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ACS in the News - January 22, 2010

ACS in the News - January 22, 2010

'ACS in the News' publishes daily articles from newspapers, blogs and magazines about the American Chemical Society and its 38 peer-reviewed journals. Click on the links below to view the published article. The full-text article can also be found in the attached document at the bottom of the page.

Time  Magazine (New York, N.Y.: weekly circulation 3.4  million)

“Can  blueberry juice boost your memory?”

January 21,  2010

It's hard to find fresh blueberries  this time of year, but you might consider buying blueberry juice, particularly  if you're having chronic trouble remembering where you put the car keys.  According to a small new study in the Journal  of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, drinking blueberry juice can  actually improve your memory. The study included just 16 participants, average  age 78, who were recruited in the Cincinnati area. Nine volunteers were asked to  drink about two cups of blueberry juice every day for 12 weeks. While all  participants experienced age-related cognitive problems, the blueberry-juice  drinkers showed significantly better performance on two memory tests than a  control group of seven participants who drank a sweet placebo beverage that  contained no juice. What's more, the juice drinkers' test scores had improved by  the end of the 12 weeks.

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

“Carbon nanotubes used  to make batteries from fabrics”

January 21,  2010

Ordinary cotton and polyester  fabrics have been turned into batteries that retain their flexibility. The  demonstration is a boost to the nascent field of "wearable electronics" in which  devices are integrated into clothing and textiles. The approach is based on  dipping fabrics in an "ink" of tiny tubes of carbon, and was first demonstrated  last year on plain copier paper. The new application to fabrics is reported in  the journal Nano Letters.  "Wearable electronics represent a developing new class of materials... which  allow for many applications and designs previously impossible with traditional  electronics technologies," the authors wrote.

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

“Copper  pipes could cause heart disease and Alzheimer's”

January 21,  2010

Scientists have claimed people  should remove old copper pipes from their homes or install special filters  because the metal has been shown to build up in their bodies and cause serious  health problems. They have warned that tiny traces of copper from pipes, which  are still installed in British homes, mix with tap water and are then consumed  by people. Over a long period of time this leads to a build-up of copper in the  body which then leads to Alzheimer's disease, heart disease and diabetes because  the body cannot process the metal. The study found people over 50 should also  avoid vitamin and mineral pills that contain cooper and iron, lowering meat  intake and avoid drinking water from copper pipes. The study the "Risks of  Copper and Iron Toxicity during Ageing in Humans" was published in the American  Chemical Society's Chemical Research in  Toxicology journal.

OneIndia (Bangalore, India: 1.7 million monthly unique  users)

“School  classrooms 'more polluted than outdoors'”

January 21,  2010

School classrooms are more polluted  than outdoor places, a new study claims. Scientists in Australia and Germany  insist some school classrooms may contain higher levels of airborne ultrafine  particles. The experts fear children easily inhale these particles deep into the  lungs. Lidia Morawska with her team studied levels of ultrafine particles in 3  elementary school classrooms in Brisbane, Australia. They found that on  numerous occasions ultrafine particle levels in the classrooms were  significantly higher than outdoors. The highest levels occurred during art  activities such as gluing, painting and drawing when indoor levels were several  times higher than outdoor levels. (Environmental Science &  Technology)

RedOrbit (Dallas, Tex.: 5.4 million monthly unique  users)

“UVa  Engineers Find Significant Environmental Impacts With Algae-Based  Biofuel”

January 21,  2010

With many companies investing  heavily in algae-based biofuels, researchers from the University of Virginia's Department of Civil and  Environmental Engineering have found there are significant environmental hurdles  to overcome before fuel production ramps up. They propose using wastewater as a  solution to some of these challenges. These findings come after ExxonMobil  invested $600 million last summer and the U.S. Department of Energy announced  last week that it is awarding $78 million in stimulus money for research and  development of the biofuel. The U.Va. research, just published in the journal  Environmental Science &  Technology, demonstrates that algae production consumes more energy,  has higher greenhouse gas emissions and uses more water than other biofuel  sources, such as switchgrass, canola and corn.

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

“Zebrafish  Swim Into Drug Development”

January 21,  2010

By combining the tools of medicinal  chemistry and zebrafish biology, a team of Vanderbilt investigators has  identified compounds that may offer therapeutic leads for bone-related diseases  and cancer. The findings, reported in ACS  Chemical Biology, support using zebrafish as a novel platform for  drug development. In 2007, Charles Hong, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues described  using fish embryos to screen for compounds that interfere with signaling  pathways involved in early development -- pathways known to play roles in a  variety of disease processes. They discovered the compound "dorsomorphin" and  demonstrated that it blocked BMP (bone morphogenetic protein) signaling, which  has been implicated in anemia, inflammatory responses and bone-related  disorders.

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

“Researcher suggests the  mineral kotoite as new memory insulator  material”

January 21,  2010

Breakthroughs in electronics often  are the result of finding just the right material for a device -- like the  tungsten in light bulbs or the silicon in transistors. Now, a Cornell scientist  believes that the mineral kotoite could be an ideal insulator for memory storage  devices called magnetic tunnel junctions, found in computers, cell phones and  magnetic field sensors. The work, building on previous research by other Cornell  scientists, is published by Derek Stewart, the Cornell NanoScale Science and  Technology Facility's computational research associate, in the Dec. 17 online  edition of Nano  Letters.

Broadcast  News

KHON-TV (FOX News affiliate, Honolulu, Hawaii: daily audience 76,581)

“Can  blueberry juice impove memory?”

January 21,  2010

Researchers compared a group of elderly volunteers who drank two-and-a- half  cups of blueberry juice every day to a group  who didn't. After two months, the blueberry group showed significant improvement  on learning and memory tests. Researchers  credit anti-oxidants. The findings appear in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

… From the  Blogs

Tips  for Easy Weight Loss

“Black Beans: A Perfect  Food”

January 22,  2010

Looking for a food that can help  make you trim, fit, healthy, pump you full of anti-oxidants, and give you great  skin? Who isn’t! Few foods are as well rounded and have as many health benefits  as black beans. A study that appeared in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found flavonoid levels similar to those found in red grapes and cranberries. The  anti-oxidants are found in the skin of the bean, and the darker the skin, the higher the levels of anti-oxidants.

itecs  insider

“World Chemical  Outlook”

January 20,  2010

Businesspeople are optimists by  nature, and that trait comes through in their predictions for the chemical  enterprise’s year ahead. Beaten and bruised by two years of the worst economic  conditions since the Great Depression, they still expect better times in 2010.  Even economists, practitioners of the dismal science, have positive thoughts  about the new year. The American Chemistry Council forecasts that U.S.  chemical output will increase by 3.0% this year. The trade group’s European  counterpart, the European Chemical Industry Council, is more optimistic,  predicting a 4.7% rise in output for that region’s industry. (Chemical & Engineering  News)