235th American Chemical Society National Meeting In New Orleans
Alligator blood may put the bite on antibiotic-resistant infections
Despite their reputation for deadly attacks on humans and pets, alligators are wiggling their way toward a new role as potential lifesavers in medicine. Scientists report that proteins in gator blood may provide powerful new antibiotics to help fight infections associated with diabetic ulcers, severe burns, and "superbugs" that are resistant to conventional medication. See corresponding news release, abstract, and nontechnical summary for AGFD 32.
Kermit K. Murray, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Louisiana State. Lancia N.F. Darville is a doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La.
Expert foresees 10 more years of R&D to make solar energy competitive
Despite oil prices that hover around $100 a barrel, it may take at least 10 or more years of intensive research to reduce the cost of solar energy to levels competitive with petroleum, according to a leading expert on the topic. See corresponding news release, abstract, and nontechnical summary for PRES 063.
Harry Gray, Ph.D., is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and Founding Director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology.
Paul Alivisatos, Ph.D., of the University of California at Berkeley and co-editor of the ACS journal Nano Letters, will describe potential advantages of future solar cells using nanoscale materials, and address some of difficulties that need to be overcome.
Isle of Stability
Those exploring the uncharted seas at the fringes of the Periodic Table of the Elements have landed on one long-sought island - the fabled Island of Stability, home of a new genre of superheavy chemical elements sought for more than three decades. Researchers now are eying other islands on the more-distant fringes of the periodic table. See corresponding news release, abstract, and nontechnical summary for NUCL 007.
Yuri Oganessian, Ph.D., is with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia. Ken Moody, Ph.D., is a nuclear chemist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA.
Meteorites delivered the "seeds" of Earth's left-hand life
Desert heat, a little water and meteorite impacts may have been enough to cook up one of the first prerequisites for life: The dominance of "left-handed" amino acids, the building blocks of life on this planet. Ronald Breslow will describe how our amino acid signature came from outer space. See corresponding news release, abstract, and nontechnical summary for ORGN 001.
Monday, April 7
As nanotech goes mainstream, "toxic socks" raise concerns
Valued for its antibacterial and odor-fighting properties, nanoparticle silver is becoming the star attraction in a range of products from socks to bandages to washing machines. But as silver's benefits propel it to the forefront of consumer nanomaterials, scientists are recommending a closer examination of the unforeseen environmental and health consequences of nanosilver. Paul Westerhoff, Ph.D. and Troy M. Benn will discuss the research. See corresponding news release, abstract, and nontechnical summary for ENVR 031.
Paul Westerhoff, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. Troy M. Benn is a Graduate Researcher in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz.
Fungus fight: Researchers battle against dangerous corn toxin
At the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, scientists presented advances towards the production of corn less susceptible to aflatoxin contamination. The new varieties could contribute to the reduction of the worldwide threat of the deadly toxin, improve food quality in developing countries and increase corn yield for food in the United States. See corresponding news release, abstract, and nontechnical summary for AGFD 081.
Bruce Hammond, Ph.D., is a researcher in the Product Safety Center at Monsanto.
Protecting a life-saving blood product from human form of mad cow disease
Amid concern that recipients of certain blood transfusions may risk infection with a deadly protein responsible for the human form of mad cow disease, researchers in Canada now report development of a special filter that quickly and effectively removes the protein from blood. The use of the device will significantly decrease the risk of acquiring variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the human form of mad cow, through blood transfusions, the researchers say. See corresponding news release, abstract, and nontechnical summary for I&EC 064.
Patrick V. Gurgel, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at PromMetic Life Sciences in Mont-Royal, Quebec, Canada.
Tuesday, April 8
DVDs and CD-ROMs That Thwart Global Warming
Chemists report that carbon dioxide removed from smokestack emissions in order to slow global warming could become a valuable raw material for the production of DVDs, beverage bottles and other products made from polycarbonate plastics. See corresponding news release, abstract, and nontechnical summary for FUEL 150 and FUEL 155.
[Tentative] Thomas E. Müller, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Institute for Technical Chemistry and Macromolecular Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany.
Toshiyasu Sakakura, Ph.D., is a researcher with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan.
Biochemical signals associated with atherosclerosis may damage other organs
In a finding that challenges conventional medical knowledge, researchers report that plaques formed in during atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, are associated with certain harmful chemical reactions that can contribute to damage in the lungs, liver, and other organs. The study suggests that the effects of the disease are more widespread than previously believed. See corresponding news release, abstract, and nontechnical summary for BIOL 152.
Rita K. Upmacis, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Pathology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY.
How sweet it is: "Revolutionary" process points to sugar-fueled cars
Chemists are describing development of a "revolutionary" process for converting plant sugars into hydrogen, which could be used to cheaply and efficiently power vehicles equipped with hydrogen fuel cells without producing any pollutants. See corresponding news release, abstract, and nontechnical summary for FUEL 213.
Y.-H. Percival Zhang, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Biological Systems Engineering Department at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
Anshul Samar, the "Elementeo Kid"
Age seems to be no obstacle when it comes to starting a business. That's the case with 14-year-old Anshul Samar, CEO of Elementeo, who invented a board game that aims to teach chemistry to students (http://www.elementeo.com/) in a fun, unusual way.
The American Chemical Society - the world's largest scientific society - is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
Source: Michael Bernstein
American Chemical Society