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Chemistry of alcoholism, vitamin C and stress addiction antibodies, futurefoods, preventing brain cell death, children's environmental health risks

August 22, 1999

NOTE TO REPORTERS, EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, will hold its fall national meeting in New Orleans from August 22-26, 1999. ACS expects 12,000 registrants to attend sessions that will cover more than 5,600 papers on cutting-edge chemistry in topic areas including medicine, food, the environment, new materials, and more. Following is advance information provided to assist you in planning coverage of the meeting; a complete final program is attached. Please note that all of the enclosed material is EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE until the date and time of presentation, and that the times of day provided are Central Time.

All news releases and advisories for this ACS national meeting will be posted on the Eurekalert! website at , with embargoed advance material available to registered journalists. 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. All releases also will be posted on the ACS web site at once the embargo is lifted. For more information contact: Nancy Blount at 202/872-4440 or Charmayne Marsh at 202/872-4445. After August 18, contact the ACS Newsroom in New Orleans at 504/681-5452 or 504/670-7646 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time.

Sunday, August 22:

Food for the Next Millenium: A major symposium will explore a wide range of research into the chemistry of forthcoming foods and how their production, processing and delivery is expected to change in the next millenium. Examples of future foods will be presented as well as a chef's perspective on how chemistry impacts the pleasure of eating. (See page 62, Presidential Event 1-7, Sunday, August 22, 8:30 a.m. in the final program).

Vitamin C for Stress Reduction? Known as an important antioxidant, Vitamin C is the subject of new animal studies showing that, in larger doses, it also may act to prevent stress-related illnesses by reducing the level of adrenal stress hormones, as well as physical and emotional signs of stress. (See page 106, MEDI 79, Sunday, August 22, 7:30 p.m., Marriott, Acadia Room)

Fashion That Fights Back: As part of a two-day symposium on the biotechnology of bioactive fibers, researchers will present a novel method to permanently graft antimicrobial compounds on to cellulose fibers, such as cotton. The resulting fibers can be made into clothing that acts as a biocide against a wide variety of bacteria, fungal and viral organisms, ranging from disease-causing agents to microbes that cause odor. The bioactivity of the fibers can be reactivated by rinsing with a mild solution of bleach water. (See page 74, CELL 32, Monday, August 23, 2 p.m., Convention Center, Room 238 in the final program.)

New Indicators of Children's Exposure to Environmental Health Threats: Beginning on Sunday and running through Tuesday, the meeting will feature a 3-day symposium with 30 research papers on children's exposure to environmental contaminants, a topic area where little research evidence currently exists. Among the symposium papers are the following findings:

- New data on persistent levels of organochlorines in children exposed via breast feeding and skin absorption will be presented, including varying exposures in ethnic minorities and how long elevated levels persist from infancy through childhood, along with comparative levels in adults. (See page 89, ENVR 17, Sunday, August 22, 1:30 p.m., Convention Center, Room 209, in the final program.)

- Children's exposure to pesticide health risks at home, including exposure to disinfectants, weed killers, pet care products and insecticides will be presented by EPA researchers, along with proposed measures to reduce and prevent exposure and hazards for children under age six. (See page 89, ENVR 43, Monday, August 23, 2:30 p.m., Convention Center, Room 209, in the final program.)

- Predicting a child's future health problems could be feasible by examining blood that is routinely collected from newborns in the United States and stored by many states as tiny dried blood spots. (See page 89, ENVR 22, Sunday, August 22, 4:30 p.m., Convention Center, Room 209 in the final program.)

Monday, August 23:

Antibodies for Addiction? In a major symposium, the chemistry of various types of addiction treatments will be explored, including:

- Stopping cocaine from reaching its target, the central nervous system, by using the immune system to create specific antibodies against the drug's addictive properties and reduce the effects of overdoses. Currently, no proven medication exists to treat cocaine addiction. (See page 107, MEDI 159, Monday, August 23, 11:15 a.m., Convention Center, Room R09 in the final program.)

- Blocking the pleasurable effects of PCP, or phencyclidine, a drug that triggers violence, self-destruction, psychotic behavior and schizophrenia, with monoclonal antibodies - identical copies of animal antibodies cloned and reproduced in the laboratory. (See page 107, MEDI 156, 9 a.m., Monday, August 23, Convention Center, Room R09 in the final program.)

- Brain Chemical Imbalances Shed New Light on Alcoholism: A series of studies about alcohol's effects on your brain's chemistry help to shed new light in three key areas of this addiction: why alcoholics experience long-lasting feelings of tension and distress; why some drinkers develop alcoholism in the first place; and why some tend to relapse, even after protracted abstinence. These studies of chemical imbalances prompted by heavy drinking could help serve as predictors of future addiction problems. (see page 107, MEDI 157, on Monday, August 23, at 9:45 a.m., at the Convention Center, R09)

Tuesday, August 24:

Preventing Brain Cell Death in Disease or Injury: New neuroscience research on a potential drug to prevent the death of brain cells endangered by Alzheimer's disease, head injury, stroke or epilepsy will be presented. The approach uses a novel method to keep genetic material from triggering a "killer protein" that precedes brain death during episodes of disease or injury, and the drug model is being prepared for clinical testing. (See page 63, YCC 2, Tuesday, August 24, 1:40 p.m., Marriott Hotel, La Galerie 1 in the final program.)

Wednesday, August 25:

High Dryer Temperatures Erode Cotton Fabric Faster: Researchers report on the extent of damage caused by machine-drying cotton fabrics at the highest temperature settings, compared to other methods of drying. (See page 74, CELL 83, Wednesday, August 25, at 4:45 p.m., Convention Center, Room 256, in the final program.)

Catnip's Chemistry Repels Roaches: Results of studies on the repellent properties of catnip and osage orange (also known as hedgeapple) against German cockroaches could lead to new natural products that might keep roaches from coming out of the walls. (See page 68, AGRO 123, Wednesday, August 25, 8:30 a.m., (poster session), Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A in the final program.)

The Chemistry of Ice Cream: Low-Fat Taste Test: Based on studies with a sample of college student testers, researchers report on sensory and chemical tests conducted to determine how use of different fats and milk fat substitutes in chocolate ice cream affected the taste of chocolate ice cream. (See page 66, AGFD 97, 11 a.m., Wednesday, August 25, Convention Center, Room 210.)
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. ( )

American Chemical Society

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