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Press Conference Schedule of the 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, March 13-17, 2016

Note to journalists: Please report that this research is being presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Released: 29-Feb-2016 11:45 PM EST
Embargo expired: 16-Mar-2016 2:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: American Chemical Society (ACS)
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Citations 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS)

ACS Press Center
San Diego Convention Center, Room 16B, Mezzanine
Press Center Phone: 619-525-6215

Attend in person in San Diego
or watch online:

Anyone can view the press conferences, but to chat online, you must sign in first with a Google Account.

Monday, March 14

9 a.m. Pacific Time

Getting closer to using beer hops to fight disease

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 13, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Hops, those little cone-shaped buds that give beer its bitter flavor, pack a surprisingly healthful punch. They are widely studied for their ability to halt bacterial growth and disease. Now, researchers report that they are close to synthesizing the healthful hops compounds in the lab. This advance could one day help scientists create medicines from these compounds without having to extract them from plants.

Kristopher V. Waynant, Ph.D.
University of Idaho

10 a.m. Pacific Time

Blueberries, the well-known ‘super fruit,’ could help fight Alzheimer’s

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 13, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Blueberries, already labeled a “super fruit” for their powers to potentially lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, also could be another weapon in the war against Alzheimer’s disease. New research being presented today further bolsters this idea, which is being tested by many teams. The fruit is loaded with healthful antioxidants, and these substances could help prevent the devastating effects of this increasingly common form of dementia, scientists report.

Robert Krikorian, Ph.D.
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center

10:30 a.m. Pacific Time

A step toward a birth control pill for men

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 13, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Women can choose from a wide selection of birth control methods, including numerous oral contraceptives, but there’s never been an analogous pill for men. That’s not for lack of trying: For many years, scientists have attempted to formulate a male pill. Finally, a group of researchers has taken a step toward that goal by tweaking some experimental compounds that show promise.

Gunda Georg, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy

Jillian Kyzer
University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy

11 a.m. Pacific Time

Artificial ‘nose’ sniffs out pollution to protect Disney art on international tour

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, March 14, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Original drawings and sketches from Walt Disney Animation Studio’s more than 90-year history — from Steamboat Willie through Frozen — traveled internationally for the first time this summer. This gave conservators the rare opportunity to monitor the artwork with a new state-of-the-art sensor. A team of researchers report today that they developed and used a super-sensitive artificial “nose,” customized specifically to detect pollutants before they could irreversibly damage the artwork.

Kenneth Suslick, Ph.D.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1 p.m. Pacific Time

DNA ‘origami’ could help build faster, cheaper computer chips

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 13, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Electronics manufacturers constantly hunt for ways to make faster, cheaper computer chips, often by cutting production costs or by shrinking component sizes. Now, researchers report that DNA, the genetic material of life, might help accomplish this goal when it is formed into specific shapes through a process reminiscent of the ancient art of paper folding.

Adam T. Woolley, Ph.D.
Brigham Young University

2 p.m. Pacific Time

Tying lipstick smears from crime scenes to specific brands (video)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 13, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
It’s a common forensic TV show trope: A crime is committed, there are no suspects, and then detectives find a faint lipstick mark. The sample is put in an evidence bag and sent to the lab. Then boom, they analyze it in minutes and get a lead. In real life, forensic analyses are not nearly as fast or straightforward. But scientists now report progress on the technical front. They have developed an improved method for lifting lipstick samples from surfaces and have found that gas chromatography is an ideal way to analyze them. A brand-new video on the research is available at

Brian Bellott, Ph.D.
Western Illinois University

3 p.m. Pacific Time

Shaping the research agenda to meet global water supply needs

Water is the essential prerequisite for life on our planet. But our global water supply faces many challenges. In September 2015, a diverse panel of chemists and chemical engineers from China, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and United States met to discuss these issues. They identified several areas of concern and proposed recommendations for the public, policymakers and scientists worldwide to consider. The findings of the report will be released at the ACS meeting here in San Diego.

Matthew Platz, Ph.D.
Chair, U.S. Delegation to the Chemical Sciences and Society Summit
University of Hawaii-Hilo

Hans-Georg Weinig, Ph.D.
Director, Education & Science
German Chemical Society (GDCh)

Zhigang Shuai, Ph.D.
Tsinghua University, China
Chinese Chemical Society

Tuesday, March 15

9 a.m. Pacific Time

Eggshell nanoparticles could lead to expanded use of bioplastic in packaging materials

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Eggshells are both marvels and afterthoughts. Placed on end, they are as strong as the arches supporting ancient Roman aqueducts. Yet they readily crack in the middle, and once that happens, we discard them without a second thought. But now scientists report that adding tiny shards of eggshell to bioplastic could create a first-of-its-kind biodegradable packaging material that bends but does not easily break.

Vijaya Rangari, Ph.D.
Tuskegee University

Boniface Tiimob
Tuskegee University

9:30 a.m. Pacific Time

Insect wings inspire antibacterial surfaces for corneal transplants, other medical devices

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Someday, cicadas and dragonflies might save your sight. The key to this power lies in their wings, which are coated with a forest of tiny pointed pillars that impale and kill bacterial cells unlucky enough to land on them. Now, scientists report they have replicated these antibacterial nanopillars on synthetic polymers that are being developed to restore vision.

Albert F. Yee, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine

Mary Nora Dickson
University of California, Irvine

Elena Liang
University of California, Irvine

10 a.m. Pacific Time

Spongy material helps repair the spine (video)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, March 14, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Remember those colorful “grow capsules” that blossom into animal-shaped sponges in water? Using a similar idea, scientists have developed biodegradable polymer grafts that, when surgically placed in damaged vertebrae, should grow to be just the right size and shape to fix the spinal column. A brand-new video on the research is available at

Lichun Lu, Ph.D.
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

Xifeng Liu, Ph.D.
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

11 a.m. Pacific Time

Desert cactus purifies contaminated water for aquaculture, drinking and more (video)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 13, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Farm-grown fish are an important source of food with significant and worldwide societal and economic benefits, but the fish that come from these recirculating systems can have unpleasant tastes and odors. To clean contaminated water for farmed fish, drinking and other uses, scientists are now turning to an unlikely source — the mucilage or inner “guts” of cacti. A brand-new video on the research is available at

Norma Alcantar, Ph.D.
University of South Florida

Tunan Peng
University of South Florida

1 p.m. Pacific Time

Nanomotors could help electronics fix themselves

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 13, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
As electronics grow ever more intricate, so must the tools required to fix them. Anticipating this challenge, scientists turned to the body’s immune system for inspiration and have now built self-propelled nanomotors that can seek out and repair tiny scratches to electronic systems. They could one day lead to flexible batteries, electrodes, solar cells and other gadgets that heal themselves.

Jinxing Li
University of California, San Diego

1:30 p.m. Pacific Time

New technique could more accurately measure cannabinoid dosage in marijuana munchies

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
As more states decriminalize recreational use of marijuana and expand its medical applications, concern is growing about inconsistent and inaccurate dosage information listed on many products, including brownies and other edibles. But now scientists report that they have developed a technique that can more precisely measure cannabis compounds in gummy bears, chocolates and other foods made with marijuana. They say this new method could help ensure product safety in the rapidly expanding cannabis retail market

Jahan Marcu, Ph.D.
Americans for Safe Access

Melissa Wilcox
Grace Discovery Sciences

2 p.m. Pacific Time

How a pill could improve breast cancer diagnoses

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
The ongoing debate about breast cancer diagnostics has left many women confused — particularly over what age they should get mammograms and who needs treatment. An issue with current methods is that they often identify lumps but cannot conclusively pinpoint which ones are cancerous. To help resolve this uncertainty, researchers have developed a pill that could improve imaging techniques so that only cancerous tumors light up.

Greg Thurber, Ph.D.
University of Michigan

2:30 p.m. Pacific Time

A nanoparticle does double duty, imaging and treating atherosclerosis

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, March 13, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside arteries, is a prolific and invisible killer, but it may soon lose its ability to hide in the body and wreak havoc. Scientists have now developed a nanoparticle that functionally mimics nature’s own high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The nanoparticle can simultaneously light up and treat atherosclerotic plaques that clog arteries. Therapy with this approach could someday help prevent deadly heart attacks and strokes.

Shanta Dhar, Ph.D.
The University of Georgia

Bhabatosh Banik, Ph.D.
The University of Georgia

Wednesday, March 16

9 a.m. Pacific Time

Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments

Panelists will discuss the recently released National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report, “Effective Chemistry Communication in Informal Environments.”

Mary Kirchhoff, Ph.D.
American Chemical Society

Mark Ratner, Ph.D.
Northwestern University

9:30 a.m. Pacific Time

3-D printing could one day help fix damaged cartilage in knees, noses and ears (video)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Athletes, the elderly and others who suffer from injuries and arthritis can lose cartilage and experience a lot of pain. Researchers are now reporting, however, that they have found a way to produce cartilage tissue by 3-D bioprinting an ink containing human cells, and they have successfully tested it in an in vivo mouse model. The development could one day lead to precisely printed implants to heal damaged noses, ears and knees. A brand-new video on the research is available at

Paul Gatenholm, Ph.D.
Wallenberg Wood Science Center at Chalmers, Sweden

10 a.m. Pacific Time

Cellular ‘backpacks’ could treat disease while minimizing side effects

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time
Drug therapies for many conditions end up treating the whole body even when only one part — a joint, the brain, a wound — needs it. But this generalized approach can hurt healthy cells, causing nasty side effects. To send drugs to specific disease locations and avoid unwanted symptoms, researchers developed cellular “backpacks” that are designed to carry a therapeutic cargo only to inflamed disease sites.

Roberta Polak, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

11 a.m. Pacific Time

Generating electricity with tomato waste

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

A team of scientists is exploring an unusual source of electricity — damaged tomatoes that are unsuitable for sale at the grocery store. Their pilot project involves a biological-based Fuel-Cell'>fuel cell that uses tomato waste left over from harvests in Florida.

Venkataramana Gadhamshetty, Ph.D.
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Namita Shrestha
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

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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