john simpson

ACS in the News - October 4, 2010

Blog Post created by john simpson on Oct 4, 2010

AOL News (New York, N.Y.: 3.1 million monthly unique users)

“Study: US Food Waste Is a Huge Energy Drain”

October 2, 2010

Origin: Office of Public Affairs (OPA) press release


[Twenty-five other media outlets, including Oneindia (Bangalore, India: 7.3 million monthly unique users, Treehugger (New York, N.Y.: 2.2 million monthly unique users, the Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Md.: daily circulation 201,830) and Science Daily (Rockville, Md.: 3.6 million monthly unique users), also covered the news.]


Forget drafty windows and aging cars -- a new study says one of the biggest wastes of energy in America could be the food in your garbage can. Every rotten tomato or unwanted chicken wing represents wasted energy, since the calories in the food are never consumed. And the energy that went into growing the food, processing it, packaging it and transporting it to the consumer is also wasted. Each year, American food waste represents the energy equivalent of 350 million barrels of oil, according to new research from the University of Texas. That's enough to power the whole country for a week -- just sitting in the trash can rotting. "As a nation we're grappling with energy issues," Michael Webber, associate director of the university's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy, told AOL News. "A lot more energy goes into food than people realize." This isn't small potatoes on a global level either. Agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, with the U.S. agricultural sector representing about 7 percent of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2008, even before taking into account the energy used to process and transport the food. (Environmental Science & Technology) (Denver, Colo.: 13.9 million monthly unique users)

“BP Oil Spill - learning from Exxon Valdez”

October 1, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac


Traces of crude oil that linger on the shores of Alaska's Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez oil spill remain highly biodegradable, despite almost 20 years of weathering and decomposition, scientists are reporting in a new study. Their findings, which appear in ACS' semi-monthly journal Environmental Science & Technology, suggest a simple approach for further cleaning up remaining traces of the Exxon Valdez spill the largest in U.S. waters until the 2010 Deepwater Horizon episode. Albert D. Venosa and colleagues note that bacteria, evaporation, sunlight, and other items in Mother's Nature's clean-up kit work together to break down the oil and make it disappear. The scientists collected oil-contaminated soil from different beaches in Prince William Sound and treated the samples with phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizer in the presence of excess oxygen from the air. Oil in the fertilized samples biodegraded up to twice as fast as oil in the unfertilized control samples, but significant biodegradation occurred even in the unfertilized controls. The results showed that oxygen supply was the major bottleneck, or limiting factor, in the field that prevented further decomposition of the oil.


EmaxHealth (Hickory, N.C.: 140,400 monthly unique users)

“Garlic May Prevent Heart Disease in People with Diabetes”

October 3, 2010

Origin: OPA PressPac


[Medical News Today (U.K.: 1.1 million monthly unique users) also carried the story.]


Many studies have explored the health benefits of garlic, but few have looked at its impact on a form of heart disease that affects people who have diabetes. Now the results of a new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry indicate that garlic has “significant potential” for preventing diabetic cardiomyopathy. Authors of the new study point out that people who have diabetes have at least a twofold risk of dying from heart disease. Specifically, diabetics are susceptible to diabetic cardiomyopathy, in which the heart tissue is inflamed and weakened in response to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). In 2003 in Diabetes Care, a report on diabetic cardiomyopathy noted that because the disease “is now known to have a high prevalence in the asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patient, screening for its presence at the earliest stage of development would be appropriate in order to prevent the progression to CHF (congestive heart failure).


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

“Leti Demonstrates the Integration of CMOS-Compatible Plasmonic Optical Waveguides with Silicon Photonic Devices”

October 1, 2010


CEA-Leti, a leading European research and development institute in the field of silicon photonics technology, today announced that it has demonstrated the efficient integration of silicon photonic devices with fully complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS)-compatible plasmonic optical waveguides. This new capability sets the stage for the fabrication of smaller, faster and more efficient opto-electronic interfaces, which could ultimately allow the development of significantly higher-performance sensors, computer chips and other electronic components. The plasmonic-optical devices were designed and fabricated by Leti, which collaborated with France’s Université de Technologie de Troyes (UTT) for additional near-field scanning optical microscope testing and characterization. The project results were presented earlier this month at the Group Four Photonics 2010 show in Beijing, and published in Nano Letters, a journal of the American Chemical Society.


Yahoo! Finance (Sunnyvale, Calif.: 11 million monthly unique users)

“Professor Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Lawson is Awarded the 2011 Herman Skolnik Award”

October 4, 2010


Elsevier Properties SA today congratulated its Research and Development Director, Professor Dr. Alexander (Sandy) Lawson, for receiving the 2011 Herman Skolnik Award. Presented by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Chemical Information (CINF), the award recognizes outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science and related disciplines. The prize consists of a $3,000 honorarium and a plaque, which Sandy will receive following a symposium scheduled for the ACS Fall National Meeting in Denver, Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2011, during the International Year of Chemistry. Sandy will also be one of the symposium presenters.


The Plain-Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio: daily circulation 291,630)

“A. Schulman promotes two managers: On the Go”

October 3, 2010


A. Schulman Inc.: Gustavo Perez was appointed general manager and chief operating officer of the Americas and Derek Bristow as general manager and chief operating officer of Asia, for the Fairlawn plastic additives company. American Chemical Society: Robert Weiss was named a fellow. Weiss is the Hezzleton E. Simmons professor of engineering at the University  of Akron.


Westminster News (Salt Lake City,  Utah: 13,200 monthly unique users)

“Westminster Helps Kick Off National Chemistry Week”

October 1, 2010


The Salt Lake City section of the American Chemical Society, in partnership with Westminster College, will observe National Chemistry Week on Oct. 9, 2010, with a public event at the Salt Lake City Library, Main Branch, at 10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to children of all ages. This year’s theme, “Behind the Scenes with Chemistry,” gives families an opportunity to learn about the mystery behind effects that seem magical, as well as provides hands-on art and science projects. Projects will demonstrate the science and chemistry behind special effects that are used in television and film. Other activities will explain the mystery of color changing and shape changing effects. In total, there will be 20 different activities to engage children and family members of all ages. The kick-off event will also include a science magic show.


North American Press Syndicate (New York, N.Y.: 3,015 monthly unique users)

“Contest Corner”

October 2, 2010


If your kids have ever watched a movie or TV show and asked, “Wow, how did they do that?” they may be interested to learn that many seemingly magical special effects are really chemistry at work. You can help children learn more about chemistry and special effects by participating in National Chemistry Week (NCW) 2010. As part of this year’s celebration, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is hosting a national poster contest for kids from kindergarten to 12th grade. Invite students to create a poster that celebrates the theme “Behind the Scenes with Chemistry.” Anyone can join in the celebration of NCW 2010 and get ready to celebrate the International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC 2011) by visiting


The Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill,  N.C.: 3,800 monthly unique users)

“Chemistry magazine ranks doctoral program in top 10”

October 4, 2010


The doctoral program in chemistry is one of the top in the nation, according to the magazine Chemical & Engineering News. The magazine analyzed data from the National Research Council. The release of the survey data was highly anticipated, with the council assessing doctorate programs at 212 colleges and universities in the U.S.


… From the Blogs


Green Car Congress

“American Chemical Society Posts Online Collection of New Resources on Climate Change”

October 4, 2010


The American Chemical Society (ACS) has posted a new online collection of resources related to climate change, including audio and visual presentations from a recent ACS forum on the science of climate change and video from an ACS press briefing on this forum. The forum featured four experts who discussed the state of the science and the importance of dealing with this issue in a scientifically informed manner


Front Side Bus

“Crystal cantilever lifts objects 600 times its own weight”

October 1, 2010


For a long time, scientists have been trying to transform the collective movements of tiny molecules into useful mechanical work. With this goal in mind, a team of researchers from Japan has developed a crystal cantilever that exhibits reversible bending upon alternate irradiation with ultraviolet (UV) and visible light. They’ve demonstrated that the crystal cantilever can lift metal balls that weigh up to 600 times more than the cantilever itself. Masakazu Morimoto and Masahiro Irie from Rikkyo University in Tokyo, Japan, and the Japan Science and Technology Agency have published their study on the crystals in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.