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Press Conference Schedule of the 249th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, March 22-26, 2015

Released: 10-Mar-2015 8:00 AM EDT
Embargo expired: 25-Mar-2015 5:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: American Chemical Society (ACS)
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Citations 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS)

ACS Press Center
Colorado Convention Center, Room 104
Press Center Phone: 303-228-8406

Attend in person in Denver
or watch online:
Anyone can view the press conferences, but to chat, you must sign in first with a Google Account.

Monday, March 23

8:30 a.m. Mountain Time
Inaugural issue of ACS Central Science released

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, March 23, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

The American Chemical Society (ACS) will publish the first issue of its multidisciplinary high-impact journal ACS Central Science this month. To mark the occasion, the journal’s editor-in-chief, representatives of the editorial board and ACS staff will discuss the journal’s vision. They will also address the publication’s goals for its first year, highlight the novel content included in the inaugural issue and discuss how Open Access programs like ACS Central Science support the objectives of the Society.

Carolyn Bertozzi, Ph.D.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of California at Berkeley

Ben G. Davis, Ph.D.
University of Oxford

Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Ph.D.
Harvard University

Darla Henderson, Ph.D.
ACS Publications

9 a.m. Mountain Time
Special microbes make anti-obesity molecule in the gut

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 22, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Microbes may just be the next diet craze. Researchers have programmed bacteria to generate a molecule that, through normal metabolism, becomes a hunger-suppressing lipid. Mice that drank water laced with the programmed bacteria ate less, had lower body fat and staved off diabetes — even when fed a high-fat diet — offering a potential weight-loss strategy for humans.

Sean Davies, Ph.D.
Vanderbilt University

10 a.m. Mountain Time
Opossum-based antidote to poisonous snake bites could save thousands of lives

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 22, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Scientists will report in a presentation today that they have turned to the opossum to develop a promising new and inexpensive antidote for poisonous snake bites. They predict it could save thousands of lives worldwide without the side effects of current treatments.

Claire F. Komives, Ph.D
San Jose State University

10:30 a.m. Mountain Time
Chlorine use in sewage treatment could promote antibiotic resistance

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 22, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Chlorine, a disinfectant commonly used in most wastewater treatment plants, may be failing to completely eliminate pharmaceuticals from wastes. And now, scientists reporting preliminary studies that show chlorine treatment may encourage the formation of new, unknown antibiotics that could also enter the environment, potentially contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

Olya Keen, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

11 a.m. Mountain Time
Turning packing peanuts into energy-storing battery components (Video)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 22, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

One person’s trash literally could become another’s high-tech treasure, according to researchers who have developed a way to turn discarded packing peanuts into components for rechargeable batteries that could outperform the ones we use currently.

Vinodkumar Etacheri, Ph.D.
Purdue University

11:30 a.m. Mountain Time
Squid-inspired ‘invisibility stickers’ could help soldiers evade infrared detection in the dark (Video)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, March 23, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Squid are the ultimate camouflage artists, blending almost flawlessly with their backgrounds so that unsuspecting prey can’t detect them. Using a protein that’s key to this process, scientists have designed “invisibility stickers” that could one day help soldiers disguise themselves, even when sought by enemies with tough-to-fool infrared cameras.

Alon A. Gorodetsky, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine

1 p.m. Mountain Time
Vitamin D may keep low-grade prostate cancer from becoming aggressive

Sunday, March 22, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Taking vitamin D supplements could slow or even reverse the progression of less aggressive, or low-grade, prostate tumors without the need for surgery or radiation, a scientist will report today.

Bruce Hollis, Ph.D.
Medical University of South Carolina

2 p.m. Mountain Time
Legalizing marijuana and the new science of weed (Video)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, March 23, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

More than a year into Colorado’s experiment legalizing marijuana, labs testing the plants are able for the first time to take stock of the drug’s potency and contaminants — and openly paint a picture of what’s in today’s weed. Now, one such lab will present trends — and some surprises — that its preliminary testing has revealed about the marijuana now on the market.

Andy LaFrate, Ph.D.
Charas Scientific

2:30 p.m. Mountain Time
Air pollutants could boost potency of common airborne allergens

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 22, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

A pair of air pollutants linked to Climate-Change'>climate change could also be a major contributor to the unparalleled rise in the number of people sneezing, sniffling and wheezing during allergy season. The gases, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone, appear to provoke chemical changes in certain airborne allergens that could increase their potency. That, in combination with changes in global climate, could help explain why airborne allergies are becoming more common.

Christopher Kampf, Ph.D.
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

3 p.m. Mountain Time
New lead against HIV could finally hobble the virus’s edge

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, March 25, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Since HIV emerged in the ‘80s, drug “cocktails” transformed the deadly disease into a manageable one. But the virus is adept at developing resistance to drugs, and treatment regimens require tweaking that can be costly. Now scientists are announcing new progress toward affordable drugs that could potentially thwart the virus’s ability to resist them.

Dennis Liotta, Ph.D.
Emory University

3:30 p.m. Mountain Time
A molecule from plants and trees could make our roads and roofs ‘greener’

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 22, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Construction crews may someday use a plant molecule called lignin in their asphalt and sealant mixtures to help roads and roofs hold up better under various weather conditions. It also could make them more environmentally friendly, according to a researcher, who is presenting today.

Ted Slaghek, Ph.D.

4 p.m. Mountain Time
ACS recognizes Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons


The Board of Directors of the American Chemical Society will recognize the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its tireless efforts in promoting the peaceful use of chemistry. Representatives of the OPCW will describe some of these projects.

Dorothy J. Phillips, Ph.D.
ACS Board of Directors

Representatives from OPCW (To be announced)

Tuesday, March 24

9 a.m. Mountain Time
Kavli Lecture: Mimicking nature’s chemistry to solve global environmental problems


What many people might call the daily laboratory grind Theodore Betley, Ph.D., calls play. As a student, he developed a passion for lab work that could now pay off for the rest of the world. Today, he will present pioneering work that could help turn greenhouse gases into useful products during “The Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture.”

Theodore Betley, Ph.D.
Harvard University

10:30 a.m. Mountain Time
Sewage — yes, poop — could be a source of valuable metals and critical elements

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, March 23, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Poop could be a goldmine — literally. Surprisingly, treated solid waste contains gold, silver and other metals, as well as rare elements such as palladium and vanadium that are used in electronics and alloys. Now researchers are looking at identifying the metals that are getting flushed and how they can be recovered. This could decrease the need for mining and reduce the unwanted release of metals into the environment.

Kathleen S. Smith, Ph.D.
U.S. Geological Survey

11 a.m. Mountain Time
More flavorful, healthful chocolate could be on its way

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Chocolate has many health benefits — it can potentially lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce stroke risk. But just as connoisseurs thought it couldn’t get any better, there’s this tasty new tidbit: Researchers have found a way to make the treat even more nutritious –– and sweeter.

Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, Ph.D.
University of Ghana

1 p.m. Mountain Time
Kavli Lecture: Mining the secrets of carbohydrates for new leads on antibiotics (Video)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, March 23, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Laura Kiessling, Ph.D., thrives on steep learning curves. So when she started her research lab, she took a risk and plunged into the wide-open field of carbohydrates, which despite their ubiquity and notoriety for expanding waistlines, have many secrets. Now, her team has stumbled on something about these molecules that opens up new possibilities for fighting bacteria that are resistant to known antibiotics.

Laura Kiessling, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Madison

2 p.m. Mountain Time
Fat turns from diabetes foe to potential treatment

Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

A new weapon in the war against type 2 diabetes is coming in an unexpected form: fat. Researchers have discovered a new class of potentially therapeutic lipids, called fatty-acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs). These lipids are found at lower levels in people with insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, compared with those who don't have the condition. Administering FAHFAs to diabetic mice improved their glucose metabolism and insulin secretion, opening a surprising avenue for the development of novel medications for the disease.

Alan Saghatelian, Ph.D.
Salk Institute for Biological Studies

3:30 p.m. Mountain Time
Popular artificial sweetener could lead to new treatments for aggressive cancers

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, March 23, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Saccharin, the artificial sweetener that is the main ingredient in Sweet ‘N Low®, Sweet Twin® and Necta®, could do far more than just keep our waistlines trim. According to new research, this popular sugar substitute could potentially lead to the development of drugs capable of combating aggressive, difficult-to-treat cancers with fewer side effects.

Robert McKenna, Ph.D.
University of Florida

Brian Mahon
University of Florida

Jenna Driscoll
University of Florida

Wednesday, March 25

9:00 a.m. Mountain Time

Algae from clogged waterways could serve as biofuels and fertilizer

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists will report today that they are working on a way to clean up these environmental scourges and turn them into useful products. The algae could serve as a feedstock for biofuels, and the feedstock leftovers could be recycled back into farm soil nutrients.

John B. Miller, Ph.D.
Western Michigan University

11:00 a.m. Mountain Time

Food additive could serve as a safer, more environmentally friendly antifreeze

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

The sweet taste and smell of antifreeze tempts children and animals to drink the poisonous substance, resulting in thousands of accidental poisonings in the United States every year. But today researchers will describe a new, nontoxic product based on a common food additive that could address this health issue and help the environment at the same time.

Michael Minard
CEO, ACTA Technology, Inc.

Edward V. Clancy, D. Eng., J.D.
ACTA Technology, Inc.

11:30 a.m. Mountain Time
New low-calorie rice could help cut rising obesity rates

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, March 23, 2015, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Scientists have developed a new, simple way to cook rice that could cut the number of calories absorbed by the body by more than half, potentially reducing obesity rates, which is especially important in countries where the food is a staple.

Sudhair A. James
College of Chemical Sciences (Sri Lanka)


The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society 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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