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ACS in the News - January 25, 2010

ACS in the News - January 25, 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.

Mail  on Sunday (London, England: daily circulation 2.2  million)

“Copper  pipes 'could cause Alzheimer's and heart disease in people over  50'”

January 22,  2010

Copper pipes could cause people over  50 to contract Alzheimer's and place them at risk of heart disease, a new study  has found. Scientists have warned people to remove old copper pipes from their  homes because the metal has been shown to build up in their bodies and cause  serious health problems. The study from the American Chemical Society's Chemical Research in Toxicology journal  found that people were at risk from copper as they aged. Lead researcher George  Brewer said the study had wide ranging implications for health authorities.  'Their toxicities are so general in the population that they are a looming  public health problem in diseases of aging and in the aging process itself,' he  said.

Scientific  American (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation  732,617)

“Cleopatra's  Eyeliner: Peeper Health Keeper”

January 22,  2010

When you picture ancient Egyptian  beauties such as Queen Nefertiti or Cleopatra, they’re probably wearing dramatic  black eyeliner. Ancient Egyptians believed that eye makeup had properties  bestowed by the gods protected the wearers from illness. Modern scientists  determined that the makeup contains often-harmful lead, so they discounted any  beneficial effects. But according to research published in the journal Analytical Chemistry, the eye makeup may  indeed have prevented disease. Scientists analyzed 52 different samples from  ancient Egyptian makeup found at the Louvre. They identified four different  lead-based substances, two of which were man-made, not natural. They then  applied the substances to a culture of human cells. And the cells experienced a  240 percent increase in the production of nitric oxide, which is known to jump  start the immune system.

WebMD (Orlando, Fla.: 13.8 million monthly unique  users)

“Blueberry  Juice May Boost Memory”

January 21,  2010

[The Daily  Mail (London,  England: daily  circulation 2.2 million) also covered the story.]

Swapping out the usual OJ for  blueberry juice in the morning may give your brain a memory boost. A new study  shows that drinking a daily dose of wild blueberry juice improved the memory of  older adults with age-related memory problems. It's the first study to show a  potential benefit of blueberries in improving memory in older adults at risk for  dementia. "The findings of this preliminary study suggest that moderate-term  blueberry supplementation can confer neurocognitive benefit," write researcher  Robert Krikorian, of the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, and  colleagues in the Journal of Agricultural and  Food Chemistry.

Science360  News Service (Arlington, Va.: 119,800 monthly unique  users)

“An Electrifying Advance  Toward Tomorrow's Power Suits”

January 25,  2010

Could powering an iPod or cell phone  become as easy as plugging it into your tee shirt or jeans, and then recharging  the clothing overnight? Scientists in California are reporting an advance in that  direction with an easier way of changing ordinary cotton and polyester into  "conductive energy textiles" — e-Textiles that double as a rechargeable battery.  Their report on the research appears in ACS' Nano Letters, a monthly journal. "Wearable  electronics represent a developing new class of materials with an array of novel  functionalities, such as flexibility, stretchability, and lightweight, which  allow for many applications and designs previously impossible with traditional  electronics technology," Yi Cui and colleagues note. "High-performance  sportswear, wearable displays, new classes of portable power, and embedded  health monitoring systems are examples of these novel applications."

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

“Study  Examines Costs and Benefits of Algae”

January 25,  2010

Last week, the government doled out  more than $80 million in stimulus money for biofuels research, much of which  will be focused on algae research. But a recent study, published in the journal  Environmental Science and  Technology, suggests that algae production is energy intensive and  can end up emitting more greenhouse gases than it sequesters. Other biofuel  crops such as corn, canola and switchgress result in a net carbon dioxide  uptake, the study found. The main reason for this is that fertilizers have to be  directly delivered to the pool of water that algae is growing in, said Andres  Clarens, an assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of  Virginia Civil and a lead author on the paper. Fertilizers emit nitrous oxide, a  greenhouse gas.

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

“Scientists  shed light on cancer”

January 22,  2010

Researchers at the University of St Andrews have developed a new technique  that could allow earlier detection of cancer. 'Raman spectroscopy' involves the  use of monochromatic light which, when aimed at a cell, interacts with the  biological molecules. Scientists are then able to identify the cells components  and detect disease. This new tool will also provide new diagnosis methods for  pathologists. The research is published in the latest edition of the  international journal Analytical  Chemistry.

Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio: daily circulation  199,524)

“Local  company forced to deal with attacks from China-based  hackers”

Friday, January 22,  2010

Google has not been alone in dealing  with computer hackers from China. Chemical Abstracts Service said it began  seeing a sharp increase in attempted hacks of customer accounts from China  about a year ago, well before Google's problems started. The Columbus-based  company manages a database of information on millions of chemicals, providing a  service used by scientists and researchers. A successful hacker could gain  access to important information about patent and product development going on  around the world. "We've experienced a widespread and growing problem of theft  to our SciFinder product," said Christine McCue, vice president of marketing at  Chemical Abstracts. SciFinder is a subscription service that allows customers  access to a multitude of information.

Discovery  News (Silver Spring, Md.: 1.5 million monthly unique  users)

“Tobacco  Plants Tapped to Grow Solar Cells”

January 25,  2010

Tobacco plants could help wean the  world from fossil fuels, according to scientists from the University of California, Berkeley. In a paper in the journal ACS  Nano Letters, Matt Francis and his  colleagues used tobacco plants, infected with a genetically engineered virus, to  produce artificial photovoltaic and photochemical cells. The technique is more  environmentally friendly than traditional methods of making solar cells and  could lead to cheap, temporary and biodegradable solar cells. "Over billions of  years, evolution has established exactly the right distances to collect light  from the sun and to do so with unparalleled efficiency," said Francis. "We are  just trying to mimic these finely tuned systems."

Broadcast  News

KABC-LA (Los Angeles, Calif.: 170,633 daily  viewers)

“Blueberry  juice boosts memory?”

January 25,  2010

Drinking blueberry juice could boost  your memory. Older adults showed improvement in learning and memory skills after drinking wild blueberry  juice for 12 weeks. The study showed that this type of affect in older adults at risk for dementia. The  study is published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

… From the  Blogs


“Soon, blood test to detect  schizophrenia”

January 24,  2010

Schizophrenia, with symptoms that  can include hallucinations and delusional thoughts, affects millions of people  worldwide. A simple blood test for diagnosing schizophrenia, the most serious  form of mental illness, could be available by year-end, according to a new  study. Celia Henry Arnaud, senior editor, Chemical and Engineering News, which  published the report, mentions the test as a part of a broader discussion of how  scientists are using non-brain cells to study
schizophrenia in a bid to  develop new diagnostic tests.

Next  Big Future

“Possibly Revolutionary Dry  Contact Printing of Carbon Nanotubes Patterns to Any Surface”

January 22,  2010

Rice University has developed dry  printing of nanotube patterns to any surface which could revolutionize  microelectronics and more. The techniques represent a huge step toward a nearly  limitless number of practical applications that include sensors, highly  efficient solar panels and electronic components. (ACS Nano)