ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- Oct. 18, 2006



ACS PressPac - Oct. 18, 2006
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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.

In This Edition:

  • A new acceleration additive for making "ice that burns"
  • Toward better identification of substances used for doping in sports
  • New process for making human enzyme with emerging medical uses
  • Antibiotic resistance genes as emerging environmental pollutants
  • Chemists decode bacterial 'conversations' in effort to block deadly infections
  • Resources: News sources, background material, and story ideas

The information in this press package 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.

To download manuscripts and images, please click on the links provided with each item. Please cite the individual journal, or the American Chemical Society, as the source of this information.


ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A new acceleration additive for making "ice that burns"
Energy & Fuels

Japanese scientists are reporting discovery of an additive that can speed up the formation of methane hydrates. Those strange substances have sparked excitement about their potential as a new energy resource and a deep freeze to store greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

Methane hydrates are literally ice that burns frozen methane (the main component of natural gas) found in vast natural deposits beneath the seafloor in coastal areas of the United States and certain other parts of the world. When brought to the surface, hydrates pop and sizzle as they release gas and burst into flame if ignited. Known hydrate deposits hold enough natural gas to supply the world for centuries.

One barrier to exploiting this treasure has been difficulty in making gas hydrates in the laboratory that could be used for research on ways to utilize these substances as a fuel. Akihiro Yamasaki and colleagues have found that addition of an additive made from beta-cyclodextrin accelerates methane hydrate formation 5-fold. Their report is scheduled for the Nov. 15 issue of the ACS bimonthly journal Energy & Fuels.

Cyclodextrins are a family of polymers produced from starch. Their wide range of uses includes the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Cyclodextrin is the active ingredient in a popular home deodorizing product.

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"Effect of Cyclodextrins on Hydrate Formation Rates"

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http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/enfuem/2006/20/i05/html/ef060046z.html

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http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/enfuem/2006/20/i05/pdf/ef060046z.pdf

CONTACT:

Akihiro Yamasaki, Ph.D.
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Tokyo, Japan
Phone: 81-29-861-9409
Fax: 81-29-861-8727
Email: akihiro.yamasaki@yy.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp


ARTICLE #2 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toward better identification of substances used for doping in sports
Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling

Athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs try to get around anti-doping rules by turning to "designer steroids" drugs that are not on the list of banned substances, and off the testers' radar screen. In one recent high-profile case, world-class sprinters used the new steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG) for months until an informant sent a sample to antidoping authorities.

John B. O. Mitchell and colleagues from the University of Cambridge are reporting development of a method for quickly identifying newly emerging designer steroids before they go into wide use in sports. Their study is scheduled for the November/December issue of the bi-monthly ACS Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling. The scientists used chemoinformatics research based on computer and informational techniques to classify banned drugs into groups. Drugs in each group share similar chemical and biological properties.

In practice, the approach could be used to identify new designer drugs like THG based on their similarities to existing banned substances. Anti-doping rules forbid use of drugs with a "similar chemical structure" as well as those with "similar biological effect," an approach that Mitchell said risks disqualifying athletes unjustly. The new approach would reduce the risks of unwanted disqualifications, researchers said.

ARTICLE #2 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"Chemoinformatics-Based Classification of Prohibited Substances Employed for Doping in Sport"

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http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/jcisd8/asap/html/ci0601160.html

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http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/jcisd8/asap/pdf/ci0601160.pdf

CONTACT:

John B. O. Mitchell, Ph.D.
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Email: jboml@cam.ac.uk


ARTICLE #3 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New process for making human enzyme with emerging medical uses
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

The antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) has attracted popular interest as a possible way of protecting tissues from damage that occurs in several major diseases. Demand for extracellular superoxide dismutase (ECSOD), the form of SOD that exists in blood and other body fluids, may increase in the future if further research confirms its potential value.

Researchers in Taiwan now are reporting development of a method for producing large amounts of high-quality purified human ECSOD from genetically engineered yeast. "This is the first paper to express human ECSOD in P. pastoris yeast culture system," Chuan-Mu Chen and colleagues report in the November 1 issue of the biweekly ACS Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

"The potential demand for ECSOD in human health care is great," the scientists add. "Therefore, large-scale production of biologically active ECSOD is necessary." Chen and colleagues note that ECSOD has been proposed for use in the prevention of cancer, reduction of toxic effects of anti-cancer drugs, and prevention of tissue damage in heart attack and stroke patients.

ARTICLE #3 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"Production and Characterization of Human Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase in the Methylotrophic Yeast Pichia pastoris"

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http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/jafcau/2006/54/i21/html/jf061379x.html

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http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/jafcau/2006/54/i21/pdf/jf061379x.pdf

CONTACT:

Chuan-Mu Chen, Ph.D.
National Chung Hsing University
Taichung, Taiwan
Phone: 886-4-285-6309
Fax: 886-4-287-4740
Email: chchen1@dragon.nchu.edu.tw


ARTICLE #4 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Antibiotic resistance genes as emerging environmental pollutants
Environmental Science & Technology

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) should be considered emerging environmental contaminants with more research devoted to the mechanisms by which they spread, scientists say in a report scheduled for the Dec. 1 issue of the semi-monthly ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Colorado State University's Amy Pruden and colleagues reached that conclusion after a study that documented occurrence of tetracycline and sulfonamide ARGs in irrigation ditches, river sediments, and other spots in the environment in northern Colorado. They detected tetracycline resistance genes in treated drinking water, suggesting that it may be a pathway for spread of ARGs to humans.

ARGs are pieces of DNA that make bacteria resistant to common antibiotics - recognized as an increasingly serious global health problem. The genes can spread in different ways. Bacteria, for instance, exchange ARGs among themselves. Pruden and colleagues note that even if cells carrying ARGs have been killed, DNA released to the environment can persist and spread to other cells. "ARGs in and of themselves can be considered to be emerging 'contaminants' for which mitigation strategies are needed to prevent their widespread dissemination," they state.

ARTICLE #4 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"Antibiotic Resistance Genes as Emerging Contaminants: Studies in Northern Colorado"

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http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/esthag/asap/html/es060413l.html

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http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/esthag/asap/pdf/es060413l.pdf

CONTACT:

Amy Pruden, Ph.D.
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado
Phone: 970-491-8814
Fax: 970-491-8671
Email: apruden@engr.colostate.edu


ARTICLE #5
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE AT 9AM, Eastern Time, Oct. 23, 2006

Chemists decode bacterial 'conversations' in effort to block deadly infections
Chemical & Engineering News

Eavesdropping can sometimes be a good thing. Researchers are learning how to listen to a wide range of bacterial conversations -- the chemical signals bacteria use to communicate with each other -- in an effort to design new compounds to thwart deadly infections, particularly those involved in the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, according to an article scheduled for the Oct. 23 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

C&EN associate editor Sarah Everts shows that researchers have made significant strides in decoding bacterial conversations, also known as quorum sensing, a phenomenon first discovered in the 1970s by a group of biologists who were exploring bioluminescent bacteria found in squid. By the 1990s, the concept of bacterial conversations had stimulated new research efforts after the process was observed in other species of bacteria, particularly pathogenic species, Everts notes.

Today, chemists are designing new compounds to mute these chemical conversations in an effort to stop the growth of E. coli, Staphylococcus, anthrax and infections that affect the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. Researchers also have identified compounds that can potentially silence pesky biofilms, slimy envelopes of carbohydrates that bacteria produce to defend themselves from attack. These biofilms threaten medical implants, fuel tanks in jet planes and even dental health, Everts notes in the article. While scientists still do not know all of the secrets behind bacterial conversations, they are moving closer toward stopping some of bacteria's most harmful effects, according to the article.

ARTICLE #5 "Bacterial Conversations"

FOR FULL TEXT CONTACT:

Michael Bernstein
ACS News Service
Phone: 202-872-6042
Fax: 202-872-4370
Email: m_bernstein@acs.org


National Meeting Resources

A treasure trove of news sources, background material, and story ideas is available from the ACS's latest National Meeting. Reporters can search and view abstracts of 10,000 scientific presentations, 600 non-technical summaries of those presentations and browse press releases online.

INDEX OF PRESS RELEASES http://oasys.acs.org/acs/232nm/newsservice/tableofcontents.cgi?action=final

VIEW NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARIES http://oasys.acs.org/acs/232nm/newsservice/viewpressrelease.cgi

GENERAL ACS NATIONAL MEETING INFORMATION http://chemistry.org/meetings/sanfrancisco2006

ABSTRACTS FROM THE TECHNICAL PROGRAM http://oasys2.confex.com/acs/232nm/techprogram/


ACS News Service Weblog Science, September & San Francisco

Visit the ACS News Service's National Meeting Weblog (http://acsnewsservice.typepad.com/sf_meeting/) for reports from scientific sessions and other events at the ACS National Meeting in San Francisco.

Resource for Journalists: ACS Chemical Biology

Some of the hottest science news is unfolding at the interface between chemistry and biology. To keep pace with these exciting new discoveries, check the Table of Contents of ACS's newest journal, the monthly ACS Chemical Biology, posted to: www.eurekalert.org/jrnls/acs/index.php?page=chemicalbiology.

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ACS NEWS SERVICE
Weekly PressPac - ALL CONTENT IS FOR IMMEDIATE USE EXCEPT ARTICLE #5 EMBARGOED FOR 9A.M., EASTERN TIME, Oct. 23, 2006

PressPac Archive: http://www.chemistry.org/news/presspac.html

The American Chemical Society (ACS) News Service PressPac is your access point for discoveries in fields ranging from astronomy to zoology, which are reported in the 34 peer-reviewed journals of the American Chemical Society. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society. Chemistry is the science that transforms lives, and these news alerts are from the leading edge of that science at ACS headquarters.

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.


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