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Coffee Without Addiction, Possible New Treatment For Osteoporosis, Wrinkle-Free Cotton, And More

March 26, 1999

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, will hold its spring national meeting in Anaheim from March 21-25, 1999. ACS expects 11,000 registrants to attend sessions that will cover more than 6,100 papers on cutting-edge chemistry in topic areas including medicine, food, the environment, new materials, and more.

Caffeine Chemistry and Health: Coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages could be better for you than you think. A new study shows that coffee may not be addictive, after all, and confirms its benefits to your level of alertness. Caffeine's links to the brain and behavior, performance efficiency and carcinogenesis will be explored. Cocoa and hot chocolate also are examined for possible cardiovascular health benefits.

An Improved Form of Ritalin, With New Uses: Researchers will report on a new and more effective form of this drug for hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, promising smaller doses and fewer side effects for the estimated 1.5 million school-age children who take the drug -- and offering the potential for a new treatment for cocaine addiction.

New Chemicals Could Lead to Bone Growth Pill: New chemicals will be reported that, if successful, could be the first osteoporosis treatment to stimulate new bone growth rather than simply retard bone loss. The treatment is showing positive results in animal studies and can be put in pill form.

A New Wrinkle in No-Wrinkle Cotton: A new cost-effective and environmentally sound finish for cotton fabric has been developed by chemists to make cotton wrinkle-free; the new finish is under commercial development.

Juiced-Up Solutions for Human and Environmental Health: Chemists will report on citrus limonoids, which show anticancer potential for breast and colon cancer, and have shown efficacy in insect control in agricultural settings as well

New Cotton Fabric Can De-Tox Pesticides: Offering a newly patented way to protect agricultural workers and even everyday gardeners from the toxic effects of pesticides, researchers will discuss their successful efforts to create a protective fabric that actually decomposes pesticides on contact and can be washed and revived with ordinary bleach.

Fire-Resistant Polymers May Aid in Aircraft Fires: New government and academic research will be reported on polymers that can resist fire and give off water vapors, providing a possible new tool in reducing the 40 percent of deaths due to fire in aircraft accidents that are otherwise survivable.

Popular Nutrition Supplement May Pose Cancer Risk: Chromium picolinate -- the popular nutrition supplement which is claimed to reduce body fat and help build muscle -- may pose a cancer risk. A new study provides evidence that the supplement causes DNA breakage, which can lead to tumor formation and genetic mutations.

New Protein-Like Polymer a Promising Blood Vessel Replacement: A new option for the half-million people who undergo vein or artery replacements each year is offered by a new "biomaterial" polymer that supports the growth of endothelial cells and could be used for blood vessel replacements. Often, patients with hardening of the arteries cannot supply their own replacement blood vessels from elsewhere in the body due to widespread atherosclerosis, making a polymer option more attractive.

Environmental Contaminant Shown to Disrupt Immune Cell Function: Butyltin compounds -- used to inhibit the growth of unwanted organisms like algae and used on large ships and in wood preservatives -- have been shown for the first time to disrupt the function of human blood cells, called NK or "natural killer" cells, that destroy tumor cells and provide important immune system protection.

In addition to the technical program, several key speakers at the meeting will address major national policy issues. Reporters wishing to cover these presentations should contact the ACS national meeting newsroom on site in Anaheim, beginning Thursday, March 18, at 714-740-4558. Note that tickets and advance registration are required for many of the following speeches. Major speakers include:
  • Former U.S. Congressman Mike McCormack, director of the Institute for Science and Society in Washington state and the 1999 recipient of the ACS Charles Lathrop Parsons Award for Public Service, speaking on "21st Century Energy Resources," in which he offers new solutions to divert the impending energy crisis, on Saturday, March 20, at 8:30 p.m.

  • Consumer advocate Ralph Nader will speak to an Industry Forum breakfast on the impact of chemical industry mergers and acquisitions on chemists, scientific research and consumers, on Monday, March 22, at 8:00 a.m.

  • Educators from South America, Japan, England, Africa and the United States will discuss global challenges in undergraduate chemistry education, with the latest developments and techniques from various nations, at a special symposium on Monday, March 22, at 9:00 a.m.

  • U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., will speak at a luncheon to honor the centennial of the birth of black chemist Percy Julian, who discovered the first treatment for glaucoma. Satcher will discuss policies "Towards a Balanced Community Health System: Opportunities and Challenges," at a luncheon on Monday, March 22, at 11:30 a.m.
A nonprofit organization with a membership of nearly 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

We expect to have more detailed information --including a complete set of meeting abstracts, news releases on selected sessions, and a schedule of news briefings -- closer to the meeting start date. For more information contact: Nancy Blount at 202-872-4440 or Charmayne Marsh at 202-872-4445. After March 18, contact the ACS Newsroom in Anaheim at 714-740-4558 from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

American Chemical Society

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