American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- July 9, 2008

July 14, 2008

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Detecting flu viruses in remote areas of the world
Journal of the American Chemical Society

Researchers in Ohio and New Mexico are reporting an advance in the quest for a fast, sensitive test to detect flu viruses -- one that requires no refrigeration and can be used in remote areas of the world where new flu viruses often emerge. Their new method, the first to use sugar molecules rather than antibodies, is in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a weekly publication.

In the new study, Jurgen Schmidt, Suri Iyer, and colleagues point out that conventional tests for flu viruses -- including bird flu -- rely on antibodies, proteins produced by the immune system, to recognize viruses. But antibody-based tests can be expensive and require refrigeration to remain stable.

Their solution involved development of artificial forms of sialic acid, a sugar molecule found on the surface of cells that flu viruses attach to when they attack humans. In laboratory tests, the researchers showed that their highly-selective artificial sugars could be used to quickly capture and recognize two common strains of influenza viruses, H1N1, which infects birds, and H3N2, which infects pigs and humans. They used the molecules to differentiate between 2 strains (Sydney and Beijing) commonly found in human infections without isolating the viral RNA or surface glycoproteins. The sugars remain stable for several months, can be produced in large quantities, and exhibit extended shelf life. -- MTS

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Detection of Intact Influenza Viruses using Biotinylated Biantennary /S-/Sialosides"

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja800842v

CONTACT:
Jurgen Schmidt, Ph.D.
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545
Email: jschmidt@lanl.gov

Suri S. Iyer, Ph.D.
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0172
Phone: 513-556-9273
Fax: 513-556-9239
Email: suri.iyer@uc.edu




ARTICLE #2 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Marine worm's jaws say "cutting-edge new aerospace materials"
Biomacromolecules

Researchers in California and New Hampshire report the first detailed characterization of the protein composition of the hard, fang-like jaws of a common marine worm. Their work could lead to the design of a new class of super-strong, lightweight materials for use as construction and repair materials for spacecraft, airplanes, and other applications. Their study is scheduled for the July 14 issue of ACS' Biomacromolecules, a monthly journal.

In the new study, Chris C. Broomell and colleagues note that Nereis virens, also known as the sandworm or ragworm, is a burrowing marine worm found in shallow waters in the North Atlantic region. Researchers remain intrigued by the remarkable hardness of its jaws and long pincers, which rivals that of human teeth and exceed the hardness of many synthetic plastics. But little is known about the exact chemical composition of these structures.

Broomell and colleagues collected the jaws of 1,000 worms and analyzed their protein content using high-tech instrumentation. They found that the primary chemical in the jaws and pincers of the worm is a unique protein, named Nereis virens jaw protein-1 (Nvjp-1), which is rich in the amino acid histidine. The researchers also characterized the chemical conditions needed for its formation, such as the presence of zinc, which could allow researchers to create synthetic versions of this super-hard, lightweight material. -- MTS

ARTICLE #2 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Cutting Edge Structural Protein from the Jaws of Nereis virens"

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bm800200a

CONTACT:
Chris C. Broomell, Ph.D.
University of California at Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California 93106
Phone: 406-599-6678
Email: broomell@lifesci.ucsb.edu




ARTICLE #3 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New "scrubber" speeds removal of powerful anthrax clean-up agent
Organic Process Research & Development

Researchers in New Jersey report discovery of a fast, efficient method for removing a powerful pesticide used to sterilize buildings and equipment following anthrax attacks. Their chemical "scrubber" removes 99 percent of the pesticide following fumigation and could pave the way for its broader use in anthrax clean-up efforts, the scientists say. Their study is scheduled for the July 18 issue of ACS' Organic Process Research & Development, a bi-monthly journal.

In the new study, Roman Bielski and Peter J. Joyce note that the commonly used pesticide, methyl bromide, is superior to chlorine dioxide for destroying anthrax-causing bacteria and their spores. However, it is highly toxic to humans and may harm the environment by destroying the ozone layer. Researchers thus have sought an efficient method for removing this promising anthrax decontamination agent.

Bielski and Joyce documented the effectiveness of their removal method in experiments with an empty office trailer filled with air containing methyl bromide. They treated air exhausted from the trailer with a solution of sodium sulfide combined with a powerful catalyst. This chemical "scrubber" removed more than 99 percent of the methyl bromide from the air. -- MTS

ARTICLE #3 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"The Use of Methyltricaprylylammonium Chloride as a Phase Transfer Catalyst for the Destruction of methyl Bromide in Air Streams"

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/op800016j

CONTACT:
Roman Bielski, Ph.D., and Peter J. Joyce, Ph.D.
Value Recovery, Inc.
Bridgeport, New Jersey 08014
Phone: 856-467-6316
Fax: 856-467-6317
Email: bielski@ptcvalue.com




ARTICLE #4 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Snake venom tells tales about geography
Journal of Proteome Research

Just as people give away their origins by that southern drawl or New England twang, poisonous snakes produce venom that differs distinctly from one geographic area to another, the first study of the "snake venomics" of one of the most common pit vipers in Latin America has found. The study is scheduled for the August 1 issue of ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research.

In the new study, Juan J. Calvete and colleagues point out that researchers have known for decades that venom collected from snakes of the same species from different geographic locations can differ in terms of their biological effects and symptoms on snakebite victims. However, scientists know little about the chemical differences behind these geographically different venoms.

To find out, the scientists collected venom samples from adult and newborn specimens of the lancehead pitviper from two geographically isolated populations from the Caribbean and Pacific regions of Costa Rica. After a detailed laboratory analysis of the proteins found in the venom -- so-called "snake venomics" -- the researchers found major differences in the venoms collected from the two regions. They also found distinct differences in proteins collected from newborns and adult snakes. The study "highlights the necessity of using pooled venoms as a statistically representative venom for antivenom production" for human snakebite victims, the report states. -- MTS

ARTICLE #4 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Snake Venomics of the Lancehead Pitviper Bothrops asper: Geographic, Individual, and Ontogenetic Variations"

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr800332p

CONTACT:
Juan J. Calvete, Ph.D.
Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia
Valencia, Spain
Phone: 34 96 339 1778
Fax: 34 96 369 0800
Email: jcalvete@ibv.csic.es




ARTICLE #5 EMBARGOED FOR 9 A.M., EASTERN TIME, July 14, 2008

'Electronic chemicals' pave the way for brighter, more energy-efficient future
Chemical & Engineering News

From solar power to computer chips to advanced lighting, new materials developed by chemists are helping consumers reap the benefits of advanced electronics, according to an article scheduled for the July 15 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. Some of these electronics will soon appear on store shelves and offices near you.

In the C&EN cover story, writers Michael McCoy, Alexander Tullo, and Jean-Francois Tremblay point out that so-called 'electronic chemicals' play key roles in today's advanced electronics but go largely unnoticed by consumers. These unsung materials, part of a multibillion dollar electronic materials market, provide improved solar panels that crank out more fossil fuel-free electricity and new computer chips that are smaller and more energy efficient than ever. These materials also fuel the development of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) that promise energy savings and could render today's incandescent light bulbs and fluorescent bulbs obsolete, according to the article.

But making advanced electronics comes with a steep price. Chemical companies now invest billions of dollars to build new manufacturing plants to produce raw materials for advanced electronics. Manufacturers are also spending heavily on research and development, as new electronic advances demand innovative new chemicals, the article states.

ARTICLE #5 EMBARGOED FOR 9 A.M., EASTERN TIME, July 14, 2008
"Electronic chemicals"

This story will be available on July 14 at
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/86/8628cover.html

FOR ADVANCE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Michael Bernstein
ACS News Service
Phone: 202-872-6042
Fax: 202-872-4370
Email: m_bernstein@acs.org




Journalists' Resources

ACS's 236th National Meeting, August 17-21, Philadelphia
One of 2008's largest and most important scientific conferences -- the 236th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society-- will be held Aug. 17-21, 2008, in Philadelphia, Pa. At least 12,000 scientists and others are expected for the event, which will include more than 8,000 reports on new discoveries in chemistry. The multi-disciplinary theme is Chemistry for Health: Catalyzing Transitional Research. Stay tuned for information on registration, housing, press releases, and onsite press briefings that will be available via the Internet.

New ACS Annual Report
The 2007 ACS annual report, Our Science, Our Lives, Our Stories, can be a valuable resource for journalists trying to keep pace with chemistry and the multiple fields of science that involve chemistry. The report features ACS members describing in their own words why they became chemists, what they find rewarding about their work and how the transforming power of chemistry helps address mounting global problems and improves people's lives. Some are humorous, some are poignant. All of them are compelling. The newly published report is at: http://www.acsannualreport.org/acsannualreport/2007.

Pfizer's work on penicillin becomes National Historic Chemical Landmark
Pfizer's deep-tank fermentation -- a revolutionary process that enabled mass production of penicillin for use in World War II -- was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in a special ceremony in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 12. The process ushered in the era of antibiotics and represented a turning point in modern medicine. After World War II, Pfizer applied its deep-tank fermentation to manufacture the antibiotics streptomycin and Terramycin,® which proved effective against a wide range of deadly bacteria. For more information, the press release can be found at: http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_ARTICLEMAIN&node_id=222&content_id=WPCP_010032&use_sec=true&sec_url_var=region1

ChemMatters Matters for Journalists
This quarterly ACS magazine for high school chemistry students, teachers, and others explains the chemistry that underpins everyday life in a lively, understandable fashion. ChemMatters is available at www.acs.org/chemmatters. You can also receive the most recent issues by contacting the editor, Pat Pages, at: 202-872-6164 or chemmatters@acs.org.

ACS Press Releases
General science press releases on a variety of chemistry-related topics.
http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_ARTICLEMAIN&node_id=222&content_id=CTP_006740&use_sec=true&sec_url_var=region1

General Chemistry Glossary
http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/glossary.shtml

For Wired Readers

Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions
Don't miss this special series of ACS podcasts on some of the 21st Century's most daunting challenges, and how cutting-edge research in chemistry matters in the quest for solutions. This sweeping panorama of challenges includes topics such as providing a hungry, thirsty world with ample supplies of safe food and clean water; developing alternatives to petroleum to fuel the global economy; preserving the environment and assuring a sustainable future for our children; and improving human health. An ongoing saga of chemistry for life -- chemistry that truly matters-- Global Challenges debuts June 25 with new episodes through December. Subscribe at iTunes [itpc://feeds.feedburner.com/GlobalChallenges] or listen and access other resources at the ACS web site www.acs.org/GlobalChallenges.

Bytesize Science, a new podcast for young listeners
Bytesize Science is a science podcast for kids of all ages that aims to entertain as much as it educates. Subscribe to Bytesize Science using iTunes [http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/browserRedirect?url=itms%253A%252F%252Fax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net%252FWebObjects%252FMZStore.woa%252Fwa%252FviewPodcast%253Fid%253D266670954]
No iTunes? No problem. Listen to the latest episodes of Bytesize Science [http://feeds.feedburner.com/BytesizeScience] in your web browser.

Science Elements: ACS Science News Podcast
http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_SUPERARTICLE&node_id=1355&use_sec=false&sec_url_var=region1 The ACS Office of Communications is podcasting PressPac contents in order to make cutting-edge scientific discoveries from ACS journals available to a broad public audience at no charge.
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