochester in New York found that subjects consistently reported feeling more energetic when they spent time outdoors in natural surroundings, as opposed to remaining indoors. Being outside in nature for just 20 minutes a day was enough to significantly boost energy levels and produce a greater sense of well-being. Sitting quietly in nature is good for you, but engaging in virtually any type of physical activity in the great outdoors appears to be even better. The results of a new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology reveal that when subjects engaged in just five minutes of activity in a natural setting, they enjoyed dramatic boosts in mood and self-esteem.

 

 

Modesto Bee (Modesto, Calif.: daily circulation 86,000)

“Anti-diabetic tonic”

June 22, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

Drinking coffee may help prevent type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It's the caffeine, say scientists from Nagoya University in Japan. The scientists fed either water or coffee to a group of lab mice. The coffee consumption prevented development of high blood sugar and improved insulin sensitivity in the mice. That means lower risk of diabetes, a disease affecting millions.

 

 

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

“In elevated carbon dioxide, soybeans stumble but cheatgrass keeps on truckin'”

June 22, 2010

 

 

In August of 2008 Jacob Schaefer, PhD, on vacation in San Diego, picked up a copy of the Los Angeles Times. As it happened, the newspaper was running a series on the wildfires in the western United States. The wildfires, he read, are more frequent — they now occur every few years instead of every few decades — and they are burning larger areas. The more intense fire cycle is fueled by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), an invasive plant that is rapidly displacing native sagebrush plant communities. Schaefer, the Charles Allen Thomas Professor of Chemistry in Arts & Sciences, was intrigued. At home in St. Louis he was studying the response of soybeans to stressful growing conditions. Soybeans, frankly, were having trouble coping. What about cheatgrass, he wondered? The way it was mopping up the West suggested it might be running its metabolism differently from other plants. His hunch proved to be right. His results, published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, show that cheatgrass biochemistry is better suited to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations than soybean biochemistry.

 

 

… Broadcast TV

 

 

WDTN-TV (NBC) (Dayton, Ohio: daily viewers 43,111)

“Smokloess tobacco just as damaging as cigarettes?”

June 21, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

There's evidence tonight that smokeless tobacco can be just as damaging as smoking cigarettes. The American Chemical Society said smokeless tobacco affects enzymes that help your body produce sex hormones, cholesterol and regulate how your liver breaks down medication and toxic substances.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Stand up for our Nation

“What Have We Done?”

June 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

 

We've spent a lot of time lately discussing the oil spill and the effect it is having on not just the land and the environment, but on the animals and sea life as well. We are damaging our environment and our wild & sea life additionally by the products derived from the oil industry.  Plastics. Scientists had previously thought plastics broke down only at very high temperatures and over hundreds of years. The researchers behind a new study, however, found that plastic breaks down at cooler temperatures than expected, and within a year of the trash hitting the water. All the water samples were found to contain derivatives of polystyrene, a common plastic used in disposable cutlery, Styrofoam, and DVD cases, among other things, said Saido, who presented the findings at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington,  D.C.

 

 

Labspaces

“Turning off the air conditioning helps save fuel”

June 22, 2010

 

 

Automobile air conditioning systems do not run "free of charge". In fact in the hot parts of the world they can account for up to thirty per cent of fuel consumption. Even in Switzerland, with its temperate climate, the use of air conditioning systems is responsible for about five per cent of total fuel usage, rising to around ten per cent in urban traffic, as shown by a new study undertaken by Empa on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). The study, the results of which have just been published in the scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology, shows that the fuel consumption of the test vehicles with air conditioning systems in operation increases with rising ambient air temperature and humidity (Figure 1), reaching a value of some 18 per cent on a typical Swiss summer day with an air temperature of 27 degrees and relative humidity of 60 per cent.

CBS  News (New York, N.Y.: 9.6 million monthly unique  users)

“"Plastic  Antibodies" Sting Bee Venom”

June 21,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

Imagine a day when doctors could  inject you with cheap synthetic antibodies if your body wasn't producing enough  of the virus- and bacteria-fighting proteins. While that scenario is a ways off,  scientists from the University of  California at Irvine may have taken the  first step by successfully injecting "plastic antibodies" into the blood of mice  to halt the spread of deadly bee venom. The scientists, who detail their  findings in a recent issue of the Journal of  the American Chemical Society, designed the synthetic antibodies  using a technique called "molecular imprinting," which linked melittin molecules  with small molecules called monomers to create a network of long polymer chains.  After the plastic hardened, the researchers removed the melittin, leaving  nanoparticles with minuscule melittin-shaped holes. When injected into the mice,  the imprinted nanoparticles enveloped the matching melittin molecules before the  toxin could wreak havoc on the creatures.

 

 

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

“When  Food and Pills Clash”

June 22,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Americans increasingly view the food  they eat as medicine to help lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure and  control blood sugar. But as with prescribed drugs, the health-improving  qualities of foods such as olive oil, nuts and fruit can interact with other  medications, causing possible problems. Pharmacists often warn people not to mix  anti-cholesterol drugs known as statins with grapefruit juice. Newer research  suggests that other fruit juices, including cranberry and pomegranate, as well  as olive oil may also interfere with how statins work in the body. The  scientists continue to study potential food-drug interactions, as do other  researchers world-wide. In one recent study, Dr. Arnason's team examined dozens  of different kinds of beers. They found that the "hoppier" or more bitter beers  reduced the effect of the cancer drug Tamoxifen, when compared with beers that  were less hopped. The study was published this year in the Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry.

 

 

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

“Green  machine: Bacteria will keep CO2 safely buried”

June 21,  2010

 

 

Take a dollop of bacterial gloop,  add a splash of urea and pour into an underground aquifer. That's the latest  recipe for a secure carbon dioxide storage site. With the world still heavily  reliant on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, carbon sequestration  technologies could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But one of the big  challenges to making that a reality is ensuring that the CO2 stays locked away  underground… Now Andrew Mitchell at Aberystwyth University in the UK and colleagues at Montana State  University in Bozeman think microbes  could help these rocks hold carbon even more securely… Finally, the change in pH  also caused the saline solution to absorb more CO2, increasing the amount of gas  the reservoir can safely store by over 30 per cent, says Mitchell. "It allows  you to pump lots more CO2 into the water by changing the chemistry," he says.  (Environmental Science and  Technology)

 

 

Austin  American-Statesman (Austin, Tex.:  daily circulation 151,520)

“Gulf  oil spill keeping UT researchers busy”

June 21,  2010

 

 

This month, Tad Patzek, a  University of Texas professor who heads the petroleum and geosystems  engineering department, appeared on Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers on the oil  spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "This tragedy has  been at least 20 years in the making," he said, pointing to cutbacks in federal  and academic research in offshore technology. Now, back in Austin, he talks all  the time with his colleagues about the spill — in between calls with reporters  to help elucidate the goings-on in the Gulf. Danny Reible, a professor of  environmental engineering, has recommended to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers  advanced sampling technologies to evaluate chronic effects of the spill and  spill contaminants, and some oil spill cleanup technologies. He's written an  editorial for the journal Environmental  Science and Technology on the research gaps — the need for a better  understanding of deepwater currents, the toxicity of emulsified oil, chemicals  that can absorb or degrade oil and the natural processes that will be crucial to  the long-term recovery from the spill — that have been identified as a result of  the leaking wellhead. He said the editorial is expected to be published in early  July.

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.9 million monthly unique  users)

“Turning  Off the Air Conditioning Helps Save Fuel, Swiss Study  Finds”

June 22,  2010

 

 

Automobile air conditioning systems  do not run "free of charge." In fact in the hot parts of the world they can  account for up to thirty per cent of fuel consumption. Even in Switzerland, with its temperate  climate, the use of air conditioning systems is responsible for about five per  cent of total fuel usage, rising to around ten per cent in urban traffic, as  shown by a new study undertaken by Empa on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office  for the Environment (FOEN). Furthermore, two thirds of the additional fuel usage  could be saved if air conditioning systems were simply turned off when the air  temperature falls below 18 degrees Celsius. The study, the results of which have  just been published in the scientific journal "Environmental Science and Technology,"  shows that the fuel consumption of the test vehicles with air conditioning  systems in operation increases with rising ambient air temperature and humidity,  reaching a value of some 18 per cent on a typical Swiss summer day with an air  temperature of 27 degrees and relative humidity of 60 per  cent.

 

 

Boston Business Journal (Boston, Mass.:  monthly circulation 79, 964)

“Elsevier  Announces the Winner of the Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular  Sciences”

June 21,  2010

 

 

The Editors of the leading  international journal Chemical Physics Letters are pleased to announce that the  third Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences has been awarded to Professor  William H. Miller from the University  of California, Berkeley, USA, for his outstanding  contributions to the theory of chemical reactions. The prize consists of a  monetary award of $20,000 and will be presented during the 2011 Spring meeting  of the American Chemical Society,  in Anaheim, CA, USA. Professor Miller's research has  dealt with essentially all aspects of molecular collision theory and chemical  reaction dynamics. Most recently his efforts have focused on developing a  practical way of adding quantum effects to classical molecular dynamics  simulations of chemical processes. Everyone involved in the detailed  interpretation of experiments on chemical reaction dynamics have been influenced  by his innovative theories.

 

 

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

“Viral  protein structure study offers HIV therapy  hope”

June 22,  2010

 

 

The UK's  National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is involved in a collaborative project that  is helping to further the understanding of HIV viral protein structure which  could lead to new molecular medicines. In May 2010 the project team, comprising  biotechnology experts from NPL, the University of Edinburgh and IBM T.J.  Watson Research Center, published some of their research  in Journal of Physical Chemistry  B. The article sets out to resolve controversy over how part of an  HIV protein is structured. The research team present a definitive structure of  the protein, which was obtained using experimental techniques and computer  simulation. It is important to know exactly how viral proteins are structured so  that drug developers can target weaknesses within it, and therefore devise  better treatments for people.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Sciencebase

“4  tips for a healthy barbecue”

June 19,  2010

Origin: OPA  podcast

 

 

The BBC weather team promise us a  barbecue summer almost every year, and although we do get the occasional patch  of warmth, it’s never quite as sunny and warm in the days and balmy and calm in  the evenings as it is in the US or Australia where the BBQ expert is truly the  culinary ruler in the summer months. So, it’s no surprise that the American Chemical Society is offering tips  on how to avoid some of the health pitfalls of barbecued food and revealing a  little about the inner chemistry. Don’t over-cook meat. Excessive browning or  charring can produce cancer-causing chemicals, carcinogens. Pre-boil fatty items  such as ribs. It removes fat and reduces flaming, which will burn the meat.  Marinate meat before grilling for improved flavour and to cut down on flaming  and burning.

 

 

Alliance for Natural Health

“How  Your Medicines May Be Making You Sicker”

June 21,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

This week we discuss several ways  prescription drugs may be making us all sicker—whether through illnesses brought  on because these medicines deplete critical nutrients in our body, or because  we’re unwittingly consuming pharmaceuticals in the municipal water we drink.  Another way our medications are making us sick is through our morning baths and  showers. According to the American Chemical  Society (ACS), showers and baths are sending hormones, antibiotics,  and other medicines down the drain—and right into our drinking water. It has  long been known that toilets are a source of environmental pollution from active  pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) being excreted in urine and feces. But the  ACS’s new study links bathing, showering, and laundering with API water  pollution.

 

FOX News (New York, N.Y.: 16.7 million monthly unique users)

“More Dioxins Found in Taiwan Free-Range Eggs”

June 18, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

 

A study has found that eggs from free-range chickens in industrialized Taiwan contain almost six times more cancer-causing dioxins than eggs from caged chickens. "Because free-range hens spend most of their lives in an outside environment, they have a better chance of being exposed to contaminants from the environment," wrote researchers led by Pao-Chi Liao of the Environmental and Occupational Health department at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan. Liao and colleagues examined eggs from free-range and caged hens and hunted specifically for the dioxins — polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) — which they said were especially prevalent in Taiwan. "Taiwan ... is a heavily populated, industrialized island and many municipal incinerators release PCDDs and PCDFs," they wrote. Their findings were published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

Ars Technica (San Francisco, Calif.: 484,900 monthly unique users)

“Homebrew science: Jello-based lab-on-a-chip”

June 20, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

Many scientists and engineers can trace their interest in a topic to a handful of events that really opened their eyes to what is possible. For me, it was the day in middle school when, instead of our normal classes, we were tasked with building an 18-inch-long bridge that could support 30 pounds, using nothing but duct tape and construction paper. I recall that my team did not win, but the exercise really showed me how much fun engineering can be. (It also taught me an life-long lesson about the importance of duct tape.) A paper in the current edition of the American Chemical Society's Analytical Chemistry looks at bringing microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip devices to grade-school children with the help of Jello. Typically, microfluidic devices are constructed using soft-lithography techniques and elastomeric materials like polydimethylsiloxane (which, as an aside, is a blast to play with all by itself). These materials are used to create flow channels and mixing chambers with features that are on the order of microns in width.

 

 

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

“Smokeless tobacco may hurt DNA, enzymes”

June 18, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

A researcher in India warns smokeless tobacco use may damage the body's DNA and key enzymes. Krishan Khanduja of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, suggests smokeless tobacco not only may damage DNA, but may also affect the normal functioning of a key family of enzymes found in almost every organ. Khanduja and colleagues found laboratory rats exposed to extracts of smokeless tobacco had altered DNA material in the liver, kidney and lungs -- as well as changed function of the CYP-450 family of enzymes. This enzyme group affects many functions including the production of hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, the processing of cholesterol and vitamin D and the breaking down of prescription drugs and possibly toxic substances. The study, published in Chemical Research in Toxicology, noted use of smokeless products is increasing not only among men but also among children, teenagers and women.

 

 

Erie Times-News (Erie, Pa.: daily circulation 56,124)

“Raise your mug to coffee”

June 21, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Drinking coffee, a lot of it, might help prevent type 2 diabetes, a disease affecting millions and on the rise across the globe, according to a new study published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. There were also other benefits from drinking coffee, including improvements in fatty liver, which is a disorder where fat builds up in liver cells, primarily in obese people. That further reduces the risk of diabetes, the scientists said.

 

 

Biofuels Digest (Miami, Fla.: 35,000 monthly unique users)

“Fungus a source of high-yield, low-impact renewable fuels: research”

June 21, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

In Spain, researchers at the University of Murcia have discovered that oils suitable for biodiesel, renewable diesel or renewable jet fuel can be produced, and recovered continuously, from a fungus called Mucor circinelloides. The oil production, according to the research team, can be increased to commercial scale and does not require the production or destruction of an intervening biomass, such as a food crop.   The research results are reported in Energy & Fuels from the American Chemical Society.

 

 

Surviving Mesothelioma (Raleigh, N.C.)

“Mesothelioma Researcher Receives Honorary Princeton Degree”

June 18, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

 

A retired Princeton researcher who has worked to improve the lives of thousands of people with mesothelioma has been awarded an honorary degree from Princeton  University. Edward Taylor, PhD, has been a part of the Princeton faculty since 1954 and has authored more than 450 scientific papers and served as editor of several respected science journals.  Named a Hero of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society, Dr. Taylor is the inventor of the anti-cancer drug Alimta, the first drug to be approved by the FDA specifically for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

 

 

Broadcast Radio

 

 

WCBS-NY (New York, N.Y.)

“Organic produce good for you”

June 18, 2010

 

 

Organic produce is good for your health. Organic farmers put more stress on plants, which forces the plants to protect themselves by producing phytochemicals. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that organic tomatoes have as much as 30% more phytochemicals than conventional ones.

 

 

WTOP-DC (Washington D.C.)

“Phytochemicals protect plants”

June 18, 2010

 

 

By avoiding synthetic fertilizers, organic farmers put more stress on plants, which forces the plans to protect themselves by producing phytochemicals, according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

ITechCrunch

“Inspired by a cotton candy machine, engineers put a new spin on creating tiny nanofibers”

June 21, 2010

 

Hailed as a "cross between a high-speed centrifuge and a cotton candy machine," bioengineers at Harvard have developed a new, practical technology for fabricating tiny nanofibers. The reference by lead author Mohammad Reza Badrossamay to the fairground treat of spun sugar is deliberate, as the device literally and just as easily spins, stretches, and pushes out 100 nanometer-diameter polymer-based threads using a rotating drum and nozzle. The invention, reported in the May 24 online edition of Nano Letters, could be a boon for industry, with potential applications ranging from artificial organs and tissue regeneration to clothing and air filters.

 

 

Healthy Organic Foods

“The Advantages of Organic Food Nutrition”

June 20, 2010

 

A study in the January 2003 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found 52 percent more ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, in frozen organic corn than in conventional corn, and 67 percent more in corn raised by sustainable methods – a combination of organic and conventional farming. Polyphenols were significantly higher in organic and sustainable marionberries compared to conventionally farmed ones.

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

“More dioxins found  in Taiwan free-range eggs: study”

June 18,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

[Yahoo!  News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 37.9 million monthly unique users), the Daily  Mail (London, England: daily circulation 1.99 million), the Montreal  Gazette (Montreal, Quebec: daily circulation 454,200) and the Seattle  Times (Seattle, Wash.: daily circulation 263,588) also covered the  story.]

 

 

A study has found that eggs from  free-range chickens in industrialized Taiwan contain almost six times more  cancer-causing dioxins than eggs from caged chickens. "Because free-range hens  spend most of their lives in an outside environment, they have a better chance  of being exposed to contaminants from the environment," wrote researchers led by  Pao-Chi Liao of the Environmental and Occupational Health department at  National Cheng Kung  University in Tainan, Taiwan. Liao and colleagues examined  eggs from free-range and caged hens and hunted specifically for the dioxins --  polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans  (PCDFs) -- which they said were especially prevalent in Taiwan.  Their findings were published in the Journal  of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

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

“Smokeless Tobacco  Damages DNA And Key Enzymes - New Evidence”

June 17,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Far from having adverse effects  limited to the mouth, smokeless tobacco affects the normal function of a key  family of enzymes found in almost every organ in the body, according to the  first report on the topic in ACS' monthly journal Chemical Research in Toxicology. The  enzymes play important roles in production of hormones, including the sex  hormones estrogen and testosterone; production of cholesterol and vitamin D; and  help the body breakdown prescription drugs and potentially toxic substances.  Smokeless tobacco also damages genetic material in the liver, kidney and lungs.  In addition to damage to the genetic material DNA, they found that smokeless  tobacco extracts alter the function of the so-called CYP-450 family of enzymes.  "These products are used around the world but are most common in Northern  Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Mediterranean  region," the report says. "Most of the users seem to be unaware of the harmful  health effects and, therefore, use smokeless tobacco to 'treat' toothaches,  headaches, and stomachaches.”

 

 

Health  News Digest (New York, N.Y.: monthly readership 6  million)

“LCD  Television Waste Could Help Prevent Hospital  Infections”

June 17,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

LCD televisions constitute the  fastest growing waste stream in the European Union, but rather than heading for  a landfill they may become a key supply for a new material to combat infections  at hospitals. In a long-term project to determine recycling opportunities for  LCD televisions, Andrew Hunt, Ph.D., and his team at the University of York in the United Kingdom had established a  means to separate films in LCD panels to recover polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA). PVA is  highly porous and water soluble, and pure PVA is compatible with human biology.  Thus, PVA offers many potential applications, including biomedical uses such as  pills, dressings to deliver drugs to particular parts of the body, and as tissue  scaffolds to help parts of the body regenerate. Hunt will present his research on  Wednesday, June 23, 2010, at 9:40 a.m. Eastern Time during the 14th Annual Green  Chemistry & Engineering Conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. A press briefing will follow at 10:30  a.m. The 14th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference is organized by  the American Chemical Society’s Green  Chemistry Institute®, a world leader in advocating for the  implementation of green chemistry and engineering in all aspects of the global,  chemical enterprise.

 

 

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

“Chemicals  that fix one ecological problem worsen another”

June 17,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Chemicals that helped fix a global  ecological crisis in the 1990s - the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer, for  instance - may be raising another problem such as acid rain, says scientists.  Jeffrey Gaffney, chemist at the University of Arkansas, along with colleagues Carrie J.  Christiansen, Shakeel S. Dalal, Alexander M. Mebel and Joseph S. Francisco point  out that hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) emerged as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)  replacements because they do not damage the ozone layer. However, studies later  suggested the need for a replacement for the replacements, showing that HCFCs  act like super greenhouse gases, 4,500 times more potent than carbon dioxide.  The new study adds to those concerns, raising the possibility that HCFCs may  break down in the atmosphere to form oxalic acid, one of the culprits in acid  rain. Their study on the chemicals that replaced the ozone-destroying CFCs once  used in aerosol spray cans, air conditioners, refrigerators, and other products,  appears in ACS' Journal of Physical Chemistry  A.

 

 

PhysOrg.com (Evergreen,  Va.: 1.3  million monthly unique users)

“Tracking the 'evolution' of  nanoparticles as they decontaminate  groundwater”

June 18,  2010

 

 

Engineers use advanced imaging  techniques to examine bimetallic materials that have remediated more than 50  toxic waste sites. Writing earlier this month in Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T), the premier journal in its field, the Lehigh researchers reported  that the nanoparticles’ ability to remove toxins decreases as the particles  “age” and undergo structural change with exposure to water. Their results, they  wrote, suggest that the nanoparticles’ age and storage environment play a  critical role in influencing their effectiveness as remediation agents. This  superior reactivity, says Harch Gill, president of Lehigh Nanotech LLC, a  Bethlehem  company that owns the commercial rights to the particles, enables the particles  to remediate a toxic site in less than a year, compared to the 10 to 20 years  required by pump-and-treat methods.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Inhabitat (196,400  monthly unique users)

“Scant  Evidence That Dispersants Help in Oil Spill  Cleanup”

June 17,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Not only has BP “spilled” an  estimated 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of  Mexico — the company has also pumped in more than a million gallons  of the dispersant Corexit. However a new report in Chemical & Engineering News claims that  the evidence supporting BP’s all-in gamble on Corexit is thinner than an oil  slick. In 2005, the National Research Council looked at three decades of  research into dispersants’ effectiveness and found that they sometimes helped,  sometimes made things worse, and occasionally they had no  effect.


Advancing Green  Chemistry

“Removing fluorines from  chemicals = greener CFCs?”

June 17,  2010

 

 

A new method to take the fluorine  atoms off of fluorinated chemicals may be a promising way to detoxify them,  according to an article published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.  The new method would selectively remove fluorines from chemicals, such as  chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a class of compounds notorious for causing global  warming. Removal of fluorines is considered highly challenging as fluorine atoms  are known to bind very strongly to a molecule’s carbon  framework.

 

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

“Free range eggs contain a little something extra: pollutants”

June 16, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

 

Here’s some disconcerting news for health-conscious eaters who favor eggs from free-range hens: A Taiwanese study found that the eggs contain much higher levels of industrial pollutants than eggs laid by caged hens. The researchers focused on two types of pollutants, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (known collectively as PCCD/Fs), which are released into the environment by municipal waste incinerators, factories and other industrial sources. A report from the International Program on Chemical Safety says the chemicals have caused cancer, liver damage, problems with the skin and nervous system, reproductive problems and other undesirable effects in animals. For the free range eggs, the levels ranged from 6.18 to 41.3 picograms per gram of lipid, with an average value of 17.5 pg/g. Levels for the caged eggs ranged from 2.85 to 19.8 pg/g, with an average value of 7.65. The researchers also calculated the toxic equivalency quotient (TEQ) for both kinds of eggs using a system endorsed by the World Health Organization. The levels for the free range eggs were 5.7 times higher than the levels for the caged eggs. The results were published in the latest edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

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

“Building Up The Immune System -- In Plastic”

June 17, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

Researchers have made plastic nanoparticles that can partially mimic the behavior of natural antibodies in the bloodstream of a living animal. Writing in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, they describe their experiment, in which they treated lab mice with synthetic polymer 'antibodies' to the compound melittin, the main toxin in bee venom. Antibody-treated mice had higher rates of survival than non-treated mice when injected with the melittin toxin. We'll talk with one of the authors of the paper about the work.

 

 

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

“Smokeless tobacco damages DNA, key enzymes”

June 17, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Smokeless tobacco’s adverse effects are not just limited to the mouth, it can also damage the normal function of a key family of enzymes found in almost every organ in the body, according to a new research. The enzymes play important roles in production of hormones, including the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone; production of cholesterol and vitamin D; and help the body breakdown prescription drugs and potentially toxic substances. Smokeless tobacco also damages genetic material in the liver, kidney and lungs. Krishan Khanduja and colleagues note widespread recognition of smokeless tobacco’s harmful effects on the mouth, which include an increased risk of gum disease and oral cancer. The potential carcinogens and other chemicals in chewing tobacco and other smokeless products are absorbed into the blood and travel throughout the body. The study has been published in ACS monthly journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

 

 

Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique users)

“Chemicals that solve one environmental problem may worsen another”

June 17, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Scientists are reporting that chemicals used to revert one environmental disaster, may actually worsen another. Chemicals that helped solve a global environmental crisis in the 1990s - the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer - may be making another problem - acid rain, according to Jeffrey Gaffney, Carrie J. Christiansen, Shakeel S. Dalal, Alexander M. Mebel and Joseph S. Francisco. They used a computer model to show how HCFCs could form oxalic acid via a series of chemical reactions high in the atmosphere. The model could also be used to determine whether replacements for the replacements are as eco-friendly as they appear before manufacturers spend billions of dollars in marketing them. Their study appears in ACS' Journal of Physical Chemistry A.

 

 

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

“Jell-O lab-on-a-chip devices to spark interest in science careers”

June 16, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

With "hands-on" experiences in childhood and adolescence having sparked so many science careers, scientists in Canada are describing a quick, simple, safe, and inexpensive way for kids to participate in making microfluidic devices. Those devices are at the heart of lab-on-a chip, inkjet printing, DNA chip, and other technologies. The scientists' instructions for making microfluidic devices from Jell-O® type dessert mixes and Popsicle-type sticks, and using them to demonstrate the basics of microfluidics, appear in ACS' Analytical Chemistry. The article describes using Popsicle-type craft sticks taped to the bottom of a Styrofoam plate to form large-scale versions of the minute channels in actual microfluidic devices. Once the sticks are in place, students pour in liquid Jell-O® and let it solidify in a refrigerator. After the devices have firmed up, students poke small holes into the tiny channels. Using small straws, they can feed liquid into the channels. In one experiment, the scientists put tiny strips of pH paper into the channels, and added different liquids. Since Jell-O is translucent, the researchers could watch the color of those test strips change as the liquids hit them. Since then, they have been working to build more complicated devices from the classic dessert.

 

 

Westport News (Westport, Conn.: semi-weekly circulation 5,788)

“Westport student to compete in international chemistry competition”

June 16, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

 

A high school student from Westport has been named one of four students to represent the United States in the 42nd annual International Chemistry Olympiad. Alexander Siegenfeld, who attends the Hopkins School in New Haven, will join three other students from across the nation at the international competition to be held July 19-28 in Tokyo, Japan, according to the American Chemical Society. ACS sponsors the American team with support from other partners. Joining Siegenfeld on the team are: Richard Li of Clarksville, Md., who attends River Hill High  School; Colin Lu of Vestal, N.Y., Vestal High School, and Utsarga Sikder of Monmouth Junction, N.J., South  Brunswick High   School. Alternates are: Joe Tung of Cerritos, Calif., Gretchen Whitney High School, and Kevin Yan of North Potomac, Md., Wootton  High School.

 

 

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

“Diamond nanoprobe tips demonstrate success in nanomanufacturing”

June 16, 2010

 

Advanced Diamond Technologies (ADT), the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Naval Research Laboratory, and the Univ.  of Pennsylvania have published groundbreaking work in the May 2010 issue of the journal ACS Nano demonstrating that nanometer-scale diamond tips exhibit stability and anti-fouling capabilities under extremely harsh conditions. "Wear-resistant Diamond Nanoprobe Tips with Integrated Silicon Heater for Tip-Based Nanomanufacturing," demonstrates the ability of UNCD tips integrated with doped silicon atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilevers for use in nanomanufacturing. The initial UNCD tip radius can be as small as 15 nm, and retains its shape when scanned for more than a meter at high temperatures and under high loading forces. Silicon tips, frequently used in prototype nanomanufacturing demonstrations, are quickly destroyed under similar conditions. Additionally, silicon tips easily foul, or pick up undesirable material from the scanned surface, while the low stiction properties of diamond avoid fouling.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Environmental Health

“Questioning the effectiveness of oil dispersants in Gulf oil spill”

June 16, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

The widespread belief that chemical dispersants will enhance the breakdown of oil from the Gulf of Mexico disaster is based on weak scientific data. That's among the topics in a comprehensive status report that is the cover story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. Detergent-like chemicals called dispersants, which break up oil slicks into drops, are among the key remediation tools. C&EN points out that technicians who apply the dispersants assume that the chemicals will help breakdown the oil by creating smaller droplets that oil-eating microbes in the ocean can consume. But a 2005 National Research Council report, which described the results of three decades of research into dispersants' effects, gives mixed reviews.

 

 

Beyond Pesticides

“Nonpersistent Pesticides Found in Umbilical Cord Blood”

June 17, 2010

 

Researchers have found detectable levels of common household pesticides in the majority of umbilical cord blood of babies born at an urban hospital. The study looks at concentrations of organophosphate (OP), carbamate, pyrethroids, and organochlorine pesticides in samples of umbilical cord blood taken from newborns delivered at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Labor and Delivery Suite in Baltimore. Results of this study, “Distribution and Determinants of Pesticide Mixtures in Cord Serum Using Principal Component Analysis” can be found online in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

 

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

“Drinking coffee may help prevent diabetes”

June 15, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

Drinking coffee, lots of it, may help prevent type 2 diabetes, a disease affecting millions and on the rise across the globe, according to a new study published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. It's the caffeine, say scientists from Nagoya University in Japan. There were also other benefits from drinking coffee, including improvements in fatty liver, which is a disorder where fat builds up in liver cells, primarily in obese people. That further reduces the risk of diabetes, the scientists said. Other studies in the lab showed that caffeine may be "one of the most effective anti-diabetic compounds in coffee," according to the scientists.

 

 

Reno Gazette-Journal (Reno, Nev.: daily circulation 66,442)

“Diet Detective: Summer strategy to stay healthy, lose weight-Spice it up”

June 15, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

Want to add some pep to your weight-loss routine? It might be as simple as tossing a few hot peppers onto your next salad. Capsaicin is a compound found in cayenne and jalapeño peppers. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition investigated peppers' effects on a group of Japanese women. The researchers' findings showed a 30 percent increase in the women's metabolism after eating a meal that included capsaicin-rich peppers. In another study reported in the Journal of Proteome Research, scientists fed high-fat diets with or without capsaicin to rats. The capsaicin-treated rats lost 8 percent of their body weight and showed changes in their levels of at least 20 key proteins found in fat. In addition, foods with capsaicin help you break a sweat, and the perspiration then helps you to lower your body temperature -- which is why people who live in hot climates often eat hot spicy foods.

 

 

Product Design & Development (Madison, Wisc.: 41,500 monthly unique users)

“Plastic Antibody Works in First Tests in Living Animals”

June 15, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Scientists are reporting the first evidence that a plastic antibody -- an artificial version of the proteins produced by the body's immune system to recognize and fight infections and foreign substances -- works in the bloodstream of a living animal. The discovery, they suggest in a report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, is an advance toward medical use of simple plastic particles custom tailored to fight an array of troublesome "antigens." Those antigens include everything from disease-causing viruses and bacteria to the troublesome proteins that cause allergic reactions to plant pollen, house dust, certain foods, poison ivy, bee stings and other substances. In the report, Kenneth Shea, Yu Hosino, and colleagues refer to previous research in which they developed a method for making plastic nanoparticles, barely 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, that mimic natural antibodies in their ability to latch onto an antigen. That antigen was melittin, the main toxin in bee venom. They make the antibody with molecular imprinting, a process similar to leaving a footprint in wet concrete.

 

 

Billings Gazette (Billings, Mont.: daily circulation 47,105)

“Nutrition news: Celebrate Father’s Day in Montana’s great outdoors”

June 15, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

Ah, June in Montana. Recent rains have kept the snow-capped mountains green and the rivers rushing. The ranchers’ fields are full of new calves and lambs, and backyard gardens are sprouting with promises of produce to come. What a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the Treasure  State. What a perfect place to celebrate Father’s Day with hiking, biking, fishing, golfing, or any outdoor activity that dads love to do. An analysis from Essex University in England, published in the March 2010 Environmental Science and Technology journal, came to a rather surprising conclusion. The benefits of “green exercise” — being active in nature — began to show up after just five minutes. While all ages showed some benefits, the most significant improvements in physical and mental health were in young people and those with some mental illness, such as depression. Another interesting finding was that a blue and green environment, a natural setting with water such as a lake or stream, was even more beneficial for improving people’s moods.

 

 

RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 9.9 million monthly unique users)

“Organic Nanoelectronics A Step Closer”

June 15, 2010

 

 

Although they could revolutionize a wide range of high-tech products such as computer displays or solar cells, organic materials do not have the same ordered chemical composition as inorganic materials, preventing scientists from using them to their full potential. But an international team of researchers led by McGill's Dr. Dmitrii Perepichka and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique's Dr. Federico Rosei have published research that shows how to solve this decades-old conundrum. The team has effectively discovered a way to order the molecules in the PEDOT, the single most industrially important conducting polymer. Their research was published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development of the USA and the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

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

“Chemical in antibacterial soaps produces toxic dioxins”

June 16, 2010

 

Dioxins are a group of highly toxic compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants. People are exposed to dioxins through the environment and the food chain -- the highest levels of these compounds are found in soils, sediments and food such as dairy products, meat, fish and shellfish. In 2003 and 2009, University of Minnesota civil engineering professor William Arnold and his colleague Kristopher McNeill published their discovery that the antibacterial agent triclosan, when exposed to sunlight, generates a specific group of four dioxins. Now, in a new study, a team of scientists from the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology, Pace Analytical (Minneapolis), the Science Museum of Minnesota and Virginia Tech, have documented how triclosan is transformed into dioxins that are accumulating in the environment. This research, just published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, concludes dioxins originating from triclosan (found in many hand soaps, deodorants and dishwashing liquids) account for a huge increase in total dioxins now polluting Mississippi River sediments.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Alter NOW

“The End of CO2?”

June 14, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

The end may be in sight to phase out CO2-emitting coal by 2030, according to Architecture 2030 a non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization established in response to the global-warming crisis. The paper issued by the institutions - titled “Options for Near-Term Phaseout of CO2 Emissions from Coal Use in the United States” - will be published in the June edition of Environmental Science & Technology.

 

 

GreenCarWebsite

“Emissions from air conditioning units worse than feared”

June 16, 2010

 

Carbon dioxide emissions from mobile air conditioning units may be six times higher than originally feared according to a new study. Researchers at Empa in Switzerland looked into the impact of mobile air conditioning on fuel consumption and pollutant emissions of diesel cars and confirmed that they remain running at ambient temperatures below the desired temperature of the passenger compartment unless they are manually switched off. The paper is published in Environmental Science & Technology.

CBS  News (New York, N.Y.: 9.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Coffee:  Drink Up to Prevent Diabetes?”

June 14,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

Looking for another reason to  justify your daily latte? A new study suggests that coffee may guard against  diabetes. The study, published in the Journal  of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, shows that coffee improves  insulin sensitivity and helps prevent the development of high blood sugar - at  least in lab mice. If you think you're experiencing déjà vu, it could be because  numerous studies have linked coffee - both caffeinated and decaf - with reduced  risk not only of diabetes, but also of Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer.  What remains unknown is just what's in coffee that provides the  health-protective effects. It could be the caffeine, scientists say, but it  could also be the antioxidants, potassium and magnesium found in coffee.

 

 

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

“News  Briefs”

June 2010  issue

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

‘Green’ exercise boosts mental  health: Exercising in green, natural environments has long been known to boost –  not necessarily the physical health benefit – but one’s mood, self-esteem and  odds of avoiding mental illness such as depression and other psychological  conditions. But a study has pinpointed exactly how much time spent working out  in green environments – not sitting around outside but actually exercising in  those parks, gardens, nature trails and nature-rich environments – is required  to achieve maximum mental health benefit. And potentially shocking to many, it’s  a mere five minutes. The study conclusions were released May 1, by the journal  Environmental Science &  Technology and will appear in print in a future  issue.

 

 

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

“Study  creates way to mass produce graphene”

June 24,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

German scientists say they've  created a simple, inexpensive manufacturing method that could allow mass  production of graphene for electronics applications. The researchers at the  Leibniz Institute for Solid  State and Materials Research in  Dresden, Germany, said the commercial  production of graphene could rival silicon in its potential for revolutionizing  electronic devices ranging from supercomputers to cell phones. Graphene consists  of a layer of graphite 50,000 times thinner than a human hair with unique  electronic properties. The researchers said their achievement represents a huge  step toward technological application of the material as the synthesis is  compatible with industrial mass production. They report their research in the  American Chemical Society journal Nano  Letters.

 

 

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

“Plastic  antibodies effective in living animals”

June 14,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

From bricks to jackets, it seems  just about anything can be made using plastic nowadays. The latest items to get  a plastic fantastic makeover are antibodies – proteins produced by the body’s  immune system to recognize and fight infections from foreign substances.  Scientists are reporting the first evidence that a plastic antibody works in the  bloodstream of a living animal, opening up the possibility of plastic antibodies  being custom tailored to fight everything from viruses and bacteria to the  proteins that cause allergic reactions. Chemists Kenneth J. Shea and Yu Hoshino  of the University of California, Irvine  working with the group of Naoto Oku at the University of Shizuoka, in Japan, injected a lethal dose of  melittin into mice. Animals that then immediately received an injection of the  melittin-targeting MIP nanoparticles showed a significantly higher survival rate  than those that did not receive the nanoparticles. The study appears in the  Journal of the  American Chemical  Society.

 

 

Chemical  Online (Erie, Pa.)

“American  Chemical Society Webinar Focuses On Inspirational Career Of Chemist David  Walt”

June 15,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

News media and others interested in  the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society (ACS) Webinars,  in which world-renowned chemist David R. Walt, Ph.D., shares his life's journey  and his passion for science and innovation. He is an expert in micro and  nanotechnology and an entrepreneur. Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, from 2 – 3  p.m. EDT, the free ACS Webinar will feature Walt, Robinson Professor of  Chemistry and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University and Howard Hughes Medical  Institute professor, speaking on "A Life of Innovation – Finding Your Passion."  Walt's topics will include how chemistry inspired him and how to inspire the  next generation, how to take an idea from an academic lab to the marketplace,  and what to expect and what not to expect as an academic entrepreneur.

 

 

Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique  users)

“World's  thinnest material could come in handy as dispersing agent”

June 15,  2010

 

 

Scientists have discovered new  properties of graphene oxide, which could see the material being used as a  dispersing agent for insoluble materials, like carbon nanotubes. Researchers  believe it could be used to produce low-cost carbon-based transparent and  flexible electronics. But to Jiaxing Huang, assistant professor of materials  science and engineering, and his research group at the McCormick School of  Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University, graphene oxide itself is even  more interesting. To test their hypothesis, Huang and his group put graphene  oxide in carbonated water. They found that the sheets can hitchhike onto the  rising bubbles to reach the water surface - just like a surfactant would do.  They also discovered that graphite oxide can disperse oil droplets in water -  just like a surfactant would. This new insight into a fundamental property of  the material, according to Huang, is important for understanding how graphene  oxide is processed and handled. It could lead to new applications for the  material. The findings of the study have appeared online in the Journal of the American Chemical  Society.

 

 

International  Business Times (New York, N.Y.)

“WGC  bats for gold in new clean energy sources”

June 15,  2010

 

 

The World Gold Council (WGC) has  welcomed a new paper from researchers at MIT that demonstrates how rechargeable  lithium-air batteries can be significantly more efficient by using a catalyst  that consists of nanoparticles of a gold and platinum alloy. This could be a  significant step toward making these high-energy-density batteries practical for  use in new electric vehicles. The paper was published this week in the leading  Journal of the American Chemical  Society. Commenting Dr Richard Holliday, Director - Industrial at the  WGC said, "This is another demonstration of the emerging uses of gold in new  clean energy power sources. It follows the development of Au Nanoclad, a gold  based coating developed by Ford Motor Company, for use in fuel cells1, which  used thin gold-coated stainless steel to improve electrical conductivity and  corrosion resistance in fuel cell separator plates. With this new research both  fuel cell and electric powered vehicles might one day be using gold".

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Center  for Advanced BioEnergy Research

“Spanish  Scientists Find Oil-Storing Fungi or Mold Could Be Good Biodiesel  Feedstock”

June 15,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

In the quest for alternatives to  soybeans, palm, and other edible oilseed plants as sources for biodiesel  production, enter an unlikely new candidate: A fungus, or mold, that produces  and socks away large amounts of oils that are suitable for low-cost,  eco-friendly biodiesel. That's the topic of a study in ACS' bi-monthly journal  Energy & Fuels. Victoriano  Garre and colleagues point out that manufacturers usually produce biodiesel fuel  from plant oils — such as rapeseed, palm, and soy.

 

 

Fuel  cell works

“Biofuel  cell retrieves copper”

June 14,  2010

 

 

Producing energy and recovering  copper from waste water at the same time: this is what Wageningen UR  environmental technologists are doing with their new microbial fuel cell. ‘We  obtain quite a lot of electricity from the process. In addition, copper  dissolved in water is turned into a layer of copper on the electrode of the  microbial fuel cell’, says Annemiek ter Heijne, who published the basic  principles of the microbial fuel cell in Environmental Science & Technology in  the beginning of June.

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

“Do  Vodka Preferences Have a Chemical Basis?”

June 11,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) press release

 

 

[U.S.  News & World Report (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 1.3 million),  BusinessWeek (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568) and MSN  Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 1.6 million monthly unique users) also  carried the story.]

 

 

Marketing and snobbery aside, what  drives some drinkers to reach for top-shelf vodka brands over more lowly (and  lower-priced) "well" varieties? According to a team of Russian-American  chemists, certain molecule clusters in vodka taste better than others. Vodka's  longstanding reputation as a colorless and tasteless concoction is coupled with  the fact that all vodka brands use the same combination of 40 percent pure ethyl  alcohol (ethanol) and 60 percent pure water, the study authors noted. That means  all brands should have the same faint taste, if any taste at all. However,  mixing vodka's two basic ingredients gives rise to the development of peculiar  molecule clusters, or hydrates -- and researchers found that some hydrates  appear to be "tastier" than others. Recently reporting online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  Dale Schaefer of the University of  Cincinnati joined with colleagues from  Moscow State University in Russia to run a high-tech analysis of  the molecular composition of five popular vodka  brands.

 

 

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

“World's  first plastic antibody works in mice”

June 11,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Antibodies made entirely from  plastic have saved the lives of mice injected with bee venom – the first time  such a strategy has worked in live animals. Researchers developing the  antibodies say it is the first step towards customised antibodies for a host of  other medical applications, from treating people who have been poisoned to  combating infection. Natural antibodies are made by the body's immune system to  lock onto a specific "antigen". Likewise, the plastic antibodies contain  cavities moulded in exactly the right shape to capture target molecules, in this  case, melittin – the active agent in bee venom. Kenneth Shea of the  University of California at Irvine led the team which made melittin  antibodies through a process called molecular imprinting. They used a catalyst  to stimulate polymers to form around molecules of bee venom, then dissolved away  the venom itself, leaving empty cavities with the exact shape to trap melittin.  (Journal of the American Chemical  Society)

 

 

Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Md.: daily circulation  210,098)

“Drinking  coffee may help prevent diabetes”

June 14,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

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

 

 

Attention coffee lovers! That habit  may not be so bad. Drinking coffee, lots of it, may help prevent type 2  diabetes, a disease affecting millions and on the rise across the globe,  according to a new study published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.  It's the caffeine, say scientists from Nagoya University in Japan. The scientists fed either  water or coffee to a group of lab mice, a common stand-in for people in such  studies. The coffee consumption prevented development of high-blood sugar  and improved insulin sensitivity in the mice.

 

 

CNET  News (San Francisco, Calif.: 16.8 million monthly unique  users)

“Introducing the  10-cent dipstick blood-type test”

June 11,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Researchers in Australia say they've successfully  engineered the first dipstick-like blood-type test. By placing a drop of blood  on a thin piece of paper that has been specially printed with antibodies, the  blood's type is revealed based on which parts of the paper it seeps into. The  team, led by chemical engineering professor Gil Garnier at Monash University in Victoria, estimates the cost of the test at 10  cents. (By comparison, simple blood-type tests typically cost at least $15.)  Knowing one's blood type is crucial in the event that a blood transfusion is  necessary, as complications such as shock and renal failure can occur between  certain incompatible blood types. Someone whose blood type is O negative is  considered a universal donor, while someone who is AB positive is a universal  recipient. The team's work, detailed in the journal Analytical Chemistry, isn't done yet.  First, the very thin paper must be strong enough to withstand exposure to high  temperatures so that these tests can be used in the earth's hottest  climates.

 

 

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

“Carbon  nanotubes create underwater sonar speakers”

June 13,  2010

 

 

Carbon-nanotube speakers may help to  reveal the secrets of the deep seas. Engineers have created an underwater  speaker using thin sheets of nanotubes, which they hope could provide a  lightweight alternative to the sound projectors used in long-range sonar. The  team knew that passing an alternating current through carbon-nanotube sheets  could mimic the vibrations of a speaker cone, as the sheet quickly heats and  cools the surrounding air. Now Ali Aliev's team at the NanoTech Institute,  University of Texas at Dallas, has shown that the speakers work  surprisingly well underwater. Water's high heat capacity and low thermal  expansion would normally absorb any temperature fluctuations. But the nanotubes'  hydrophobic properties result in an air pocket around the sheet which expands  and contracts as the sheet heats and cools, pushing the surrounding water in and  out as a piston would (Nano  Letters)

 

 

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

“Engineers turn the  stickiness of gold nanoparticles into an  advantage”

June 11,  2010

 

 

Gold nanoparticles — tiny spheres of  gold just a few billionths of a meter in diameter — have become useful tools in  modern medicine. They've been incorporated into miniature drug-delivery systems  to control blood clotting, and they're also the main components of a device, now  in clinical trials, that is designed to burn away malignant tumors. However, one  property of these particles stands in the way of many nanotechnological  developments: They're sticky. Gold nanoparticles can be engineered to attract  specific biomolecules, but they also stick to many other unintended particles —  often making them inefficient at their designated task. MIT researchers have  found a way to turn this drawback into an advantage. In a paper recently  published in ACS  Nano, Associate Professor Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli  of the Departments of Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and  postdoc Sunho Park PhD '09 of the Department of Mechanical Engineering reported  that they could exploit nanoparticles' stickiness to double the amount of  protein produced during in vitro translation — an important tool that biologists  use to safely produce a large quantity of protein for study outside of a living  cell.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Science  Codex (45,200 monthly unique  users)

“Fungus  among us could become nonfood source for biodiesel  production”

June 10,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

In the quest for alternatives to  soybeans, palm, and other edible oilseed plants as sources for biodiesel  production, enter an unlikely new candidate: A fungus, or mold, that produces  and socks away large amounts of oils that are suitable for low-cost,  eco-friendly biodiesel. That's the topic of a study in ACS' bi-monthly journal  Energy & Fuels. In the study,  scientists describe a process for converting oil from an abundant producer  called Mucor circinelloides into  biodiesel without even extracting oil from the growth  cultures.

 

 

Nanotechnology  Now

“Liposome-Hydrogel  Hybrids: No Toil, No Trouble for Stronger  Bubbles”

June 10,  2010

 

 

In a recent paper in the journal  Langmuir, the research team  reviewed how liposomes and hydrogel nanoparticles have individual advantages and  disadvantages for drug delivery. While liposomes have useful surface properties  that allow them to target specific cells and pass through membranes, they can  rupture if the surrounding environment changes. Hydrogel nanoparticles are more  stable and possess controlled release capabilities to tune the dosage of a drug  over time, but are prone to degradation and clumping. The researchers' goal was  to engineer nanoparticles incorporating both components to utilize the strengths  of each material while compensating for their  weaknesses.

 

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

“Plastic Fantastic: Synthetic Antibodies Recognize and Remove Toxins in Mice”

June 9, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

 

A sting from a tiny bee triggers a long chain of events. In addition to promoting inflammation and inhibiting coagulation, the molecular hodge-podge that is bee venom can actually cause cells to split open. The toxin responsible for this effect is melittin, and in high enough concentrations, it can be deadly. When toxins, bacteria and viruses enter the body, they're eventually met by antibodies uniquely designed to recognize and remove intruders. At least they should be. In some instances antibodies are produced slowly or not at all, leaving foreign invaders free to circulate in the blood unchecked, spreading infection and leaving host cells open to attack. But scientists may have come up with a solution: plastic antibodies—artificial versions of the lymphocyte-produced proteins—that work just like the real thing. In collaboration with researchers at the University of Shizuoka, Japan, and Stanford University, Yu Hoshino and Kenneth Shea from the University of California, Irvine, made plastic nanoparticles, barely 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, that latch onto antigens (molecular flags on foreign invaders) like natural antibodies. "These results establish for thefirst time that a simple, nonbiological synthetic nanoparticle with antibody-like affinity and selectivity (that is, a plastic antibody) can effectively function in the bloodstream of living animals," the researchers wrote in their report published online April 26 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

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

“Vodka Brand Differences May Reflect Water-Alcohol Arrangement”

June 10, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

 

I once took part in a vodka tasting contest, in which participants tried to tell an expensive brand from a cheap one. I don’t recall the exact outcome, for obvious reasons. But I do know that several people swore they could taste the difference. Well, maybe they could. Because according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, different vodkas can have different molecular “structures,” which could drive drinkers to favor one brand over another. Being good little scientists, they trotted out their spectroscopic equipment and examined the chemical signatures of five different vodkas. What they found is that each brand differs in how its ethanol molecules cluster. In the ethanol-water mix we call vodka, some of the ethanol molecules get surrounded by a sort of “cage” made of water. And different brands differ in how much ethanol is caged.

 

 

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

“Drinking coffee regularly may offset diabetes risk”

June 10, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Drinking coffee regularly may help prevent diabetes, according to new evidence found by Japanese scientists. They fed either water or coffee to a group of lab mice commonly used to study diabetes. Coffee consumption prevented the development of high-blood sugar and also improved insulin sensitivity in the mice, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes. Coffee also caused a cascade of other beneficial changes in the fatty liver and inflammatory adipocytokines related to a reduced diabetes risk. Additional lab studies showed that caffeine may be “one of the most effective anti-diabetic compounds in coffee,” the scientists say, according to a release of the American Chemical Society (ACS). These findings appear in ACS’ bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique users)

“Scientists develop new method to mass-produce graphene”

June 10, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Scientists have come up with a simple and inexpensive manufacturing method to mass-produce graphene - a form of carbon - for electronics applications. Graphene consists of a layer of graphite 50,000 times thinner than a human hair with unique electronic properties. It has the potential to replace silicon in high-speed computer processors and other devices, Victor Aristov and colleagues indicate. Standing in the way, however, are today's cumbersome, expensive production methods, which result in poor-quality graphene and are not practical for industrial scale applications. Aristov and colleagues report in ACS' Nano Letters that they have developed "a very simple procedure for making graphene on the cheap."

 

 

NSF’s Science360 News Service (Arlington, Va.: 163,400 monthly unique users)

“Fungus among us could become nonfood source for biodiesel production”

June 11, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

In the quest for alternatives to soybeans, palm, and other edible oilseed plants as sources for biodiesel production, enter an unlikely new candidate: A fungus, or mold, that produces and socks away large amounts of oils that are suitable for low-cost, eco-friendly biodiesel. That's the topic of a study in ACS' bi-monthly journal Energy & Fuels. To meet growing demand for biodiesel fuel, scientists are looking for oil sources other than plants. Microorganisms such as fungi, which take little space to grow, are ideal candidates. But scientists first must find fungi that produce larger amounts of oil. In the study, scientists describe a process for converting oil from an abundant producer called Mucor circinelloides into biodiesel without even extracting oil from the growth cultures. The resulting fungus-based biodiesel meets commercial specifications in the United States and Europe and production could be scaled to commercial levels, they note.

 

 

NSF’s Science360 News Service (Arlington, Va.: 163,400 monthly unique users)

“Science Elements: Aviation could have greater influence on warming in the future”

June 11, 2010

Origin: OPA Podcast

 

 

The first new projections of future aircraft emissions in 10 years predicts that carbon dioxide and other gases from air traffic will become a significant source of global warming as they double or triple by 2050. The study is in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal. The scientists’ computer model forecast that emissions of carbon dioxide will likely double or triple within the next 50 years. By 2100, carbon dioxide emissions could increase by up to seven times the current levels, they say.

 

 

Denver Post (Denver, Colo.: daily circulation 255,452)

“Opinion: The bible, science and oil spills”

June 11, 2010

 

One would have to be heartless not to be moved by photos of pelicans, sea turtles and other Gulf of Mexico wildlife mired in oil muck. The story line — man interfering with nature and now paying a heavy price — is biblical in its imagery. But is it scientific? Oil is a common, natural presence in the environment, including in the Gulf of  Mexico. A 2009 article in Environmental Science and Technology reported that the naturally occurring Coal Oil Point seep field off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. has leaked 150 to 200 barrels of oil into the Pacific every day for probably thousands of years. Yet marine organisms still prosper there. Modern science and economics have given humans the power to play God with the world. But there is a common fear today that we may have overreached and signed a new pact with the devil. Science and economics may destroy us before they can save us. Large oil spills, symbolically involving human beings tampering with primitive nature in search of more and more energy to power our modern economies, heighten such fears even among people who reject the Bible.

 

 

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

“Gulf Cleanup Volunteers Are at Risk for Long-Term Illnesses”

June 11, 2010

 

With more oil from the BP spill in the Gulf washing ashore, regional communities will have a huge job of cleaning up after this vast environmental disaster. As kind-hearted volunteers participate in the effort to save both wildlife and the local environment, they will be putting themselves at risk of long-term health effects. As a physician and researcher, Dr. Claudia Miller is an expert on Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT). Her research shows that repeated and extended exposure to these petrochemicals can cause new intolerances that didn't exist in people prior to exposure. These can appear as "allergies" to cleaning products, exhaust, fragrances, medicines, and even food. Dr. Claudia Miller is Assistant Dean and Professor at the University of Texas School of Medicine at San   Antonio. Dr. Miller has been interviewed by The New York Times several times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, National Public Radio, Associated Press, Washington Times and Chemical and Engineering News.

 

 

LiveScience (New York, N.Y.: 1.9 million monthly unique users)

“Tobacco Plants Provide New Beauty Secret?”

June 10, 2010

 

Will tobacco plants provide the next cosmetic filler? Very possibly, according to findings recently published in the journal Biomacromolecules. Among the beauty-obsessed, the number-one problem with smoking is that it ages your skin. (Let alone what lung cancer does for the complexion.) But a new technique could re-harness the tobacco plant in the name of youthful beauty. Researcher Oded Shoseyov of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has figured out how to get tobacco plants to produce a human-like collagen. Collagen is the main protein in skin, tendons, cartilage, bone and connective tissue. It typically declines during the normal aging process, allowing cheeks to sag and wrinkles to set it. While primarily being marketed for medical purposes — such as for bone and heart repairs — the new synthetic collagen may someday be used cosmetically. "This is a very unique collagen," said Noa Lapido, assistant vice president of CollPlant, the company handling the patents coming from Shoseyov's laboratory. "It is very very similar to human collagen and, as it has not come in contact with any animals, it is much better and much safer than other collagens."

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Biomass Energy

“Researchers Discover Use for Carbon Dioxide in Conversion of Biomass Into Biofuel”

June 11, 2010

 

Researchers at Columbia University have successfully discovered a beneficial use for carbon dioxide in the conversion of organic materials, such as grass and bark, into fuel. Their findings show that if utilized on a broad scale, their technique could help significantly reduce overall carbon emissions, both from the use of carbon dioxide in biofuel production and the creation of a more energy-efficient production process. The study appears in the website of the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology.

 

 

Heal Blog

“Spit replacing blood for diagnosis”

June 10, 2010

 

Experts from the US have acknowledged all the 1,166 proteins in human saliva, a move which could offer a new tool for diagnosing fatal diseases, such as cancer. Patients may soon necessitate to just spitting into a cup so as to get diagnosed for sicknesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, thanks to these studies. The research that was published in the Journal of Proteome Research, considers that saliva test will do away with the trauma of having to draw blood from the patients. It will as well make illness diagnosis and action monitoring cheaper and less invasive.

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

“A  trip to Starbucks could reduce your risk of  diabetes”

June 9,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

That cup of joe may be doing more  than keeping you awake – it also may be reducing your risk of developing Type 2  diabetes. That’s the conclusion of a recent Japanese study involving a strain of  mice that are known to become diabetic. Studies of people have found a  correlation between coffee consumption and a reduced risk of diabetes. To find  out if there was a direct link between coffee and diabetes, the Japanese  researchers let mice drink diluted black coffee instead of water. Those coffee  drinkers were compared with a similar group of mice that got plain old H20.  After five weeks, both groups of mice had consumed the same amount of food and  weighed essentially the same. However, the coffee-drinking mice had less fat  under the skin and in their abdomens. In addition, their insulin did a better  job of reducing the concentration of glucose in their blood. The findings  “suggest that coffee consumption may help to prevent type 2 diabetes and  metabolic syndrome,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry.

 

 

CBS  News (New York, N.Y.: 9.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Condiments  with Hidden Health Benefits”

June 9,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

The toppings you put on your burger  or the dip for your chips may actually have hidden health benefits! The main  ingredient of both is tomatoes. Lycopene -- a powerful antioxidant -- is found  in tomatoes and give them their red color. The American Cancer Society says  people who have diets rich in tomatoes, which contain lycopene, appear to have a  lower risk of certain types of cancer, especially cancers of the prostate, lung,  and stomach. It has also been said to slow the process that leads to heart  disease. Lycopene is an antioxidant--a compound that keeps cells from dying.]   While all ketchup contains some lycopene, a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that organic versions contain up to 60 percent more lycopene than  conventional brands. Use the darkest-hued organic ketchup you can find and the  freshest salsa.

 

 

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

“Plastic  Antibodies Shown to Fight Off Antigens in the Body Just Like the Real  Thing”

June 9,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

We use plastics to make everything  from our computers to our toothbrushes, but a collaboration of researchers from  the University of California at Irvine  and the University of Shizuoka in Japan has made a big breakthrough by  taking plastics to microscopic levels. Using plastic nanoparticles just  1/50,000th the width of a human hair, the team has created plastic antibodies  that successfully function in the bloodstream of living animals to identify and  fight a variety of antigens. Antibodies are the proteins in our bodies produced  by the immune system to recognize and neutralize foreign threats like  infections, allergens, viruses and bacteria. These can include things as  annoying but benign as plant pollen and dust to food allergens, bee venom, and  other toxins. Our body produces antibodies in decent quantities, but in the case  of allergies our immune systems can be unequipped to deal with certain antigens,  and in other cases – such as a bad infection – our own natural antigens can  simply become overwhelmed. (Journal of the  American Chemical Society)

 

 

CBC  News (Toronto, Ontario: 4.8 million monthly unique users)

“Fungi  a possible biodiesel source”

June 9,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Fungi or moulds able to store oil  could be economical, non-edible sources for biodiesel production, researchers  say. Soybeans, palm, rapeseed and soy are plants that yield biodiesel fuel — but  at a cost, say Spanish scientists. They all require farmland, fertilizers and  pesticides to grow and if they are in short supply, could increase food prices.  "Biodiesel adoption is complicated because it competes with the food industry  for the main raw material input, plant oils, and the worldwide supply of plant  oils is limited by land and water availability," write the authors, in a study  published in the April issue of Energy and  Fuels. "One way to increase world oil production that would cause a  low ecosystem impact is to use lipids from oleaginous microorganisms (also  called single-cell oils), which present many significant advantages over  plants."

 

 

LiveScience (New York, N.Y.: 1.9 million monthly unique  users)

“Vodka's  Tasty Secret Revealed in Special Chemistry”

June 9,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

Premium vodka's popularity among  social drinkers may rely upon the high-end liquor's internal chemical structure,  researchers say. People can apparently detect such subtleties despite vodka  appearing both colorless and tasteless. Chemists analyzed the composition of  five popular vodka brands, and found that each brand had different  concentrations of certain clusters of molecules, called ethanol hydrates. Brand  preference essentially translates into a preference for a certain distribution  of these molecular clusters within the liquor. "Even in the absence of 'taste'  in the traditional sense, vodka drinkers could express preference for a  particular structure," the researchers wrote in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

 

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

“Scientists  edge towards mass production of silicon  substitute”

June 10,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Scientists have leaped over a major  hurdle in efforts to begin commercial production of a form of carbon that could  rival silicon in its potential for revolutionising electronic devices ranging  from supercomputers to cell phones. Called graphene, the material consists of a  layer of graphite 50,000 times thinner than a human hair with unique electronic  properties. Victor Aristov of the Leibniz Institute for Solid State  and Materials Research, Germany, and colleagues indicate that  graphene has the potential to replace silicon in high-speed computer processors  and other devices. The study appears in ACS' Nano Letters, a monthly  journal.

 

 

eMaxHealth (Hickory, N.C.:  130,700 monthly unique users)

“10  Cent Blood Type Test Could Save Lives”

June 10,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

A new blood type test that costs  less than 10 cents each and is highly portable could save lives around the  world, according to its developers. The first dipstick-type blood test is the  brainchild of researchers at Monash  University in Australia, and requires just one drop  of blood. Current blood type tests costs hundreds of dollars per test and  involve intricate analysis using optical or microfluidic devices. Knowledge of a  person’s blood type is essential for blood transfusions, because if the wrong  type of blood is given to an individual, the person may die. It is also critical  for pregnant women to have their blood typed, and blood type tests are also done  to determine whether two people are likely to be blood relatives. For the new  test, researchers developed a strip of paper that has three arms, each one  printed with a different antibody that matches the antigens on red blood cells.  When a drop of blood is placed in the center of the bioactive strip, the blood  disseminates along each arm. The blood agglutinates, or clumps and stops, when  it meets a matching antibody, which then reveals the person’s blood type.  (Analytical  Chemistry)

 

 

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

“USA  Science & Engineering Festival Announces Nifty Fifty; Top Scientists Will  Tell Their Stories in DC-Area Schools”

June 9,  2010

 

 

In a massive effort to ignite a  passion for science and engineering in middle and high school students, the USA  Science & Engineering Festival will send more than fifty top scientists and  engineers into local schools this October 10-24, 2010. The hope is that meeting  scientists and engineers who love what they do, will help students embrace these  disciplines and consider careers in them. The Nifty Fifty, as they are called,  were carefully chosen from hundreds of applicants for their differing fields,  talents, divergent backgrounds and ages, and ability to convey the importance of  science to our nation’s future. The Nifty Fifty Scientists were selected from  entries submitted by more than 100 professional science & engineering  societies, including The National Academy of Engineering, AAAS, the American Chemical Society, IEEE and  American Woman in Science; 100 universities and colleges such as Harvard, MIT  and Princeton.

 

 

Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.:  daily circulation 227,593)

“Banish  Toxic Dust From Your Home”

June 9,  2010

 

 

Household dust may seem relatively  harmless to most people, but toxins can be trapped in dust, posing real health  risks. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), household dust  contains everything from skin cells, pet dander, and soil tracked in from  outside to carpet fibers, fungal spores, and tiny particles—which can include  harmful chemicals. A study published in the journal Environmental Science and  Technology in 2007 examining the key routes of exposure of polybrominated  diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)—a fire retardant—in first-time mothers. The study  examined samples of breast milk and collected dust from commonly used areas of  the home using a vacuum. Researchers "found statistically significant, positive  associations between PBDE concentrations in breast milk and house dust." In  another study published in Environmental  Science and Technology in 2003, Ruthann A. Rudel and other  researchers sampled dust in 120 homes to test for 89 endocrine-disrupting  compounds (EDCs)—chemicals that affect hormone systems. A total of 66 of the  EDCs were found in the dust samples, with six compounds found in the  least-contaminated sample, and 42 EDCs in the most toxic  sample.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Water  Rhapsody

“Wash Your  Hands! Real-World Proof of Hand Washing’s  Effectiveness”

June 10,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Scientists are reporting dramatic  new real-world evidence supporting the idea that hand washing can prevent the  spread of water-borne disease. It appears in a new study showing a connection  between fecal bacteria contamination on hands, fecal contamination of stored  drinking water, and health in households in a developing country in Africa. The study is in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology, a  semi-monthly journal.

 

 

Science  News and Technology

“Record  Efficiency for Lithium-Air Batteries”

June 10,  2010

 

 

A catalyst developed by researchers  at MIT makes rechargeable lithium-air batteries significantly more efficient--a  step toward making these high-energy-density batteries practical for use in  electric vehicles and elsewhere. The work, which was reported online this week  in the Journal of the American Chemical  Society, suggests a new approach to lithium-air battery catalysts  that could lead to the even higher efficiencies of 85 to 90 percent needed for  commercial batteries.

Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique  users)

“Preference  for a vodka brand may be in the drink, not in the  head”

June 8,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) press release

 

 

Vodka drinkers often display a  preference for one brand of vodka over another. Now, scientists have found the  reason behind it. Researchers  are reporting the first identification of a chemical basis for people's  preference for certain brands of vodka, which outsells rum, gin, whiskey, and  tequila. They found that vodka differs from simple water-ethanol solutions in  ways that could alter vodka's perceived taste. Dale Schaefer and colleagues, who  conducted the study, note that vodka has a long-standing reputation as a  colourless, tasteless solution of 40 percent pure ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, and  60 percent pure water. All such beverages should have the same faint or  undetectable taste. They found that each vodka brand differed in its  concentration of ethanol hydrates. Vodka drinkers could express preference for a  particular structure. The study has been published online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry.

 

 

Discovery  News (Silver Spring, Md.: 2.4 million monthly unique  users)

“Sticky  Rice Made Ancient Mortar Stronger”

June 8,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

Many ancient Chinese buildings have  stood the test of time thanks to a secret ingredient in the mortar that binds  their stones. The ingredient? Rice. Chinese builders incorporated sticky rice  soup into their mortars to add strength. This ancient recipe is the best choice  for restoring historic buildings, said researchers, who recreated the  rice-containing mortar in a new study. "Because of its good performance, sticky  rice-lime mortar was extensively used in many important buildings, such as  tombs, city walls and water resource facilities," wrote the authors in their  paper published in Accounts of Chemical  Research. Archaeological evidence shows that such mortar was in use  perhaps as much as 1,600 years ago. One tomb built during the Ming dynasty  (1368-1644) "was so firm that a bulldozer could do nothing about it," the  authors said. Some religious structures and bridges built with  sticky-rice-containing mortar even survived a magnitude-7.5 earthquake in  1604.

 

 

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

“Testing for blood  type just got significantly cheaper”

June 9,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

A study by Australian scientists has  resulted in the development of a test for blood type that can be performed using  antibody impregnated paper manufacturable for a few cents per test, which is  significantly cheaper than existing tests of a similar nature. This could make  all the difference in the developing world, considering it's essential to test  for blood type before performing a blood transfusion on a patient whose blood  type is unknown. The test essentially allows blood type to be determined based  on the distance the blood travels along the channels in the paper from the point  where it is dropped. The details of the study can be found in the paper titled  "Paper Diagnostic for Instantaneous Blood Typing" in the journal Analytical  Chemistry.

 

 

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

“God and  oil spills”

June 9,  2010

 

 

One would have to be heartless not  to be moved by photos of pelicans, sea turtles and other Gulf of Mexico wildlife mired in oil muck. The story line  - man interfering with nature and now paying a heavy price - is biblical in its  imagery. But is it scientific? Oil is a common, natural presence in the  environment, including in the Gulf of Mexico. A  2009 article in Environmental Science and  Technology reported that the naturally occurring Coal Oil Point seep  field off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. has leaked 150 to  200 barrels of oil into the Pacific every day for probably thousands of years.  Yet marine organisms still prosper there. In 1942, in less than a month, eight  tankers were sunk by German U-boats in the Gulf of  Mexico, releasing 75,000 barrels - or nearly 2.3 million gallons -  each. Not many years after those tankers went down, few traces of the oil  remained, though the spill wasn't cleaned up "quickly" by today's standards.  This comes as no surprise; oil spill impacts largely dissipate in one to five  years.

 

 

My  Fox New York (New York, N.Y.: 276,000 monthly unique  users)

“'Tattoo'  May Help Diabetics Track Blood Sugar”

June 8,  2010

 

 

Getting inked is usually for body  art, but researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working on  a breakthrough tattoo that could make life easier for diabetics. Researchers at  the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering have come up with a new type of blood  glucose monitor that involves injecting nanoparticles under the skin to help  detect glucose levels, the school announced in a press release. According to  ACS Nano, the MIT sensor is  completely different than existing wearable monitors with a tattoo that would  last for about six months before needing to be  retouched.

 

 

Scranton Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.:  daily circulation 53,211)

“It's  season for fruits, vegetables”

June 9,  2010

 

 

Here are a couple of summer fruits  and a vegetable for you to enjoy. Red raspberries. Raspberries are much lower in  calories than you would think - only 64 calories for 1 cup. And just 1 cup  provides: 32.2 mg, or 54 percent of the recommended daily value, of vitamin C;  32 percent of your day's supply of fiber; and 41 percent of the daily  recommended value for manganese, which is a trace mineral that helps to catalyze  enzymes required for various body functions. According to a study reported in  the Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry, red raspberries contain "a wide range of polyphenolic  phytochemicals (flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans and tannins)," some of which  may function as anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic and protect against  LDL oxidation, thus reducing cardiovascular diseases. Other research reported in  the journal BioFactors found that raspberries have more antioxidants than  strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, leeks, apples and tomatoes.

 

 

Bay  City Times (Bay City, Mich.: daily circulation  33,000)

“Delta  College announces former board member Thomas Lane as vice president of  instruction and learning services”

June 8,  2010

 

 

A familiar face will lead  educational efforts at Delta College starting this summer. At Tuesday's  board of trustees meeting, President Jean Goodnow announced that Thomas  Lane, a former board  member, will take the position of Vice President of Instruction and Learning  Services. Lane, who is a former Delta professor and senior scientist for Dow  Corning Corp., is slated to begin his position in July. He also has one year  remaining on his term as president of the American Chemical  Society.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Nanotechnology  Today

“Peptides  may hold 'missing link' to life”

June 9,  2010

 

 

Emory University scientists have  discovered that simple peptides can organize into bi-layer membranes. The  finding suggests a "missing link" between the pre-biotic Earth's chemical  inventory and the organizational scaffolding essential to life. Chemistry  graduate student Yan Liang captured images of the peptides as they aggregated  into molten globular structures, and self-assembled into bi-layer membranes. The  results of that experiment were recently published by the Journal of the American Chemical  Society.

 

 

Celiac  Facts

“Research  institute develops gluten-free method for baking rice flour  bread”

June 9,  2010

 

 

People with wheat allergies may no  longer have to forego toast and jam for breakfast, as the National Food Research  Institute (NFRI) has developed an easy method for baking 100 percent rice flour  bread. People with wheat allergies may no longer have to forego toast and jam  for breakfast, as the National Food Research Institute (NFRI) has developed an  easy method for baking 100 percent rice flour bread. The NFRI’s results appeared  in the electronic edition of the Journal of  Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a journal of the American Chemical  Society.

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

“Study:  Filter cleans water, recovers oil”

June 7,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

A U.S. engineering professor says he has developed  a polymer-based filter that successfully cleaned water while recovering oil in  Gulf of Mexico tests. University of Pittsburgh Assistant Professor Di Gao said  he developed the technique in response to the massive oil leak that developed  from the April 20 explosion of a BP oil rig in the gulf. He said the technique  combines an ordinary cotton filter coated in a chemical polymer that blocks oil  while allowing water to pass through. Gao said the result is the filter  simultaneously cleans water and preserves the oil. In a 2009 article in the  journal Langmuir, Gao reported the  creation of a nanoparticle-based solution that can prevent the formation of ice  on solid surfaces, from power lines to airport runways and  roads.

 

 

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

“National  Inventor of the Year Awarded to DuPont  Innovators”

June 7,  2010

 

 

The 37th annual National Inventor of  the Year Award will be presented to a DuPont research team for advancing  sustainable agriculture and addressing the needs of the growing global  population by discovering an advanced insect control product. The prestigious  honor from the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation (IPOEF),  awarded to inventors whose products help the economy and improve quality of  life, highlights the achievements of DuPont researchers George Lahm, Thomas  Selby and Thomas Stevenson for the discovery of DuPont™ Rynaxypyr®, an advanced  insect control product with a favorable environmental profile. Products powered  by Rynaxypyr® are registered in more than 60 countries. In the United  States, Rynaxypyr® is sold as DuPontä Altacor®  and DuPontä Coragen® and can be used to protect more than 300 crops. Rynaxypyr®  and its inventors also have received the 2007 Agrow Award for Most Innovative  Chemistry, a 2008 R&D Magazine award and the 2010 American Chemical Society Team Innovation  award.

 

 

FirstScience (U.K.:  21,300 monthly unique users)

“ACS  Webinar focuses on understanding professional liability for scientific  consultants”

June 7,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

 

News media and others interested in  the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society (ACS) Webinars™,  focusing on understanding professional liability for scientific consultants.  Scheduled for Thursday, June 10, from 2 – 3 p.m. EDT, the free ACS Webinar™ will  feature Richard Kissel, of Kissel Hirsch and Wilmer LLP, speaking on "Covering  Your Elements - Understanding Professional Liability Concerns Facing Scientific  Consultants and Strategies to Protect Yourself." Kissel's topics will include:  Anyone can be sued for anything, even if you're right! The importance of a  written contract as a risk management tool. What needs to be done in the event  you are sued or believe you might be sued. Examples and stories from the  trenches –– lessons learned.

 

 

Softpedia (Bellevue, Wash.: 3.8 million monthly unique  users)

“Silver  Can Mitigate Ethanol Damage in Cells”

June 7,  2010

 

 

A group of investigators from  Spain say that they managed to  develop a new method of protecting human cells against ethanol damage. This  compound is contained in alcohol, and adding it into the bloodstream can have  negative repercussions on the way cells function. But the science team learned  that, by adding a very small amount of silver nanoparticles to the mix, the  destructive action of ethanol is significantly impaired, ScienceDaily reports.  Details of the work appear in the latest issue of the esteemed Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).  “The results of the study show that these clusters of small numbers of silver  atoms catalyze ethanol oxidation at similar concentrations to those found in the  blood of alcoholics and at values of membrane potential and pH that are  compatible with those exhibited by mammalian cells,” says University of  Barcelona (UB) Faculty of Medicine Department of Cell Biology, Immunology and  Neurosciences professor Gustavo Egea.

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.1 million monthly unique  users)

“New Method  Manipulates Particles for Sensors, Crime Scene  Testing”

June 7,  2010

 

 

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a potential new  tool for medical diagnostics, testing food and water for contamination, and  crime-scene forensics. The technique uses a combination of light and electric  fields to position droplets and tiny particles, such as bacteria, viruses and  DNA, which are contained inside the drops. Critical to the technology are  electrodes made of indium tin oxide, a transparent and electrically conductive  material commonly used in consumer electronics for touch-screen displays. Liquid  drops are positioned on the electrodes, and the infrared laser heats up both the  electrodes and the droplets. Findings were detailed in a research paper  appearing June 1 in the journal Langmuir.

 

 

The  Record (Hackensack, N.J.: daily circulation  170,408)

“Bergenfield  teacher a chemistry superstar”

June 6,  2010

 

 

As high school chemistry teachers  go, Bergenfield’s Ara Kahyaoglu might be  considered a superstar. For the next two weeks, Kahyaoglu will coach 20 of the  brightest scientific minds in the country at the U.S. Air Force Academy in  Colorado Springs, Colo., as they vie for four spots representing the  United States at the  International Chemistry Olympiad in Japan in July. Kahyaoglu is the only  secondary school teacher among the four mentors working with the students.  Closer to home, Kahyaoglu led one of the high school’s two chemistry teams to  victory at the New Jersey Chemistry Olympics last month. The team beat out  wealthier districts with reputations as academic powerhouses to take home the  honor. Last year, he received the Edward J. Merrill award for excellence in  chemistry education from the North Jersey  section of the American Chemical  Society. "I love teaching," Kahyaoglu said. "Every year, you have a  different group come in, and every year, you’re going to find somebody that’s  really, really smart. What I like is the transfer of knowledge, which is not  easy."

 

 

Nutraingredients (Montpellier, France)

“Polyphenol-rich  juice passes bioavailability test: Coca-Cola”

June 8,  2010

 

 

Polyphenols can be absorbed into the  blood stream when consumed from a beverage, showing the potential to deliver the  antioxidants via a juice, says a new study from Coca-Cola. Polyphenols are  receiving extensive research due to their potent antioxidant activity, their  ability to mop-up harmful free radicals, and the associated health benefits.  Many have also been implicated in possible protection against diseases such as  cancer and cardiovascular disease, while some have been reported to potentially  offer protection from Alzheimer's. Despite this interest, Ming Hu from the  University of Houston recently issued "a call to arms" for more relevant  research into the bioavailability and utilisation of the antioxidants,  particularly polyphenols, in order to help "the successful development of  polyphenols as chemopreventive agents in the future" (Molecular Pharmaceutics). The new study, a  collaboration between Coca-Cola and the University of Glasgow in Scotland, works towards the  successful development of polyphenol-rich products to boost human health.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

Technology

“Self-Cleaning,  Fog-Free Windshields”

June 8,  2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

 

A new coating that changes its  structure depending on whether it's in contact with oil or water could prevent  windshields from fogging up or accumulating oily deposits. The coating was  developed at Purdue University and reported at an American Chemical Society meeting. Drop  water on a surface treated with the coating, and it rapidly spreads out,  creating a thin film. This action prevents the formation of the tiny water  droplets that make up fog.

 

 

Weight  Loss

“Want Better Health? Choose  Antioxidant Rich Foods”

June 8,  2010

 

 

Antioxidants can slow or prevent the  oxidation of other molecules. This is important because oxidation reactions can  produce free radicals, which can cause cancer. They also can keep cells healthy,  which important for many aspects of health in the human body. For example, The  University of Florida found, in a cell-culture model, that the tropical berry  called acai (pronounced ahh-sigh-ee) causes leukemia cells kill themselves. The  berry worked in up to 86 percent of the tests according to the study by  Alexander G. Schauss, Ronald L. Prior, Xianli Wu, Boxin Ou, Dejian Huang,Dinesh  Patel, and James P. Kababick in the Journal  of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Foods high in antioxidants have  also been found to have the ability to keep skin cells healthier, longer. This  helps to prevent aging and cancer.

 

New York Times (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation 951,063)

“Even With a Cleanup, Spilled Oil Stays With Us”

June 5, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

BP, in a series of newspaper advertisements about the Deepwater Horizon disaster, says it is “working around the clock to contain and collect most of the leak” and it will “take full responsibility for cleaning up the spill.” But if past catastrophes are guides, the cleanup by BP workers will capture only a fraction of the crude belched up by the broken well. Much of the oil will be taken care of by nature; the rest is likely to stay with us for decades. In Alaskan coastal zones fouled by the Exxon Valdez in 1989, scientists discovered oil, scarcely changed, 16 years later. In some areas, its composition had not altered much from the toxic clumps and goo that had formed just weeks after the spill. Contrary to early expectations, oil still oozes from Alaska’s beaches, toxins intact, and is expected to remain — perhaps even for centuries. The BP disaster differs greatly from the Valdez. In the Gulf of Mexico, vast plumes of oil, attacked with harsh chemical dispersants, churn up from mile-deep waters. In Alaska, a surface slick swept over more than a thousand miles of rocky coast. Spilled oil behaves in many ways, but here, based on sad experience, is some of what to expect in the gulf. (Environmental Science and Technology)

 

 

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

“How ancient China was built on sticky rice, literally”

June 7, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

 

The next time you get a bowl of rice, ask yourself: would I rather eat this or put this toward my next construction project? As scientists and construction workers slowly dissect ancient construction projects, they're finding that sticky rice -- sometimes used in Chinese cuisine, but a staple of many South East Asian countries' diets -- was used to make super tough mortar. In a study recently reported by scientist Bingjian Zhang in the American Chemical Society journal, “Accounts of Chemical Research,” Zhang and fellow chemists say that they have found that a chemical in sticky rice help makes mortar strong enough to withstand earthquakes.

 

 

U.S. News & World Report (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 1.27 million)

“Understanding Why Hot Peppers Are Slimming”

June 4, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

There seems little doubt that chemicals responsible for the peppery bite of chili peppers can inhibit the accumulation of body fat. Korean researchers now describe peppery changes in genes that appear to underlie fat-shunning properties — ones that point to how chili’s fiery chemistry might be harnessed to fight obesity. The researchers, all from in Kyungsan, fed high fat diets to five-week-old rats for two months. Some got a daily oral injection of dilute, the fiery chemical in chili peppers, or just a control — the liquid that had been used to dilute the capsaicin. Throughout the course of the trial, animals getting capsaicin gained 8 percent less weight than untreated animals, and just a fraction more weight than animals eating a normal diet. Some of the proteins altered by capsaicin treatment have been linked to obesity — or its prevention — before. Others appear to be newly identified players. A report of the new findings appears in the June 4 Journal of Proteome Research.

 

 

Denver Post (Denver, Colo.: daily circulation 255,452)

“Extra health benefits in exercising outdoors”

June 7, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

Trying to decide on an activity to keep yourself healthy this summer? Try green exercise. This study has been published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, and shows that as little as five minutes of green exercise improves both mood and self-esteem. The greatest improvements were seen when exercise was done near a body of water. The Essex researchers have also shown that after people perform green exercise: Two out of three people have improved self-esteem. Two out of three people have improved mood. Three out of four people feel less depressed, tense and angry.

 

 

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

“Pharmaceutical Waste Seeping into Environment”

June 4, 2010

 

Muscle relaxants, opioids, and other pharmaceuticals are leaking into the environment at two wastewater plants in New York, a new study has revealed. Water entering the streams from two wastewater treatment plants that are supposed to break down pharmaceutical manufacturing waste had concentrations of pharmaceuticals between 10 to 1,000 times higher than water released into the environment from 24 other plants across the nation that do not receive pharmaceutical waste, according to the study, which is detailed in the June 4 edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology. "I don't think anyone ever thought we'd see these concentrations in streams," said study author Patrick Phillips of the U.S. Geological Survey. The study is the first in the United States to assess the environmental impact of wastewater treatment plants that process waste from drug manufacturing facilities. Pharmaceuticals were found at drinking water reservoirs as far as 20 miles (30 kilometers) downstream of one of the treatment plants that receives at least 20 percent of its waste from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

 

 

Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia: daily circulation 209,011)

“Urine test could detect autism in future”

June 5, 2010

 

 

A newly discovered chemical fingerprint could yield a simple urine test to determine if a child has autism, according to a new study. A confirmed diagnosis is rare before the age of 18 months and most often occurs much later. A chemical marker would allow early diagnosis and could prove hugely helpful in getting a head start on treatment, the researchers said. "Giving therapy to children with autism when they are very young can make a huge difference to their progress," said lead researcher Jeremy Nicholson, a professor at Imperial College London. People with autism typically suffer from gastrointestinal problems stemming from a different bacterial makeup in the gut. The study, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, found that the way in which the body metabolises these unique intestinal flora creates a chemical signature in urine.

 

 

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

“Top skills prime teens for top jobs”

June 6, 2010

 

 

Devante Bledsoe, an Independence High senior, was recruited by Massachusetts Institute of Technology but chose Columbia University, which is giving him a full scholarship in chemical engineering. Myers Park's Emily Hudson, who logged a perfect SAT score in math, will pursue engineering and physics at Washington and Lee. Athidi Guthikonda, who loves Science Olympiad so much she took it to local elementary schools, will head to Duke on her way to becoming a cardiologist. As America strives to boost its supply of scientists, engineers and mathematicians, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' Class of 2010 is doing its part. Graduates such as Athidi, Emily and Devante will step across the stage with significant skills for the best jobs of the 21st century. Devante, whose mother works for a health-insurance company, says he's always enjoyed learning in general and math in particular. When he was in third grade at Winterfield Elementary, he and another student were working ahead of their grade in math. At Independence High, he loved learning calculus from Shelley Matthews. Melissa Bliss, his chemistry teacher, steered him toward Project SEED, a statewide effort to introduce minority and low-income students to chemistry research. He spent last summer studying nanoparticles at UNC Charlotte.


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

“Determined to make the most of every opportunity”

June 6, 2010

 

 

East sits at East 13th and Walker, freeway traffic whizzing by below on one side, modest homes and a busy commercial strip on the others. One of the biggest high schools in the state has a proud history kept alive by an extraordinary alumni foundation, which has built an endowment of almost $2 million. On May 13, the East High Alumni Association awarded more than $107,000 in scholarships at its 133rd annual banquet, including the $2,500 Esther R. Amend Memorial Scholarship to Alma Marquez and fellow senior Westely Heuermann. Alma, who clearly understands hard work is key to success in life, has won many awards, including: the Science Bound scholarship, which pays full tuition for four years at ISU; $5,000 from the American Chemical Society; and $500 from Bankers Trust, where she served on its youth board. East also honored her for exemplifying the school's motto, "For the Service of Humanity."

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Australian Food News

“Glowing eyes may help scientists find the mad cows”

June 7, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

It sounds like the punchline to a joke, but glowing eyes may be the key to a noninvasive test allowing scientists to identify animals suffering from prion diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease. (Analytical Chemistry)

 

 

CSR International

“Airlines, Environmentalists Clash on Emissions”

June 6, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

Tensions between environmentalists and airlines are coming to a head over increasing efforts to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from aircraft. Meanwhile, recent studies are predicting that the air travel sector will be a significant source of GHG emissions in the future. Meanwhile, a study by the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology Review indicates that CO2 emissions from the airline industry could double or triple by 2050 if no action is taken. Currently, aviation only accounts for approximately 2 to 3 percent of global GHG emissions, according to the study.

 

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

“Understanding why hot peppers are slimming”

June 3, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

 

There seems little doubt that chemicals responsible for the peppery bite of chili peppers can inhibit the accumulation of body fat. It’s not only been illustrated rather convincingly in rodents, but also reported a few months back to operate in people. The question has been how peppers do this. Korean researchers now describe peppery changes in genes that appear to underlie fat-shunning properties — ones that point to how chili’s fiery chemistry might be harnessed to fight obesity. The researchers, all from Daegu University in Kyungsan, fed high fat diets to five-week-old rats for two months. Some got a daily oral injection of dilute capsaicin, the fiery chemical in chili peppers, or just a control — the liquid that had been used to dilute the capsaicin. Throughout the course of the trial, animals getting capsaicin gained 8 percent less weight than untreated animals, and just a fraction more weight than animals eating a normal diet. A report of the new findings appears in the June 4 Journal of Proteome Research.

 

 

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

“Insulin pills may make painful jabs history”

June 3, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

Good news for diabetics on insulin: After years of research, insulin pills that could make it easier for patients to manage diabetes are finally moving ahead in clinical trials. The new development may soon make painful insulin jabs a thing of the past. The topic has been highlighted in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS'' weekly newsmagazine. Insulin is a peptide hormone that people with diabetes currently take by injection to bring their blood sugar to within normal levels. But doing so requires uncomfortable, inconvenient injections that can make patients reluctant to use the drug frequently enough to adequately control their blood sugar. An oral form of insulin could help solve this problem. However, stomach acids and enzymes easily destroy insulin and other protein-based drugs. Scientists have had difficulty finding an effective way to eliminate this problem. They've responded to this challenge by developing special coatings for insulin pills that prevent stomach acid from destroying them. Scientists also are using additives that make it easier for the intestine to absorb large molecules like insulin.

 

 

People’s Daily (Beijing, China: daily circulation 3.5 million)

“U.S. military develops anti-terror decontaminants”

June 3, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

The U.S. military have developed multi-purpose 'green' decontaminants for terrorist attack sites, it was announced on Wednesday. The eco-friendly cleaners can be used for getting rid of nerve gas, anthrax, and other toxic substances in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, the American Chemical Society (ACS) said. Such decontaminants are non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products, according to the ACS. The Decon Green suite of decontamination agents are peroxides, the same substances that are in many household cleaners and whitening toothpaste. To bolster their effectiveness, the peroxides are mixed with bicarbonates or other non-toxic bases. That combination produces peroxyanions, highly reactive ions that can clean just about anything. It ensures that chemical weapons, like nerve gas, will break down completely.

 

 

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

“Detecting CJD Through The Eyes Of Cattle”

June 3, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

The eyes may or may not be windows to the soul, as the old adage goes, but scientists are reporting evidence that a peek into the eyes of cattle may become the basis for a long-sought test to detect infection with the agent that causes Mad Cow Disease. That test could help prevent the disease from spreading in the food supply. A study on using the tell-tale glow given off by eyes infected with the Mad Cow agent appears in ACS' semi-monthly journal Analytical Chemistry. The scientists showed that retinas of sheep infected with scrapie, a disease similar to Mad Cow Disease, emit a characteristic glow when examined with a beam of light from a special instrument. They suggest that eye tests based on the finding could become important in the future for fast, inexpensive diagnosis of prion diseases and other neurological diseases.

 

 

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

“Underwater 'Thunder' Could Lead to Better Sonar”

June 3, 2010

 

Sounds generated using a thunder-like mechanism could lead to lighter, thinner sonar projectors for advanced subs and underwater drones. The new technology relies on carbon nanotubes, microscopic pipes just nanometers or billionths of a meter wide that have displayed a wide range of extraordinary mechanical, thermal and electrical properties. For instance, they are 100 times stronger than steel at one-sixth the weight. In 2008, scientists in China revealed one more remarkable feature of nanotubes - sheets of them could serve as loudspeakers. In light of this past work, physicist Ali Aliev at the University of Texas at Dallas and his colleagues wanted to see if these sheets could work as loudspeakers underwater as well, potentially for use in sonar. Sonar works by emitting pulses of sound and listening for any echoes. The time delay between the emitted pulses and their echoes can reveal information about the objects the sound waves are bouncing off of, such as how far they are and how fast they are moving. The scientists detailed their findings online May 27 in the journal Nano Letters.

 

 

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

“Autism test could make the condition 'preventable'”

June 3, 2010

 

 

Diagnosis of autism has always been difficult and often the condition remains unrecognised until too late for treatment to have a maximum effect. But now researchers at Imperial College London have discovered a potential way of spotting the disorder in children as young as six months old. They have found that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also suffer from disorders in their gut and that this can be detected with a simple urine test. That would mean that intensive behavioural and social treatment could begin before the disease has caused any permanent psychological damage. It is estimated that around one in 100 people have autism, meaning there are around 500,000 in Britain. The findings were published in the Journal of Proteome Research.

 

 

Associated Content (Denver, Colo.: 23 million monthly unique users)

“Health Benefits of Green Onions”

June 4, 2010

 

Green onions, like other onions, add a zesty flavor to different recipes and provide great health benefits. Onions are part of the Allium family and closely related to garlic. They contain allyl propyl disulphide, chromium, vitamin C and flavonoids. Onions can support heart health, reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar, aid digestion, protect bones and may fight off certain types of cancer. Allyl propyl lowers blood glucose levels and adds to the amount of free insulin in the body. The chromium in green onions helps regulate blood sugar, which benefits overall health. Recent scientific studies reveal that chromium can lower levels of insulin, increase glucose tolerance and reduce fasting glucose levels. Chromium is also shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing the "good" HDL cholesterol levels. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study that explains how onions might be able to increase bone health.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Wheat Free Now

“Simple Protein Could Improve Gluten Free Rice Bread”

June 3, 2010

 

The gluten-free food market is booming and was worth almost $1.6bn last year, according to Packaged Facts. The market is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 28 per cent over four years. But that doesn’t mean all these foods taste great, or have desirable texture. One of the wheat free/ gluten free food products that is often criticized – is anything made with rice. Either it’s too dry… or too gooey. In a recent podcast about gluten free pizza – this was one of my conclusions. However, a recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, shows promise for solving both of those problems by adding the protein Glutathione to the mix.

 

 

Green Car Congress

“Process for Hydrogen Production from Sodium Sulfite Solutions Resulting from Capture of SO2 from Coal Flue Gas”

June 3, 2010

 

 

Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed a novel ultraviolet (UV) photolytic process for the production of hydrogen from aqueous Na2SO3 (sodium sulfite) solutions created by the absorption of SO2 using an aqueous sodium hydroxide solution as a mechanism to treat SO2 emissions from sources such as coal-fired power plants and refineries. A paper on their work was published 1 June in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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

“Paper  'dipstick' test to know blood type”

June 3,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

 

Scientists have developed the first  ‘dipstick’ test for instantly determining a person's blood type at a cost of  just a few pennies. Appearing in ACS' semi-monthly journal Analytical Chemistry, the study explains  the test which involves placing a drop of blood on a specially treated paper  strip. The scientists describe development of prototype paper test strips  impregnated with antibodies to the antigens on red blood cells that determine  blood type. In lab tests using blood samples from human volunteers, the  scientists showed that a drop of blood placed on the strip caused a color change  that indicated blood type. The results were as accurate as conventional blood  typing. "The paper diagnostics manufacturing cost is a few pennies per test and  can promote health in developing countries," the report  notes.

 

 

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

“Chili  Peppers Might Fight Fat”

June 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

The stuff that makes chili peppers  hot, capsaicin, may cause weight loss and fight fat buildup by triggering  certain beneficial protein changes in the body. A new study, done on rats, might  help lead to treatments for human obesity, the researchers said. Jong Won Yun at  Daegu University in Korea and colleagues point out that  obesity is a major public health threat worldwide, linked to diabetes, high  blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems. Laboratory studies  have hinted that capsaicin may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake,  shrinking fat tissue, and lowering fat levels in the blood. In an effort to find  out, the scientists fed high-fat diets with or without capsaicin to lab rats  used to study obesity. The capsaicin-treated rats lost 8 percent of their body  weight and showed changes in levels of at least 20 key proteins found in fat.  The findings are detailed in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Proteome  Research.

 

 

True/Slant (New York, N.Y.: 1.2 million monthly unique  users)

“Drilling  and spilling an oily Anthropocene”

June 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Is humanity changing the progression  of our planet on so many levels and to such degrees that we have surpassed the  Earth’s geological powers? New Yorker environmental writer Elizabeth Kolbert  takes up the notion in a piece last month in Environment360, Yale University’s  on-line environmental magazine, writing: In a recent paper titled “The New World  of the Anthropocene,” which appeared in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, a  group of geologists listed more than a half dozen human-driven processes that  are likely to leave a lasting mark on the planet — lasting here understood to  mean likely to leave traces that will last tens of millions of years. These  include: habitat destruction and the introduction of invasive species, which are  causing widespread extinctions; ocean acidification, which is changing the  chemical makeup of the seas; and urbanization, which is vastly increasing rates  of sedimentation and erosion.

 

 

RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 6.3 million monthly unique  users)

“Insulin  Pills Now In Clinical Trials”

June 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

After years of research and  anticipation, insulin pills that could make it easier for millions of patients  worldwide to manage diabetes are finally moving ahead in clinical trials and a  step-closer to the medicine cabinet. That's among the topics highlighted in a  two-part cover story on drug manufacturing in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN),  ACS' weekly newsmagazine… Scientists have responded to this challenge by  developing special coatings for insulin pills that prevent stomach acid from  destroying them. Scientists also are using additives that make it easier for the  intestine to absorb large molecules like insulin.

 

 

Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.3 million monthly unique  users)

“Eyes of  Cattle May Become New Windows to Detect Mad Cow  Disease”

June 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

The eyes may or may not be windows  to the soul, as the old adage goes, but scientists are reporting evidence that a  peek into the eyes of cattle may become the basis for a long-sought test to  detect infection with the agent that causes Mad Cow Disease. That test could  help prevent the disease from spreading in the food supply. A study on using the  tell-tale glow given off by eyes infected with the Mad Cow agent appears in ACS'  semi-monthly journal Analytical  Chemistry. The scientists showed that retinas of sheep infected with  scrapie, a disease similar to Mad Cow Disease, emit a characteristic glow when  examined with a beam of light from a special  instrument.

 

 

The  Engineer (U.K.:  bi-weekly circulation 32,546)

“Breaking  down chemical weapons”

June 3,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

Chemists with the US  military have developed Decon Green, a range of products designed to  non-toxically decontaminate nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes and  anthrax. The formulas are based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics and  other consumer products. George Wagner and colleagues explained that chlorine-  and lye-based decontamination agents are already potentially hazardous and can  react with chemical weapons and materials in the environment to form new toxic  substances. To solve that problem, military scientists developed the Decon Green  suite of decontamination agents. The main ingredients in each Decon Green  formula are peroxides, which are in many household cleaners and whitening  toothpaste. A detailed evaluation of the cleansers appears in ACS’s Industrial Engineering and Chemistry  Research.

 

 

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

“Basic  research bill backed in US”

June 2,  2010

 

 

The Democrats have scored big in a  political fight underway in the US Congress over legislation to expand  government funding for basic research and science programmes. On 28 May, the  House of Representatives approved a bill that aims to keep the US National  Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, and  National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on a 10-year  budget-doubling trajectory to 2016. Supporters of the legislation, including the  American Chemical Society, say  it will help foster innovation and ensure US  leadership in emerging and growing fields like  nanotechnology.

 

 

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

“Transistor  merges man and machine”

June 2,  2010

 

 

Man and machine can now be linked  more intimately than ever, according to a new article in the journal ACS  Nano Letters. Scientists have  embedded a nano-sized transistor inside a cell-like membrane and powered it  using the cell's own fuel. The research could lead to new types of human-machine  interactions where embedded devices could relay information about the inner  workings of disease-related proteins inside the cell membrane, and eventually  lead to new ways to read, and even influence, brain or nerve cells. "This device  is as close to the seamless marriage of biological and electronic structures as  anything else that people did before," said Aleksandr Noy, a scientist at the  University of California at Merced who is a co-author of the recent ACS  Nano Letters report.

 

 

Yahoo!  Finance (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 11.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Chemical  Biologist and Entrepreneur Carolyn Bertozzi Awarded $500,000 Lemelson-MIT  Prize”

June 2,  2010

 

 

Internationally renowned chemical  biologist Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi, whose research is applied worldwide in the  biopharmaceutical industry, has achieved extraordinary success for her  pioneering inventions in the field of biotechnology. The proven potential for  future advances, and her current work manipulating processes within living cells  to engineer their surfaces and secreted proteins, have won Bertozzi the  prestigious 2010 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize…With more than 225 publications to  her name, a prestigious election to the National Academy of Sciences, and  becoming one of the youngest recipients ever of a MacArthur “Genius” Award,  Bertozzi has also been hailed with recognition by the American Chemical Society and selected as a  Presidential Early Career Award in Science and  Engineering.

 

 

All  Headline News (West Palm Beach, Fla.: 311,400 monthly unique  users)

“Urine Test Could Soon  Be Used To Diagnose Autism”

June 3,  2010

 

 

A finding from British and  Australian scientists could lead to a simple urine test to determine if a child  has autism. The researchers, from Imperial College London and the University of South Australia, suggested that autistic  children have a different chemical footprint in their urine than non-autistic  children. The researchers said in a statement that it is possible to distinguish  between autistic and non-autistic children by looking at bacteria from their  intestinal tract and the body’s metabolic process in their urine. The  researchers are hoping this difference could be more closely identified so a  urine test could be used to diagnose autism. The study is included in the latest  edition of the Journal of Proteome  Research.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

A  Closer Look

“Air Traffic Poised to Become a  Major Factor in Global Warming, Scientists  Predict”

June 2,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

The first new projections of future  aircraft emissions in 10 years predict that carbon dioxide and other gases from  air traffic will become a significant source of global warming as they double or  triple by 2050. The study is in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a  semi-monthly journal.

 

 

Science  and Technology

“Harvard’s Wyss Institute uses  nature’s design principles to create specialized  nanofabrics”

June 2,  2010

 

 

Bioengineers have developed a new  technology that can be used to regenerate heart and other tissues and to make  nanometer-thick fabrics that are both strong and extremely elastic. Adam  Feinberg is the lead author of “Surface-Initiated Assembly of Protein  Nanofabrics,” which appears in the current issue of Nano Letters, a publication of the American  Chemical Society.

USA Today (McLean, Va.:  daily circulation 1.8 million)

“Ancient  Chinese building secret revealed: sticky rice  mortar”

June 1,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) press release

 

 

[Yahoo!  News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 37.9 million monthly unique users), Scientific  American (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 676,000), Christian  Science Monitor (Boston, Mass.: 4.9 million monthly unique users) and LiveScience (New York, N.Y.: 2.2 million monthly unique users) also covered the  story.]

 

 

Scientists in China  have discovered the secret to a 1,500-year-old super-strong ancient Chinese  sticky rice mortar that is found in buildings still standing today. Sticky rice  is the sweet, glutinous rice familiar to many Americans from a dessert served in  Thai restaurants in which it is paired with coconut milk and mango. It is a  popular ingredient in many Asian cuisines. But only the Chinese appear to have  discovered that when mixed with slaked lime, it creates a composite  organic/inorganic mortar of legendary strength. The key to this super-strong  mortar is amylopectin, a type of polysaccharide, or complex carbohydrate, found  in the rice, report Bingjian Zhang and colleagues from the Laboratory of  Cultural Relic Conservation Materials in the Department of Chemistry at  Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. Their paper is in this month's  edition the American Chemical Society journal, Accounts of Chemical  Research.

 

 

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.7 million monthly unique  users)

“New  contact dermatitis test developed”

June 1,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

U.S. scientists  say they've created a fast, inexpensive test for chemicals that can cause  contact dermatitis and one that does not require the use of animals. The new  test can determine whether chemicals in consumer products and at workplaces  might cause skin allergies in people. Itai Chipinda and his colleagues at the  National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, W.Va., sought such a test because of rising  public sentiment against the use of animals to determine whether ingredients in  consumer soaps, shampoos and other products might cause skin sensitization and  contact dermatitis. Instead of glutathione, Chipinda and his team developed a  test with nitrobenzenethiol as the skin protein surrogate. When used on 20  chemicals known to cause skin irritation, the test produced positive results. It  produced negative results when used to test substances that usually do not  produce skin sensitization. The findings appear in the journal Chemical Research in  Toxicology.

 

 

True/Slant (New York, N.Y.: 1.2 million monthly unique  users)

“Aviation’s  Greenhouse Gas Emissions Could Triple in the Next 50  Years”

June 1,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

 

A new study, “Flying into the  Future: Aviation Emissions Scenarios to 2050” in the American Chemical Society’s  Environmental Science &  Technology journal, reports that aviation is now a main driver of  global warming. Right now, international aviation isn’t even included in the  Kyoto Protocol, although it’s a source of 60 percent of the carbon dioxide  emissions from aircraft, according to study author Bethan Owen and her  colleagues, David S. Lee and Ling Lim. And although it’s not a main driver of  global warming right now, it will be. According to the study: Even though there  have been significant improvements in fuel efficiency through aircraft  technology and operational management, this has been outweighed by the increase  in air traffic. Global air traffic is contributing between 2-3 percent of carbon  dioxide emissions—the main greenhouse gas in global warming. Scientists predict  those emissions will probably double or triple within the next 50 years, which  means by 2100 they could be seven times what they are  now.

 

 

CNET  News (San Francisco, Calif.: 19.5  million monthly unique users)

“Next-gen blood  glucose monitor: High-tech tattoos”

June 1,  2010

 

 

Chemical engineers at MIT are  designing carbon nanotubes that can be injected beneath the skin to reveal  continuous blood glucose levels in real time. If it works, people with Type I  diabetes may not have to ***** their fingers multiple times a day to monitor  their glucose levels. Dubbed a "tattoo" that's designed to detect glucose, the  nanotubes are wrapped in a polymer that is sensitive to glucose concentrations.  A wearable device roughly the size of a wristwatch shines infrared light through  the skin and onto the nanotubes, which fluoresce when in contact with glucose.  So it's really a tattoo in hiding. And at this point the sensor is estimated to  have a shelf (or is it skin?) life of roughly six months. The engineers first  described their sensor in the journal ACS  Nano in November 2009, and are now working on the "ink" the nanotubes  would be suspended in when injected beneath the  skin.

 

 

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

“Biorefinery concept  shows a way out of a world dominated by  petrochemicals”

June 1,  2010

 

 

Developing chemicals, molecular  precursors, and industrial products from petroleum resources is a conventional  practice. Plastics, detergents, even pharmaceuticals are derived from  petrochemicals. With an increasing focus on the economic and environmental  issues associated with the processing of petroleum-based chemicals, scientists  are seeking for alternative routes to develop molecules from naturally available  plant or crop-based raw materials. In a recent review article in Langmuir, [George] John and his team  provide an overview of small-molecular-weight hydrogelators and organogelators  obtained by combining the concepts of biorefinery and the principles of  supramolecular chemistry with a vision of green chemistry. The use of molecular  gels (gels fabricated from small molecules rather than polymers) has been  demonstrated in applications such as regenerative medicines, electronic and  photonic applications, and art conservation. They also have found interest with  potential use as drug-delivery vehicles, templates for nanomaterial synthesis,  and food structuring agents.

 

 

Santa  Rosa Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.: daily circulation  83,424)

“PHS  chemistry teacher honored”

June 1,  2010

 

 

Lee Boyes, a chemistry teacher at  Petaluma High  School, received an award last weekend from the California section of the American Chemical Society for her outstanding teaching. Boyes was honored with a Lloyd Ryland Outstanding  High School Teacher Award at an awards lunch on Saturday, and received a $500  check, as well as a $500 check for the school’s chemistry department. Several of  her students had previously spoken of her commitment and dedication to them.  Teacher Jenelle Ball of Chico  High School received the same award,  which is named after Ryland, who was a member of the California section for 65  years and a strong believer in chemistry education.

 

 

… From the  Blogs

 

 

U.S. Natural Nutrients and Minerals

“Natural  safeguards decreases with the use of herbicides and  pesticides”

May 31,  2010

 

 

Fruits and veggies grown organically  show significantly higher levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants than  conventionally grown foods, according to a new study of corn, strawberries and  marionberries. The research suggests that pesticides and herbicides actually  thwart the production of phenolics — chemicals that act as a plant’s natural  defense and also happen to be good for our health. Fertilizers, however, seem to  boost the levels of anti-cancer compounds. The findings appear in the Feb. 26  print edition of the Journal of Agricultural  and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical  Society, the world’s largest scientific society. The article was initially  published Jan. 25 on the journal’s Web site.

 

 

Ecogreenfyi

“Biodiesel  corrosion could cause leaks in fuel  infrastructure”

June 1,  2010

 

 

In the midst of the Gulf oil spill,  the last thing anyone wants to hear about are more potential leaks in our fuel  infrastructure. But according to new findings reported by Chemical & Engineering News, even  eco-friendly biodiesel can develop highly corrosive qualities during  transportation and storage, breaking down the steel tanks and pipelines that  carry it.

 

USA Today (McLean,  Va.: daily circulation 1.8 million)

“Experts weigh risks of chemical ammo against oil in Gulf”

May 31, 2010

 

 

When seven fishermen helping to clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in Breton Sound,  La., were hospitalized with respiratory and other problems last week, suspicion turned to the chemical dispersants being used. Still, most experts agree that the spilled oil presents bigger risks to humans than do the dispersants. "No matter how you look at it, the oil is more toxic than dispersants," says LuAnn White of the Tulane University Center for Applied Environmental Health in New Orleans… Dispersants have been used before on the water surface to break up thick sheets of oil. What's different about this spill is that BP has also injected thousands of gallons of dispersants at the leak site, deep underwater. This has allowed the droplets to be swept along in the Gulf's deep currents. It has also meant the underwater plumes of oil aren't exposed to air and sunlight, which would help break them down. And it means marine life is exposed to the oil that wouldn't have been affected if it all just rose to the surface naturally, says Jerald Schnoor, editor of the journal Environmental Science and Technology and a microbiologist who worked on the Exxon Valdez cleanup.

 

 

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

“Great Wall of China's strength 'comes from sticky rice'”

May 30, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) press release

 

 

The secret of the strength and longevity of the Great Wall of China lies in the sticky rice that was used as its mortar, Chinese scientists have found. Workers built the Ming dynasty sections of the Great Wall about 600 years ago by mixing together a paste of sticky rice flour and slaked lime, the standard ingredient in mortar, said Dr Zhang Bingjian. The sticky rice mortar bound the bricks together so tightly that in many places weeds still cannot grow. However, there was widespread resentment against the Wall in the south of China because the Ming emperors requisitioned the southern rice harvest both to feed the workers on the Wall and to make the mortar. "The inorganic component is calcium carbonate, and the organic component is amylopectin, which comes from the sticky rice soup added to the mortar. This amylopectin helped create a compact microstructure, [giving the Great Wall] more stable physical properties and greater mechanical strength," he reported in the journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

Austin American-Statesman (Austin, Tex.: daily circulation 151,520)

“Carroll: Congress closer to passing bill that prompts ingenuity”

May 28, 2010

 

 

The only sustainable source of U.S. economic development is American ingenuity. We have a gift for exploring opportunity, turning potential to innovation and using innovation to create prosperity. Think of Dr. Michael DeBakey's pioneering work on heart surgery in Houston or Jack Kilby's invention of the integrated circuit at Texas Instruments. These are innovators and inventors who didn't simply create products and services — they created worlds of economic growth and prosperity. Everyone knows money is tight and jobs are scarce these days, but you don't stop inventing and experimenting even when economic times get tough — you double down. The 2007 America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science Act (COMPETES) invests in science, technology, engineering and education — research and development to fuel brilliant ideas and start-up companies that will hire people and carry our economy through the next decades. COMPETES must be reauthorized by Congress in 2010 or it will expire… In 2010, reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act is an act of national investment in our strength: American ingenuity. William Carroll, a Dallas resident, is on the board of directors of the American Chemical Society.

 

 

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

“In farming, Prince Charles knows that the old ways are the new ways; The butts that stub out corrosion”

May 28, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

What could be more useless than a discarded cigarette ****? Well, quite a lot, it seems. For new research has shown that recycling them could help prevent oil spills, like the one that has created chaos in the Gulf of Mexico. It began with Jun Zhao, a PhD student in China, home to about a third of the world’s billion smokers. She noticed that the butts turned water brown, the colour of antiseptic, and wondered – rather unscientifically – whether this meant that they could also have a beneficial effect. So she started collecting butts from ashtrays, rubbish bins, roadside gutters and friends who smoked until she had “bags and bags” of them. Her research, published in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, the journal of the American Chemical Society, shows that the pollutants protect the steel in even the harshest conditions. A compound produced by burning nicotine and tar, and duly collected in the filters, seems to be particularly beneficial.

 

 

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

“The Smell of Change is in the Air with Renewable Biodiesel from Sewage”

May 29, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

The sewage-to-biofuel field is attracting interest from major companies like Waste Management and startups like InfoSpi, which are betting that renewable sewage biodiesel can become competitive with petroleum diesel on price.  Now the American Chemical Society has published an article on sewage biodiesel that bears out this promise.  The article estimates a cost of $3.11 to produce a gallon of biodiesel from municipal sewage sludge, compared to $3.00 for petroleum diesel. The article notes some hurdles to overcome in order to push the price lower.  Despite these reservations, considering the potential savings to municipalities in terms of reduced sewage sludge disposal costs, and the savings to the national economy in terms of eliminating the chance of another catastrophe on the scale of the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, cost-competitive biodiesel from sewage sludge sure looks sweet.

 

 

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

“Integrative Medicine: Green exercise is good for the body and mind”

June 1, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

 

Trying to decide on an activity to keep yourself healthy this summer? Try green exercise. Green exercise refers to physical activity that is done while simultaneously being exposed to nature. Various forms of green exercise include hiking, biking, outdoor sports or beach activities. The University of Essex in the United Kingdom has been studying the health benefits of green exercise for more than five years – and has just published a recent paper on this topic. This study has been published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, and shows that as little as five minutes of green exercise improves both mood and self-esteem. The greatest improvements were seen when exercise was done near a body of water.

 

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.3 million monthly unique users)

“Little-Known Mouth Fluid May Lead to Test for Gum Disease”

May 28, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

A little-known fluid produced in tiny amounts in the gums, those tough pink tissues that hold the teeth in place, has become a hot topic for scientists trying to develop an early, non-invasive test for gum disease, the No. 1 cause of tooth loss in adults. It's not saliva, a quart of which people produce each day, but gingival crevicular fluid (GCF), produced at the rate of millionths of a quart per tooth. The study, the most comprehensive analysis of GCF to date, appears in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research. The scientists collected GCF samples from 12 patients with a history of gum disease. Using high-tech instruments, they identified 66 proteins, 43 of which they found in the fluid for the first time.

 

 

Yahoo! Finance (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 11.6 million monthly unique users)

“Don't Get Burned by Your Electronics”

May 28, 2010

 

 

May is National Electrical Safety Month, a timely reminder to note that the average family powers dozens of electronic devices in their household (computers, printers, game consoles, televisions, monitors), a significant increase compared to 20 years ago. Deaths from fires and burns are the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury deaths and the third leading cause of fatal home injuries in the United States. Although the number of fatalities and injuries caused by residential fires has declined gradually over the past several decades, the United States' mortality rate from fires ranks seventh among the 25 developed countries of which statistics are available. A respected expert on flame retardants, Landry has received fourteen patents related to these products and has presented numerous papers and presentations on flame retardants.  She recently authored a chapter ("Changing Chemical Regulations and Demands") in the American Chemical Society book entitled "Fire Retardancy of Polymeric Materials, 2nd Edition".

 

 

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

“Chemical Culprits: PFCs”

May 31, 2010

 

 

Watching our nation's top skiers fly down the slopes during the Winter Olympics was inspiring. However, I was less than inspired to find out ski wax contains toxic and persistent chemicals that may harm a woman's ability to give birth to a healthy child. A study published in February 2010 in Environmental Science & Technology found that professional ski-waxers, the people that help Lindsay Vaughn fly, have higher levels in their bodies of the toxic chemical C8, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. The levels of PFOA were 50 times greater than are found in the general population. Used to make non-stick items from cookware to skis, PFOA is suspected of causing reduced fertility, poor birth outcomes, and problems with the thyroid gland, which controls development and growth. Thyroid problems during pregnancy may result in diminished motor skills and learning ability later in life.

 

 

… From the Blogs

 

 

Global Warming

“Global Warming: Air traffic poised to become a Key Factor”

May 28, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

 

It’s not just road transport that is having a significant effect on global warming – air traffic is also seen as a major contributor. One round trip from NY to LA or Trans Atlantic round trip is equal to 2,000 pounds of CO2; in a year air travel releases 600 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The study, published in the ACS Journal Environmental Science & Technology, outlines that aviation is not currently one of the main drivers of global warming – it currently contributes between two and three per cent of carbon dioxide emissions. However, it is predicted that by 2100 carbon dioxide emissions from aviation could reach seven times their existing levels.

 

 

Techmakan

“Stevia tops preferences for low-cal chocolate”

June 1, 2010

 

Beverages formulated with stevia are preferred by consumers over similar products sweetened with sugar or other common high intensity sweeteners, says new research from Croatia. Cocoa beverages formulated with stevia produced “the most balanced attributes” when tested by a panel of 15 tasters, according to findings published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.