Press Conference Schedule252nd American Chemical Society National Meeting & ExpositionAugust 21-25, 2016

ACS Press Center Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 307

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

Embargoed press releases are available on EurekAlert! ( and Newswise (

Note to journalists: Please report that this research is being presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.

MONDAY, AUG. 22 9 a.m. Eastern Time

Paper-based device spots falsified or degraded medications (video)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time The developing world is awash in substandard, degraded or falsified medications, which can either directly harm users or deprive them of needed treatment. And with internet sales of medications on the rise, people everywhere are increasingly at risk. So, a team of researchers has developed a simple, inexpensive paper-based device to screen suspicious medications.

Marya Lieberman, Ph.D. University of Notre Dame

Sarah Bliese Hamline University

9:30 a.m. Eastern Time

Watching thoughts — and addiction — form in the brain

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 22, 2016

More than a hundred years ago, Ivan Pavlov conducted what would become one of the most famous and influential psychology studies — he conditioned dogs to salivate at the ringing of a bell. Now, scientists are able to see in real time what happens in the brains of live animals during this classic experiment with a new technique. Ultimately, the approach could lead to a greater understanding of how we learn, and develop and break addictions.

Paul A. Slesinger, Ph.D. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Anne Andrews, Ph.D.University of California at Los Angeles

10:45 a.m. Eastern Time

Fungi recycle rechargeable lithium-ion batteries

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Although rechargeable batteries in smartphones, cars and tablets can be charged again and again, they don’t last forever. Old batteries often wind up in landfills or incinerators, potentially harming the environment. And valuable materials remain locked inside. Now, a team of researchers is turning to naturally occurring fungi to drive an environmentally friendly recycling process to extract cobalt and lithium from tons of waste batteries. Jeff Cunningham, Ph.D.University of South Florida

11:15 a.m. Eastern Time

Edible food packaging made from milk proteins (video)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

At the grocery store, most foods — meats, breads, cheeses, snacks — come wrapped in plastic packaging. Not only does this create a lot of non-recyclable, non-biodegradable waste, but thin plastic films are not great at preventing spoilage. And some plastics are suspected of leaching potentially harmful compounds into food. To address these issues, scientists are now developing a packaging film made of milk proteins — and it is even edible.

Peggy M. Tomasula, D.Sc.U.S. Department of Agriculture

Laetitia M. Bonnaillie, Ph.D.U.S. Department of Agriculture

1 p.m. Eastern Time

Squid, jellyfish and wrinkled skin inspire materials for anti-glare screens and encryption EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

What do squid and jellyfish skin have in common with human skin? All three have inspired a team of chemists to create materials that change color or texture in response to variations in their surroundings. These materials could be used for encrypting secret messages, creating anti-glare surfaces, or detecting moisture or damage, they say.

Luyi Sun, Ph.D.University of Connecticut

Songshan ZengUniversity of Connecticut

2 p.m. Eastern Time

How cars could meet future emissions standards: Focus on cold starts

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Car emissions is a high-stakes issue, as last year’s Volkswagen scandal demonstrated. Pressure to meet tightening standards led the carmaker to cheat on emissions tests. But wrongdoing aside, how are automakers going to realistically meet future, tougher emissions requirements to reduce their impact on the climate? Researchers report today that a vehicle’s cold start — at least in gasoline-powered cars — is the best target for future design changes.

Greg Drozd, Ph.D.University of California, Berkeley

2:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Stopping scars before they formEMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Most people start racking up scars from an early age with scraped knees and elbows. While many of these fade over time, more severe types such as keloids and scars from burns are largely untreatable. These types of scars are associated with permanent functional loss and, in severe cases, carry the stigma of disfigurement. Now scientists are developing new compounds that could stop scars from forming in the first place.

Priyanka ToshniwalThe University of Western Australia

TUESDAY, AUG. 23 9 a.m. Eastern Time

New device could help improve taste of foods low in fat, sugar and saltEMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday Aug. 22, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Scientists may be closing in on a way to let consumers savor the sweet taste of cake, cookies and other culinary delights without the sugar rush. In preliminary tests using a new device developed in-house that allows them to screen for odor compounds in real foods, they have isolated several natural aromatic molecules that could be used to trick our brains into believing that desserts and other foods contain more fat, sugar or salt than they actually do.

Thierry Thomas-Danguin, Ph.D. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

9:30 a.m. Eastern Time

Reducing tire waste by using completely degradable, synthetic rubber

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Scrap tires have been on environmentalists’ blacklist for decades. They pile up in landfills, have fed enormous toxic fires, harbor pests and get burned for fuel. Scientists trying to rid us of this scourge have developed a new way to make synthetic rubber. And once this material is discarded, it can be easily degraded back to its chemical building blocks and reused in new tires and other products.

Antisar HlilTexas A&M University at Qatar

10:15 a.m. Eastern Time

Nanoparticles that speed blood clotting may someday save lives

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Whether severe trauma occurs on the battlefield or the highway, saving lives often comes down to stopping the bleeding as quickly as possible. Many methods for controlling external bleeding exist, but at this point, only surgery can halt blood loss inside the body from injury to internal organs. Now, researchers have developed nanoparticles that congregate wherever injury occurs in the body to help it form blood clots, and they’ve validated these particles in test tubes and in vivo.

Erin Lavik, Sc.D.University of Maryland, Baltimore County

11 a.m. Eastern Time

Citizen Science and Chemistry: Opportunities to EngageACS Science & the Congress


As professional scientists explore the universe, they find instances where more hands, eyes and voices are needed to collect, analyze and report data to advance understanding. Citizen scientists are answering the call in greater numbers, in chemistry and many other fields via public and private opportunities. Chemistry and other sciences that can be integrated within hobbies and formal or informal learning include: measuring the water quality in rivers and lakes, monitoring the daily course of a disease or exercise regimen or weighing in via discussion groups on matters of science policy.

Sophia Liu, Ph.D.U.S. Geological Survey

Andrew Torelli, Ph.D.Bowling Green State University

Jennifer Couch, Ph.D.National Cancer Institute, NIH

David SittenfeldMuseum of Science, Boston

Darlene CavalierArizona State University and SciStarter

1:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Battery you can swallow could enable future ingestible medical devicesEMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Non-toxic, edible batteries could one day power ingestible devices for diagnosing and treating disease. One team reports new progress toward that goal with their batteries made with melanin pigments, naturally found in the skin, hair and eyes.

Christopher Bettinger, Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University

Hang-Ah Park, Ph.D.Carnegie Mellon University


9 a.m. Eastern Time

Insulin pill could make diabetes treatment ‘ouchless’

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Every day, millions of Americans with diabetes have to inject themselves with insulin to manage their blood-sugar levels. But less painful alternatives are emerging. Scientists are developing a new way of administering the medicine orally with tiny vesicles that can deliver insulin where it needs to go without a shot. Today, they share their in vivo testing results.

Mary McCourt, Ph.D.Niagara University

Lawrence M. Mielnicki, Ph.D. Niagara University

Jamie Catalano Niagara University

10:30 a.m. Eastern Time

Selecting the right house plant could improve indoor air (animation)

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Indoor air pollution is an important environmental threat to human health, leading to symptoms of “sick building syndrome.” But researchers report that surrounding oneself with certain house plants could combat the potentially harmful effects of volatile organic compounds, a main category of these pollutants. Interestingly, they found that certain plants are better at removing particular harmful compounds from the air, suggesting that, with the right plant, indoor air could become cleaner and safer.

Vadoud Niri, Ph.D.State University of New York at Oswego

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 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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