April 2002

Contact: Charmayne Marsh
407-685-8070 (April 4-11)
American Chemical Society

Spinal cord injury and Alzheimer's risk among topics at American Chemical Society meeting


A new treatment for fixing detached retinas, immune system damage from agricultural pesticides, and the hazards of mercury in the environment will be featured at a gathering of the world's largest scientific society in Orlando, Fla., April 7-11.

Orlando, Fla. -- More than 6,500 cutting-edge research findings will be presented at the 223rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society, April 7-11, in Orlando. Nearly 11,000 scientists are expected to attend the meeting, which will be held at the Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive. Highlights include:

  • A dietary intervention that might help prevent postpartum depression
  • Compounds that could aid in spinal cord repair
  • Discussion of potentially dangerous interactions of common household chemicals
  • A technique to predict risk of Alzheimer's disease
  • A new approach toward fighting highly destructive termites

The meeting is open to accredited news media. The pressroom will be located in Room 309A, on the third level of the Convention Center. It will open for on-site registration from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, April 6, and it will be open Sunday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., and on Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon, Eastern Time.

News media must register at the pressroom to receive badges for admittance to events. Press kits will include a complete set of meeting abstracts, news releases on selected research papers, and a schedule of news briefings. For more information, contact Charmayne Marsh at the telephone numbers listed at the top of this page.

Saturday, April 6

  • "Kids & Chemistry Live!" -- ACS members, including undergraduate chemistry students, professional chemists, chemical engineers and former classroom science teachers, will share chemical demonstrations and interactive experiments with participating children and their families. (Saturday, April 6, noon - 2 p.m., Orlando Science Center, 777 East Princeton Street. For immediate release.)

Sunday, April 7

  • Energy for the Future: What does science & technology bring to the table? -- White House Science Advisor John Marburger and others will discuss an overview of energy issues. Topics include science's role in nuclear energy, petroleum, carbon and climate change, fuel cells, alternative energy and sustainable mobility. (Sunday, April 7, 1-5 p.m., Rosen Centre, Grand Ballroom B. For immediate release.)

  • Nurturing Cuban-American scientific partnerships -- Cuban scientists, working at some 230 research centers nationwide, have developed a meningitis vaccine, improved therapies for speech- and hearing-impaired children and enhanced treatments for sleep apnea and psychiatric disorders. Cuban scientists and scientists with Cuban connections will discuss topics ranging from chemical education to fostering Cuban-American research partnerships. (Sunday, April 7, 1:30 - 5 p.m., Convention Center, Room 307D. Embargoed for 1:30 p.m., April 7.)

  • Caution urged in handling household chemicals -- Household chemicals account for about 25 percent of poisonings each year in the United States, some of them fatal. A safety expert examines some of the dangers of everyday products and recommends ways of reducing their risk during a special symposium on common hazards found in homes. (CHAS 6, Sunday, April 7, 3 p.m., Convention Center, Room 308C, Level Three)

  • Drug targets complications of chronic diabetes -- Researchers have developed a new drug that may help prevent the development of diabetic complications, including nerve and eye damage. The drug, which targets an enzyme involved in the metabolism of excess glucose, appears promising in animal models of chronic diabetes. It is currently undergoing phase II clinical trials in the United States and Canada. (MEDI 22, Sunday, April 7, 3:45 p.m., Convention Center, Auditorium, Level Three)

Monday, April 8

  • Women's contributions to the Manhattan Project -- The Women Chemists Committee, as part of its 75th anniversary, will hold a special symposium to discuss the scientific and technical contributions of women scientists in developing the atomic bomb. (Monday, April 8, 8:05 a.m., Convention Center, Room 304C, Level Three. Embargoed for 8 a.m., April 8.)

  • Dealing with terrorism: an industry and government perspective -- A one-day symposium will explore how the chemical industry and government are dealing with the threat of terrorism. Topics will include protecting chemical research facilities, risk assessment and reduction, and the response to bioterrorism by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CHAS 7-14, 15-22, Monday, April 8, 9 a.m., Convention Center, Room 308C, Level Three)

  • New approaches for treatment of osteoporosis -- A one-day symposium will explore new approaches for the treatment of osteoporosis, a debilitating bone disease that afflicts more than 10 million Americans, mostly women. (MEDI 115-119, Monday, April 8, 9 a.m., Convention Center, Valencia Room B, Level Four)

  • Looking for contaminants in firefighter clothing -- Researchers are trying to determine what contaminants might linger on the protective clothing of firefighters after they leave a blaze and whether they could pose a health problem. The scientists also are examining the fabrics for combustible compounds that could build up on the clothing over time and cause it to catch on fire. (CHED 441, Monday, April 8, 11 a.m., Convention Center, Hall C)

  • First black female astronaut addresses minority affairs luncheon -- Dr. Mae Jemison, former astronaut and the first black woman to travel in space, will speak at the Committee on Minority Affairs luncheon. (Monday, April 8, 11:30 a.m., Peabody Hotel, Florida Ballroom I. For immediate release.)

  • Alzheimer's patients may benefit from imaging technique -- Nuclear imaging techniques developed nearly three decades ago, which paved the way for better cancer detection, could eventually make it possible to predict who may be at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. (NUCL 33, Monday, April 8, 1:45 p.m., Convention Center, Hall C)

  • Fatty acid could offset postpartum depression and improve babies' development -- Pregnant or nursing women may be able to reduce their chances of developing postpartum depression and improve the neurological development of their babies by increasing their consumption of the essential fatty acid DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid mostly found in fish like tuna and salmon and also in algae. (AGFD 28, Monday, April 8, 2 p.m., Convention Center, Room 202A, Level Two)

  • Compounds may aid in spinal cord repair -- Researchers have identified a set of compounds that could help regenerate damaged nerves. Their findings could lead to new treatments for spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. (CARB 41, Monday, April 8, 4:25 p.m., Convention Center, Room 314A, Level Three. Embargoed for 4:30 p.m., April 8.)

  • Irreversible immune system damage could be caused by agricultural fungicide -- Brief exposure to a compound found in some agricultural pesticides and fungicides could cause irreversible damage to our immune system's natural killer cells, which guard against tumors and viruses. (ENVR 166, Monday, April 8, 8 p.m., Convention Center, Room 203A, Level Two)

Tuesday, April 9

  • Building a better antibiotic -- A one-day symposium will explore new approaches toward fighting drug-resistant antibiotics, particularly aminoglycosides. (CARB 42-46, 55-54; Tuesday, April 9, 8:40 a.m., Convention Center, Room 314B, Level Three)

  • Stem cells and cloning: What's all the hype? -- A one-day symposium will explore different aspects of embryonic stem cells and cloning, including government funding, patents and commercialization issues. (CHAL 23-27, Tuesday, April 9, 9 a.m., Convention Center, Room 209B, Level Two)

  • Symposium explores distribution, management of mercury in the environment -- A two-day symposium will explore the distribution and management of mercury in the environment. Topics include threats to wildlife and atmospheric distribution. (ENVR 71-78, 84-92, 98-106; Tuesday-Wednesday, April 9-10, 1:40 p.m., Convention Center, Room 203A, Level Two)

Wednesday, April 10

  • Magnetic fluids offer hope for damaged retinas -- Researchers are developing injectable magnetic fluids to repair torn or detached retinas, a technique that could help prevent blindness in thousands. (POLY 374, Wednesday, April 10, 10:45 a.m., Convention Center, Room 314A, Level Three)

  • Survey identifies drugs most likely to be found in the environment -- Antidepressants, anticonvulsants, anticancer drugs and antimicrobials are among the types of pharmaceuticals that Johns Hopkins University researchers believe are most likely to be found at toxicologically significant levels in the environment. Their conclusions are based on a survey of the 200 most sold and prescribed drugs in the United States. (ENVR 167, Wednesday, April 10, 6 p.m., Convention Center, Hall C)

Thursday, April 11

  • Bug vs. bug: Microorganisms target destructive termites -- Government scientists are using microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) to fight the Formosan subterranean termite, a highly destructive species that has caused millions of dollars in damage to houses and trees in the United States. (I&EC 319, Thursday, April 11, 1:40 p.m., Convention Center, Room 304F, Level Three. Embargoed for 1:45 p.m., April 11.)

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