ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- April 25, 2007

April 30, 2007

Here is the latest American Chemical Society (ACS) News Service Weekly press package (PressPac) with reports selected from 35 major peer-reviewed journals and Chemical & Engineering News. With more than 160,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society. Please cite the individual journal, or the American Chemical Society, as the source of this information.

ACS NEWS SERVICE -- April 25, 2007

In This Edition: Journalists' Resources Mark Your Calendars: This information is intended for your personal use in news gathering and reporting and should not be distributed to others. Anyone using advance ACS News Service Weekly Press Package information for stocks or securities dealing may be guilty of insider trading under the federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934.


Commercial cat foods contain less than expected amounts of a key nutrientJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Commercial cat food may provide domestic cats with substantially less lysine -- an amino acid essential for good health -- than previously believed, scientists from New Zealand are reporting in a study scheduled for the May 2 issue of ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a biweekly publication.

Shane M. Rutherfurd and colleagues used a new method to analyze the amounts of lysine actually available for nourishment in 20 commercial cat foods. Lysine is an "essential" amino acid, meaning that animals must get ample amounts in the diet. It is important in a range of body functions, including absorption of calcium and building muscle protein.

Termed BIOLYSINE, the new method more accurately measures the amount of lysine remaining in food after processing, which destroys some of the amino acid. The researchers found that the old, traditional test significantly overestimates the amount of nutritionally available lysine. "This overestimate ranged from 41 percent to 143 percent for the moist food and from 18 percent to 90 percent for the dry foods," their report states.

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE "Available (Ileal Digestible Reactive) Lysine in Selected Pet Foods"


Shane M. Rutherfurd, Ph.D.
Massey University
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Phone: 64-6-350-5894
Fax: 64-6-350-5657


Easing concerns about nanomaterials' impact on soil microbesEnvironmental Science & Technology

In an advance toward understanding the environmental effects of manufactured nanomaterials, scientists in Indiana are reporting that fullerenes have little impact on natural microbes in soil. These communities of bacteria and other microorganisms play critical roles in soil health, which include the recycling of nutrients tied up in organic materials so they can be used by plants.

Ronald F. Turco and colleagues point out that nanomaterials may be released to the environment in the future, with emergence of a nanomaterials industry that involves large-scale manufacture of fullerenes (C60), carbon nanotubes and other substances. "Using C60 as a model, we provide the first report on the impact of manufactured nanomaterials on the microbial aspects of soil," the scientists state in a report scheduled for the May 1 issue of ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal. "This is a key first step in establishing an understanding of the environmental impact of C60."

Previous studies suggested that carbon nanomaterials had a toxic effect on microbes. Nobody had run the test in soils before. The new study was done with soil that contained organic material and salts found naturally in soil. These materials may tie-up nanomaterials, thus reducing their bioavailability and toxicity, the researchers indicated.

ARTICLE ##2 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE "Impact of Fullerene (C60) on a Soil Microbial Community"


Ronald F. Turco, Ph.D
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
Phone: 765-494-8077
Fax: 765-496-2926


High doses of phytochemicals in teas and supplements could be unhealthy Chemical Research in Toxicology

Those phytochemicals -- natural plant-based compounds that give fruits and vegetables a reputation as healthy food -- could be unhealthy if consumed in high doses in dietary supplements, teas or other preparations, scientists in New Jersey have concluded after a review of studies on the topic.

In their article, scheduled for the current issue of ACS's Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal, Chung S. Yang and colleagues analyze available data on the toxic potential of polyphenols. That group of dietary phytochemicals includes flavonoids, whose suggested beneficial effects in fruits and vegetables include prevention of heart disease and cancer. The data was from studies done in humans and laboratory animals.

The report cites specific examples of toxic effects, including reports of liver, kidney, and intestinal toxicity related to consumption of high doses of green tea-based dietary supplements. The risk of such toxicity may be greater in individuals taking certain medications, or with genetic traits, that increase the bioavailability of phytochemicals, the researchers said. Citing the need for new studies on the topic, the report concludes: "Only when such data are compared to the evidence for beneficial health effects can a balanced judgment be made regarding the potential utility of these compounds for disease prevention and treatment."

ARTICLE #3 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE "Possible Controversy over Dietary Polyphenols: Benefits vs. Risks"


Chung S. Yang, Ph.D.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: 732-445-3400, Ext. 244
Fax: 732-445-0687


Toward a banana-based vaccine for hepatitis BBiotechnology Progress

Bananas have emerged as the best candidate to deliver a bite-sized vaccine for hepatitis B virus (HBV) to millions of people in developing countries, according to an article scheduled for the June 1 issue of ACS' Biotechnology Progress, a bi-monthly journal co-published with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

In the article, India's V. A. Bapat and colleagues update and review worldwide research on efforts to genetically engineer plants as biofactories for the production of vaccines. They focus on transferring genes to produce HBV vaccine, noting that there already are 350 million carriers of hepatitis B worldwide, with 1 million new cases annually. An estimated 75 million -100 million of those infected individuals may die from liver cirrhosis or liver cancer as a result, the article adds.

The authors explain that plant-based production of an oral hepatitis B vaccine has economic and other advantages over the existing injectable vaccine. Researchers so far have successfully engineered several plants -- including banana, potato, lettuce, carrot, and tobacco -- to produce HBV vaccines. They explain why banana appears to be the ideal production and delivery vehicle for HBV vaccine, and the further research and development needed to exploit bananas in the global battle against HBV.

ARTICLE #4 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE "Production of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen in Recombinant Plant Systems: An Update"


V. A. Bapat, Ph.D.
Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology Division
Bhabha Atomic Research Center
Mumbai, India
Phone: 91-22-25595049
Fax: 91-22-25505151


Seeking new ways of using carbon dioxide in fuels and other products Chemical & Engineering News

New research aimed at finding ways to use carbon dioxide to make fuels, plastics, and other products and materials could easily triple the amount of this key greenhouse gas put to practical use, rather than released into the atmosphere or simply captured and buried underground, according to an article scheduled for the April 30 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS's weekly newsmagazine.

In the article C&EN senior editor Stephen K. Ritter points out that the global chemical industry already uses about 115 million tons of CO2 annually as a chemical feedstock, that is, as a raw material to manufacture other chemicals and products. Products routinely produced from CO2 range from aspirin to fertilizer. Even a major scale-up in the industrial use of CO2 would hardly put a dent in the emissions and buildup of this greenhouse gas, however. Since global CO2 emissions (mainly from coal-fired electric power plants) total an estimated 24 billion tons, technology for capturing and storing the gas still are essential in a battle against global warming, the article explains.

Even with that proviso, Ritter points out that increased chemical industry use of CO2 could be an important part of a multi-faceted program to control global warming. The article describes a wide range of research projects underway in academia and industry to find practical uses for CO2. One process under investigation in the United Kingdom, for instance, focuses on converting CO2 into formic acid, which could be used to power fuel cells for electric vehicles and a raw material to make other fuels. Another promising process, among many being developed in the United States, involves making polycarbonate plastics that contain up to 50 percent CO2 by weight.

ARTICLE #5 EMBARGOED FOR 9 A.M., EASTERN TIME, April 30, 2007 "What Can We Do With CO2?"

This story will be available on April 30 at:

Michael Bernstein
ACS News Service
Phone: 202-872-6042
Fax: 202-872-4370

Journalists' Resources

General Chemistry Glossary
Science Elements: ACS Audio Clips

News, features, background, sources from ACS National Meeting

News media resources from the March 25-29 meeting in Chicago include more than 9,000 abstracts of technical presentations and more than 1,000 non-technical summaries in a searchable database, plus press releases, podcasts, and other material. If you are researching or sourcing stories on chemistry-related topics, this resource can be a treasure trove accessible at:

Green Goals for the Pharmaceutical Industry

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable has developed a list of priority research areas where "green" alternatives to conventional reactions are needed to develop medications with minimal impact on the environment. Their review paper, describes and prioritizes research needs,. It can be a valuable resource for journalists writing about green chemistry. Although the paper focuses on pharmaceuticals, it includes reactions and processes used by the broader chemical enterprise.

Mark Your Calendars

On the Horizon: ACS Regional Meeting, May 16-19, Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Section, American Chemical Society, and Ursinus College will host the 39th ACS Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting.

11th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference This pioneering conference on one of the hottest topics in chemistry will be held June 26-29, 2007 at the Capital Hilton hotel in Washington, DC.
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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