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Novel Plastic Could Spur New Green Energy Applications, ‘Artificial Muscles’

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A plastic used in filters and tubing has an unusual trait: It can produce electricity when pulled or pressed. This ability has been used in small ways, but now researchers are coaxing fibers of it to make even more electricity for a wider range of applications from green energy to “artificial muscles.” They will report progress on a novel form of this plastic at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 29-Mar-2015 12:05 PM EDT

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A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 1-Apr-2015 12:30 PM EDT

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Food Additive Could Serve as a Safer, More Environmentally Friendly Antifreeze

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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.

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Algae From Clogged Waterways Could Serve as Biofuels and Fertilizer

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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.

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

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New Research Discovers 4-Stranded DNA-Binding Protein Conserved in Plants and Animals

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Biological Science Assistant Professor Elizabeth Stroupe and Associate Professor Hank Bass, along with molecular biophysics graduate student Mykhailo Kopylov, write in a new Biochemistry paper that the same type of protein works in plants and animals to bind to peculiar DNA structures called G-quadruplexes, or G4 DNA for short.

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More Flavorful, Healthful Chocolate Could Be on Its Way

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. They will describe their research here today at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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Fat Turns From Diabetes Foe to Potential Treatment

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 FAHFAs, that are at low levels in people with insulin resistance, a risk factor for diabetes. FAHFAs improved glucose metabolism and insulin secretion in diabetic mice. The team will describe their approach at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

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Looking to Space to Quantify Natural Gas Leaks on Earth

Increasing natural gas production could provide a bridge to a lower carbon future. However, methane that is leaked into the atmosphere from this process could speed global warming and climate change. And there is controversy over just how much methane is lost. Researchers today will present new methods to determine methane’s leakage rate and problems inherent in discovering and assessing leakage at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.