News and features abound at ACS National Meeting in New Orleans, April 6-10

March 04, 2008

NEW ORLEANS -- Blood from the American alligator -- the creature feared for attacks on people and pets -- may have a new role as a medical lifesaver. Crime scene investigators get a more accurate test for gunshot residue. How research on clay is pointing the way to new rub-on medicines for stubborn antibiotic-resistant skin infections. Welcome to the "Black Gold" agriculture revolution, and its promise for feeding a hungry world.

Those are among hundreds of newsworthy topics on the agenda next month, when scientists from around the world gather in the Crescent City for the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). With more than 160,000 members in the United States and other countries, ACS is the world's largest scientific society.

About 12,000 researchers and others are expected for the event, one of 2008's most significant scientific conferences. It will include more than 9,000 reports on new discoveries in chemistry and other fields. Those fields span the breadth of science from astronomy to zoology, and include a special focus on health, energy, food, environment, and alternative fuels.

In addition to coverage of breaking science news, the meeting provides an opportunity for independent reporting on disaster recovery efforts in the region before the June 1 start of the 2008 hurricane season.

Reporters will get a first-hand look at the recovery of one esteemed scientific research facility April 7 during the ACS Office of Communications (OC) special news media tour and briefing. Media will travel to the shores of Lake Pontchatrain and the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC).

Devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, SRRC has resumed a rich heritage of scientific discovery that connects with the everyday lives of consumers. SRRC's projects include battling the dreaded Formosan Subterranean Termite, which survived Katrina and continues to threaten historic buildings in New Orleans. Following the briefing and tour, news media and scientists will gather for a reception with food and beverages. Space for the event is limited. To reserve a place, contact Michael Woods (m_woods@acs.org) or Michael Bernstein (contact information at top of news release).

Media registration click here and housing reservations for the ACS national meeting are now open for reporters attending the meeting. The ACS Press Center will be located in Room 206 of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. It will include a media workroom with staff to assist in arranging interviews, press conferences, wireless Internet access, telephones, computers, photocopy and fax services, and refreshments.

For reporters planning to cover the meeting from their home bases, the ACS Office of Communications will provide an expanded suite of resources, including press releases, non-technical summaries of research presentations, and staff to arrange interviews.

In addition, OC is debuting an innovation intended to provide further access for the increasing number of reporters who now cover scientific conferences from distant locations. Borrowing from a popular Internet fixture, the New Orleans Press Center will include a chat room.

Scientists and news media will gather onsite in a setting much like the traditional press conference. However, audio and video from proceedings will be available over the Internet. Reporters working from home bases will have the ability to question scientists at each chat session. Details on obtaining access to the chat room, plus a chat room schedule, will be available prior to the meeting.

Among scientific reports scheduled for the meeting: The meeting will include sessions cosponsored with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Bruce Bursten, Ph.D., the 2008 ACS President, has selected "Energy and the Environment" as his theme and will host a keynote symposium on Monday, April 7, 2008, featuring a panel of top scientists in this area.
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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.

American Chemical Society

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