New multidisciplinary research tops chemists' meeting Aug. 22-26

06/17/04

Philadelphia sessions include findings on DNA damage, ultra-cold chemistry, metabonomics, fuels for the future and more

From the lab bench to the supermarket and even into space, scientists will present new multidisciplinary research at the 228th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, Aug. 22-26.

The meeting will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St., and surrounding hotels. More than 12,000 scientists are expected to attend. Approximately 7,000 presentations are slated for the meeting, including several symposia that highlight important research advances. The American Chemical Society is the world's largest scientific society.

One symposium, "Chemistry and Biology of DNA Damage in Cells," on Monday, Aug. 23, features surprising new findings about the DNA damage caused by UV sunlight, aging, disease and other factors. With new tools, scientists have moved from merely modeling DNA damage to actually studying that damage inside cells. From Huntington's disease to inflammation, DNA damage looks different close up, and the surprise findings could push the search for therapies in new directions. The ACS Divisions of Chemical Toxicology and Biological Chemistry are sponsoring the symposium.

During another symposium on Monday — "Is Organic Food Healthier Than Conventional Food?" — chemists will put the organic food trend under a microscope. Organic food producers claim their products are healthier than conventional foods, but are consumers buying a misconception? Discussions will address many issues related to organic food, including whether it is really more nutritious and whether organic farming is better for the environment. The ACS Division of Agrochemicals is hosting the symposium.

In a three-day symposium, "Chemistry at Ultra-Low Temperatures," from Tuesday — Thursday, Aug. 24-26, scientists will describe emerging techniques for studying chemical reactions at the frigid temperatures found in space. With helium nano-droplets and altered electric fields and other technical tricks, researchers are plunging chemistry to extreme lows - and discovering chemical and physical processes hidden at higher temperatures. How low can they go? A chilling millionth of a degree Kelvin. The ACS Division of Physical Chemistry is the symposium host.

On Wednesday, Aug. 25, researchers will discuss new developments and future directions for the burgeoning field of metabonomics — the study of metabolic responses to drugs, environmental changes and diseases — during a one-day session, "Analytical Chemistry in the Health Sciences: Metabonomics." Following on the heels of genomics and proteomics, metabonomics may lead to more efficient drug discovery and individualized patient treatment. Chemists will share new results and discuss industry trends. The ACS Divisions of Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Toxicology are sponsoring the symposium.

Other symposia and topics on the Philadelphia program include:

  • Decontaminating buildings: What chemists learned from the 2001 anthrax attacks
  • Dairy flavor: Can you engineer aged cheese overnight?
  • Assessing the health risks of perchlorate
  • Fuels for the future
  • From the violin to Blackberry™: The polymer science of everyday things
  • Swirling chemistry into the paint can
  • The chemistry behind environmental crimes
  • From the heart: Recent advances in cardiovascular disease

Source: Eurekalert & others

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