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ACS in the News - January 6, 2010

ACS in the News - January 6, 2010

ACS in the News
January 6, 2010

'ACS in the News' publishes daily articles from newspapers, blogs and magazines about the American Chemical Society and its 38 peer-reviewed journals. Full-text links to the articles below can also be found in the attached document.

Popular Mechanics (New York, N.Y.: monthly circulation 1.2 million)
“10 Badass Beetles and the Technology They Inspire”
January 5, 2010

The United Nations has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity, calling attention to the mind-boggling variety of species on the planet. But in terms of sheer biological scope and variety, no creature is more diverse than the humble occupants of the taxonomical order Coleoptera. Beetles, which include 350,000 species to date, comprise an astounding one-quarter of all known living things. Here, PM looks at 10 beetles that are already inspiring technological breakthroughs… Beetles in the genus Stenocara that dwell in Namibia's Namib Desert have evolved an ingenious method for obtaining water in this arid region. Beads of vital moisture condense on this surface, eventually growing large enough to overcome the forces pinning them to the superhydrophilic regions. "The droplets then roll down the beetle's arched back to its mouth for a fresh drink of water," explains Michael Rubner, a materials scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In a 2006 Nano Letters study, Rubner and fellow MIT scientist Robert Cohen reported mimicking this exquisite water collection and control technique using layers of nanoparticles.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, Pa.: daily circulation 213,352)
“Detection deception”
January 6, 2010

The Obama administration is trying to reassure Americans that intelligence and airport-security systems will be upgraded as necessary to protect them in the wake of the attempted underwear bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day. That is as it should be. But another message the administration should convey is that no airport-security system can work perfectly because in today's world terrorists flying in the cheap seats can do a lot of damage with simple chemicals… The London bomber's technology came from work published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society back in 1961. An MIT report showed that acetone (fingernail-polish remover) and hydrogen peroxide (drug-store variety purified to remove some water) could be combined in a way to produce an explosive derivative of acetone. (Boise, Idaho: 3.1 million monthly unique users)
“Cinnamon's Sweet Taste Of Weight Loss!”
January 5, 2010

Cinnamon. The word evokes images of glistening sweet rolls fresh outta the oven on a Saturday morning. The smell of cinnamon alone can make the mouth water! But what if the sweetness you enjoyed as a kid (and let's be honest, as an adult too!) actually contributed to your health? Could it be possible that one of the aromas associated with growing waistlines across the globe is actually good for you? In a recent article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, chemist Richard A. Anderson co-authored a study with colleagues at the Beltsville (Maryland) Human Nutrition Research Center and two universities. In test tubes containing fat cells, the "polyphenolic polymers" associated with cinnamon bark were found to increase sugar metabolism a whopping 20-fold!

Community College Times (Washington D.C.)
“Webinar: Career opportunities in chemistry”
January 5, 2010

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is holding a series of free Webinars with speakers who will address a variety of career topics affecting science and engineering professionals. ACS President Joseph Francisco will kick off the series on Jan. 14 (2 p.m. ET). Each session will include a 30-minute coupled with a Q&A. The Webinars are free but participants must register in advance here.

Nanowerk (Honolulu, Hawaii: 70,700 monthly unique users)
“Ceres Nanosciences Launches Nanotrap ESP Particles for Protein Enrichment in Complex Biological Samples”
January 5, 2010

Ceres Nanosciences, LLLP, a biotechnology company using its proprietary Nanotrap™ capture particle technology to develop diagnostics and research products, announced today that it has launched the first release of Nanotrap™ ESP Particles designed to improve complex biofluid sample processing allowing for the detection of low-abundance proteins that would not otherwise be detected. The Nanotrap™ ESP product targets end users working with a variety of sample types that require a more efficient and powerful method of sample preparation for downstream detection and analysis. The use of this technology for these applications has recently been published by Dr. Lance Liotta and Dr. Emanuel Petricoin in the journals Nano Research and Nano Letters in 2008 and 2009.

… From the Blogs

Pauling Blog
“The Crystal Structure of Molybdenite”
January 5, 2010

Molybdenite, MoS2 (molybdenum = pink; sulfur = yellow).  A hexagonal crystal system constructed of molybdenum ions bonded to two layers of sulfur atoms through ionic bonding… Fresh off their laboratory success, Pauling co-authored his first scientific paper with Dickinson. It appeared in a 1923 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society under the title “The Crystal Structure of Molybdenite.” The success renewed Pauling’s confidence in his capacity to carry out professional scientific analysis, and instilled in him an understanding of the value of well-planned experimentation.

Hepatitis C New Drugs
“Grapefruit Juice\Meds and Hepatotoxicity?”
January 5, 2010

Patients often are warned against taking certain pills with grapefruit juice, which can turn normal doses of a drug into a toxic overdose. Now, researchers have raised a new concern: grapefruit, orange and apple juices may also block the effects of some drugs, wiping out any potential benefit to patients, according to a new study. The findings were presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society by researchers at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.