Voice of America (Washington  D.C.: weekly audience 125 million)

“Frog Skin Oozes Possibly Powerful Antibiotic”

August 31, 2010

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

 

Frogs secrete compounds that could be used to battle MRSA and a new emerging bacterium that affects many wounded soldiers in Iraq. According to Mideast researchers, the amphibians could provide several new antibiotic compounds to fight drug resistant fungi and bacteria. The emerging battle against drug-resistant bacteria poses a huge threat to public health worldwide. That threat has loomed larger as the number of effective antibiotic drugs has dwindled. J. Michael Conlon, a biochemist at the United Arab Emirates University, says frog skin, which protects the amphibians from injury and disease, is coming to the rescue by providing a wealth of new antibiotic compounds to fight drug resistant fungi and bacteria. "Frogs of necessity have to live in a warm moist environment that is very conducive to the growth of micro-organisms. They've been around for a long, long time, at least 300 million years" says Conlon. "So, it's not so surprising that, over the course of evolution, they have developed defenses against these invading pathogens." (American Chemical Society’s National Meeting)

 

Wall Street Journal (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation 2.09 million)

“Researchers Beaming at Light's Medical Uses”

August 30, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Using beams of light for diagnosis and monitoring disease may sound like something out of science fiction. But scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are trying to use light so people with Type I diabetes can test their blood sugar levels with light, instead of with a needle, a painful and burdensome task they must do as many as a dozen times a day. Because light can penetrate only about one millimeter into the skin, the glucose actually being monitored is contained in fluid found around blood vessels, called interstitial fluid, not within the vessels. Sugar from blood spreads into this fluid, but there is a lag time. Without accounting for this delay, the measurement would be inaccurate, which could be dangerous for diabetics with unstable and very high or very low blood sugar levels. Ishan Barman and Chae-Ryon Kong, two MIT graduate students, tackled this problem of lag time in a study recently published in the journal Analytical Chemistry. They collected multiple blood samples from 10 healthy volunteers who drank a sugary solution, and compared the actual blood glucose level with their measurement from the light device. This enabled them to calculate the time it took for the sugar in the blood to reach the surrounding fluid—approximately 8 to 10 minutes. By adjusting for the lag, they improved prediction accuracy by 15% to 30% and precision by 3- to 6-fold. They are now embarking on a bigger clinical study of the tool, which will include diabetics, whose lag time may vary more because the disease has affected their blood vessels, say Mr. Barman and Mr. Kong.

 

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

“Soda Could Add a Green Energy Pop to Laptops”

August 30, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Scientists from Saint Louis University in Missouri are reporting the development of a new class of biobased fuel cells, which could replace disposable batteries and their toxic components. The new biofuel cells could be used to power small electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones, and could be charged by sugar from common sources such as soda pop and vegetable oil. Conventional batteries, even when rechargeable, have become an enormous logistical issue, not only for consumers but also in terms of providing portable power for military purposes and dealing with supply and disposal issues, especially at remote bases. The U.S. military has already begun to develop biobased fuel cells, so chances are that the consumer market won’t be far behind. The research was presented this month at the 240th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, which is a non-profit chartered by the U.S. Congress (it also happens to be the world’s largest scientific society).

 

Discovery News (Silver Spring, Md.: 11 million monthly unique users)

“Mars Probe Tech Keeps Windows Dust-Free”

August 31, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Technology developed to prolong the lives of robotic probes on the moon and Mars is being tested for a new use on Earth: keeping solar panels dust-free. A mere one-seventh of an ounce of dust spread out over a square yard of solar paneling can cut the amount of power harvested by 40 percent, according to researcher Malay Mazumder, with Boston University. More than four times that amount of dust settles on Arizona every month. The Middle East, Australia and India are even dustier. Mazumder and colleagues have spent nearly a decade developing a transparent, electrode-laced shield that can zap away dust from the surface of a solar panel. Embedded sensors detect when dust levels reach a critical mass and automatically trigger an electric charge that cascades across the shield, levitating and transporting dust grains that have settled on the surface. Tests show it takes about two minutes to clear off 90 percent of the dust, said Mazumder. Mazumder presented his research this week at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in Boston.

 

The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.: daily circulation 147,212)

“Got a minute? Black rice is good for you”

August 31, 2020

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Consumers who balk at the price of fresh blueberries and blackberries, fruits renowned for high levels of healthful antioxidants, now have an economical alternative in black rice, scientists reported at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. "Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health-promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants,” said Zhimin Xu, associate professor at the Food Science Department at Louisiana State University. He said black rice bran would be a unique and economical material to increase consumption of the antioxidants. Anthocyanin antioxidants show promise for fighting heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

 

Associated Content (Denver, Colo.: 24.1 million monthly unique users)

“Choosing the Best Diet for Permanent Weight Loss”

August 30, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Many people proclaim to have the best diet or lifestyle plan to achieve permanent weight loss, yet nearly 95% of those who begin a new dietary program fail to hit their goal or keep the weight off for good. To a large http://ads.associatedcontent.com/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a14de4a9&cb=1405212919extent genetics are to blame, as the basic survival mechanism which has allowed us to thrive for generations is also to blame for our weight loss failures. Research now confirms that one of the simplest methods for healthy weight loss may offer hope to the millions who struggle with their weight, and is simple and inexpensive. Research presented to the American Chemical Society shows that drinking 2 cups of water right before each meal is enough to help dieters lose an additional 5 pounds over a 90 day period. Information from this study concludes that the water is enough to fill the stomach before eating so you feel full and don't over eat.

 

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

“Special Adhesive Helps Oysters Stick Together”

August 30, 2010

 

Oysters and other marine organisms like to attach themselves to one another, creating dense reefs that in undamaged conditions can extend for miles. In sticking together, oysters avoid major impact from waves, and can more easily reproduce. By forming a dense block, the oysters also make it difficult for predators to remove individual oysters. Now, researchers have found that the adhesive that oysters produce is a unique material. Their findings will appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The material differs in makeup from the compound oysters produce to create their shells, and from the glue made by other marine organisms like mussels and snails. Both oyster shell and oyster adhesive are made of protein and calcium carbonate, said Jonathan Wilker, a chemist at Purdue University and one of the study’s authors. “It’s the idea of wet-setting adhesives,” Dr. Wilker said. “The one that comes to mind is a glue that could hold together skin after surgery, and eliminate the need for sutures and staples.” Such adhesives could also be used to cement bones or in dental work, he said.

 

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

“Advances Offer Path to Shrink Computer Chips Again”

August 30, 2010

 

Scientists at Rice University and Hewlett-Packard are reporting this week that they can overcome a fundamental barrier to the continued rapid miniaturization of computer memory that has been the basis for the consumer electronics revolution. In recent years the limits of physics and finance faced by chip makers had loomed so large that experts feared a slowdown in the pace of miniaturization that would act like a brake on the ability to pack ever more power into ever smaller devices like laptops, smartphones and digital cameras. But the new announcements, along with competing technologies being pursued by companies like IBM and Intel, offer hope that the brake will not be applied any time soon. In one of the two new developments, Rice researchers are reporting in Nano Letters, a journal of the American Chemical Society, that they have succeeded in building reliable small digital switches — an essential part of computer memory — that could shrink to a significantly smaller scale than is possible using conventional methods.

 

Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique users)

“Just how environmentally friendly are electric vehicles?”

August 31, 2010

 

Because they produce no exhaust gases in operation electric vehicles (EVs) are seen as the eco-friendly alternative to conventional gas-fueled cars. While zero-local emissions is clearly a big plus, other factors contributing to the overall environmental impact of EVs are often overlooked – namely the manufacture, usage and disposal of the batteries used to store the electrical energy and the sources of power used to charge them. Now, for the first time, a team of scientists from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (or EMPA) have made a detailed life cycle assessment or ecobalance of the type of lithium-ion batteries most frequently used in EVs, to see if they really are as environmentally friendly as their manufacturers would have us believe. The study shows that the electric car’s Li-ion battery drive is in fact only a moderate environmental burden. At most only 15 per cent of the total burden can be ascribed to the battery (including its manufacture, maintenance and disposal). Half of this figure, that is about 7.5 per cent of the total environmental burden, occurs during the refining and manufacture of the battery’s raw materials, copper and aluminum. The production of the lithium, in the other hand, is responsible for only 2.3 per cent of the total. “Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are not as bad as previously assumed,” according to Dominic Notter, coauthor of the study which has just been published in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology.

 

… Broadcast News

 

WKPT-TV (Tri-Cities, Tenn.: daily viewers 1.43 million)

“Black rice high in antioxidants”

August 31, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[WSET-TV (Roanoke, Va.) and WZDX-TV (Huntsville, Ala.) also covered the news.]

 

Foodies are buzzing about a new antioxidant discovery. Research presented at the American Chemical Society says black rice and black rice bran are rich in antioxidants. The same type shown to reduce LDL cholesterol fight heart disease and even cancer. It comes from food producers at LSU. A food of black rice bran contains more antioxidants of blueberries. And if demand increases the cost of the rice should be significantly lower than blueberries both popular sources for antioxidants.

 

WSHM-TV (Springfield, Mass.: daily viewers 750,872)

“Water keeps calories down; health benefits low in bottled tea”

August 31, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[WGBA-TV (Green Bay, Wisc.: daily viewers 604,374), WNEM-TV (Flint, Mich.: daily viewers 4,811), WPMT-TV (Harrisburg, Pa.: daily viewers 3,003) and WNAC-TV (Providence, R.I.: daily viewers 1,268) also carried the news.]

 

Water may be bad for your hair, but drinking water is good for keeping those calories down. Researchers at the American Chemical Society found that people that drink H2O before eating eat fewer calories and lost more weight than those who didn't drink the water. Experts noted the tip only works for middle-aged adults… Drinking tea in the bottle may not have as many health benefits as fresh brewed. A new study out of New Jersey found bottled teas may contain far lower levels of antioxidants than home-brewed tea. Of the different bottled tea beverages studied, half of them contained virtually no antioxidants.

 

… From the Blogs

 

Green Chip Stocks

“Next Generation Batteries: Rechargeable Clothing”

August 30, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

We have long accepted the image of the 21st century that includes iPhones and robots and flat screen televisions and electric vehicles... Now, a research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is creating the latest in new-wave technology: rechargeable fabric batteries. Essentially, these new batteries have the ability to turn what you wear into a rechargeable battery pack... Last week, a research team from MIT unveiled the results and its report on the status of a lithium-ion battery development at the American Chemical Society's National Meeting.

 

Discovery

“Dogs, Rodents May Prevent Future Epidemics”

August 31, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Disease-detecting dogs and mice may be trained to sniff out bird influenza and other deadly illnesses before they spread, suggests new research reported today at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Rodents on little leashes marching through airplanes might at first seem unlikely, but trained rats have already been recruited to detect land mines. Bloodhounds, cadaver dogs and other canines already use their noses to benefit humans, so disease detection may be a logical next step.

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

“Scheme to 'pull electricity from the air' sparks debate”

August 27, 2010

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

 

Tiny charges gathered directly from humid air could be harnessed to generate electricity, researchers say. Dr. Fernando Galembeck told the American Chemical Society meeting in Boston that the technique exploited a little-known atmospheric effect. Tests had shown that metals could be used to gather the charges, he said, opening up a potential energy source in humid climates. However, experts disagree about the mechanism and the scale of the effect. "The work I'm presenting here shows that metals placed under a wet environment actually become charged." Dr Galembeck and his colleagues isolated various metals and pairs of metals separated by a non-conducting separator - a capacitor, in effect - and allowed nitrogen gas with varying amounts of water vapour to pass over them. What the team found was that charge built up on the metals - in varying amounts, and either positive or negative. Such charge could be connected to a circuit periodically to create useful electricity.

 

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

“Isotope Shortage Makes Vital Medical Scans Costlier, Riskier”

August 27, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

A worldwide shortage of radioactive isotopes that enable life-saving medical scans may have already begun to raise health-care costs and complicate patient care. The medical isotopes represent tiny amounts of short-lived radioactive substances that get injected into patients. They then congregate within bone or other tissues, and show up as lit areas in medical scans. That method enables 20 million medical scans and other treatments, such as targeting cancer cells for destruction, each year. About 80 percent of the nuclear medicine procedures rely upon the isotope technetium-99m, which has a "half-life" of just six hours. That means the radioactive substance decays by 50 percent every six hours until it vanishes, which makes it impossible to stockpile. Half of the entire U.S. supply of that isotope comes from the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River, Ontario,  Canada. But the reactor suffered an unexpected shutdown in May 2009, and only just restarted in August 2010. That left a shortfall despite three reactors in Belgium, France and South Africa stepping up their production. "There still have been times in April, May and July when their schedules were such that there was virtually no material available," Atcher told LiveScience. "There has been a shift to an older isotope for cardiac imaging, but we have exceeded our ability to produce that one as well." Atcher presented a report on the shortage at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society held this week.

 

Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles,  Calif.: daily circulation 616,606)

“Vaccine developed to save fish from deadly parasite”

August 27, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Scientists have shown that fish can be immunized against Ich, the 'white-spot' disease, but growing the parasite in large quantities for immunization use is problematic. Fish can be immunized against Ich, the dreaded "white-spot" disease that is the bane of home aquarists and commercial fish farmers, government scientists have shown. Although the team still has many obstacles to overcome, the study presented Friday at a Boston meeting of the American Chemical Society indicates for the first time that a protective vaccine is within reach. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, commonly known as Ich, is the most common protozoan parasite of fish. It is characterized by the appearance of white spots, about the size of salt or sugar granules, on the fishes' skin, and is especially common when fish are grown in crowded conditions. Symptoms include loss of appetite, rapid breathing, hiding or resting on the bottom of tanks or ponds, and rubbing or scratching against objects. The disease kills 50% to 100% of those infected.

 

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

“Virus-Powered Batteries Could Be Sprayed on to Uniforms”

August 29, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Batteries, built by viruses, could someday be sprayed onto military uniforms as wearable power sources. Teams of researchers, one from MIT, one from the University of Maryland, have used two different viruses to create the cathode and anode for a lithium ion battery. If the Maryland research pans out, the parts for lithium ion batteries could be grown in and harvested from tobacco plants. The MIT research, meanwhile, could produce lithium ion batteries that could be woven into clothing to power a wide range of electronic devices, from unmanned aerial vehicles to cell phones. "Typical soldiers have to carry several pounds of batteries. But if you could turn their clothing into a battery pack, they could drop a lot of weight," said Mark Allen, a postdoc in Angela Belcher's lab at MIT. "The same could be true for frequent business travelers, the road warriors." As Allen reported at this week's meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, M13 can be tweaked to produce an iron fluoride cathode for a lithium ion battery. Allen and his colleagues eventually hope to scale up their battery-part production so they can spray on lightweight, rechargeable and long-lasting lithium ion batteries that could power everything from unmanned aerial vehicles used by the military to cell phones carried by civilians. The new cathode, which builds on the MIT group's earlier work building a battery anode and cathode, is also environmentally friendly because it happens at room temperature and in water.

 

Boston Globe (Boston, Mass.: daily circulation 232,432)

“Bottled tea might be less beneficial than brewed tea”

August 30, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

If you drink tea for its health benefits, brewed may be better than bottled, according to new research presented at a scientific meeting in Boston last week. Only tiny amounts of healthful antioxidants, hailed for possibly guarding against a host of diseases, were found in bottled tea beverages compared with a freshly made cup of tea. Shiming Li and his colleagues at WellGen Inc. in North Brunswick, N.J., measured the polyphenol content of six brands of bottled tea bought at a local grocery store. Polyphenols are antioxidants that calm inflammation in the body, which has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. WellGen is an early-stage company developing foods — including one containing black tea — that target diseases related to inflammation. Naturally found in green and black tea, the bitter-tasting polyphenols can vary from 50 to 150 milligrams in a cup of brewed tea, Li said during his presentation at the American Chemical Society conference. That range includes the 125 milligram dose believed to offer health benefits, he said, citing previous research. But polyphenols quickly break down, even while a tea bag steeps in hot water. When tea is bottled, they fade away even more, Li said. None of the bottled teas he tested contained more than 81 milligrams of polyphenols per 16-ounce bottle. Others contained such small amounts that it would take 20 bottles of tea to equal one brewed cup of tea, the researchers found.

 

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

“Tears may hold key to fighting anthrax”

August 30, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Scientists have suggested that an antibacterial enzyme found in human tears and other body fluids could be applied to certain foods for protection against intentional contamination with anthrax. "Data from this study could be used in developing safer foods for human consumption," said Saeed A. Khan. "The data from our study shows that lysozyme application has the potential to eliminate anthrax producing bacteria in processed foods." Khan and colleagues knew from almost a century of lysozyme research that the enzyme kills certain bacteria. It does so by destroying bacteria cell walls, the rigid outer shell that provides a protective coating. Found in many body fluids, lysozyme sometimes is called the body's own antibiotic. Khan and colleagues, who are with the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Ark., used a surrogate bacterial strain that is considered as a stand-in for anthrax in their research because it behaves in more or less similar fashion as the actual anthrax strain, except that it does not cause the disease. Scientists reported the finding at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

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

“Blueberries, walnuts, black rice are good for the brain”

August 30, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

We’ve all heard that blueberries are good for our brains, but scientists now say they do it in a previously unrecognized way. The scientists presented the findings at the 240th national meeting of the American Chemical Society. The berries, and maybe even walnuts, activate a mechanism in the brain that cleans up and recycles toxic proteins linked to memory loss and mental decline as people age. It’s been known that natural compounds called polyphenolics from fruit, vegetables and buts have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against mental declines, as well as disorders such as cancer and heart disease, said Shibu Poulose, from the U. S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. This new research shows a link to the brain’s “house-cleaning” process. He said cells called microglia are the housekeepers. The process is called autophagy, and in it, cells remove and recycle biochemical debris that normally would hamper brain function.

 

Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique users)

“Tofu ingredient used to create formaldehyde-free plywood glue”

August 27, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Two thousand years ago Jesus may have walked on water, but soon we may be walking on food. In a bid to become more environmentally sustainable, scientists have unveiled a new "green" alternative to commonly used petroleum-based wood adhesives. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Products Laboratory in Wisconsin, speaking at this week's 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, talked about the development of a soy-based glue. The substance is derived from food products such as soy milk and tofu, and could mean a new generation of eco-friendly flooring, furniture, cabinets and other wood products. This new adhesive uses soy flour, an additive commonly used to make paper water resistant. The adhesive is as effective as petroleum based glues, but without the harmful formaldehyde fumes (a potential carcinogen) released from traditional plywood, particleboard, and other composite products.

 

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

“An American Chemical Society 'Did You Know?' Charcoal Challenge”

August 30, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Here's a "Did You Know?" challenge for hungry family and friends lurking while you tend hot dogs, burgers, ribs, veggies, and other fare on that charcoal grill. They are fresh from a presentation at the American Chemical Society (ACS) 240th National Meeting & Exposition. The presenter was Michael J. Antal, Jr., Ph. D., one of the world's foremost authorities on charcoal. Did you know that: Charcoal may have been the first synthetic material produced by humans, Scientific evidence indicates that Cro-Magnon Man produced the first charcoal 38,000 years ago, Making charcoal was a technological tour de force, requiring the knowledge and skill to ignite, control, and sustain a fire, and to extinguish it quickly.

 

Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles,  Calif.: daily circulation 616,606)

“Traces of dairy antibiotics found in groundwater, UC Davis report says”

August 27, 2010

 

A recent report by UC Davis scientists found that antibiotics administered to dairy cattle do end up in manure lagoons and on the ground, but that only a small amount enters the groundwater -- and that the majority of the drugs break down before then. The study was done on two large dairy farms in the San Joaquin Valley between 2006 and 2008. It was funded by the CALFED Bay-Delta Authority Drinking Water Program and with monies from dairy farmers collected by state Department of Food and Agriculture. "What we found is that antibiotics can frequently be found at the manure-affected surfaces of the dairy operation (such as corrals and manure flush lanes) but generally degrade in the top 12 inches of soil," Thomas Harter, an expert on the effects of agriculture on groundwater quality and the Robert M. Hagan Chair for Water Management and Policy at UC Davis, said in a statement. An abstract of the study -- published in the online version of the American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology -- can be found here.

 

Canada.com (Toronto, Ontario: 6 million monthly unique users)

“Size matters: Canadian research could shrink gadget size”

August 24, 2010

 

Consumers could be buying even smaller iPods, cellphones and computers in less than a decade as new research from McGill  University suggests nearly invisible nano-particles will transform everyday electronics. Scientists in Montreal are the first in the world to look at "quantum dots" — tiny particles discovered about a decade ago by U.S. researchers — and their effect on electronic devices. Their complete findings appeared in the most recent issue of the scientific journal Nano Letters. Experts assumed the minute dots, which are about a million times smaller than an ant, would be perfect for solar technology, but the McGill University team discovered the particles are capable of creating large voltages to keep compact electronics running. "We're the first to discover this effect, the first to analyze it and the range of possibilities is very, very exciting," said researcher Pooja Tyagi, who spearheaded the investigation for the last year.

 

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

“Diamonds Are a Supercomputer's Best Friend”

August 23, 2010

 

Diamond sheets filled with holes could be the key to the next generation of supercomputers. Scientists in California have used commercially available technology to pattern large sheets of diamonds with tiny, nitrogen-filled holes. The nitrogen-vacancy diamonds, as the sheets are called by scientists, could store millions of times more information than current silicon-based systems and process that information dozens of times faster. Nitrogen has been in diamonds for as long as there have been diamonds; it's why some diamonds have a yellow hue. For years scientists have used these natural, nitrogen-infused diamonds to study various aspects of quantum mechanics. "We've used well-known techniques to create atomic-size defects in otherwise perfect diamonds," said David Awschalom, a scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara and co-author of a new article in the journal ACS Nano Letters.

 

… Broadcast News

 

WBBM-CHI (Chicago, Ill.: 2.3 million daily viewers)

“Bottled tea - not as good for you as you think”

August 30, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Bottled tea is not as good for you as you think. The American Chemical Society says the bottled version contains fewer antioxidants, and in some cases you will have to drink 20 bottles of tea to get the same benefits found in a single cup of brewed tea.

 

WISN-MKE (Milwaukee, Wisc.: 32,337 daily viewers)

“Berries may keep brain young”

August 30, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Blueberries, strawberries, and acai berries may help brain healthy and young. According to a new study involving mice, researchers believe certain compounds in berries clean up and recycle toxic proteins linked to memory loss and mental decline. The study was presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

 

… From the Blogs

 

USAgNet.com

“Designing the Smells That Sell Products”

August 27, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Crafting a fragrance for detergents that leaves laundry smelling clean and fresh. Developing a room freshener, scented oil, or scented candle that whispers "cool spring air." Giving toothpaste or mouthwash a refreshing aftertaste that lingers and lingers. The process for putting the smell that sells into thousands of consumer products is much like composing a symphony, according to maestro fragrance designer Michael Papas, who spoke here today at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. "We're talking about the harmonious mixing and matching of potentially hundreds of individual aroma chemicals," Papas explained. "Composers have their musical notes, and we actually use what are called 'fragrance notes' -- three of them -- that unfold over time to the nose like stanzas of a symphony to the ear."

 

Lockergnome

“Greening” Your Flat Screen TV”

August 27, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Electronic products pollute our environment with a number of heavy metals before, during and after they’re used. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 70% of heavy metals in landfill come from discarded electronics. With flat screen TVs getting bigger and cheaper every year, environmental costs continue to mount. To counter this, a new Tel Aviv University solution applies a discovery in nano-technology, based on self-assembled peptide nanotubes, to “green” the optics and electronics industry. Researchers Nadav Amdursky and Prof. Gil Rosenman of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Electrical Engineering say their technology could make flat screen TV production green and can even make medical equipment — like subcutaneous ultrasound devices — more sensitive. The core technology and structures, described in Advanced Materials, Nano Letters, and ACS Nano, exhibit “piezoelectric characteristics,” necessary for the development of tiny nano-ultrasound machines that could scan cells from inside the body.

Breaking news from ACS’  240th National Meeting

 

CNN (Atlanta,  Ga.: 20.6 million monthly unique  users)

“Is black rice  the new brown?”

August 26, 2010

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

 

[More than 150 news outlets, including U.S.  News & World Report (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 1.27 million),  WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 19.6 million monthly unique users), Bloomberg  Businessweek (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568), the Daily  Mail (London, England: daily circulation 1.99 million), the Daily  Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 686,679), the Age (Melbourne, Australia: daily circulation 197,500), the Sydney  Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia: daily circulation 212,700), the Independent (London, England: daily circulation 183,547), MSN  Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 1.4 million monthly unique users) and  Medical News  Today (U.K.: 1.1 million monthly unique users), also covered the  news.]

 

According to ancient Chinese legend, black rice was so  rare, tasty, and nutritious that only the emperors were allowed to eat it. Times  have changed. Although black rice is still relatively rare, researchers are  trying to bring its distinctive flavor and mix of antioxidants to the masses --  or at least to a grocery store near you. If you've never heard of black rice,  much less seen it, the dark-hued grain is now available at supermarkets such as  Whole Foods and appears to be gaining a foothold in kitchens and restaurants in  the U.S. Like brown rice, black rice is full of antioxidant-rich bran, which is  found in the outer layer that gets removed during the milling process to make  white rice. But only black-rice bran contains the antioxidants known as  anthocyanins, purple and reddish pigments -- also found in blueberries, grapes,  and acai -- that have been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and  cancer, improvements in memory, and other health benefits. One spoonful of  black-rice bran -- or 10 spoonfuls of cooked black rice -- contains the same  amount of anthocyanin as a spoonful of fresh blueberries, according to a new  study presented today at the American  Chemical Society, in Boston.

 

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

“New  antibiotics developed from frog skin”

August 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

[More than 50 news outlets, including FOX News (New  York, N.Y.: 16.8 million monthly unique users), the Times  of India (New Delhi, India: daily circulation 3.15 million), the Press  Association (U.K.-based news agency), Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique users), DailyIndia.com (Jacksonville, Fla.: 150,000 monthly unique users) and Pharmacy  Europe (London, England), also covered the  news.]

 

Scientists have long known that the skin of frogs  contains plenty of powerful germ-fighting substances because of the hostile  environments they exist in. But the substances are also often poisonous to  humans. Now a team at the United Aran  Emirates University have worked out a way of  modifying the chemicals to remove their harmful side-effects. They have already  identified 100 new antibiotics including one that could fight the hospital  superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. Frog skin  is an excellent potential source of such antibiotic agents," said Dr. Michael  Conlon, a biochemist at the university in Abu Dhabi. "They've been around 300 million  years, so they've had plenty of time to learn how to defend themselves against  disease-causing microbes in the environment." Their own environment includes  polluted waterways where strong defences against pathogens are a must." The  findings were outlined at the American  Chemical Society conference in Boston.

 

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

“New  weapon against anthrax? Your tears”

August 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

[Ten other media outlets, including RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 4.7 million monthly unique users), Science  Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.9 million monthly unique users), the Medical  News (Sydney, Australia: 446,900 monthly unique users) and BioPrepWatch,  also covered the item.]

 

Tears aren't just for telenovela actresses, departing  baseball managers, and Brett Favre's annual retirement cry. They do far more  than lube your eyeballs, a fact illustrated by Saeed Khan, a researcher at the  National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Ark. Khan, who is  presenting his results Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, wanted to test  how well lysozymes, an enzyme found in human tears and other biological fluids  that attacks the cell walls of bacteria, could resist anthrax. Egg whites, like  tears, contain lots of lysozyme. Sure enough, when Khan and his colleagues  infected egg whites with an anthrax stand-in, the lysozyme in the egg white  killed the spores. Spores were also inactivated when Khan added lysozyme to  ground beef and milk. And it's not just tears that can do that, says Alexander  M. Cole, associate professor at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at the  University of  Central Florida. "Pretty  much every wet area of your body" has antimicrobial powers, he explained. Rambo  mucus in our airways dismantles germs. (In fact, back in 1922, Alexander Flemin,  the man who discovered penicillin by accident, also got lucky when a drop from  his runny nose fell into a bacteria-filled Petri dish and killed off the germs  around it.)

 

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

“Harness  lightning for energy, thanks to high humidity?”

August 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

[More than 65 news outlets, including CNET News (San  Francisco, Calif.: 15.9 million monthly unique users), Wired  Science (San Francisco, Calif.: monthly circulation 531,491), io9 (San Franciso, Calif.: 3.2 million monthly unique users) and the GreenCarWebsite (Stockport, England), have covered the item.]

 

Why do the roiling, black clouds of a thunderstorm  produce lightning? Ben Franklin and others helped prove that such lightning was  discharged electricity, but what generates that electricity in such prodigious  quantities? After all, storms generate millions of lightning bolts around the  globe every year—even volcanoes can get in on the act as the recent eruption of  Eyjafjallajökull did when photographs captured bolts of blue in the ash cloud.  But Brazilian researchers claim that their lab experiments imply that the water  droplets that make up such storms can carry charge—an overturning of decades of  scientific understanding that such water droplets must be electrically neutral.  Specifically, chemists led by Fernando Galembeck of the University of Campinas found that when electrically  isolated metals were exposed to high humidity—lots and lots of tiny water  droplets known as vapor—the metals gained a small negative charge. The same  holds true for many other metals, according to Galembeck's presentation at the  American Chemical Society meeting  in Boston on  August 25—a phenomenon they've dubbed hygroelectricity, or humid electricity.  "My colleagues and I found that common metals—aluminum, stainless steel and  others—acquire charge when they are electrically isolated and exposed to humid  air," he says. "This is an extension to previously published results showing  that insulators acquire charge under humid air. Thus, air is a charge  reservoir."

 

Courier  Mail (Brisbane, Australia: daily circulation  224,689)

“Dry  water a reality that could save world from global warming, say scientists”

August 28, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

[More than 125 news outlets, including the Times  of India (New Delhi, India: daily circulation 3.15 million), My  Fox New York (New York, N.Y.: 624,800 monthly unique users), Greenbang (London, England: 130,000 monthly unique users) and the United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.6 million monthly unique users),  have covered the news.]

 

Powdered water – a favourite among many bad dad jokes  involving improbable concepts such as flameproof matches, inflatable dartboards  and glow-in-the-dark sunglasses – is now a reality. And not only is it not funny  anymore, it may also save the planet from global warming. In science circles,  it's known as "dry water" and it seems those circles have kept it to themselves  for quite a while, because it was actually discovered back in 1968, then  forgotten about. It was even "rediscovered" in 2006, purely for study purpose,  but it's taken a group of scientists at the University of Liverpool in the UK to  find a use for it. "There's nothing else quite like it," researcher Ben Carter,  said. "Hopefully, we may see 'dry water' making waves in the future." "It" is  actually tiny droplets of water coated in modified silica, better known in  nature as sand. They make up 95 per cent of the powdered water and the silica  prevents the droplets from combining and creating the liquid version. That makes  it an ideal candidate for research into finding ways to absorb and store a  greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, the Liverpool team told the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society this  week.

 

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

“Bird  Flu Detection Takes a Novel Turn”

August 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

[More than 35 media outlets, including Newsday (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation 377,517), Bloomberg  Businessweek (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568), io9 (San Francisco, Calif.: 3.2 million monthly unique users) and MSN  Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 1.4 million monthly unique users),  have also carried the item.]

 

Bloodhounds, you've now got some unusual company:  Trained mice were able to detect bird flu in ducks, according to novel research.  "Based on our results, we believe dogs, as well as mice, could be trained to  identify a variety of diseases and health conditions," said Bruce A. Kimball, a  U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist who was to present his findings at the  national meeting of the American Chemical  Society in Boston this week. Kimball and colleagues at the Monell Chemical Senses Center were able to train mice to detect  infected duck feces in a maze more than 90 percent of the time when they had the  option of heading toward uninfected feces. The mice were rewarded with water  when they correctly identified the infected samples. "We envision two broad,  real-world applications of our findings," Kimball said in a news release from  the ACS. "First, we anticipate use of trained disease-detector dogs to screen  feces, soil or other environmental samples to provide us with an early warning  about the emergence and spread of flu viruses. Second, we can identify the  specific odor molecules that mice are sensing and develop laboratory instruments  and in-the-field detectors to detect them."

 

Discover  Magazine (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation  850,000)

“Virus-Powered  Rechargeable Clothing Could be Coming to a Store Near  You”

August 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

[Thirty-seven news outlets, including the Daily  Mail (London, England: daily circulation 1.99 million) and Wired  Science (San Francisco,  Calif.: monthly circulation  531,491), have covered the story.]

 

In a few years’ time, recharging your handheld PC may be  as easy as just slipping it into your back pocket. That is, as long as you don’t  mind having a virus cocktail woven into your pair of slacks. Yes, the humble  virus–that tiny protein-coated bag of genetic material that we more commonly  associate with global pandemics–could replace graphite and lithium iron  phosphate as the material of choice with which to build the next generation of  customizable, high-powered, lithium-ion batteries. Despite what you may think,  this isn’t actually such an unusual pairing. By virtue of their simple design  (most only contain enough genes to encode a few dozen proteins) and infinite  capacity for manipulation, viruses have become the favored go-to tool for  scientists seeking to explore cellular systems and tinker with their underlying  components. The ease with which researchers can alter their properties—to change  the battery’s design or, say, to switch to a better cathode—by simply turning on  or off one gene or another only makes them more attractive. This week at the  American Chemical Society (ACS)  meeting, Mark Allen, a postdoctoral researcher from Belcher’s lab, reported that  they had done just that—engineer the virus’ genetic code slightly differently to  make an iron fluoride cathode. That’s important because the use of current  lithium ion battery technologies is severely limited by their relatively low  energy density.

 

Chemistry  World (London, England: “read by more than 50,000  scientists monthly’)

“Bio  battery based on cellular power plant”

August 27, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

[Forty-five other news outlets, including Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique users) and  the GreenCarWebsite (Stockport,  England), have  covered the news.]

 

Mitochondria, often called the powerhouse of the cell,  have been harnessed in a new battery-like device that could one day power small  portable devices like mobile phones or laptops. Mitochondria convert fatty acids  and pyruvate, formed from the digestion of sugars and fats, to adenosine  triphosphate (ATP), the cell's energy supply. Along the way a tiny electrical  current is generated, and Shelley Minteer and coworkers from Saint Louis University in Missouri, US, have now harnessed those flowing  electrons to put them to work in a new biological battery device. Speaking at  the American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston, US, Minteer described how her team  has built a biological battery that incorporates whole mitochondria capable of  producing a current anywhere from microamps to milliamps per square centimetre,  depending on the surface area of the mitochondria and the load  density.

 

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

“PG  tips Tea is Something to Feel Good About”

August 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

[More than 145 news outlets, including Ars  Technica (Chicago, Ill.: 535,000 unique monthly users) and the Bradenton  Herald (Bradenton,  Fla.: daily circulation 41,237),  have covered the item.]

 

Just as the summer wanes and first signs of fall appear  with kids heading back to school, September's International Self-Improvement  Month arrives. Self-Improvement Month is a great opportunity to catch a breath  and start healthy habits for improved wellness and spirit to last the entire  year. As timeless and dependable as the first day of school, PG tips black and  green teas are the educated beverage of choice for wellness focused individuals  who seek to get as much goodness out of their tea as possible. A recent study  presented by WellGen, Inc. suggests, if you're looking for high doses of  healthful antioxidants, then fresh brewed tea (either hot or poured over iced)  may be a healthier choice than bottled tea beverages. "There is a huge gap  between perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the  healthful nutrients – polyphenols – found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis  of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low," said study  researcher Shiming Li. (American Chemical  Society)

 

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

“Isotope  Shortage Makes Vital Medical Scans Costlier,  Riskier”

August 27, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

A worldwide shortage of radioactive isotopes that enable  life-saving medical scans may have already begun to raise health-care costs and  complicate patient care. The medical isotopes represent tiny amounts of  short-lived radioactive substances that get injected into patients. They then  congregate within bone or other tissues, and show up as lit areas in medical  scans. That method enables 20 million medical scans and other treatments, such  as targeting cancer cells for destruction, each year. More than 50,000 patients  in the United  States receive such diagnostic or therapeutic  procedures every day – especially those with heart problems or cancer. But the  recent shortages have forced physicians to begin cutting back on the procedures.  "There has been some move away from nuclear medicine procedures to other imaging  technologies that involve more radiation to the patient and higher cost," said  Robert Atcher, director of the National Isotope Development Center under the U. S. Department of  Energy. Atcher presented a report on the shortage at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society held this  week.

 

Boston Globe (Boston, Mass.:  daily circulation 232,432)

“Cerulean  encouraged by early data”

August 27, 2010

 

Cerulean Pharma Inc., a Cambridge company that seeks to design and  develop nanopharmaceuticals, said it is encouraged by results of early clinical  test for its lead drug candidate, CRLX101, which has the potential to treat a  common form of lung cancer. The company gave an update on two years' worth of  test data to the American Chemical Society  National Meeting & Exposition this week in Boston. In addition,  preliminary results show that Cerulean's technology can help deliver more of a  drug to a tumor cell, which can add to the drug's effectiveness, the company  said. In a statement, Cerulean president and chief executive Oliver Fetzer said:  "Cerulean has made substantial progress with our nanopharmaceutical platform.  Our team is successfully advancing our clinical studies in cancer patients and  demonstrating in pre-clinical studies our platform technologies' capabilities.  We believe our technologies have broad applicability in advancing new drugs in  oncology and other therapeutic areas and overcoming significant clinical  hurdles."

 

… Broadcast  News

 

WTOP-DC (Washington  D.C.)

“Antibiotics  found in frog skin”

August 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

[WCBS-TV (New York, N.Y.) also covered the  news.]

 

In a report at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical  Society, a team of researchers described efforts involving shipment  of secretions from hundreds of promising frog skins to their laboratory in the  United Arab  Emirates. They identified more than 100  antibiotic substances in the skins of different frog species from around the  world. One even fights "Iraqibacter," the bacterium responsible for  drug-resistant infections in wounded soldiers returning from Iraq.

 

… From the  Blogs

 

Physics  Today

“Can muggy air hold electric  charge?”

August 27, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

At the American  Chemical Society’s national meeting this week, Fernando Galembeck  from the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil, presented his controversial  research on the ability of hot, saturated air to hold a net electric charge.  Galembeck’s theory that water can store charge could in principle lead to a  renewable source of energy, but it violates the long-held principle of  electroneutrality.

 

Breaking  News

“Benefits of black  rice”

August 27, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press  release

 

Blueberries and blackberries are rich in antioxidants,  which help the body fight oxidation potentially dangerous, but scientists say  they have found a source of antioxidants also less expensive for Consumer his  soup black rice.Just black rice contains more health promotion antioxidant anthocyanins which are in a tablespoon  of cranberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E anti-oxidants,  coauthor of the study, Xu Zhimin, said in a press  release from the American Chemical  Society.

Breaking news from ACS’ 240th National Meeting

 

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

“'Biofuel cells' could power gadgets with energy drinks”

August 25, 2010

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

 

[More than 35 news outlets, including the Mumbai Mirror (Mumbai, India: daily circulation 150,000), Associated Content (Denver, Colo.: 23.3 million monthly unique users), Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique users), Science Daily (Rockville, N.J.: 2.9 million monthly unique users), Thaindian News (Bangkok, Thailand: 1.7 million monthly unique users), Daily News & Analysis (Mumbai, India: 130,700 monthly unique users) and Inhabitat (New York, N.Y.: 618,400 monthly unique users), also covered the story.]

 

Battery-like "biofuel cells" could in the future run on an energy drink or even vegetable oil, says a researcher. A prototype cell has been described at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in the US. The idea makes use of mitochondria, the power stations that in most living cells turn food into energy. While applications may be far in the future, the work is a milestone in the integration of parts of a living cell into an electronic device. Shelley Minteer of St Louis University in Missouri, US, said the devices could in the future replace disposable batteries in some applications. Dr. Minteer has been part of a wider research effort that is borrowing some of nature's tricks for energy production. Typically this involves the breaking down and rebuilding of molecules in a form that can be used by cells. That process unleashes electrons along the way - electrons that can be corralled and become electricity.

 

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

“Scientists create 'dry water'”

August 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More than 45 news outlets, including Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique users), TG Daily (Los Angeles, Calif.: 524,500 monthly unique users), the Daily Mail (London, England: daily circulation 1.99 million), the Belfast Telegraph (Belfast, Northern Ireland: daily circulation 75,964), the Independent (Dublin, Ireland: daily circulation 149,906), Softpedia (Bellevue, Wash.: 3.7 million monthly unique users) and the Cambridge News (Milton, Cambridgeshire: daily circulation 24,970), also covered the news.]

 

It may sound like a contradiction in terms, but scientists have created ''dry water''. The substance resembles powdered sugar and could revolutionise the way chemicals are used. Each particle of dry water contains a water droplet surrounded by a sandy silica coating. In fact, 95 per cent of dry water is ''wet'' water. Scientists believe dry water could be used to combat global warming by soaking up and trapping the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Tests show that it is more than three times better at absorbing carbon dioxide than ordinary water. Dry water may also prove useful for storing methane and expanding the energy source potential of the natural gas. Dr Ben Carter, from the University of Liverpool, presented his research on dry water at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.

 

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

“Can we grab electricity from muggy air?”

August 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[Twenty-five media outlets, including Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique users), the Bangalore Mirror (Bangalore, India: daily circulation 80,000), TG Daily (Los Angeles, Calif.: 524,500 monthly unique users) and BioScholar (Bilsi, India), also covered the item.]

 

Every cloud has a silver lining: wet weather could soon be harnessed as a power source, if a team of chemists in Brazil is to be believed. Fernando Galembeck at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil, is one of a small number of researchers who thinks there is a simple explanation, but it involves accepting that water can store charge – a controversial idea that violates the principle of electroneutrality. This principle – which states that the negatively and positively charged particles in an electrolyte cancel each other out – is widely accepted by chemists, including the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). "I don't dispute the IUPAC statement for the principle of electroneutrality," says Galembeck. "But it is seldom applicable to real substances," he says, because they frequently show ion imbalances, which produce a measurable charge. His team electrically isolated chrome-plated brass tubes and then increased the humidity of the surrounding atmosphere. Once the relative humidity reached 90 per cent, the uncharged tube gained a small but detectable negative charge of 300 microcoulombs per square metre – equating to a capacity millions of times smaller than that of an AA battery. Galembeck presents his work at a national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston this week; it was previously published in Langmuir.

 

Reuters (London, England: “viewed by more than 1 billion monthly”)

“Tracking Bird Flu One Poop at a Time”

August 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[Twenty-seven outlets, including Popular Science (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 1.3 million), Wired News (San Francisco, Calif.: monthly circulation 531,491), Medical News Today (U.K.: 1.1 million monthly unique users) and Medindia (Chennai, India: 750,500 monthly unique users), have covered the news.]

 

Duck and goose droppings, the bane of golfers and park visitors, may help scientists track the spread of bird flu — with olfactory assistance from properly trained animals. Scientists have trained mice to identify the poop of ducks infected with avian influenza, chemical ecologist Bruce Kimball reported August 24 at the American Chemical Society’s fall meeting. If mice can pick up the scent, it should also be possible to train dogs to track the flu trail, said Kimball, of the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort  Collins, Colorado, and the Monell Chemical Sciences Center in Philadelphia. “I like to joke that we’re going to send people out with mice on leashes,” he said. “But my vision is we could train dogs in much the same way.” Mice trained on the scent of poop from infected birds correctly chose infected poop over uninfected poop 90 percent of the time, Kimball reported. When the mice were presented with new droppings not used in the training sessions, the rodents identified the flu-laced feces 77 percent of the time.

 

Reuters (London, England: “viewed by more than 1 billion monthly”)

“Rechargeable Fabric Batteries to Charge the Army of the Future”

August 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

A team working on lithium-ion battery technologies that can be poured into any shape or woven into fabrics reported progress on their work at the American Chemical Society's National Meeting this week. Mark Allen, a Ph.D. in Angela Belcher's research group at MIT, presented a report showing that the group has begun developing new materials for a battery's positive electrode, using a common -- but non-harmful -- virus called M13 bacteriophage to develop the battery rather than harmful chemicals. "Using M13 bacteriophage as a template is an example of green chemistry, an environmentally friendly method of producing the battery," Allen said in a statement. "It enables the processing of all materials at room temperature and in water." And these materials, he said, should be less dangerous than those used in current lithium-ion batteries because they produce less heat, which reduces flammability risks. The end goal of the project is to create lightweight, long-lasting and rechargeable batteries that can be woven into fabrics, poured into any shape, or sprayed on any containers. Among the first projected uses for the batteries, as part of the testing phase, is to power unmanned aerial surveillance drones.

 

Washington Post (Washington  D.C.: daily circulation 578,482)

“Want to lose weight? Drink water”

August 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More than 415 news outlets, including New Scientist (London, England; weekly circulation 170,000), NewsMax Health (West Palm Beach,  Fla.: 427,700 monthly unique users), the Cleveland Leader (Cleveland, Ohio: daily circulation 291,630) and the Examiner.com (Denver, Colo.: 16.7 million monthly unique users), have covered the story.]

 

Could something as simple as a glass of water be the key to the nation's obesity epidemic? Well, probably not. But a new study has found that drinking a couple of glasses of water before meals can help people consume fewer calories. There's long been a lot of folklore about water helping people lose weight. And previous studies have found that people who drink water regularly consume fewer calories during meals. But there's been surprisingly little actual good research on the subject. So Brenda Davy of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blackburg and colleagues decided to conduct what they say is the first well-designed study to actually show that water consumption is a good weight-loss strategy. The researchers studied 48 adults ages 55 to 75. All of the subjects were asked to consume a low-calorie diet for 12 weeks, but half also drank two 8-ounce cups of water just before each meal. After 12 weeks, those who drank the water lost about 15 1/2 pounds, compared to only 11 pounds for those who did not drink the water, Davy reported Tuesday at a meeting of the American Chemical Society being held in Boston.

 

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

“How cranberry juice prevents infection”

August 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[Thirty-three news outlets, including Medical News Today (U.K.: 1.1 million monthly unique users), Irish Health (Dublin, Ireland: 142,514 monthly unique users) and the St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St. Louis,  Mo.: 53,400 monthly unique users), have covered the news.]

 

A U.S. researcher explains how cranberry compounds may help prevent urinary tract infections. Terri Anne Camesano of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts says cranberry juice is effective because it contains compounds that prevent bacteria such as E. coli from sticking together and increase the chances the bacteria will be flushed out of the urinary tract. Bacteria like E. coli survive and multiply, she explains, by forming biofilms -- thin, slimy layers -- that create an environment where the bacteria thrive. However, she says, cranberry juice compound prevents E. coli from sticking to other bacteria and even to the surface of a plastic Petri dish. Camesano and colleagues grew E. coli in urine collected from healthy volunteers before and after consumption of cranberry juice cocktail and then tested the E. coli for their ability to stick together and form biofilms. The study findings were presented in Boston at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

 

The Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 446,300 monthly unique users)

“Berries can prevent age related brain degeneration: Study”

August 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More than 160 news outlets, including Natural News (Toronto, Ontario: 300,580 monthly unique users), Press TV (Tehran, Iran: 221,900 monthly unique users) and South Asia Mail, have covered the story.]

 

According to a new study, berries like strawberries, blueberries and acai berries help to recycle toxic proteins that are linked to age-related memory loss and other mental decline. Shibu Poulose, PhD, a scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service's Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and lead researcher said, the most important factor that lead to aging was the decline in the body's ability to protect itself against inflammation and oxidative damage. It is this that leads to degenerative brain diseases, heart disease, cancer, and other age-related disorders he explained. He added, “The good news is that natural compounds called polyphenolics found in fruits, vegetables and nuts have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect that may protect against age-associated decline.” The study report says that berries and some nuts like walnuts activate the brain's natural ‘housekeeper’ mechanisms that are normally performed by cells called microglia. These microglia remove and recycle biochemical debris that otherwise would interfere with brain function. With age these microglia fail to do their job. The study was presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.

 

… Broadcast News

 

WDBJ-TV (Roanoke, Va.: daily viewers 63,000)

“Clinical trial confirms how water can help with weight management”

August 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

New River Valley newsroom chief Holly Pietrzak sat down with one of the researchers who just got back from presenting the results to the American Chemical Society in Boston. Dr. Brenda Davy says this clinical trial confirms how important drinking more water really is and how it can help with weight management in certain age groups: ‘We found that giving individuals water right before the meal reduced their calorie intake by 75-90 calories, and again I'll emphasize this was the middle aged and older adult population. This didn't happen with younger adults.’

 

… From the Blogs

 

SmartPlanet

“Energy source of the future: electricity from the air”

August 26, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

It may sound impossible, but scientists say they are in the early stages of developing devices to capture electricity from the air. We all know that there is an amazing amount of electricity charging and discharging in the atmosphere above. Your average lightning bolt can power hundreds of light bulbs — but it’s near-impossible to harness that concentrated energy. But according to a report presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, a better idea may be to capture the ambient electricity that builds up in the atmosphere before all that pesky lightning forms.

 

Science Codex

“'Dry water' could make a big splash commercially”

August 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

An unusual substance known as "dry water," which resembles powdered sugar, could provide a new way to absorb and store carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, scientists reported here today at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

 

Industrial Safety and Security Source

“Soon, recharge your laptops with soda pop”

August 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

A hit of sugar or a shot of vegetable oil may be all it takes to power a new fuel cell that can detect hidden explosives, monitor temperatures and people and also recharge cell phones, laptops, and other portable electronics. The device is the first fuel cell that produces electricity with technology borrowed from the biological powerhouses that energize people and other living things on Earth. “This is the first demonstration of a new class of biofuel cells,” said Shelley Minteer, Ph.D. and chemist from Saint Louis University in Missouri. The work was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Breaking news from ACS’ 240th National Meeting

 

CNN (Atlanta, Ga.: 20.8 million monthly unique users)

“Virus-built wearable batteries could power military”

August 24, 2010

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

 

[Twenty-five news outlets, including MSNBC (New York, N.Y.: 39.9 million monthly unique users), Discovery News (Silver Spring, Md.: 11.4 million monthly unique users), Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique users), Ubergizmo (Palo Alto, Calif.: 1.2 million monthly unique users), PSFK (New York, N.Y.: 327,500 monthly unique users), SmartPlanet (New York, N.Y.: 56,500 monthly unique users) and Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique users), also covered the item.]

 

Teams of researchers, one from MIT, one from the University  of Maryland, have used two different viruses to create the cathode and anode for a lithium ion battery. If the Maryland research pans out, the parts for lithium ion batteries could be grown in and harvested from tobacco plants. If the MIT research pans out, lithium ion batteries could be woven into clothing to power a wide range of electronics devices, from unmanned aerial vehicles to cell phones. "Typical soldiers have to carry several pounds of batteries. But if you could turn their clothing into a battery pack, they could drop a lot of weight," said Mark Allen, a postdoc in Angela Belcher's lab at MIT. "The same could be true for frequent business travelers, the road warriors."… As Allen reported at this week's meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, M13 can be tweaked to produce an iron fluoride cathode for a lithium ion battery. Allen and his colleagues eventually hope to scale up their battery-part production so they can spray on lightweight, rechargeable and long-lasting lithium ion batteries that could power everything from unmanned aerial vehicles used by the military to cell phones carried by civilians.

 

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

“Mice trained to sniff out disease”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[Fifteen other news outlets, including Scientific American (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 676,000), Discovery News (Silver Spring, Md.: 11.4 million monthly unique users), Science News (Washington D.C.: bi-weekly circulation 130,000), LiveScience (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique users) and Bioscience Technology (Rockaway, N.J.: monthly circulation 55,0000), also covered the item.]

 

Scientists have trained mice to recognize the whiff of bird flu in duck feces, and they think they can train dogs to do the same thing. If so, flu-sniffing dogs -- or chemical sensors built to duplicate this not-so-stupid pet trick -- could become a new line of defense in the fight against epidemics. The latest findings focus on the detection of avian influenza, a.k.a. bird flu. But Bruce Kimball, a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher who presented the study today in Boston at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, suggested that the trick could be used to sniff out other diseases as well. "To be honest with you, I think we could demonstrate this type of effect in a lot of areas," he told me. Early-warning systems for illness in animal populations are important for human health as well. Species-jumping diseases can pose a deadly threat to all of us, as we saw with bird flu and H1N1 flu (a.k.a. swine flu). Developing new tools for identifying such infectious diseases is one of the scientific missions of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, where Kimball does his work.

 

The Economist (London, England: weekly circulation 1.6 million)

“Drink till you drop”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More than 360 media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Ill.: daily circulation 516,032), WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 19.6 million monthly unique users), the Hindu (Chennai, India: daily circulation 1.45 million), CBC News (Toronto, Ontario: 706,200 monthly unique users), the Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario: daily circulation 123,856), the Evening Herald (Dublin, Ireland: daily circulation 71,186) and Thaindian News (Bangkok, Thailand: 1.7 million monthly unique users), have covered the story.]

 

Consume more water and you will become much healthier, goes an old wives’ tale. Drink a glass of water before meals and you will eat less, goes another. Such prescriptions seem sensible, but they have little rigorous science to back them up. Until now, that is. A team led by Brenda Davy of Virginia Tech has run the first randomised controlled trial studying the link between water consumption and weight loss. A report on the 12-week trial, published earlier this year, suggested that drinking water before meals does lead to weight loss. At a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston this week, Dr Davy unveiled the results of a year-long follow-up study that confirms and expands that finding. The researchers divided 48 inactive Americans, aged 55 to 75, into two groups. Members of one were told to drink half a litre of water (a bit more than an American pint) shortly before each of three daily meals. The others were given no instructions on what to drink. Before the trial, all participants had been consuming between 1,800 and 2,200 calories a day. When it began, the women’s daily rations were slashed to 1,200 calories, while the men were allowed 1,500. After three months the group that drank water before meals had lost about 7kg (15½lb) each, while those in the thirsty group lost only 5kg.

 

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

“Scientist: Wind, solar energy is future”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[Twenty news outlets, including Xinhua (China-based news agency: 763,100 monthly unique users), Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique users), the Malaysia Sun (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: daily circulation 265,443), R&D Magazine (Rockaway, N.J.: bi-monthly circulation 80,000) and the St. Louis Globe Democrat (St. Louis,  Mo.: 53,400 monthly unique users), also covered the story.]

 

A Nobel Prize-winning U.S. scientist says the world could soon enter an era where renewable wind and solar power will be the globe's main sources of energy. Walter Kohn, who shared the 1998 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, told a meeting of the American Chemical Society that total oil and natural gas production, which today provides about 60 percent of global energy consumption, is expected to peak about 10 to 30 years from now, followed by a rapid decline, an ACS release said Tuesday. But ongoing research and development of alternative energy could lead to a new era in human history in which two renewable sources -- solar and wind -- will become Earth's dominant contributors of energy, Kohn said. Global photovoltaic energy production increased by a factor of about 90 and wind energy by a factor of about 10 over the last 10 years, Kohn said, and he expects vigorous growth of these two effectively inexhaustible energies to continue.

 

Canada.com (Toronto, Ontario: 6 million monthly unique users)

“Loading up on berries a smart way to boost brain function”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More than 115 media outlets, including the Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario: daily circulation 304,967), The Province (Vancouver, British Columbia: daily circulation 167,746), the Edmonton Journal (Edmonton, Alberta: daily circulation 118,955), the Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario: daily circulation 123,856), KABC-TV (Los Angeles, Calif.: 1.5 million monthly unique users), Medical News Today (U.K.: 1.1 million monthly unique users) and the Post Chronicle (Denville, N.J.), have covered the story.]

 

Load up your bowl with strawberries and blueberries if you want your brain to stay healthy as you age, scientists reported Monday. It may sound like advice your mom gave you growing up, but it goes beyond berries just being good for you. A study presented at the American Chemical Society national meeting Monday concludes blueberries, strawberries and Amazonian acai berries act as a "housekeeper" to recycle toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss and decline in mental function, said Shibu Poulose. The berries help fuel the body's own scrubbers that remove toxic chemicals before they can do damage, according to the study. The scientists focused their research on why nerve functions decline with aging. They believe there is a reduction in what they called the brain's natural housecleaning process, where cells called microglia help clean up biochemical debris that would interfere with brain function.

 

National Post (Toronto, Ontario: daily circulation 243,965)

“Will tortured spuds reveal their antioxidants?”

August 25, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More that 145 news outlets, including Health.com (New York, N.Y.: 1.5 million monthly unique users), Food Production Daily (Montpellier, France) and Ivanhoe (Winter Park, Fla.: 26,100 monthly unique users), have covered the story.]

 

Potatoes can be made healthier, simply by zapping them with ultrasound or electricity, say scientists who say they could one day become a new "superfood." "We knew from research done in the past that drought, bruising and other stresses could stimulate the accumulation of beneficial phenolic compounds in fresh produce," said Dr. Kazunori Hironaka, who led the study. "We found that there hasn't been much research on the healthful effects of using mechanical processes to stress vegetables. "So we decided in this study to evaluate the effect of ultrasound and electric treatments on polyphenols and other antioxidants in potatoes. Hironaka, whose team presented their findings at the 240th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, Mass., on Sunday, added: "Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables are considered to be of nutritional importance in the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, various cancers, diabetes and neurological diseases."

 

CNET News (San Francisco, Calif.: 15.9 million monthly unique users)

“Self-cleaning solar panels field-tested on Mars”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More than 80 news outlets, including Treehugger (New York, N.Y.: 2 million monthly unique users), the International Business Times (New York, N.Y.), the Tehran Times (Tehran, Iran) and RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 4.7 million monthly unique users), have covered the story.]

 

Cleaning an array of thousands of solar panels could be done with a mini shock wave, rather than manually washing each one, according to a researcher. Boston University professor Malay Mazumder on Monday offered details about a material that can be used to enable automatic cleaning of solar photovoltaic panels, in a presentation at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston. Keeping solar panels clean is serious concern, particularly for large-scale solar PV farms in dusty desert areas. The build-up of dust and particulate air pollutants blocks the sun and can significantly decrease the output of solar panels. Right now, solar farm operators clean panels with water, which is a scarce resource in sunny desert areas. Mazumder proposed an electrically sensitive coating that would be placed on the glass of PV panels or a plastic sheet.

 

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

“Bringing The Development Of New Medicines Into The Open”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[Ten other outlets, including Health 24 (Cape Town, South Africa: 76,900 monthly unique users), Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (New Rochelle, N.Y.: bi-monthly circulation 60,031) and PhysOrg.com (Evergreen, Va.: 1.3 million monthly unique users), have covered the news.]

 

An unlikely effort is underway to lift the veil of nearly-total secrecy that has surrounded the process of developing new prescription drugs for the last century, scientists said at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Called open-source drug discovery, the new approach involves an online community of computer users from around the world working together to discover and develop much-needed new drugs. It could lead to inexpensive drugs to treat a wide variety of diseases, including tuberculosis and malaria, that claim a huge toll in developing countries. Scientists from government, industry, and academia are presenting a dozen reports on this topic during a special symposium entitled "Open-source Drug Discovery" at the ACS meeting. Open-source drug discovery is a movement as well as an evolving program. The Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) Consortium, for instance, is a worldwide scientific community of more than 3000 people from 74 countries that was launched in 2008 by India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the country's largest research and development organization. People can participate in the program by logging into this Web site. "I believe this is the way to go about not only drug discovery, but it may be a way of doing science in the future," said OSDD Project Director Samir Brahmachari, Ph.D. "Everybody can contribute."

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users)

“Drugging the Undruggable: Advances Toward Next Generation of Disease Fighters”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[Sixteen news outlets, including Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique users), Medical News Today (U.K.: 1.1 million monthly unique users), Daily News & Analysis (Mumbai, India: 130,700 monthly unique users), Thaindian News (Bangkok, Thailand: 1.7 million monthly unique users), have covered the news.]

 

After decades of dreaming the drug developer's impossible dream, scientists finally are reporting progress in making drugs that target the "untouchables" among the body's key players in health and disease. They are the hundreds of thousands of proteins that many scientists considered to be "undruggable," meaning that previous efforts to develop a drug against them had failed. Scientists described advances toward these drugs Aug. 23 during a special symposium, "Drugging the Undruggable," at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The advances could lead to a new generation of medicines for treating cancer, diabetes, and other major diseases, they said. In one advance, scientists reported on a new family of potential drugs that are capable of blocking a key protein that's involved in the development of cancer. Called "stapled peptides," the substances get their name from chemical "braces" that hold the peptides, or protein fragments, in a compact shape that gives them high stability in comparison to their unfolded versions.

 

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

“New gel seals wounds fast”

August 24, 2010

 

A new gel may provide a cheap means of stanching blood flow on the battlefield or in any other situation where there isn’t time for stitches. Estimates suggest that the gel would cost less than $10 per application, a fraction of the cost of other gels in use today, researchers reported August 23 at the American Chemical Society’s fall meeting. The new blood-clotting material is a hydrogel, a Jell-O–like mixture of water and a fibrous polymer, in this case acrylamide decorated with positively charged nitrogen-containing groups. Experiments with blood plasma reveal that the gel kicks into gear a blood-clotting protein known as factor VII, a key player in the cascade of events that leads to coagulation, said biomedical engineer Brendan Casey of the University of Maryland in College Park.

 

… Broadcast News

 

WAGA-ATL (Atlanta, Ga.: daily viewers 56,337)

“Water for weight loss”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[KONG-SEA (Seattle, Wash.: daily viewers 9,770) also covered the item.]

 

The secret to losing weight could be as simple as drinking water. A new study shows that dieters who down two glasses of water before meals shed more pounds than those who only count calories. Over three months, the water drinkers each lost an average of 15 1/2 pounds. That's five more than the non-water drinkers. Researchers with the American Chemical Society note that the tip only worked for middle age adults.

 

… From the Blogs

 

Science Codex

“Can the world be powered mainly by solar and wind energy?”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Continuous research and development of alternative energy could soon lead to a new era in human history in which two renewable sources — solar and wind — will become Earth's dominant contributor of energy, a Nobel laureate said here today at a special symposium at the American Chemical Society's 240th National Meeting. Walter Kohn, Ph.D., who shared the 1998 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, noted that total oil and natural gas production, which today provides about 60 percent of global energy consumption, is expected to peak about 10 to 30 years from now, followed by a rapid decline.

 

Health Jockey

“Scientists apparently zap potatoes to make them more healthier”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Be it mashed potatoes, French fries or chips, potato is considered as one of the favorite side dishes of the Western world. Scientists have supposedly elevated the amounts of healthful antioxidant substances in potatoes by either giving spuds an electric shock, or zapping them with ultrasound, high frequency sound waves. The findings were presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

 

Daily Dose

“How Cranberry Juice Fights UTIs”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

New research presented this week at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society shows why drinking cranberry juice can help fight urinary tract infections (UTIs). Substances found in cranberry juice can reach the urinary tract within 8 hours of consumption. Once there, scientists say the beneficial substances are able to prevent bacteria in the urinary tract from sticking together to form biofilms, which enable bacteria to grow more fastidiously.

Breaking news from ACS’ 240th National Meeting

 

CNN (Atlanta, Ga.: 20.8 million monthly unique users)

“Trying to lose weight? Drink more water”

August 23, 2010

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

 

[More than 145 news media outlets, including BBC News (London, England: 55 million monthly unique users), U.S. News & World Report (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 1.27 million), CBS News (New York, N.Y.: 12.3 million monthly unique users), Bloomberg Businessweek (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 917,568), Discovery News (Silver Spring, Md.: 11.4 million monthly unique users), the Montreal Gazette (Montreal, Canada: daily circulation 454,200), the Express (London, England: daily circulation 663,871), MSN Health & Fitness (New York, N.Y.: 1.5 million monthly unique users), AOL Health (New York, N.Y.: 1 million monthly unique users) and CTV News (Toronto, Ontario: 706,200 monthly unique users), covered the story.]

 

Forget diet pills and cleanses. A new study suggests that an effective weight-loss aid is available straight from your kitchen sink. Drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner while also cutting back on portions may help you lose weight and keep it off for at least a year, according to research presented today at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, in Boston. "As part of a prudent, low-calorie weight-loss diet, adding water may help with weight-loss success," says Brenda Davy, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and an associate professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg. Dietitians have long recommended drinking water as a way to shed pounds, but little research has been done to confirm this conventional wisdom, the researchers say. Though small, Davy's study is the first randomized controlled trial to examine the benefits of "preloading" with water before meals. The study included 48 overweight or obese men and women between the ages of 55 and 75 who were on a low-calorie diet (1,200 calories per day for women and 1,500 calories per day for men). Half of the people were instructed to drink 16 ounces of water -- the amount in a small bottle of spring water -- before meals. After three months, the participants who drank water had lost an average of about 15.5 pounds, compared with just 11 pounds in the control group.

 

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

“Eat berries to keep the brain young”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More than 60 news outlets, including WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 19.6 million monthly unique users), Metro (London, England: daily circulation 1.36 million), the Montreal Gazette (Montreal, Canada: daily circulation 454,200), the Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, Canada: daily circulation 169,621), the Press Association (U.K.-based news agency), the Times of India (New Delhi, India: daily circulation 3.15 million), the Irish Independent (Dublin, Ireland: daily circulation 149,906) and Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users), also covered the item.]

 

Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries contain high levels of compounds called polyphenolics, which help the brain to carry out essential 'housekeeping' functions.

Eating fruits with deep orange, red or blue pigments can even reverse the loss of brain power, according to a two month study of laboratory rats fed a berry-rich diet. Shibu Poulose, who presented his research at the American Chemical Society on Monday, said: "The good news is that natural compounds called polyphenolics found in fruits, vegetables and nuts have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect that may protect against age-associated decline." Polyphenolics in berries help certain cells called microglia, which clean up toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss and other symptoms of mental decline.

Poulose explained: "In ageing, microglia fail to do their work, and debris builds up. "In addition, the microglia become over-activated and actually begin to damage healthy cells in the brain. Our research suggests that the polyphenolics in berries have a rescuing effect. They seem to restore the normal housekeeping function. These findings are the first to show these effects of berries."

 

WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 19.6 million monthly unique users)

“Cranberry Juice Fights Urinary Tract Infections Quickly”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[Fifteen other news outlets, including Infection Control Today (Phoenix,  Ariz.) and Bioscience Technology (Rockaway, N.J.: monthly circulation 55,000), also covered the item.]

 

Scientists report that within eight hours of drinking cranberry juice, the juice could help prevent bacteria from developing into an infection in the urinary tract. Previous studies have suggested that the active compounds in cranberry juice are not destroyed by the digestive system after people drink them, but instead work to fight against bacteria, including E. coli. This latest study, presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, affirms that and provides evidence of the medicinal value of cranberries. The new research suggests that the beneficial substances in cranberry juice could reach the urinary tract and prevent bacterial adhesion within eight hours. Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts grew strains of E. coli in urine collected from healthy people before and after they drank cranberry juice cocktail. Urinary tract infections can occur anywhere along the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, urethra, and ureter.  These infections account for 8 million trips to the doctor's office every year and cost more than $1.6 billion to treat.

 

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

“Can fuel cells power the future?”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More than 15 news outlets, including the United Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.5 million monthly unique users), Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique users) and the St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St. Louis, Mo.: 53,400 monthly unique users), also covered the story.]

 

An electricity-generating fuel-cell system known as the Bloom Box sparked a huge buzz in the energy debate six months ago - and since then, still more ventures have surfaced to promise better living through chemistry. Will future fuel cells make good on those promises? We should know in the next couple of years. One of the concepts, detailed today at an American Chemical Society meeting in Boston, combines the environmental friendliness of solar power with the 24/7 capability of fuel-cell generation. When the sun shines, electricity from solar panels would feed into a personal power grid, and also split water into hydrogen and oxygen. When the sun isn't out, the hydrogen and oxygen can be recombined to keep the electricity flowing, producing pure water in the process. "Our goal is to make each home its own power system," Daniel Nocera, a chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explained in a news release discussing the system. "We're working toward development of 'personalized' energy units that can be manufactured, distributed and installed inexpensively. There certainly are major obstacles to be overcome - existing fuel cells and solar cells must be improved, for instance. Nevertheless, one can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic system."

 

Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, Calif.: daily circulation 616,606)

“Some bottled tea beverages may lack the good stuff”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting National Meeting press release

 

[More than 100 news outlets, including U.S. News & World Report (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 1.27 million), the New York Daily News (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation 632,595), the Toronto Star (Toronto, Canada: daily circulation 314,173), WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 19.6 million monthly unique users), National Public Radio (Washington D.C.: 2.5 million monthly unique users), the Washington Times (Washington D.C.: daily circulation 93,763), AOL Health (New York, N.Y.: 1 million monthly unique users) and the United Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.3 million monthly unique users), have covered the story.]

 

If you're drinking bottled tea beverages in order to reap the benefits of polyphenols in tea, you may be wasting your money. A new study shows that at least some bottled beverages that boast of having tea content actually have paltry levels of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that are thought to promote health by protecting the body's tissues against oxidative stress and related cell damage that can cause cancer, heart disease and inflammation. A typical cup of brewed black or green tea contains 50 to 150 milligrams of polyphenols. But the study, presented Monday at the American Chemical Society annual meeting, examined 16-ounce bottled tea beverages for their polyphenol content and found amounts of 81, 43, 40, 13, four and three milligrams in the six samples. The study was conducted by Shiming Li at WellGen, Inc., a New Jersey company that develops natural products that target inflammation. WellGen would not disclose the names of the beverages sampled. According to an e-mail from its vice president of marketing, however, polyphenol content is not something that is normally included on a beverage label, so it's hard for consumers to know what they're getting. "The point of this research is that there needs to be a standard to measuring and reporting on these nutrients if they are important and in demand," said Patricia Lucas-Schnarre.

 

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

“Mars technology creates self-dusting solar panels”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Self-cleaning technology developed for lunar and Mars missions could be used to keep terrestrial solar panels dust free. Dust deposits can reduce the efficiency of electricity generating solar panels by as much as 80%. The self cleaning technology can repel dust when sensors detect concentrations on the panel's surface have reached a critical level.

The research was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. Large scale solar installations are usually in sunny, dry desert areas where winds can deposit layers of dust over the solar panels. Solar panels in the Mojave desert cover many kilometres. In one month, dust fall can reach as much as 17kg per square kilometre.

 

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

“Scientists Shock Spuds in Bid to Boost Antioxidants”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Giving potatoes an electric shock or immersing them in water and exposing them to ultrasound can boost their levels of healthful antioxidants, new research claims.

"Treating the potatoes with ultrasound or electricity for five to 30 minutes increased the amounts of antioxidants --- including phenols and chlorogenic acid -- by as much as 50 percent," study leader Kazunori Hironaka, of Obihiro University in Hokkaido, Japan, said in an American Chemical Society news release. The findings were scheduled for presentation this week at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, in Boston. "Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables are considered to be of nutritional importance in the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, various cancers, diabetes, and neurological diseases," Hironaka noted in the news release. He added that the use of ultrasound or electricity to increase antioxidant levels could have widespread commercial application due to increasing consumer interest in "functional foods" -- such as berries, nuts, soy, wine and chocolate -- that may have health benefits besides traditional nutrition.

 

RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 4.9 million monthly unique users)

“Lifting The Veil Of Secrecy Surrounding Development Of New Medicines”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[Ten news outlets, including Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users), Drug Discovery & Development (Rockaway, N.J.) and Chem.Info (Rockaway, N.J.), also covered the news.]

 

An unlikely effort is underway to lift the veil of nearly-total secrecy that has surrounded the process of developing new prescription drugs for the last century, scientists said today at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The upheaval in traditional practice would make key data available to college students, university professors, and others in an open, collective process. Called open-source drug discovery, the new approach involves an online community of computer users from around the world working together to discover and develop much-needed new drugs. It could lead to inexpensive drugs to treat a wide variety of diseases, including tuberculosis and malaria, that claim a huge toll in developing countries. Scientists from government, industry, and academia are presenting a dozen reports on this topic during a special symposium entitled "Open-source Drug Discover" at the ACS meeting. Open-source drug discovery is a movement as well as an evolving program. The Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) Consortium, for instance, is a worldwide scientific community of more than 3000 people from 74 countries that was launched in 2008 by India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the country's largest research and development organization. People can participate in the program by logging into a Web site: www.osdd.net.

 

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

“New 'Heroes of Chemistry' invented medicines that help millions of people”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

The script for two research teams inducted today into the American Chemical Society scientific "hall of fame" ― the ACS Heroes of Chemistry ― is a tale of two pills. One team invented a medication that helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels. The second team invented a medicine that helps people stop smoking, an addiction that experts regard as today's single greatest preventable cause of death worldwide. The first team of Heroes — Nancy Thornberry, Ann Weber, Ph.D., and Joseph D. Armstrong III, Ph.D. — played key roles in discovering and developing JANUVIA® (sitagliptin), a diabetes medicine that enhances the body's own ability to regulate blood sugar levels. JANUVIA treats type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, affecting more than 24 million people in the United   States and hundreds of millions worldwide. The trio of scientists work for Merck & Co., Inc., maker of JANUVIA. The second team of Heroes — Jotham Coe, Ph.D., and Brian O'Neill, Ph.D. — discovered CHANTIX® (varenicline), which is a prescription aid to smoking cessation for adults 18 and over. CHANTIX® is the first product specifically designed for smoking cessation, and at the time of its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it was the first smoking cessation product to enter the market in almost 10 years.

 

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

“American Chemical Society National Meeting hosts special event on science policy”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

With laws, government regulations, and funding priorities continuing to exert a broad impact on science, a group of graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is holding a special symposium Aug. 23 during the American Chemical Society (ACS) 240th National Meeting and Exhibition here to familiarize future scientists with the unfamiliar realm of public policy. "Public policy is the course of action that government agencies take in regard to a particular issue or set of issues," explained Kathryn L. Beers, Ph.D. She is a chemist who directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Combinatorial  Methods Center. Other members of the panel and their topics are: George M. Whitesides, Ph.D., the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Chemistry. William Rees, Ph.D., principal associate director for Global Security, Los Alamos National Laboratory, LANL Contributions to Chemical Research, Public Policy and National Defense. Jay D. Keasling, Ph.D., Hubbard Howe Jr. Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Engineering Microbial Metabolism for Production of the Anti-Malarial Drug Artemisinin.

 

… Broadcast News

 

CTV National News (Toronto, Canada: daily viewers 156,000)

“A new appetite control method”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[FOX 29 News (Philadelphia, Pa.: daily viewers 175,422), KCBS-LA (Los Angles, Calif.: daily viewers 33,028), KIRO-SEA (Seattle, Wash: daily viewers 21,148), NECN News (Boston, Mass.: 14,500 daily viewers) and WVEC-NFK (Norwalk, Va.) also covered the story.]

 

It was put forward today to a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston. So what is this magic potion? Could be as close as your tap. There are scores of low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie diet and also confusion array of prescriptions for losing thundershower unwanted pounds but scientists say for the first time they've clarified the power of the most simple diet tool of all, plain old H2O.

 

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

“Cranberry juice and other supplements to ward off infection”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[WTOP-DC (Washington D.C.) and WWJ-AM (Detroit, Mich.) also covered the story.]

 

Sixteen ounces of cranberry juice cocktail daily can ward off urinary tract infections for a day according to a study being presented at the American Chemical Society conference in Boston. Worcester Polytechnic Institute researcher Terry Camesano says cranberry compounds prevent E. coli and other bacteria from binding so they can be flushed from the body.

 

KHON-HON (Honolulu, Hawaii)

“Zapping potatoes with electricity forces them to produce more antioxidants”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Zapping potatoes immersed in salt water with electricity forces them to produce more antioxidants, which protect the human body from cell damage. Similar results were found using ultrasound. It was noted in the study that the process is both simple and inexpensive. The study was presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

 

WCYB-TV (Tri-Cities, Tenn.: 63,430 daily viewers)

“Health benefits of bottled tea?”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Depending on the commercial brand scientists say you'd have to drink 20 bottles to equal the health benefits of one cup of home-brewed tea. The antioxidants in tea are believed by scientists to have anti-cancer anti- inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. The findings were presented at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in Boston.

 

… From the Blogs

 

Health.com

“Could Drinking Water Before Meals Help You Lose Weight?”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Close the diet books and skip the pills. The latest weight-loss trick may be as simple as gulping a couple of glasses of water before you eat. A new study found that middle-aged and older adults who drank two cups of water before each meal consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than those who skipped drinking water. The research was to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston.

 

Science Codex

“New evidence on how cranberry juice fights bacteria that cause urinary tract infections”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Scientists today reported new scientific evidence on the effectiveness of that old folk remedy –– cranberry juice –– for urinary tract infections, at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), being held here this week. "A number of controlled clinical trials -- these are carefully designed and conducted scientific studies done in humans -- have concluded that cranberry juice really is effective for preventing urinary tract infections," said Terri Anne Camesano, Ph.D., who led the study.

 

SmartPlanet

“Self-cleaning solar panels hail from Mars”

August 24, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

You might not think of dust as a major problem facing the adoption of solar power, but it is. Dust accumulating on top of solar panels can block sunlight and reduce the efficiency of those panels by up to 80%. Malay Mazumder, a Boston  University researcher, teamed up with NASA to solve this problem for the Mars rovers that rely on solar panels for power. His solution, reported by the BBC, meets most of the requirements for terrestrial panels as well–it does not require water, and removes as much as 90% of the dust covering a panel in under two minutes.

Breaking news from ACS’ 240th National Meeting

 

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

“Can Zapping Potatoes Make Them More Nutritious?”

August 22, 2010

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

 

[More than 70 news outlets, including the Times of India (New Delhi, India: daily circulation 3.15 million), the Mirror (London, England: daily circulation 1.24 million), the London Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 686,679), the Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, Australia: daily circulation 211,006), The Age (Melbourne, Australia: daily circulation 197,500), The Press Association (U.K.-based news agency), the Daily Mail (London, England; daily circulation 1.99 million), The Independent (London, England: daily circulation 183,547), Sky News (London, England: 4.2 million monthly unique users), Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users), Yahoo! News Australia (Perth, Australia) and The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland: daily circulation 45,352), covered the news.]

 

Giving potatoes a good soak in a salt water solution doesn't seem that unusual. But dunking them in such a bath and then zapping them with a jolt of electricity is hardly a conventional culinary trick—even in the name of molecular gastronomy. But that's exactly what researchers at Obihiro University in Hokkaido, Japan did in an effort to give the spuds more nutritional punch. Dunking potatoes in salt water can make crispier French fries -- the salt pulls out the tuber's moisture, leaving behind the starch that gets nice and crunchy when it's fried. Now the Japanese scientists report that electrifying potatoes, or even subjecting them to a few minutes of the high frequency sound waves from ultrasound, can boost the tubers' antioxidant levels by as much as 50%. But why send currents of electricity coursing through a tuber? Potato plants under stress in the environment, says Kazunori Hironaka, such as from drought, physical trauma and climate changes, defensively pump out more antioxidant phenols and chlorogenic acid to ward off the damage these assaults can cause on tissues. The electricity and ultrasound waves are a lab-based way to mimic that stress.

 

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

“Bottled vs. brewed teas: Study reveals healthiest teas”

August 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More than 45 media outlets, including Yahoo! News (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 37.9 million monthly unique users), CBC News (Toronto, Canada: 4.8 million monthly unique users), FOX News (New York, N.Y.: 12.3 million monthly unique users), Examiner.com (Hartford, Conn.: 16.8 million monthly unique users), LiveScience.com (New York, N.Y.: 2.1 million monthly unique users), International Business Times (New York, N.Y.), Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users) and Chem.Info (Rockaway, N.J.), covered the item.]

 

Labels on bottled tea beverages are typically plastered with declarations of their rich antioxidant content. But a new study suggests, if you're looking for high doses of healthful antioxidants, you might be better off brewing your tea at home. Many of the popular beverages included in the study contain fewer antioxidants than a single cup of home-brewed green or black tea, the researchers say. Some store-bought teas contain such small amounts that consumers would have to drink 20 bottles to get the antioxidants, also called polyphenols, present in one cup of tea. "There is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients — polyphenols — found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low," said study researcher Shiming Li, an analytical and natural product chemist at WellGen, Inc., a biotechnology company in North Brunswick,  N.J., that develops medical foods for patients with diseases, including a proprietary black tea product that will be marketed for its anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition, bottled beverages often contain large amounts of sugar that health-conscious consumers may be trying to avoid, Li said. The study was presented Aug. 22 at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Boston.

 

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

“Self-cleaning solar panels could find use in the dusty environs of Arizona, the Middle East or Mars”

August 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[More than 40 news outlets, including The London Telegraph (London, England: daily circulation 686,679), Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique users), OneIndia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique users), ABC Science (Sydney, Australia: 713,500 monthly unique users), Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users), and R&D Magazine (Rockaway, N.J.: bi-monthly circulation 80,000), covered the news.]

 

The best places to collect solar energy are also some of the dustiest on Earth and beyond, a quandary that leads to inefficiencies in how well the cells are able to convert strong sunlight into renewable electricity. The solution, according to new research, is to coat solar cells with material that enables them to chase away dirt particles on their own with the help of dust-repelling electrical charges. A dust layer of 4 grams per square meter can decrease solar power conversion by 40 percent, says Malay Mazumder, a research professor in Boston University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. To put this in perspective, dust deposition in Arizona is about 17 grams per square meter per month, and the situation is worse in many other solar-friendly sites, including the Middle East, Australia and India. Mazumder, who led the study, presented the results Sunday at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The electrodynamic transparent screen developed by Mazumder and his colleagues is made by depositing a transparent, electrically sensitive material—indium tin oxide—on glass or a clear plastic sheet covering the solar panels. When energized, the electrodes produce a traveling wave of electrostatic and dielectrophoretic forces that lift dust particles from the surface and transport them to the screen's edges.

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users)

“Worldwide Shortage of Isotopes for Medical Imaging Could Threaten Quality of Patient Care”

August 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

[R&D Magazine (Rockaway, N.J.: bi-monthly circulation 80,000), PhysOrg.com (Evergreen, Va.: 1.3 million monthly unique users), Medical News Today (U.K.: 1.1 million monthly unique users), Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (New Rochelle, N.Y.: bi-monthly circulation 60,031), Azom.com (Sydney, Australia: 250,700 monthly unique users) and Bioscience Technology (Rockaway, N.J.: monthly circulation 55,0000) also covered the item.]

 

Twenty million medical scans and treatments are done each year that require radioactive isotopes and scientists are now describing a global shortage of these life-saving materials that could jeopardize patient care and drive-up health care costs. They spoke at a symposium at one of the opening sessions of the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society on August 22. The symposium is being held in Boston,  Massachusetts, U.S. Medical isotopes are minute amounts of radioactive substances used to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases. Isotopes injected into the body can enable doctors to determine whether the heart has adequate blood flow; cancer has spread to a patient's bones; and help diagnose gallbladder, kidney, and brain disorders. When delivered into a malignant tumor, isotopes can kill the cancer cells minimizing damage to nearby healthy tissue. The shortage of radioactive isotopes also threatens activities in other areas, including basic and environmental research, oil exploration, and nuclear proliferation, the scientists noted.

"Although the public may not be fully aware, we are in the midst of a global shortage of medical and other isotopes," said Robert Atcher, Ph.D., MBA, in an interview. "If we don't have access to the best isotopes for medical imaging, doctors may be forced to resort to tests that are less accurate, involve higher radiation doses, are more invasive, and more expensive."

 

The Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 440,200 monthly unique users)

“Researchers find medication for diabetes, smoking cessation”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

The script for two research teams inducted today into the American Chemical Society (ACS) scientific "hall of fame" ― the ACS Heroes of Chemistry ― is a tale of two pills. One team invented a medication that helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels. The second team invented a medicine that helps people stop smoking, an addiction that experts regard as today's single greatest preventable cause of death worldwide. The first team of Heroes - Nancy Thornberry, Ann Weber, Ph.D., and Joseph D. Armstrong III, Ph.D. - played key roles in discovering and developing JANUVIA- (sitagliptin), a diabetes medicine that enhances the body's own ability to regulate blood sugar levels. JANUVIA- treats type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, affecting more than 24 million people in the United States and hundreds of millions worldwide. The trio of scientists work for Merck & Co., Inc., maker of JANUVIA-. The second team of Heroes - Jotham Coe, Ph.D., and Brian O'Neill, Ph.D. - discovered CHANTIX- (varenicline), which is a prescription aid to smoking cessation for adults 18 and over. CHANTIX- is the first product specifically designed for smoking cessation, and at the time of its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it was the first smoking cessation product to enter the market in almost 10 years.

 

… From the Blogs

 

Chemistry World

“ACS Boston 2010: It never rains but it pours”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Well, here I am at the 240th National meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, US. The ACS is probably the biggest chemistry conference in the world, which means there’s plenty of interesting stuff going down here. Two of today’s more quirky talks focused on antioxidants. There’s some debate about the health benefits of antioxidants at the best of times, but Shiming Li and Nancy Rawson from a small company called WellGen have added to the controversy. They tested a range of bottled tea drinks, and found that many of them have hardly any polyphenol antioxidants in them at all, certainly too little to have any noticeable health benefit. But if you don’t like tea (like me) there is another option – supercharged potatoes. Kazunori Hironaka from Obihiro University in Japan, has discovered that electrocuting a potato or pounding it with ultrasound for a few minutes can increase its antioxidant levels by around 50 per cent.

 

Energy Matters

“Self Cleaning Solar Panels Increase Power Production”

August 23, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Space-age technology that stops dust particles coating solar panels could help boost the overall efficiency of photovoltaic cells and reduce maintenance of large-scale solar installations. First used by NASA to ensure the photovoltaic cells powering the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity were kept clean, research presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) described the use of the self-cleaning coating on the surface of solar panels, a breakthrough that could lead to a much larger uptake of solar power systems throughout the world.

 

iHealth Bulletin

“Global shortage of medical isotopes could threaten diagnosis, patient care”

August 22, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Twenty million medical scans and treatments are done each year that require radioactive isotopes and scientists today described a global shortage of these life-saving materials that could jeopardize patient care and drive-up health care costs. They spoke at a symposium at one of the opening sessions of the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

The  Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland: daily circulation  45,352)

“The  gym goes green as more of us get off the treadmill and into the open  air”

August 19,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) press release

 

As Scots, we see the sun only for a  few fleeting months each year. Why is it, then, that many of us choose to waste  much of the summer cooped up in the gym? Most people would agree the scent of  wild flower is more tempting than that of smelly socks. And who wouldn't swap  another session on the treadmill for a gentle jog along a pretty woodland trail  or an overcrowded pilates class for a game of rounders in the park? Over the  last couple of years, the trend has been towards a more hiking-and-biking  lifestyle, reflecting our desire to free ourselves of stifling work and home  lives. But with all the high-tech advances in treadmills, climbing and cycling  machines, it's still easy to forget that the real thing lies just outside our  front doors. A recent study by the Environmental Science and Technology journal found growing evidence to suggest that exercise in a green space can  boost wellbeing, not just your physique. The research looked at outdoor  activities including walking, gardening, cycling, fishing, boating, horse-riding  and farming in locations such as a park, garden or nature trail, and found the  biggest effects were seen within five minutes.

 

Nature.com (London, England: 741,500 monthly unique  users)

“News briefing:  13–19 August 2010: The week in science”

August 18,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

The week ahead, 22–26 August: The  American Chemical Society holds  its autumn meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, with the theme of chemistry for  combating disease… Policy, Sugar-beet ban: Farmers in the  United States have been  blocked from planting genetically modified sugar beets after a US  federal judge revoked the government's 2005 approval of the crop. Research, Student gene-testing dropped: The University of California,  Berkeley, has been barred from providing incoming students with personal  analyses of three common genetic variants. The educational programme had drawn  criticism for its handling of ethical and legal issues since its announcement in  May.

 

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

“Graphene Could  Improve DNA Sequencing”

August 19,  2010

 

Layers of graphene that are only as  thick as an atom could help make human DNA sequencing faster and cheaper.  Harvard  University and MIT  researchers have shown that sheets of graphene could be a big improvement over  membranes that are currently used for nanopore sequencing--a technique that  promises to speed up and simplify the sequencing of long strands of DNA. Today's  sequencing techniques involve chopping up DNA, making many copies of the pieces,  and reading fluorescent molecules attached to them. This approach takes days and  costs tens of thousands of dollars. In contrast, nanopore sequencing could, in  theory, parse an entire human genome in a few hours. A thinner membrane, such as  graphene, might allow for more accurate base identification. A single layer of  graphene is just one nanometer thick. It's "the thinnest membrane that has ever  been applied to this problem," says Jene Golovchenko, a physics professor at  Harvard who led the new work, published in Nature this week. Two other research  groups have demonstrated similar feats recently: one group at the Kavli  Institute of Nanoscience and the other at the University of Pennsylvania. These advances were both  published in the journal Nano  Letters in July.

 

The  Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.:  daily circulation 47,346)

“Cerulean  Pharma Inc. to Convene Nanomedicine Pioneers at 2010 American Chemical Society  National Meeting & Exposition in Boston”

August 19,  2010

 

Cerulean Pharma Inc., a leader in  designing and developing nanopharmaceuticals, today announced it will assemble a  group of leading scientific experts at the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) 240th National  Meeting & Exposition for a three-day thought leadership summit on  the advancement of nanotechnology in the pharmaceutical and diagnostic  industries. ACS, which bills itself as the world’s largest scientific society,  will host its national meeting from August 22 through August 26 at the Boston  Convention and Exhibition  Center in Boston, Massachusetts. The inaugural symposium, titled  “Multifunctional Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery and Imaging,” will feature  close to 60 oral and poster presentations from renowned U.S.  and international researchers. Key themes will include diagnostic imaging,  experimental therapy, and drug delivery technologies for therapeutic agents  ranging from small molecules and peptides, to new classes of therapies such as  siRNA.

 

The  Medical News (Sydney, Australia: 450,700 monthly unique  users)

“Fralin  Life Science Institute professor receives grant from NSF to elucidate research  on fungi”

August 19,  2010

 

Pablo Sobrado, assistant professor  of biochemistry with the Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech, has  received a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to  advance his research on the mechanism of iron acquisition in fungi and  mycobacteria. Iron is essential for all life. The level of free iron in humans  is less than Aspergillus fumigatus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis need. To  satisfy their metabolic needs and enable infection, these microbes secrete  molecules called siderophores to obtain iron from the host. The synthesis of  siderophores requires special enzymes. Sobrado is studying these enzymes. "Our  aim is to understand how the enzymes activate molecular oxygen and attach it to  the substrate molecules, lysine or ornithine, in the biosynthesis of  siderophores," he said. He reported in the July 2010 issue of the journal  Biochemistry that the enzyme from  A. fumigatus contains the cofactor flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) that reacts  with molecular oxygen and forms a stable  intermediate.

 

American  Chronicle (Beverly Hills, Calif.: 233,900 monthly unique  users)

“Buckeye state  honors 11 of its finest women”

August 19,  2010

 

Established in 1978 to publicly  recognize the many outstanding contributions women have made to the state of  Ohio and the nation, eleven will be officially inducted by ceremony into the  Ohio Women´s Hall of Fame on Thursday, August 26 at 2:00 pm at the Ohio  Statehouse "These exceptional women, all leaders in their fields, have  demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to excellence, achievement and service,  often against great odds, with courage, determination and compassion," said Ohio  Governor Ted Strickland. The 2010 inductees are: Nina I. McClelland of Toledo currently serves as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the interim dean of the  School of Solar and Advanced Renewable Energy at the University of Toledo. She previously served as the  president of the Nina McClelland Consulting Services and as the president of the  National Sanitation Foundation. McClelland has served in various governance  roles for the American Chemical  Society. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Toledo and a doctorate from the University of Michigan.

 

… From the  Blogs

 

Healthy  Child, Healthy World

“Triclosan Levels in Humans  Jumps 40% in Two Years”

August 19,  2010

 

Triclosan, that sneaky little  pesticide in the antimicrobial soaps you’ll find everywhere, might not be so  benign after all. Recently released data from the CDC show that during a two  year period, 2003 -2004 and 2005 – 2006, the average levels of triclosan found  in humans rose about 40%. But the effect of it on humans is still “unknown”. And  now the NRDC references a study showing that: “triclosan and triclocarban can  enter the food chain through of the use of contaminated wastewater or fertilizer  in agricultural fields.” The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found  that in soybeans grown with treated wastewater and the so-called ”biosolids”  (sewage sludge), “Carbamazepine, triclosan, and triclocarban were found to be  concentrated in root tissues and translocated into above ground parts including  beans.”


Bioscience for the  Future

“Nanotechnology,  science Olympiads and clusters”

August 18,  2010

 

Biology is the nanotechnology par  excellence – 4 Gigayears of evolution have seen to that – and recent work has  highlighted the ability of DNA to fold itself into unusual shapes (held together  mainly by H-bonds) with interesting machine-like properties… One issue in  particular in the engineering of structures from parts is how to join their  components, and noting the strength of metal-ligand interactions, a series of three papers highlights the  utlility of using metals to staple together suitably engineered proteins.  (papers appeared in Accounts of Chemical Research, Journal of the American Chemical  Society)

EcoSalon (San Rafael, Calif.: 500,000 monthly users)

“Does Energy Grow on Trees? You Bet”

August 17, 2010

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

 

A million years ago when I was young, photosynthesis was one of the first “big words” I learned. And, unlike antidisestablishmentarianism, I even knew what it meant. Sorta. It was the way plants ate, right? How they turned sunlight and water into, uh, plant food? Yeah. I knew it was all very green and very complicated. But how complicated? I had no idea. For years, scientists have been trying to understand how to reproduce photosynthesis artificially, which is the way plants produce energy from sunlight and water. A leaf does some incredible things with those two down-to-earth ingredients; most notably it makes sugars. What the folks in white coats reckon is if they can recreate the process, they might be able to divide water into its two main parts (hydrogen and oxygen). Some of those white coats recently announced that they figured it out. At the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), held in March in San Francisco, a team offered their “recipe” for the “Artificial Inorganic Leaf,” which combines the action of a natural leaf with titanium dioxide (TiO2), a chemical already known as a photocatalyst for hydrogen production.

 

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

“Block Engineering Introduces Family of Quantum Cascade Laser Mid-IR Spectrometers”

August 17, 2010

 

Block Engineering, a leading developer of mid-infrared spectroscopy sensors, announced today the launch of a family of next-generation, revolutionary spectrometers based on widely tunable quantum cascade lasers (QCLs). Daniel Cavicchio, chairman of Block Engineering, commented, "This announcement is a significant milestone in Block's history and it is the result of a multiyear focused development effort, which was supported by significant government and internal funding. Our customers have received these products very well and we look forward to strong growth over the next few years." These products will be showcased at the American Chemical Society Exposition in Boston on August 22-26, 2010.

 

WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 19.6 million monthly unique users)

“Coating Kills MRSA Germs”

August 17, 2010

 

Biotech scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a coating for use in health care settings that they say kills the deadly MRSA germ. MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus, is a virulent bacterium that causes antibiotic-resistant infections, killing about 90,000 patients a year. Because it has been hard to battle, it is sometimes called a “superbug.” But Rensselaer scientists say their coating, for use on surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces in health care settings, seems to be very effective in eradicating MRSA. The study is published in ACS Nano, a journal of the American Chemical Society. In tests, 100% of MRSA bacteria were killed within 20 minutes of contact with a surface painted with latex paint laced with the coating, the researchers say. The coating is made with lysostaphin, a naturally occurring enzyme, combined with carbon nanotubes.

 

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

“Stop wasting food, save the world's energy”

August 18, 2010

 

It is no secret that meeting the world's growing energy demands will be difficult. So far, most of the focus has been on finding oil in areas that are ever more difficult to access - think BP's Deepwater Horizon well - bringing new fossil fuels such as tar sands online and increasing energy efficiency. Yet we have been overlooking an easier way. We could save an enormous amount of energy by tackling the huge problem of food waste. Doing so is likely to be quicker than many of the other options on the table, while also saving money and reducing emissions. The energy footprint of food is enormous. Consider the US, where just 5 per cent of the global population consumes one-fifth of the world's energy. Around 15 per cent of the energy used in the US is swallowed up by food production and distribution. A recent analysis by one of us (Michael Webber) and Amanda Cuéllar at the University of Texas at Austin found that close to 2.2 million terajoules embedded in food waste was discarded in the US in 2007 - the energy equivalent of about 350 million barrels of oil (Environmental Science & Technology)

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users)

“Cause of Immune System Avoidance of Certain Pathogens Discovered”

August 17, 2010

 

A special set of sugars found on some disease-causing pathogens helps those pathogens fight the body's natural defenses as well as vaccines, say two Iowa State  University researchers. This discovery may be a first step in understanding a disease family that includes tuberculosis for which there are currently no good vaccines or cures. Nicola Pohl, professor of chemistry, and Christine Petersen, assistant professor of veterinary pathology, discovered that a natural coating of sugar interacts with the body's defense cells to dampen its own immune response. The findings are published in the current online issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. "There is something inherent about the sugars themselves, and the difference in these sugars, that dampens your normal response to the pathogen," said Pohl.

 

AzoNanotechnology (Sydney, Australia: 69,300 monthly unique users)

“Researchers Develop Laser Power Detector Coated with World's Darkest Material”

August 17, 2010

 

Harnessing darkness for practical use, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a laser power detector coated with the world's darkest material-a forest of carbon nanotubes that reflects almost no light across the visible and part of the infrared spectrum. NIST will use the new ultra-dark detector, described in a new paper in Nano Letters, to make precision laser power measurements for advanced technologies such as optical communications, laser-based manufacturing, solar energy conversion, and industrial and satellite-borne sensors. Inspired by a 2008 paper by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on "the darkest man-made material ever," the NIST team used a sparse array of fine nanotubes as a coating for a thermal detector, a device used to measure laser power.

 

Business Leader (Charlotte, N.C.)

“Dr. Gravely Appointed on ACS’s Hach Programs Advisory Board”

August 17, 2010

 

Dr. Etta Gravely, an associate professor in the chemistry department at North   Carolina A&T State University, was invited to serve on the newly established American Chemical Society - Hach Programs Advisory Board. Gravely was selected based on her expertise and involvement in chemistry and chemical education, the announcement said. The appointment is for the inaugural year of the program, which ends July 31, 2011. The ACS- Hach Programs are a suite of award programs endowed by the Hach Scientific Foundation that support secondary chemistry education and respond to the needs of pre-service and in-service secondary teachers.

 

… Broadcast TV

 

KJRH-TV (Tulsa, Okla.: national viewership 5.1 million)

“Pour champagne at an angle into flutes”

August 13, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

French scientists say it's better to pour champagne at an angle into flutes, rather than straight down. Scientists in the latest Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry say champagne poured like beer kept more of its gas bubbles to form the "head." And the scientists say the colder the glass, the more gas bubbles you will save as well.

 

… From the Blogs

 

Cancer and Important Medical News

“Mechanism of valproate bone loss”

August 18, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

A molecular mechanism may finally explain the bone loss side effect that often accompanies the long-term use of valproate, a drug commonly used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), according to results of a new study. In fact, the researchers found that valproate reduced the formation of "2 key proteins important for bone strength" — decreasing the production of collagen by 60% and levels of osteonectin by 28% in patients with SMA. The study was published online June 22 in the Journal of Proteome Research.

 

Best Health Magazine (Canada)

“Nutrition: A peach (or three!) a day”

August 16, 2010

 

Peaches have taken over my kitchen. Why all these peaches? For me, they are a summertime treat. Peach (and plum) extracts were also the subject of some interesting research on breast cancer cells published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry last year. Scientists at Texas A&M  University found that phenolic compounds in these stone-fruit extracts inhibited the growth of the breast cancer cells, including estrogen-dependent cancer cells.

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

“To  Enjoy Champagne, Treat It Like Beer, Study  Says”

August 16,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

Champagne may be a  symbol of life at the top, but it is best poured into a tilted glass just like  that other sparkling beverage, the plebeian beer, according to a new study.  That’s because the bubbles — or dissolved carbon dioxide — in Champagne release its  aroma and cause a tingly feeling that heightens the drinking experience. The  higher the concentration of bubbles, the better. The best way to keep the  bubbles in the beverage, as any beer drinker knows, is to let the liquid tumble  gently down the side of a tilted glass. When Champagne is poured into a glass held vertically, it loses  twice the amount of bubbles, said Gerard Liger-Belair, the study’s lead author  and a physicist at the University of  Reims, in the heart of  France’s Champagne region. “There is more turbulence and more  motion in the liquid in a vertical pour,” Dr. Liger-Belair said. “When you tilt  the glass the liquid invades the glass with less force.” The study is published  in The Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry.

 

The  Bulletin (Bend, Ore.:  daily circulation 32,455)

“From  bad butter to biodiesel: How fat could fuel your  car”

August 16,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Butter is not the fuel of the  future, but it is possible to churn perfectly good diesel fuel out of it. “It’s  quirky,” Michael Haas, a research biochemist at the U.S. Department of  Agriculture, acknowledged of the dairy-to-diesel research, which was published  in June in the Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry. Haas collaborated with BlackGold Biofuels, a small  Philadelphia  company that has developed a process for making biodiesel fuel out of a wide  range of nonedible, low-value “fog” — industry shorthand for fats, oils and  grease. The structure of a molecule of fat, oil or grease looks like a  jellyfish. The head of the molecule is a compound known as glycerin, and  tendrils of fatty acid chains hang off the glycerin. In the conversion, a  methanol molecule replaces the glycerin as the head of the molecule, producing  diesel. Biodiesel is already readily made out of cooking oil, but BlackGold says  its process is far more flexible in the range of material it can convert into  fuel and is not thwarted when the fats turn rancid. (On the molecular scale, the  fatty acid chains start falling off the glycerins.)

 

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

“Low-Cost  Nanopatterning Method Utilizes Popular Shrinkable  Plastic”

August 16,  2010

 

The magical world of Shrinky Dinks  -- an arts and crafts material used by children since the 1970s -- has taken up  residence in a Northwestern University laboratory. A team of  nanoscientists is using the flexible plastic sheets as the backbone of a new  inexpensive way to create, test and mass-produce large-area patterns on the  nanoscale. "Anyone needing access to large-area nanoscale patterns on the cheap  could benefit from this method," said Teri W. Odom, associate professor of  chemistry and Dow Chemical Company Research Professor in the Weinberg College of  Arts and Sciences. Odom led the research. "It is a simple, low-cost and  high-throughput nanopatterning method that can be done in any laboratory."  Details of the solvent-assisted nanoscale embossing (SANE) method are published  by the journal Nano Letters. The  work also will appear as the cover story of the journal's February 2011  issue.

 

Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique  users)

“Nanoscale  coating for surgical equipment and hospital surfaces safely kills  MRSA”

August 16,  2010

 

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus  aureus (MRSA), the bacteria responsible for antibiotic resistant infections,  poses a serious problem in hospitals, where patients with open wounds, invasive  devices and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of infection than the  general public. In a move that could significantly reduce this risk, researchers  at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a nanoscale coating for  surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces which safely eradicates  MRSA. The new coating marries carbon nanotubes with lysostaphin, a naturally  occurring enzyme used by non-pathogenic strains of Staph bacteria to defend  against Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA. The Rensselaer Polytechnic  Institute team's research has been published in the July edition of the journal  ACS  Nano.

 

Nanowerk (Honolulu, Hawaii: 74,500 monthly unique  users)

“Novel class of  radially-aligned nanofibers promising for tissue  regeneration”

August 17,  2010

 

Nanotechnology-enabled tissue  engineering is a rapidly growing field. At the core of tissue engineering is the  construction of scaffolds out of biomaterials to provide mechanical support and  guide cell growth into new tissues or organs. In particular, electrospun  biodegradable polymeric nanofibers are being used in scaffolds for engineering  various tissues such as nerves, cartilages or bone. Electrospinning is a  fabrication technique which can produce nanoscale fibers from more than 100  different polymers. The electrospun nanofibers are typically collected as  nonwoven mats with random orientation. A new study by researchers at  Washington University in St. Louis has now demonstrated the fabrication  of a novel class of nanofiber scaffold composed of radially-aligned, electrospun  nanofibers and also demonstrated the unique application of these materials as  effective biomedical patches/scaffolds that could prove to be beneficial during  neurosurgery. Essentially, the novel method of electrospinning described in a  paper in the August 9, 2010 online issue of ACS  Nano extends nanofiber patterning  techniques beyond simple Cartesian patterns, and enables the creation of  advanced radial patterns of organized, aligned  nanofibers.

 

Skin  Inc. (Carol Stream, Ill.)

“Earlier  Melanoma Detection Spurred on by Gold”

August 16,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Melanoma is one of the less common  types of skin cancer but it accounts for the majority of the skin cancer deaths  (about 75%). The five-year survival rate for early stage melanoma is very high  (98%), but the rate drops precipitously if the cancer is detected late or there  is recurrence. So a great deal rides on the accuracy of the initial surgery,  where the goal is to remove as little tissue as possible while obtaining "clean  margins" all around the tumor. So far no imaging technique has been up to the  task of defining the melanoma's boundaries accurately enough to guide surgery.  Instead surgeons tend to cut well beyond the visible margins of the lesion in  order to be certain they remove all the malignant tissue. Two scientists at  Washington University in St. Louis have developed technologies that  together promise to solve this difficult problem. Their solution is described in  the July issue of ACS  Nano.

 

… From the  Blogs

 

My  Green Treasure

“Algae biofuel can have a four  times higher carbon footprint than diesel  fuels”

August 15,  2010

 

The idea of growing algae to produce  biofuels seems to be a very good idea, but could this “green” fuel save our  planet from harmful emissions? Until now I was very sure that algae could reduce  global emissions, but it seems that I was partially wrong. The Energy and Fuels journal recently published  a study saying that algae growth can have a four times higher carbon footprint  than other fossil fuels. This is not a strict rule, but it all depends on how  you grow your algae.

 

Trauma  & Recovery

“Medical and Trauma Studies at U  of A”

August 16,  2010

 

As a Nutrition/Pre-Pharmacy student  at the University  of Arizona, I am highly  intrigued when medical studies performed there offer hope to trauma patients and  survivors. Most recently, as featured on the University's home page, there has  been progressive work in new therapies for cancer patients. The story discusses  Laurence H. Hurley's prediction that groundbreaking chemicals to be used to kill  cancer cells could be introduced to the public in as little as three or four  years… Hurley's research ideas initially were met with skepticism from the  research community, funding entities and scientific journals, but they now have  embraced his findings. "In recent years, hundreds of other scientists have cited  our work published in Journal of Medicinal  Chemistry and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science," he  says.

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

“Pour Champagne on the Side for Better Flavor”

August 13, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

You don't have to be a champagne buff to want the best flavor from your bubbly. So the secret to a perfect glass? It's all in the pour, according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. A key player in champagne's taste is its dissolved carbon dioxide. As that CO2 bubbles out, it releases aroma, and provides that tingly bite. As soon as you uncork a bottle, CO2 starts diffusing from the champagne into the air. But pouring it speeds up that process, by increasing surface area and turbulence. Chemists—French ones, of course—poured champagne into fluted glasses two ways. The traditional way, straight down, splashing off the bottom—and the beer way, onto the side of a tilted glass. Then they measured the CO2 lost during the pour. At 40 degrees Fahrenheit, champagne poured traditionally quickly lost a quarter of its carbon dioxide. But pouring down the side caused only half the gas loss.

 

Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.: daily circulation 193,577)

“Science Briefs”

August 15, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Butter is not the fuel of the future, but it is possible to churn perfectly good diesel fuel out of it. "It was something we wanted to show could be done," said Michael Haas, a research biochemist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "It's quirky," he said of the dairy-to-diesel research, published in June in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The impetus was an 800-pound sculpture of Benjamin Franklin and the Liberty Bell. Each year the Pennsylvania Farm Show, held in Harrisburg, commissions a masterpiece made of butter. In 2007, the organizers solicited suggestions for what to do with the work after the farm show ended. Haas submitted the idea of making biodiesel fuel out of it, and that is what was done. "It had never been reported in the scientific literature," he said.

 

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

“Seeing Is Believing: New Technique Creates Detailed 3D Images Of The Deadliest Form Of Skin Cancer”

August 13, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Melanoma is one of the less common types of skin cancer but it accounts for the majority of the skin cancer deaths (about 75 percent). The five-year survival rate for early stage melanoma is very high (98 percent), but the rate drops precipitously if the cancer is detected late or there is recurrence. So a great deal rides on the accuracy of the initial surgery, where the goal is to remove as little tissue as possible while obtaining "clean margins" all around the tumor. So far no imaging technique has been up to the task of defining the melanoma's boundaries accurately enough to guide surgery. Instead surgeons tend to cut well beyond the visible margins of the lesion in order to be certain they remove all the malignant tissue. Two scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have developed technologies that together promise to solve this difficult problem. Their solution, described in ACS Nano, combines an imaging technique developed by Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and a contrast agent developed by Younan Xia, PhD, the James M. McKelvey Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

 

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

“New plastic technology limits toxic outgasing”

August 15, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Researchers have come up with a solution to the problem of plastic outgasing -- or the toxic release of plastic chemicals into food and the environment. The new technology prevents chemical leeching from certain plastics by stopping polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a commonly used plastic chemical, from migrating to the surface of plastics and escaping. Published in the bi-weekly journal Macromolecules, the study is a breakthrough in plastic technology that could change the way food packaging, tubing, children's toys and other consumer products are made. By preventing "plasticizer" chemicals from detaching themselves from plastics, scientists hope to improve the safety and quality of these consumer plastic products and many others.

 

Massage Magazine (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.: monthly circulation 15,832)

“Take Care When Choosing Household Products”

August 15, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Many massage therapists turn to natural and organic ingredients when choosing products, and new research supports that behavior. When it comes to household cleaning and personal-care products, natural could be better. Researchers at the American Chemical Society found that household detergents and shampoos may form a harmful substance in wastewater, one that could contribute to cancer. According to a press release from the society, "Scientists are reporting evidence that certain ingredients in shampoo, detergents and other household cleaning agents may be a source of precursor materials for formation of a suspected cancer-causing contaminant in water supplies that receive water from sewage treatment plants." The study sheds new light on possible environmental sources of this poorly understood water contaminant, called NDMA, which is of ongoing concern to health officials.

 

Power Online (Erie, Pa.)

“American Chemical Society Launches "Green" Roof Project For Headquarters Building”

August 15, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

The American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, recently took another major step in transforming its headquarters into one of the most energy-efficient and sustainable structures possible with existing technology by starting construction of a meadow on the roof — a "green roof" for its headquarters building. Only 1 in 10 office buildings in the Washington, D.C., area have these innovative surfaces, according to Joanna Brosnan, director of ACS's Facilities Department, who initiated the project. Green roofs use green plants growing on a specially engineered surface to absorb carbon dioxide from the air, save energy on heating and cooling, promote cleaner air, and reduce stormwater runoff that can overburden city sewers. When completed in the autumn, the ACS' Clifford & Kathryn  Hach Building, 1155 16th Street NW, will sprout a garden consisting of a specialized mix of plants that thrive in the harsh, dry, hot conditions that exist at roof level.

 

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

“Study predicts nanoscience will greatly increase efficiency of next-generation solar cells”

August 13, 2010

 

As the fastest growing energy technology in the world, solar energy continues to account for more and more of the world’s energy supply. Currently, most commercial photovoltaic power comes from bulk semiconductor materials. But in the past few years, scientists have been investigating how semiconductor nanostructures can increase the efficiency of solar cells and the newer field of solar fuels. Although there has been some controversy about just how much nanoscience can improve solar cells, a recent overview of this research by Arthur Nozik, a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and professor at the University of Colorado, shows that semiconductor nanostructures have significant potential for converting solar energy into electricity. In his overview, which is published in a recent issue of Nano Letters, Nozik has summarized the current status of several approaches to improving photovoltaics with nanoscience. As he explains, the advantages of semiconductor nanostructures arise from the quantum confinement of negative electrons and positive holes into very small regions of space in the nanocrystals.

 

… From the Blogs

 

New Cures Info.

“Deathstalker Scorpion Venom Could Improve Gene Therapy for Brain Cancer”

August 15, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

An ingredient in the venom of the “deathstalker” scorpion could help gene therapy become an effective treatment for brain cancer, scientists are reporting. The substance allows therapeutic genes — genes that treat disease — to reach more brain cancer cells than current approaches, according to the study in ACS Nano.

 

Green Car Congress

“Carbon-coated Hollow Tin Oxide Nanospheres Show Strong Performance as Li-ion Anode Material”

August 16, 2010

 

Researchers at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan have synthesized tin oxide (SnO2) hollow nanospheres covered with a carbon layer for anode material in lithium-ion batteries. Hollow nanospheres with 15 nm in SnO2 thickness exhibited a reversible capacity of 500 mAh g-1 at 5 C. In a paper published in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry C, the team said that the “extraordinary performance” should be associated with the ultrathin SnO2 shell and the carbon layer, which could accommodate the volume changes and prevent the agglomeration of Sn particles during cycling.

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

“Champagne fizzics: Science backs pouring sideways”

August 12, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

[More than 300 media outlets, including the New York Times (New York, N.Y.: daily circulation 951,063), Reuters (New York, N.Y.: “viewed by more than 1 billion monthly”) and MSNBC (New York, N.Y.: 39.9 million monthly unique users) also carried the story.]

 

French scientists say they have settled a question that has long divided Champagne lovers: How best to pour the bubbly? At an angle, not straight down. The scientists at the University of Reims say pouring bubbly at a slant, as you would a beer, preserves more of the tiny gas bubbles that improve the drink's flavor and aromas. The study — "On the Losses of Dissolved CO2 During Champagne Serving" — appears this week in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a U.S. publication. The researchers say they looked at two ways of pouring Champagne: the "traditional" method, with the liquid poured vertically to hit the bottom of the Champagne flute; and the "beer-like way," executed by tilting the glass and gently sliding in the Champagne. They say the study matters not just to Champagne drinkers but to glassmakers. They note that the industry is researching a "new generation" of Champagne glasses specially designed to control the release of carbon dioxide, the gas that gives the drink its sparkle.

 

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

“New technique creates 3D image of melanoma”

August 12, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

With the help of a new imaging technology, scientists say it is possible to create a three-dimensional image of melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Melanoma is one of the less common types of skin cancer but it also the deadliest one. So far no imaging technique has been up to the task of defining the melanoma’s boundaries accurately enough to guide surgery. Instead surgeons tend to cut well beyond the visible margins of the lesion in order to be certain they remove all the malignant tissue. Two scientists of Washington University in St. Louis have developed imaging technologies to overcome this difficult problem. Their solution combines an imaging technique developed by Lihong Wang, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and a contrast agent developed by Younan Xia, the James M. McKelvey Professor of Biomedical Engineering. The technology has been described in the July issue of journal ACS Nano.

 

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

“Oil-munching bacteria may determine Gulf spill's environmental impact”

August 12, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

The fate of Gulf of Mexico depends on microscopic bacteria that consume oil and other hydrocarbons by breaking them down, says a new study. These oil-eating bacteria could be a boon for the Gulf after the disastrous oil spill. But, their activity poses some risks too, particularly in the deep ocean. The oil acts as a huge source of food and could produce bacteria "blooms," or massive population explosions. As the blooms die and decay, they remove oxygen from the Gulf water, jeopardizing the health of fish and other aquatic animals. Research is underway to shed light on the bacteria's effects. According to the article, the oxygen depletion so far is not as serious as the Gulf of Mexico's infamous "dead zone," an 8,000 square mile area - about the size of New Jersey. The article is published in the current issue of Chemical and Engineering News.

 

University of Arizona News (Tucson, Ariz.)

“Autism Chemistry Camp a Success”

August 12, 2010

 

For the parents of children with autism spectrum disorder or Asperger Syndrome, even those who are highly functioning, finding someone who can tell them what their kids can do versus what they can't do is often a challenge. University of Arizona research professor of radiology Terry Matsunaga, whose son has autism, decided that he would do everything possible to provide educational opportunities for his son. Watching his son gain a merit badge in chemistry as a Boy Scout got Matsunaga thinking and as head of the Southern Arizona Section of the American Chemical Society he found an opportunity to draw awareness to autism while helping to integrate adolescents with autism into greater society. Through an American Chemical Society innovative program grant Matsunaga was able to put together a team to introduce children ages 11 to 15 with highly functioning autism to the world of chemical science on the UA campus.

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users)

“Wax, Soap Clean Up Obstacles to Better Batteries”

August 12, 2010

 

A little wax and soap can help build electrodes for cheaper lithium ion batteries, according to a study in August 11 issue of Nano Letters. The one-step method will allow battery developers to explore lower-priced alternatives to the lithium ion-metal oxide batteries currently on the market. "Paraffin provides a medium in which to grow good electrode materials," said material scientist Daiwon Choi of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "This method will help researchers investigate cathode materials based on cheaper transition metals such as manganese or iron." Consumers use long-lasting rechargeable lithium ion batteries in everything from cell phones to the latest portable gadget. Some carmakers want to use them in vehicles. Most lithium ion batteries available today are designed with an oxide of metal such as cobalt, nickel, or manganese. Choi and colleagues at PNNL and State University of New York at Binghamton wanted to explore both cheaper metals and the more stable phosphate in place of oxide.

 

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

“American Chemical Society wins Environmental Excellence Award from D.C. mayor”

August 12, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has won the 2010 Mayor's Environmental Excellence Award from Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. The annual award recognizes businesses and nonprofit organizations for their environmental stewardship, innovative best practices, pollution prevention, and resource conservation. ACS is the world's largest scientific society. "The American Chemical Society is honored to receive Mayor Fenty's Environmental Excellence Award," said ACS Executive Director & CEO Madeleine Jacobs. "Representing 161,000 professional chemists worldwide, the Society believes it is critical that day-to-day business practice operate with the highest level of sustainability. From our comprehensive recycling program to our new 'green' roof, ACS is committed to a sustainable future." Chosen from among 44 applicants, ACS was one of only nine recipients, and one of only two in the large facilities category.

 

… Broadcast News

 

WBIR-TV (Knoxville, Tenn.: 30,999 daily viewers)

“Pour champagne at an angle into flutes”

August 13, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

[WSMV-TV (Nashville, Tenn.: 668,718 daily viewers), WSTM-TV (Syracuse, N.Y.: 24, 737 daily viewers), KSDK-TV (St. Louis, Mo.: 38,924 daily viewers, WHO-DM-TV (Des Moines, Iowa: 14,262 daily viewers), WWLP-TV (Springfield, Mass.: 13,155 daily viewers), KCEN-TV (Waco, Tex.: 1,485 daily viewers) and KOMU-TV (Columbia, Mo.) also covered the story.]

 

French scientists say it's better to pour champagne at an angle into flutes, rather than straight down. Scientists in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry say champagne poured like beer kept more of its gas bubbles to form the "head." And the scientists say the colder the glass, the more gas bubbles you will save as well.

 

… From the Blogs

 

Science Codex

“Advance toward earlier detection of melanoma”

August 11, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Scientists are reporting development of a substance to enhance the visibility of skin cancer cells during scans with an advanced medical imaging system that combines ultrasound and light. The hybrid scanner could enable doctors to detect melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, in its earliest and most curable stages, the report in the monthly journal ACS Nano indicates.

 

Great Organic Stuff

“Pectin coats could provide eco-friendly oils”

August 12, 2010

 

The research, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggests that using an enzyme to bind a coating layer onto natural oil bodies could increase their stability and give a more natural, environmentally friendly way to produce oil emulsions.

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

“For bubbly  champagne, pour like beer and keep it cold”

August 12,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

The champagne scientists have spoken  – if you want to keep your bubbly bubbly, pour it down the side of the glass  like beer, not straight to the bottom of the glass. And keep it cold.  Researchers in France (where else?) measured  dissolved carbon dioxide concentrations in champagne at three different  temperatures and using two different pouring methods. Champagne and sparkling  wine typically contain nine grams of dissolved carbon dioxide per bottle. The  researchers, at the University of Reims  Champagne-Ardenne, found that when poured straight  into a champagne flute, creating the traditional thick head of foam that fills  the glass and then falls back, a liter of champagne lost 4 grams of CO2 at 64  degrees, 3.3 grams at 53 degrees and 3 grams at 40 degrees. In light of their  findings, the researchers, writing in the current issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry,  ask this: "would not it be pertinent to revisit the way champagne should be  served?"

 

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

“Scorpion  venom improves anti-brain cancer therapy”

August 12,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Scientists have found that an  ingredient in the venom of the ‘deathstalker’ scorpion could help gene therapy  become an effective treatment for brain cancer. The substance allows therapeutic  genes — genes that treat disease — to reach more brain cancer cells than current  approaches, according to the study. Miqin Zhang and colleagues note that gene  therapy — the delivery of therapeutic genes into diseased cells — shows promise  for fighting glioma, the most common and most serious form of brain cancer. But  difficulties in getting genes to enter cancer cells and concerns over the safety  and potential side effects of substances used to transport these genes have kept  the approach from helping patients. The scientists describe a new approach that  could solve these problems. Key ingredients of their gene-delivery system are  chlorotoxin, the substance in deathstalker scorpion venom that can slow the  spread of brain cancer, and nanoparticles of iron oxide. The study has been  published in ACS Nano, a monthly  journal.

 

United  Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.4 million monthly unique  users)

“Chemists  come up with safer plastics”

August 11,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Scientists say they've developed a  way to prevent emissions of harmful chemicals from a plastic found in packaging,  medical supplies, toys and other products. The technique, described in the  journal Macromolecules, could lead  to new generations of the common plastic polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, that are  safer than the form now being used, an American Chemical Society release said  Wednesday. Manufacturers currently add large amounts of chemicals known as  plasticizers to PVC to make it flexible and durable. Plasticizers sometimes  account for a full third of the weight of the finished PVC product, researchers  say. Over time these plasticizers migrate to the surface of the plastic and  escape into the environment where they have been found to pose health  risks.

 

Associated  Content (Denver, Colo.:  21.3 million monthly unique users)

“Chili  Peppers Do More Than Zest Up Grandma's Chili”

August 11,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Chili peppers as most of us  associate to Mexican food. There are numerous types of chili peppers available  from the nice and mild to hot flaming scorch the mouth hot. However, chili  peppers seem to be making the news these days and it is not for the fact of being  an ingredient in many authentic food dishes either…Back in June of this year in  the issue of ACS' (American Chemical  Society) Journal of Proteome  Research another study appeared in favor of the chili peppers. This  time they have the possibility of helping weight loss and ward off fat build up  by setting off particular helpful protein changes in the body. As it is known  obesity is becoming a problem not only nationwide but world wide as well.  Obesity is associated to many conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes  and other health issues. There have been scientific laboratory studies  suggesting that capsaicin possibly can aide against obesity by lowering calorie  intake, making tissue fat smaller and decreasing fat levels in the blood, and  how capsaicin does this is yet another mystery for scientists to  solve.

 

Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique  users)

“3D imaging  technique provides clearer roadmap to remove deadliest form of skin  cancer”

August 11,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Even though melanoma is one of the  less common types of skin cancer, it accounts for the majority of skin cancer  deaths – around 75 percent. The five-year survival rate for early stage melanoma  is very high (98 percent), but the rate drops precipitously if the cancer is  detected late or there is recurrence. So a great deal rides on the accuracy of  the initial surgery, where the goal is to remove as little tissue as possible  while obtaining “clean margins” all around the tumor. So far no imaging  technique has been up to the task of defining the melanoma's boundaries  accurately enough to guide surgery – until now. Currently, surgeons tend to cut  well beyond the visible margins of the lesion in order to be certain they remove  all the malignant tissue. By combining an imaging technique developed by Lihong  Wang, PhD, and a contrast agent developed by Younan Xia, PhD, the two scientists  at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a solution that  produces high clarity, 3D images of melanoma. (ACS Nano)

 

FirstScience (London, England)

“American  Chemical Society, Council for Chemical Research to hold R&D symposium Aug.  22”

August 11,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

The American Chemical Society (ACS) and the  Council for Chemical Research (CCR) will hold a special half-day symposium to  address the critical challenge of keeping the United States' chemical enterprise  competitive, and the central role research and development (R&D) will play  in this process. Entitled "Translational Chemical R&D: The Driving Force for  Job Creation," the event takes place on Sunday, Aug. 22, during the ACS National  Meeting & Exposition here. The symposium, which includes a half-dozen  experts from the chemical enterprise, will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.  in Room 210A of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. A private reception for further  discussion with the speakers and other R&D leaders will follow the  symposium. "With annual sales of $689 billion, the chemical sector employs  nearly 1 million workers and has long shown a positive trade balance," explained  CCR Executive Director Paul Mendez. "But it is now threatened by the same  offshoring trends that have decimated the U.S.  machine tool, steel and consumer electronics industries. This symposium will  look at how innovation can reverse this trend and maintain the chemical industry  export success story."

 

Smart  Planet (New York, N.Y.: 56,500 monthly unique  users)

“Algae-based  biofuel can have 4X carbon footprint of petro-diesel, study  says”

August 11,  2010

 

One of the more simple ways to move  to alternative energy sources is algae-based biofuels, which do not require a  complete infrastructure overhaul to power vehicles and other machines. For many,  it’s a no-brainer switch, which is why big companies such as DuPont and  Honeywell as well as startups such as Verenium and Cobalt are working on a  solution. (And have the U.S. military interested.) But  according to a new study published in the journal Energy and Fuels, it all depends on how you  grow your algae. According to the study, algae grown in closed air-lift  bioreactors made of transparent tubes uses more energy than would be saved by  using the biofuel over a fossil fuel — more than three times as much, in  fact.

 

Nanowerk (Honolulu, Hawaii: 82,000 monthly unique  users)

“Breakthrough in  understanding of blinking molecules phenomena”

August 11,  2010

 

A new paper by University of Notre  Dame physicist Boldizsár Jankó and colleagues offers an important new  understanding of an enduring mystery in chemical physics. More than a century  ago, at the dawn of modern quantum mechanics, the Noble Prize-winning physicist  Neils Bohr predicted so-called "quantum jumps."… More recently, with the  development of single molecule imaging techniques in the early 1990s, it has  been possible to observe similar jumps in individual molecules. In a new paper  appearing in the journal Nano  Letters, Jankó, Frantsuzov and Notre Dame graduate student Sándor  Volkán-Kascó reveal that they have developed a model for the blinking phenomena  that confirms what Stefani observed experimentally. The finding is important  confirmation that strong correlation exists between the on and off phenomenon.  If the blinking process could be controlled, quantum dots could, for example,  provide better, more stable imaging of cancer cells; provide researchers with  real-time images of a viral infection, such as HIV, within a cell; lead to the  development of a new generation of brighter display screens for computers, cell  phones and other electronic applications; and even improved lighting fixtures  for homes and offices.

 

… From the  Blogs

 

Nature.com’s  Boston  blog

“The chemists are coming to  Boston and then some”

August 11,  2010

 

The American Chemical Society holds one of its  biannual meetings in Boston beginning on August 22. (They're calling  it their "fall" meeting but we'll ignore that as we try to keep summer rolling  until Labor Day.) The group describes itself this way: "ACS is a congressionally  chartered independent membership organization which represents professionals at  all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve  chemistry." This year's theme: "Chemistry for Preventing and Combating Disease."

 

Smithsonian (Washington D.C.)

“Plane  May Be Better Than Car in Climate Equation”

August 11,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Generally I feel pretty good about  my carbon footprint. I try to be conscious of how my choices affect the world  around me. Except when it comes to flying. In the last two years, I’ve been to  Chicago several times, Seattle, London and  Sydney. But a  new study, published last week in Environmental Science & Technology, is  making me feel a little less guilty, at least about the trips I’ve taken to  U.S. locales (and theoretically had a  choice between car and plane). Scientists in Austria and Norway  calculated and compared the climate impact of several modes of travel—plane,  car, two-wheeled vehicles, bus and rail.

Examiner.com (Washington D.C.: 17.8 million monthly unique  users)

“Should  adults be taking 2,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D and should there be safety or  policy changes?”

August 9,  2010

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

 

Should there be worldwide policy  changes regarding everyone's intake of vitamin D, particularly, vitamin D3?  Anthony Norman is a distinguished professor emeritus of biochemistry and  biomedical sciences at the University  of California, Riverside and a leading  international expert in vitamin D. He proposes worldwide policy changes  regarding people's vitamin D daily intake amount in order to maximize the  vitamin's contribution to reducing the frequency of many diseases, including  childhood rickets, adult osteomalacia, and cancer. University of California, Davis studies the effects of  vitamin K-2 on human health. Check out the research of Dr. Paul Davis, a  nutritionist in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, UC Davis, and a  researcher with the UC Davis Cancer Center. A few months ago in March, 2010, a  study at UC Davis reported that walnut consumption slows the growth of prostate  cancer in mice and has beneficial effects on multiple genes related to the  control of tumor growth and metabolism, according to researchers at UC Davis and  the U.S. Department of Agriculture Western Regional Research Center in Albany,  Calif. have found. The study, by Paul Davis, announced the findings March 22,  2010 at the annual national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco. Davis explained at the  conference that the research findings provide additional evidence that walnuts,  although high in fat, are healthful.

 

Discover  Magazine (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation  700,000)

“Rancid  Butter Sculptures: A Great Untapped Biofuel  Source?”

August 10,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

A Benjamin Franklin adage: If your  head is wax, don’t walk in the sun. In a sculpture for the Pennsylvania Farm  Show, Franklin’s  head was butter. Now it’s biofuel. Butter Franklin was one of several fat sculptures, an  annual presence at the fair. After the 2007 farm show, USDA biochemist Michael  J. Haas suggested that fair organizers should convert the rancid sculpture into  biofuel, The New York Times reports. BlackGold Biofuels took on the task, which  involved replacing glycerin in the butter with a methanol molecule to form  biodiesel. Franklin proved that 800 pounds of butter saved  is 75 gallons of biodiesel fuel and lower-grade bunker fuel earned. (Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry)

 

Associated  Content (Denver, Colo.:  21.3 million monthly unique users)

“Your  Leafy, Green Vegetables Lose Nutrients when Stored in the Dark in Markets and  During Trucking”

August 10,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Today, as you pore over the organic  or any other spinach selections in a variety of Sacramento supermarkets, you'll notice that  there's one layer of spinach on top, facing bright lights. Above, some bunched  spinach is pushed a bit under an overhang that keeps the vegetable from  being exposed to the steady bright light above it. Without exposure to light,  photosynthesis, your green vegetables soon lose their nutritious value. How long  have your vegetables been kept in the dark, in trucks, in any Sacramento market, or in  your refrigerator? Did you know vegetables lose their nutrients when not exposed  to light? The green, leafy vegetables stored on top exposed to light in markets  have more vitamins than the packages underneath kept in the dark in stores or in  your refrigerator. See the study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published March 10, 2010. Imagine how much vitamins green leafy vegetables lose  in your dark refrigerator if they're kept there for a few days, after laying  under a pile of other vegetables in the dark for more days in the  supermarket.

 

Runner’s  World (Emmaus, Pa.:  monthly circulation 640,000)

“Food  Fight! In a battle of nutritional superstars, which options offer a healthier  edge?”

September 2010  issue

 

As a health-savvy runner, you try to  toss nutrient-packed foods into your grocery cart. But when you're deciding  between similar-seeming nutritious items (say, turkey or chicken?), you may not  know the superior choice. "Food is your fuel," says Mitzi Dulan, R.D., co-author  of The All-Pro Diet. "Selecting the most nutritious options will improve your  diet and give you a competitive edge." While you can't go wrong eating both  quinoa and brown rice, choosing the nutritional champ may give your running the  boost it needs. In a healthy-food smackdown, here are our winning picks.  Strawberries vs. Blueberries - Both are health all-stars, but a study in the  Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry reported that blueberries (particularly wild ones) showed  the most antioxidant activity of all the fruits tested. "These antioxidants help  keep your immune system strong," says Dulan, "and reduce muscle-tissue damage  from exercise."

 

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

“'Miracle'  tomato turns sour foods sweet”

August 10,  2010

 

Pucker no more: That seems to be one  objective of research underway at a host of Japanese universities. For the past  several years, they’ve been developing bio-production systems to inexpensively  churn out loads of miraculin — a natural taste-altering protein that makes sour  foods seem oh so sweet. Their newest biotech reactor: grape tomatoes.  Researchers at the University of Tsukuba have been tinkering with field  crops. Success inserting a functioning miraculin gene into lettuce was published  four years ago. In a paper just posted online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,  the Tsukuba group now describes breeding transgenic lines of tomatoes whose  fruit is just about as rich in miraculin as miracle berries are. The research  team, led by Kazuhisa Kato, Hiroshi Ezura and Tsuyoshi Mizoguchi, genetically  engineered a line of little miraculin-rich tomatoes and then two teensier  cultivars. Their goal: diminutive plants that can be mass reared indoors. In a  factory-like setting, plant managers could coddle their plants, limit any risk  of infestations or blights and prevent their genetically engineered tomatoes  from inadvertently sharing their genes with plants in the  wild.

 

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

“New Nanomaterial  Could Improve Therapeutics And Imaging In Cancer  Treatment”

August 11,  2010

 

Scientists from UCLA's California  NanoSystems Institute and Korea's Yonsei University have developed an innovative  method that enables nanomachines to release drugs inside living cancer cells  when activated remotely by an oscillating magnetic field. The new system - the  first to utilize a class of porous nanomaterials driven by a magnetic core - has  the potential to improve both targeted drug-delivery and magnetic resonance  imaging in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. The research appears in  the July issue of the Journal of the American  Chemical Society.

 

… From the  Blogs

 

Biotech  Paradise

“World's First Plastic  Antibodies in Live Organisms: Stop Spread of Bee Venom in  Mice”

August 9,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Tiny polymeric particles -- just  1/50,000th the width of a human hair -- were designed to match and encase  melittin, a peptide in bee venom that causes cells to rupture, releasing their  contents. Large quantities of melittin can lead to organ failure and death. The  polymer nanoparticles were prepared by "molecular imprinting" a technique  similar to plaster casting: UCI chemistry professor Kenneth Shea and project  scientist Yu Hoshino 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 recently in the Journal of the American Chemical  Society.

 

Green  Car Congress

“Study Finds Environmental  Impact of Li-ion Battery for BEVs is Relatively Small; The Operation Phase is  the Dominant Contributor to Environmental  Burden”

August 10,  2010

 

A team from the Swiss Federal  Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) compiled a detailed  lifecycle inventory of a Li-ion battery and produced a rough lifecycle analysis  (LCA) of battery-electric vehicle mobility. Their study, published in the ACS  journal Environmental  Science & Technology, showed that the  environmental burdens of mobility are dominated by the operation phase  regardless of whether a gasoline-fueled ICEV or a European electricity-fueled  BEV is used.

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

“Butter  Holds the Secret to the Latest Biodiesel Fuel”

August 9,  2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs  (OPA) PressPac

 

Butter is not the fuel of the  future, but it is possible to churn perfectly good diesel fuel out of it. “It  was something we wanted to show could be done,” said Michael J. Haas, a research  biochemist at the United States Department of Agriculture. “It’s quirky,” he  acknowledged of the dairy-to-diesel research, which was published in June in the  Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry. The impetus was an 800-pound sculpture of Benjamin  Franklin and the Liberty Bell. Each year the Pennsylvania Farm Show, held in  Harrisburg,  commissions a masterpiece made out of butter. In 2007, the organizers solicited  suggestions for what to do with the work after the farm show ended. Dr. Haas  submitted the idea of making biodiesel fuel out of it, and that is what was  done. “It had never been reported in the scientific literature,” he said. Dr.  Haas collaborated with BlackGold Biofuels, a small Philadelphia company that  has developed a process for making biodiesel fuel out of a wide range of  nonedible, low-value “fog” — the industry shorthand for fats, oils and grease.

 

Discovery  News (Silver Spring, Md.: 12.4 million monthly unique  users)

“Fungi  Digest Plastic Trash”

August 10,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Ordinary fungi can safely break down  polycarbonate plastic -- an omnipresent material that contains the  worry-inducing chemical bisphenol A, or BPA. BPA, which has been linked to a  growing number of reproductive, developmental and other health issues, appears  in a huge variety of plastic products, including CDs, screwdriver handles,  eyeglasses frames, water bottles and toys. Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of  polycarbonate plastic is produced each year. In experiments, three types of  fungi were able to break down about 5 percent of the plastic in their lab dishes  over the course a year, as long as the plastic was first zapped with ultraviolet  light… In their laboratory, the researchers placed thin sheets of polycarbonate  plastic in a liquid solution, which was fortified with some nutrients for the  first 10 days to help the fungi grow. When the scientists added fungi to the  mix, not much happened. But when the researchers pre-treated the polycarbonate  films by exposing them to ultraviolet light, the fungi started digesting the  plastic. A year later, they reported in the journal Biomacromolecules, the fungi had broken  down more than 5 percent of the plastic by weight.

 

Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Ariz.: daily circulation  433,731)

“Sea  travel is way to lower global temperature”

August 9,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

A trip by plane will increase global  temperature more than the same trip by a solo driver in a car, researchers  calculate. Compared to traveling by car, air travel is more warming in the short  term. In the first five years after an air journey, temperature is increased  four times more than it would be for a similar trip by car, because of its  effects on short-lived contrails and cirrus clouds. Traveling by rail is at  least four times less impact on global warming per passenger mile in the long  term and is actually cooling in the short term, because of sulfur emissions from  electricity generation. Bus travel has two to five times less impact than  average car travel per passenger-mile. But the hands-down best way to travel to  lessen climate impact is to go by ship. For decades after a boat has steamed by,  its journey continues to cool the planet because of emissions of sulfate  aerosols and increased methane destruction due to the effects of nitrogen  dioxide. The study is in this week’s Environmental Science & Technology, a  semi-weekly journal of the American Chemical  Society.

 

Packaging  World (Chicago, Ill.:  46,400 monthly unique users)
“New paper can fight bacteria and  keep food fresher for longer”

August 9,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

Scientists in the UK  first developed graphene, a super thin sheet of carbon, in 2004 and have been  trying various commercial outlets—solar cells, computer chips, sensors, etc. But  two scientists, Chunhai Fan and Qing Huang from the Shanghai Institute of  Applied Physics, recently decided to look at how graphene affects living cells.  According to the article in Medical News Today, they made paper out of graphene  oxide and tried to grow both bacteria and human cells on it. Bacteria could not  grow on the paper, which at the same time had no harmful effects for the human  cells. “Given the superior antibacterial effect of graphene oxide and the fact  that it can be mass-produced and easily processed to make freestanding and  flexible paper with low-cost, we expect this new carbon nanomaterial may find  important environmental and clinical applications," said the article which  quotes a report from ACS Nano, a  monthly journal.

 

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

“Improving The  Real-Time Monitoring Of Biological Activities Of Individual  Proteins”

August 10,  2010

 

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Molecular Biosensor and  Imaging Center (MBIC) are turning up the brightness on a group of fluorescent  probes called fluoromodules that are used to monitor biological activities of  individual proteins in real-time. This latest advance enhances their fluormodule  technology by causing it to glow an order of magnitude brighter than typical  fluorescent proteins. The new fluoromodules are five- to seven-times brighter  than enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), a development that will open new  avenues for research. In a paper published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society,  MBIC researchers unveil a new class of dendron-based fluorogenic dyes called  "dyedrons," that amplify the signal emitted by their fluoromodules. "By using  concepts borrowed from chemistry, the same concepts used in things like quantum  dots and light harvesting solar cells, we were able to create a structure that  acts like an antenna, intensifying the fluorescence of the entire fluoromodule,"  said Marcel Bruchez, associate research professor of chemistry and MBIC program  director.

 

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

“A  greener way to make phosphines”

August 9,  2010

 

Phosphrous is a key chemical in  fertilizers, pesticide and products from big pharma. But making it is a  multi-step process. Stever Ritter with Chemical & Engineering News writes that  a new organic synthesis being developed by MIT chemists avoids the use of toxic  and unwieldy chlorine. If it can be catalyzed and scaled up the process could be  a primary industrial route. Excerpt from Ritter’s report: “Phosphorus is at the  heart of many chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, and pesticides.  Trialkyl- and triarylphosphines used as reagents and catalyst ligands to make  these various products are currently prepared by chlorinating white phosphorus  (P4) to yield PCl3, which is then treated with a Grignard or lithium reagent or  an organohalide with a harsh reducing agent.”

 

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

“Effective protein  therapy with nanochannel membranes”

August 10,  2010

 

Delivering healthy proteins directly  into human cells to replace malfunctioning proteins is considered one of the  most direct and safe approaches for treating diseases. Controlled and long-term  protein drug delivery has also been considered as one of the most promising  biomedical applications of nanotechnology. "The best way for the delivery of  protein drugs without denaturation might be possible by exploiting the passive  diffusion through a membrane without physical and chemical stresses," Jin Kon  Kim explains to Nanowerk. "This can be achieved when pore sizes in a membrane  are controlled to satisfy the single-file diffusion (SFD) condition of protein  drugs." Kim, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and director  of National Creativity Research Initiative Program for Block Copolymer Self  Assembly at Pohang University of Science Technology (POSTECH) in South Korea,  and his team have developed a new drug delivery device with nanoporous membrane  based on block copolymer self-assembly for the constant and long-term release of  protein drugs without denaturation. Reporting their findings in a recent paper  in ACS Nano, the POSTECH  researchers are first to demonstrate single-file diffusion of protein drugs in  in vivo experiments.

 

… From the  Blogs

 

Science  Magazine News

“Hints from Taiwan That  Free-Range Eggs May Be Less Healthy Than Regular  Eggs”

August 10,  2010

Origin: OPA  PressPac

 

In the new study, Pao-Chi Liao and  colleagues note that free-range chickens are those that have continuous access  to fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, in contrast to chickens that are confined  to cages. Demand for eggs from free-range chickens has increased steadily due to  their supposed better nutrition qualities, including higher levels of certain  healthy fats. But scientists suspect that free-range chickens may risk getting  higher levels of exposure to environmental pollutants, particularly PCDDs and  PCDFs, potentially toxic substances that are produced as by-products of burning  waste. Their findings appear in ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food  Chemistry.

 

Environmental  Sciences Information

“Environmental SCENE -- news  channel from C&EN”

August 9,  2010

Origin: OPA press  release

 

On July 1, Chemical & Engineering News launched  its first news channel. Called the Environmental SCENE, the channel provides  news articles about environmental research, business, and policy, including  coverage of climate change, pollution, toxic substances, energy, and  sustainability. Drawing on content from the pages of C&EN, the news channel  also contains its own original content, significantly expanding C&EN's  coverage of environmental research.

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

“To lower global temperature, sea travel is the way to go”

August 6, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

For those trying to lessen their carbon footprint, newly-crunched numbers from researchers in Austria and Norway find that if you really want to have a lower impact, boats are the way to go, followed by trains, buses, airplanes and then cars. A trip by plane will increase global temperature more than the same trip by a solo driver in a car, researchers calculate. Compared to traveling by car, air travel is more warming in the short term. In the first five years after an air journey, temperature is increased four times more than it would be for a similar trip by car, because of its effects on short-lived contrails and cirrus clouds… And whether your drive alone or in a car pool also matter. If "the car is occupied by three or more passengers, the impact per pass-mile is much less than even in a fully occupied plane." The study is in this week’s Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-weekly journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

MedicineNet.com (San Clemente, Calif.: 8.1 million monthly unique users)

“Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Are Indoor Risk”

August 5, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Concentrations of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) -- found in many everyday products and of concern due to potential health hazards -- are higher indoors than outdoors, according to a new study. But they are equally present, the researchers found, in an urban, low-income community near an oil refinery and in a rural, affluent coastal community without much industry. "The higher your exposure to consumer products, the higher your exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals," researcher Ruthann Rudel, director of research at the Silent Spring Institute, Newton, Mass., tells WebMD. "The indoor consumer product exposure [to these chemicals] is more pervasive and consistent than we thought," she says of the study findings. "It cuts across geography and demography, based on this somewhat limited sample." The study is published online in Environmental Science & Technology.

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users)

“Turning Down the Noise in Graphene”

August 6, 2010

 

Graphene is a two-dimensional crystalline sheet of carbon atoms -- meaning it is only one atom thick -- through which electrons can race at nearly the speed of light -- 100 times faster than they can move through silicon. This plus graphene's incredible flexibility and mechanical strength make the material a potential superstar for the electronics industry. However, whereas the best electronic materials feature a strong signal and weak background noise, attaining this high signal-to-noise ratio has been a challenge for both single and bi-layers of graphene, especially when placed on a substrate of silica or some other dielectric. One of the problems facing device developers has been the lack of a good graphene noise model. Working with the unique nanoscience capabilities of the Molecular Foundry at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a multi-institutional team of researchers has developed the first model of signal-to-noise-ratios for low frequency noises in graphene on silica. Their results show noise patterns that run just the opposite of noise patterns in other electronic materials. The results of this research are reported in the journal Nano Letters.

 

Women’s eNews (New York, N.Y.: 44,900 monthly unique users)

“In Science, Women Look for Better Career Chemistry”

August 9, 2010

 

Roxanne Bales vividly remembers the months she spent at a graduate program in organic chemistry in New England. "There were three guys there, about to get their Ph.D.s, who ruled the roost. They were supposed to be mentoring me, supervising my experiments. They wouldn't even talk to me," said Bales, who has gone on to work for more than 25 successful years in the health science and pharmaceutical industries. Bales left that program in a hurry and earned her master's degree at the University of California at Irvine instead. Some things have changed since her experience in the late 1970s. Others have not. "Our society prescribes to this stereotypical behavior. Only girls can play with dolls and only boys can play with Legos," said a Caucasian female scientist in the survey. "Entrance positions are not a problem. But after the first 10 years of your career, women and minorities start losing ground with their peers. Small disadvantages and biases accumulate over time," said an American Indian female chemistry professor. The survey questioned 1,226 female and underrepresented minority members of the nonprofit American Chemical Society, based in Washington.

 

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

“Using light to monitor blood glucose levels”

August 9, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

People with type 1 diabetes must keep a careful eye on their blood glucose levels: Too much sugar can damage organs, while too little deprives the body of necessary fuel. Most patients must ***** their fingers several times a day to draw blood for testing. To minimize that pain and inconvenience, researchers at MIT’s Spectroscopy Laboratory are working on a noninvasive way to measure blood glucose levels using light. First envisioned by Michael Feld, the late MIT professor of physics and former director of the Spectroscopy Laboratory, the technique uses Raman spectroscopy, a method that identifies chemical compounds based on the frequency of vibrations of the bonds holding the molecule together. The technique can reveal glucose levels by simply scanning a patient’s arm or finger with near-infrared light, eliminating the need to draw blood. The researchers described the new calibration method and results in the July 15 issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry.

 

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

“Trying to crack the mystery of autism”

August 6, 2010

 

Autism, according to the Autism Society of America, is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. There is no known biological marker for autism. There is no known single cause. There is no known cure, per se, although early intervention and treatment has been proven to minimize the effects of the disorder. The incidence of autism in the U.S. is increasing at an alarming rate. Twenty years ago, about one in 5,000 children were diagnosed with autism. The current rate, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is 1 in every 110. The rate jumped 57 percent in just four years, said the CDC. As reported in the Journal of Proteome Research, scientists in the UK and Australia have discovered that children with autism have a different chemical marking in their urine than non-autistic children. The hope is that the study could form the basis of a noninvasive test that might help diagnose autism earlier.

 

… From the Blogs

 

Science Codex

“Carnegie Mellon researchers turn up brightness on fluorescent probes”

August 9, 2010

 

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center (MBIC) are turning up the brightness on a group of fluorescent probes called fluoromodules that are used to monitor biological activities of individual proteins in real-time. This latest advance enhances their fluormodule technology by causing it to glow an order of magnitude brighter than typical fluorescent proteins. The paper is published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

Flex4Fitness

“Watermelonaid”

August 8, 2010

 

Watermelon is a traditional fourth of July treat. No other fruit reminds us of summer like the thirst quenching watermelon. To store cut watermelon so it stays its freshest, securely cover the cut end in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Or, cut the watermelon flesh from the rind and place it in an airtight container. Either way, the watermelon should last 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that minimal processing of fruit-cutting, packaging and chilling-does not significantly affect its nutritional content even after 6, and up to 9 days.

WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 19.6 million monthly unique users)

“Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals Are Indoor Risk”

August 5, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

Concentrations of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) -- found in many everyday products and of concern due to potential health hazards -- are higher indoors than outdoors, according to a new study. But they are equally present, the researchers found, in an urban, low-income community near an oil refinery and in a rural, affluent coastal community without much industry. "The higher your exposure to consumer products, the higher your exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals," researcher Ruthann Rudel, director of research at the Silent Spring Institute, Newton, Mass., tells WebMD. ''The indoor consumer product exposure [to these chemicals] is more pervasive and consistent than we thought," she says of the study findings. "It cuts across geography and demography, based on this somewhat limited sample." The study is published online in Environmental Science & Technology.

 

Associated Content (Denver, Colo.: 21.4 million monthly unique users)

“The Benefits of Tea for Diabetics”

August 5, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

More health-conscious people are watching what they drink - and choosing tea over soft drinks. Not only is tea lower in calories, preliminary studies show it helps to prevent some chronic diseases. One group of people who may benefit from drinking green tea is people with diabetes. What are the benefits of tea for diabetics - and why should people with diabetes drink more of this popular beverage? A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that both black and green teas lowered blood sugar levels in diabetics rats - and had the added benefit of preventing cataract formation - an eye condition that's more common in diabetics. These findings still need to be confirmed in humans, but most experts believe that green tea may have a modest glucose-lowering effect in animals and humans alike.

 

Gizmag (Melbourne, Australia: 1 million monthly unique users)

“Rapid DNA testing technology to put a faster finger on crime”

August 4, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

DNA testing has provided the biggest revolution in the identification of criminals since the adoption of fingerprinting in the early part of last century. Still, the technology has limitations. Most genetic tests take 24-72 hours but the time taken for DNA to go from crime scene to identification can span as long as 14 days. By the time that the results are back, the suspects often have been released. A newly developed test could make checking DNA from people arrested for crimes against DNA samples from crime scenes stored in forensics databases almost as easy as matching fingerprints. To increase the speed of forensic DNA testing, scientists from the University of Arizona and the UK's Forensic Science Service built a chip that can copy and analyze DNA samples taken from a cotton swab. Forensic technicians can collect DNA from suspects by swabbing their mouth, mixing the sample with a few chemicals, and warming it up. The DNA-testing-lab-on-a-chip does the rest. The entire process takes only four hours at present but the research team is already optimizing it and reducing the cycle time down to two hours… A report on the fast forensic test appears in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry.

 

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

“Regrowing lost limbs may soon be a reality”

August 5, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Here’s some hope for those who lose limbs due to war, accident, or disease — research on salamanders that may help turn the long-standing dream of human limb regeneration into reality. An article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS’ weekly newsmagazine, says that this means that instead of using artificial legs or arms, patients actually may regrow their own missing limbs. C&EN senior editor Sophie Rovner notes that salamanders, flatworms, and certain other creatures can easily regrow lost body parts, including organs, nerves, and muscle. Scientists, for instance, have discovered certain proteins and genes with key roles in regenerating lost body parts.

 

The Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland: daily circulation 45,352)

“Cars far worse than planes for long term emissions damage”

August 5, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Car travel has a greater long-term impact on global warming than flying because it produces more longer-lasting carbon dioxide, according to new research. A team of Austrian and Norwegian scientists said this outweighed the larger short-term impact caused by aircraft, which increased global temperatures four times more than cars over the same distance. This is because of the extra impact of CO2 and other emissions at high altitudes. The study also showed trains and buses caused four to five times less impact than cars for every kilometre a passenger travelled. The researchers said several climate chemistry research techniques had been used for the first time to investigate the effects of all long and short-lived gases and cloud effects produced by transport. The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, also showed that moving freight by plane rather than lorry over the same distance increased global temperatures by between seven and 35 times.

 

MedIndia (Chennai, India: 736,300 monthly unique users)

“Study Sheds Light on Mystery of Bone Loss from Drug for Epilepsy and Bipolar Disorder”

August 5, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

A possible explanation for the bone loss that may occur following long-term use of a medicine widely used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and other conditions is being reported by scientists. The drug, valproate, appears to reduce the formation of two key proteins important for bone strength, they said. Their study, which offers a solution to a long-standing mystery, appears in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research. Glenn Morris and colleagues point out that use of valproate, first introduced more than 40 years ago for the prevention of seizures in patients with epilepsy, has expanded. In an effort to determine why bone loss occurs, the scientists profiled valproate's effects on more than 1,000 proteins in the cells of patients with SMA. They found that valproate reduced production of collagen, the key protein that gives bone its strength, by almost 60 percent.

 

European Plastics News (London,  England)

“Plastics R&D in China growing”

August 6, 2010

 

Like a lot of global plastics companies, Ticona Engineering Polymers is significantly stepping up its research and development activity in China, as the company sees more product development work shifting to Asia. The new investment is part of what other executives and analysts say is a trend toward stepped up research and development in China and other emerging markets, as those economies try to shift from being low-cost labor centers to more product design and development spots. There are signs of that in China. The country has built its breakneck economic growth so far largely on low-cost labor and exports, but there are indications of change, even if the changes don’t always grab big headlines. China, for example, became the world’s leading producer of chemical invention patent applications in 2009, according to the Chemical Abstracts Service, which supplies research databases and is part of the American Chemical Society.

 

… Broadcast News

 

WWJ-AM (Detroit, Mich.)

“Fast Forensic Test Can Match Suspects' DNA With Crime Samples In Four Hours”

August 5, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

A report on a new forensic test appears in the journal Analytical Chemistry. Its use could allow police to match a suspect with a crime scene or hold onto a suspect who may be connected to other crimes.

 

… From the Blogs

 

Food Freedom

“Even birds choose superfoods when needed”

August 6, 2010

Origin: OPA National Meeting press release

 

Insect-eating songbirds switch to fruits rich in antioxidants before migrating. The antioxidants apparently help the birds deal with the stress of migration. Birds and other wildlife could help biochemists prospect for useful substances in nature. “It’s a fairly sophisticated biochemical analysis,” said McWilliams. The work was presented at the meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco. “This study is one of the new generation of bird food studies that is…not just looking at energy and protein but looking at micronutrients,” said ecologist Douglas Levey of the University of Florida in Gainesville.

 

Weight Loss

“How the Sea can help you fight the fat”

August 6, 2010

 

In a  study conducted at  Newcastle University, Washington it is claimed that sea kelp can reduce the body’s fat absorption by more than 75 percent and could be the answer to fighting obesity, the results of which were presented to the American Chemical Society Spring meeting in San Francisco on March 21. The active ingredient is Alginate, a natural fibre found in sea kelp.  This fibre was tested along with 60 different natural fibres to determine the amounts of fat digested and absorbed.

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

“Four hours for forensic DNA test”

August 5, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

Forensic scientists have developed a test that can match a suspect's DNA to crime scene samples in just four hours. The new technique could greatly speed up forensic DNA testing, making the process almost as easy as matching fingerprints. Police could check whether a suspect's DNA matches profiles in a database before a decision is taken on whether to release them from custody. Researchers describe their approach in the journal Analytical Chemistry. Their report points out that a large number of individuals re-offend while on police bail. In the UK, 75% of people arrested are released from police custody within six hours and 95% are released within 24 hours. The researchers built an instrument with a DNA processing cartridge and a special chip to analyse DNA samples from a cotton swab. Forensic technicians can collect DNA from suspects by swabbing the insides of their mouths, mixing the sample with a few chemicals, and warming it up. The device does the rest, producing a genetic profile that can be compared against crime samples in a database.

 

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

“Regrowing lost limbs may soon be a reality”

August 5, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Here’s some hope for those who lose limbs due to war, accident, or disease – research on salamanders that may help turn the long-standing dream of human limb regeneration into reality. An article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS’ weekly newsmagazine, says that this means that instead of using artificial legs or arms, patients actually may regrow their own missing limbs. C&EN Senior Editor Sophie Rovner notes that salamanders, flatworms, and certain other creatures can easily regrow lost body parts, including organs, nerves, and muscle. But regenerative capabilities are rarer and much more limited among humans and other animals. The article describes how salamanders — which can regrow an entire limb — and other animals are providing clues to regenerating human limbs.

 

United Press International (Washington D.C.: 1.4 million monthly unique users)

“Study: Cars warm climate more than planes”

August 4, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

A trip in a car increases global temperatures more than the same trip by airplane, although the flight has a more immediate impact, U.S. researchers say. In the short run, traveling by air has a larger adverse climate impact because airplanes strongly affect short-lived warming processes at high altitudes, a study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology says. The study compared the impacts on global warming of different modes of transport using climate chemistry models to consider the climate effects of all long- and short-lived gases, aerosols and cloud effects resulting from transport worldwide. The researchers concluded that in the long run the global temperature increase from a car trip would be on average higher than from a plane trip of the same distance.


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

“Solving The Mystery Of Bone Loss From Drug For Epilepsy And Bipolar Disorder”

August 4, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Scientists are reporting a possible explanation for the bone loss that may occur following long-term use of a medicine widely used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and other conditions. The drug, valproate, appears to reduce the formation of two key proteins important for bone strength, they said. Their study, which offers a solution to a long-standing mystery, appears in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research. In an effort to determine why bone loss occurs, the scientists profiled valproate's effects on more than 1,000 proteins in the cells of patients with SMA. They found that valproate reduced production of collagen, the key protein that gives bone its strength, by almost 60 percent. The drug also reduced levels of osteonectin, which binds calcium and helps maintain bone mass, by 28 percent.

 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, Wisc.: daily circulation 217,755)

“UW researchers develop coating to reduce patient infections”

August 4, 2010

 

While catheters cannot technically have a yeast infection, yeast often grows on them and can lead to a potentially dangerous infection in patients. The yeast Candida albicans can live in drug-resistant biofilms, forming an often unnoticeable coating on medical devices that may enter patients’ bloodstreams and can be fatal. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a novel coating for those instruments that greatly diminishes fungal growth and may lead to far fewer infections. Their work was reported online in late July in the journal Biomacromolecules. Candida albicans is usually harmless, and it can be found in the natural human microflora of the skin and mouth. In otherwise healthy individuals, it may cause a vaginal yeast infection or oral thrush. If the yeast enters the bloodstream, however, it has a 50% rate of mortality, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We’re interested in trying to inhibit the formation of biofilms on medical devices,” said Sean Palecek, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering at UW-Madison and a senior author of the study. Prior to the report, the researchers had designed an anti-microbial molecule called a beta peptide that was toxic to the yeast but is expected to be safe for humans.

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users)

“Unprecedented Look at Oxide Interfaces Reveals Unexpected Structures on Atomic Scale”

August 4, 2010

 

Thin layers of oxide materials and their interfaces have been observed in atomic resolution during growth for the first time by researchers at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, providing new insight into the complicated link between their structure and properties. “Imagine you suddenly had the ability to see in color, or in 3-D," said the CNMS's Sergei Kalinin. "That is how close we have been able to look at these very small interfaces." The paper was published online in ACS Nano with ORNL's Junsoo Shin as lead author. A component of magnetoelectronics and spintronics, oxide interfaces have the potential to replace silicon-based microelectronic devices and improve the power and memory retention of other electronic technologies.

 

MinnPost (Minneapolis, Minn.: 183,800 monthly unique users)

“Scientist creates sunscreen from ivy”

August 5, 2010

 

Drive through the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on a sunny day, and you may see a man on the side of the road pruning the English ivy. Mingjun Zhang isn't the groundskeeper. He is a biomedical engineer at UT who harvests the vine to make a new kind of sunscreen. He hopes to replace the metal particles in commercial sunscreens with an organic, non-toxic alternative. The secret ivy's clinging power, Zhang discovered, is in its secretions, which contain nanoparticles a thousand times smaller than a grain of sand. The unusual shape of these particles allows them to form strong bonds with the surfaces of fences and walls. While studying the unique shape of these particles, Zhang found that they also absorb the ultraviolet rays in sunlight. "New tools are allowing us to check the human and environmental impacts of technologies developed decades ago," said Bob Peoples, director of the American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute in Washington, D.C. "Our goal now is to reduce or eliminate the generation or use of hazardous substances." 

 

… From the Blogs

 

Nanotechnology Today

“Nano Letters publishes Dr. Yong Shi's energy harvesting technology”

August 3, 2010

 

The journal, Nano Letters, recently published an article highlighting the fascinating nanogenerators developed by Dr. Yong Shi, a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stevens Institute of Technology. Dr. Shi's work focuses on miniature energy harvesting technologies that could potentially power wireless electronics, portable devices, stretchable electronics, and implantable biosensors. The concept involves piezoelectric nanowire- and nanofiber-based generators that would power such devices through a conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy.

 

The Chemist’s Resource

“American Chemical Society to hold forum on climate change on Aug. 23”

August 3, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

The American Chemical Society will hold a special forum on climate change on Monday, Aug. 23, during its National Meeting and Exposition in Boston. The symposium, which includes four world-class experts, will examine the state of climate change science and what can be done about the problem.

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

“New computer super-material may make smelly shoes history”

August 2, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

Graphene - regarded as the new super material - could stop your shoes from smelling bad. It is known that graphene's high strength and elasticity, coupled with exceptionally high conductivity and use in flexible semiconductors could soup up computing. The new study by Chunhai Fan, Qing Huang and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai revealed that sheets of graphene oxide are highly effective at killing bacteria. "We observed that E.coli cells were destroyed when they interacted with the graphene oxide," New Scientist quoted Fan as saying. Although how it does that is not yet understood, but its properties could have implications in food packaging to keep it fresh for longer time. The study is published in ACS Nano.

 

FirstScience (London, England: 23,000 monthly unique users)

“American Chemical Society to hold forum on climate change on Aug. 23”

August 3, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

The American Chemical Society (ACS) will hold a special forum on climate here on Aug. 23 during its 240th National Meeting & Exposition, featuring international authorities speaking on the current status of climate change science. Entitled "Forum on Climate Change Science and Consequences," it is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Seaport Hotel, Plaza Ballroom B/C, and will include time for audience participation. The presentations are among 8,000 reports scheduled for presentation during the ACS National Meeting, which runs from Aug. 22-26. The central theme is "Chemistry for Preventing & Combating Disease."

 

Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 2.8 million monthly unique users)

“Potential Prostate Cancer Marker Discovered”

August 2, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Studies by a Purdue University-led team have revealed a potential marker for prostate cancer that could be the starting point for less invasive testing and improved diagnosis of the disease. The team used a new analysis technique to create a profile of the lipids, or fats, found in prostate tissue and discovered a molecular compound that appears to be useful in identifying cancerous and precancerous tissue. The profile revealed that cholesterol sulfate is a compound that is absent in healthy prostate tissue, but is a major fat found in prostate cancer tumors. Graham Cooks, Purdue's Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Timothy Ratliff, the Robert Wallace Miller Director of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research, led the team. The findings of the study, which was funded by the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research and the National Institutes of Health, were published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

 

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

“Research team develops new 'organic' solar cell technology”

August 3, 2010

 

Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) have developed a new "organic" solar cell technology that utilizes a flexible film design to collect energy. These organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells are able to capture sunlight even when bent at various angles, giving them an edge over current solar cell technology. "Organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells have been proposed as a means to achieve low cost energy due to their ease of manufacture, light weight, and 'compatibility with flexible substrates'," explained Chongwu Zhou, professor of electrical engineering at USC's Viterbi School of Engineering, in a recent paper published in the journal ACS Nano. The OPV cells do not capture solar energy as efficiently as silicon cells do, but they are far less expensive to produce and offer a much wider range of potential uses. Three years ago, the USC team developed a way of effectively mass-producing the graphene film used in OPV cells, making them a viable new form of solar technology.

 

Salisbury Daily Times (Salisbury, Md.: daily circulation 18,554)

“Prescription drugs found in drinking water”

August 4, 2010

 

Newly released details from a state drinking water study show that prescription drugs and personal care chemicals have crept into water supplies used by every major water utility tested. The results, provided in response to a request from The News Journal, show smatterings of medicines ranging from analgesics and antibiotics to anti-convulsives and hormones in water used both by public and private companies, including all three of New Castle County's largest public utilities and major suppliers in Kent and Sussex counties. The American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology published a study last month showing that those same pharmaceuticals and personal care products can accumulate in soybeans irrigated with contaminated water. Soybeans are a bedrock crop in Delaware. "We need more research at this moment," Chenxi Wu, a University of Toledo research scientist and lead author of the federally backed study, said Tuesday. "We need more experiments to see if livestock that eat those soybeans accumulate those compounds in the meat."

 

Photonics.com (Pittsfield, Mass.)

“Nanoscale gold boosts infrared detection”

August 2010

 

For the past decade, state-of-the-art infrared photodetectors have been based on MCT, or mercury cadmium telluride, technology, which offers strong signal sensing but is associated with various drawbacks, such as its suboptimal signal-to-noise ratio and the long exposure times associated with low-signal imaging. Quantum dot-based infrared detectors, the alternative, are less sensitive to light, especially in the far field. However, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, led by physics professor Shawn-Yu Lin, have developed a device dubbed a “microlens” that uses the unique properties of nanoscale gold to more than double the detectivity of this sensor type without increasing the noise. The study, titled “A Surface Plasmon Enhanced Infrared Photodetector Based on InAs Quantum Dots,” was published in the May 12, 2010, issue of Nano Letters.

 

… From the Blogs

 

After 30 Fitness

“Winning the War against Free Radicals”

August 4, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

What if I told you that every single day of your life you come into contact with an invisible threat that could cause cancer, change your DNA, and even accelerate the aging process?  Did I just get your attention?  This invisible threat is something called free radicals. Free radicals are found in the food we eat, and even in the air we breathe.  There is no escaping contact with them, but there is a way to defend against them. If free radicals are the villain in this story, antioxidants are the heroes in the white hats who ride in to save the day. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry tested over 100 different foods for their antioxidant content. Here are the top 20 results.

 

KFYO News

“Texas Tech Chemist Inducted as Fellow for Largest Scientific Society”

August 3, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

A Texas Tech chemist has been honored by the world’s largest scientific society. Horn Professor of Chemistry Richard Bartsch has been inducted into the 2010 class of fellows for the American Chemical Society. Bartsch was one of 192 distinguished scientists honored this year. The professor has specialized in studying a type of chemical “doughnut” which helps industries remove metal ions, such as cadmium, lead, or mercury from wastewater.

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

“10 Principles of Responsible Product Stewardship”

August 2, 2010

 

There seems to be a growing assumption that it is possible to make products that are totally safe with no risks to health or the environment, no depletion of resources, no net energy use, no waste, no global warming and no responsibility on the part of users. Sorry, but as far as I know, the second law of thermodynamics still holds: There is no free lunch. We cannot enjoy the benefits of products without some environment degradation and some health risks. But we can be safer and more sustainable in how we make and use products if we all practice product stewardship. The following 10 principles are key to achieving product stewardship and apply to each of us involved in any product's lifecycle: 1. Shared Responsibility: Take responsibility to ensure products are managed safely throughout their lifecycle for the products that you supply, manufacture, distribute, use, dispose/recycle or regulate. 2. Lifecycle Thinking: Work to prevent or significantly reduce risks and increase sustainability throughout the product lifecycle… About the author - Georjean Adams is president of EHS Strategies, Inc. She continues championing sustainability with the American Chemical Society, teaches a class on environmental regulations at the University of Minnesota, and blogs at Life Cycle Thinking.

 

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

“Md., N.Y., N. J. and Conn. students bring home gold medals from International Chemistry Olympiad”

August 2, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) press release

 

Two gold medals, one silver, and one bronze -- the U.S. team competed very successfully against 250 students from 65 countries in the 42nd International Chemistry Olympiad, the American Chemical Society (ACS) announced today. The international competition was held July 19-28 in Tokyo,  Japan. The four U.S. students were selected from an original pool of more than 11,000 high school chemistry students who vied to be on the team. These four emerged after a two-week training camp held for the 20 student finalists in mid-June at the U.S. Air Force Academy. ACS, the world's largest scientific society, sponsors the U.S. team along with additional support from other partners. The medals were presented to winners in ceremonies at Waseda University. Alexander Siegenfeld of Westport, Conn., and Colin Lu, of Vestal, N.Y., both won gold medals. Richard Li, of Clarksville, Md., won a silver medal and Utsarga Sikder, of Monmouth Junction, N.J., won a bronze medal. Lu also served on the U.S. team for the International Chemistry Olympiad in 2009, winning a silver medal.

 

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

“American Chemical Society names 2010 Fellows”

August 2, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

The American Chemical Society (ACS) today named the 2010 class of ACS Fellows, an honor bestowed upon 192 distinguished scientists who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and made important contributions to ACS, the world's largest scientific society. The 2010 Fellows will be recognized on Aug. 23 during the Society's national meeting in Boston. "Whether it's making new materials, finding cures for disease or developing energy alternatives, these Fellows are scientific leaders, improving our lives through the transforming power of chemistry," said ACS President Joseph S. Francisco, Ph.D. "They are also consummate volunteers who contribute tirelessly to the community and the profession." This year's class of Fellows includes professionals from the following institutions: 3M Co., Amer. Research & Testing Inc., Anellotech Inc., Ansaris, Inc.

 

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

“New catalyst makes better fuel cells, study shows”

August 2, 2010

 

In the quest for efficient, cost-effective and commercially viable fuel cells, researchers at Cornell's Energy  Materials Center have discovered a catalyst -- platinum nanoparticles -- that could make fuel cells more stable, longer lasting, and more resistant to carbon monoxide poisoning. The research, led by Héctor D. Abruña, the E.M. Chamot Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and director of the Energy Materials  Center at Cornell, and Francis J. DiSalvo, the John Newman Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, appeared online recently in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Hydrogen fuel cells offer an appealing alternative to gasoline-burning cars: They have the potential to power vehicles for long distances using hydrogen as fuel, mitigate carbon dioxide production and emit only water vapor. But they also require very pure hydrogen to work. That means that conventional fuel must be stripped of its carbon monoxide (CO) -- a process that is too expensive to make fuel cells commercially viable… To create a catalyst that can tolerate more CO, Abruña, DiSalvo and colleagues deposited platinum nanoparticles on a support material of titanium oxide (with added tungsten to increase its electrical conductivity). Tests show that the new material works with fuel that contains as much as 2 percent CO, losing only 5 percent efficiency compared with a 30 percent drop in efficiency for conventional platinum catalysts.

 

North Country Now (Potsdam, N.Y.: 66,300 monthly unique users)

“Clarkson's Barry wins 15th consecutive APEX Award for publication excellence”

August 2, 2010

 

Dana M. Barry, senior technical writer and editor at Clarkson University's Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP), has won her 15th consecutive APEX Award for Publication Excellence. This honor, presented by Communications Concepts in Springfield, Va., is based on editorial content and overall communications effectiveness and excellence. Barry has received this award annually since 1996. Barry is scientific board president for Ansted  University. She is an officer for the northern New York section of the American Chemical Society, a certified professional chemist, and has permanent teacher certification in New York State to teach chemistry and other science courses.

 

… From the Blogs

 

Audubon Magazine

“Buttering Up Biodiesel”

August 2, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

It’s tasty on popcorn and delicious in cookies, but researchers now say that butter could also be used to make another product crucial to our insatiable appetites: biodiesel. In a study conducted by Michael Haas with the Department of Agriculture and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the researchers got the fat from a quarter-ton of butter and turned it into the fatty esters that make up biodiesel. Their final product met all of the biodiesel test standards except one.

 

Westport Now (Westport, Conn.)

“Westport Teen Wins Chemistry Gold Medal”

August 2, 2010

Origin: OPA press release

 

A 17-year-old Westport high school student has won a gold medal in the just completed 42nd International Chemistry Olympiad in Tokyo, the American Chemical Society (ACS) announced today. Alexander Siegenfeld, who attends the Hopkins School, was one of four U.S. students selected from an original pool of more than 11,000 high school chemistry students who vied to be on the team. The four emerged after a two-week training camp held for the 20 student finalists in mid-June at the U.S. Air Force Academy. ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, sponsors the U.S. team along with additional support from other partners.

U.S. News & World Report (Washington D.C.: monthly circulation 1.3 million)

“Nanomaterials Poised for Big Impact in Construction”

July 30, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) PressPac

 

Nanomaterials are poised for widespread use in the construction industry, where they can offer significant advantages for a variety of applications ranging from making more durable concrete to self-cleaning windows. But widespread use in building materials comes with potential environmental and health risks when those materials are thrown away. Those are the conclusions of a new study published by Rice University engineering researchers this month in ACS Nano. "The advantages of using nanomaterials in construction are enormous," said study co-author Pedro Alvarez, Rice's George R. Brown Professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "When you consider that 41 percent of all energy use in the U.S. is consumed by commercial and residential buildings, the potential benefits of energy-saving materials alone are vast. "But there are reasonable concerns about unintended consequences as well," Alvarez said. "The time for responsible lifecycle engineering of man-made nanomaterials in the construction industry is now, before they are introduced in environmentally relevant concentrations."

 

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

“New Pain Pills Made From Sea-Snail Spit Could Be More Powerful than Morphine”

July 30, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Call it a new form of rapture of the deep. Chemicals from sea snail saliva can be made into pain pills that work as well as morphine, but without the risk of addiction, a new study says. Researchers have already used the saliva of marine cone snails as a potent painkiller, but it has to be injected into the spinal cord with a special implanted pump, which limits its use. Researchers led by David J. Craik of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland in Australia figured out how to make the peptide orally active, so patients could simply pop snail-saliva pills. Snails' saliva contains conotoxins, which are peptide toxins that interrupt various biological functions. Snails inject it into their prey using needle-like teeth that shoot from their mouths like harpoons, according to a report on the findings by the American Chemical Society.

 

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

“Computer supermaterial could stop your shoes smelling”

August 1, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Graphene has been heralded as the new supermaterial of our time. It possesses incredible strength and elasticity, while its exceptionally high conductivity and use in flexible semiconductors could soup up computing. If all that weren't enough, there's another way that the atom-thick layers of carbon might improve your life: stopping your shoes from smelling. Sheets of graphene oxide are highly effective at killing bacteria, say Chunhai Fan, Qing Huang and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. The team sprayed sheets of the material with an aerosol rich in Escherichia coli, and then placed the sheets in an incubator and examined them under a microscope. "We observed that E.coli cells were destroyed when they interacted with the graphene oxide," says Fan, providing the first evidence that graphene oxide kills bacteria. (ACS Nano)

 

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

“U.S. food waste worth more than offshore drilling”

July 30, 2010

 

More energy is wasted in the perfectly edible food discarded by people in the US each year than is available in oil and gas reserves off the nation's coastlines. Recent estimates suggest that 16 per cent of the energy consumed in the US is used to produce food. Yet at least 25 per cent of food is wasted each year. Michael Webber and Amanda Cuellar at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin calculate that this is the equivalent of about 2150 trillion kilojoules lost each year. That's more than could be gained from many popular strategies to improve energy efficiency. It is also more than projections for how much energy the US could produce by making ethanol biofuel from grains. Dairy foods and vegetables are the greatest culprits, with around 466 and 403 trillion kilojoules lost as waste each year, respectively. (Environmental Science and Technology)

 

Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.: daily circulation 193,577)

“Creativity in the chemistry lab”

August 1, 2010

 

Science is in Valerie Ashby's blood. Educating is, too. Both her parents were teachers, but it was her father's chosen field that captivated her. "My dad was a science and math teacher," Ashby said. "I think I always had an interest in following him, and I decided in high school that I would be a chemistry major." That initial decision launched Ashby, a two-time alumna from UNC Chapel Hill and now a tenured chemistry professor at the university, down a career path that has led to innovations in medical equipment and drug delivery. Along the way, she has garnered wide admiration among her peers and her students. She was honored by the American Chemical Society in 2002 as one of the top 12 young female chemists nationwide, and students chose her to deliver the address during their December 2008 graduation ceremony. Currently, Ashby is working on soft polymers that can be used in the human body. The hard, crystalline polymers used now do not easily align with the body's soft tissue, often leading to tissue damage. A soft polymer would eliminate that issue, Ashby said.

 

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

“Growing Organs and Helping Wounds Heal”

August 2, 2010

 

A stretchy new fabric made by linking together the proteins found in muscle tissue could provide a scaffold for growing new organs. It could also be used as a coating for bandages to help wounds heal quickly and with less scarring. The fabric was made in the laboratory of Kevin Kit Parker, a professor at Harvard's School  of Engineering and Applied Science. When the body grows new tissue, cells secrete fibronectin--a strong, stretchy type of protein that acts as a supportive scaffold. The shape and structure that fibronectin adopts directs the subsequent growth of new cells, giving the resulting tissue the correct form. Parker's team creates the fabric by depositing fibronectin molecules on top of a water-repelling polymer surface. This causes the proteins, which are normally bundled up, to unravel. Next, the protein layer is stamped onto a dissolvable, water-attracting polymer sheet on top of a piece of glass. Adding water and warming the mixture to room temperature makes the proteins link together to form the fabric. It also dissolves the polymer so that the fabric can be peeled away and collected. (Nano Letters)

 

… From the Blogs

 

Science Magazine News

“Household Detergents, Shampoos May Form Harmful Substance in Wastewater”

July 30, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac

 

Dishwashing detergent is among the household cleaning products containing ingredients that could form a cancer-causing contaminant in wastewater, new research suggests. Their study is in the American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal. Their laboratory research showed that when mixed with chloramine, some household cleaning products -- including shampoo, dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent -- formed NDMA.

 

Drake University News

“Video: Undergraduates collaborate on summer research”

July 27, 2010

 

Eleven Drake students spent the summer on campus conducting research through the Drake Undergraduate Science Collaborative Institute. The students worked with Drake faculty members in the fields of biology, psychology, computer science, chemistry, environmental science and pharmacology. They presented their research findings July 26. Some of the group’s findings have already been published in the journal of Analytical Chemistry.