EMARGOED FOR RELEASE: Friday, April 16, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

ACS Spring 2021 Press Conference Schedule

Watch live and recorded press conferences at http://www.acs.org/acsspring2021conferences. Press conferences will be held Monday, April 5, through Friday, April 16, 2021. Below is the schedule, which will be updated as needed.


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

Monday, April 5

10 a.m. Eastern Time

Doping by athletes could become tougher to hide with new detection method
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, April 5, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

As the world awaits the upcoming Olympic games, a new method for detecting doping compounds in urine samples could level the playing field for those trying to keep athletics clean. Today, scientists report an approach using ion mobility-mass spectrometry to help regulatory agencies detect existing dopants and future “designer” compounds.

Christopher Chouinard, Ph.D.
Florida Institute of Technology


11 a.m. Eastern Time

Paleopharmaceuticals from Baltic amber might fight drug-resistant infections
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, April 5, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

For centuries, people in Baltic nations have used ancient amber for medicinal purposes. Even today, infants are given amber necklaces that they chew to relieve teething pain, and people put pulverized amber in elixirs and ointments for its purported anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties. Now, scientists have pinpointed compounds that help explain Baltic amber’s therapeutic effects and that could lead to new medicines to combat antibiotic-resistant infections.

Elizabeth Ambrose, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota

Connor McDermott
University of Minnesota


Tuesday, April 6

10 a.m. Eastern Time

Separating beer waste into proteins for foods, and fiber for biofuels
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Home brewing enthusiasts and major manufacturers alike experience the same result of the beer-making process: mounds of leftover grain. Once all the flavor has been extracted from barley and other grains, what’s left is a protein- and fiber-rich powder that is typically used in cattle feed or put in landfills. Today, scientists report a new way to extract the protein and fiber from brewer’s spent grain and use it to create new types of protein sources, biofuels and more.

Haibo Huang, Ph.D.
Virginia Tech

Yanhong He 
Virginia Tech


Wednesday, April 7

11 a.m. Eastern Time

An amyloid link between Parkinson’s disease and melanoma
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

On the surface, Parkinson’s disease — a neurodegenerative disorder — and melanoma — a type of skin cancer — do not appear to have much in common. However, for nearly 50 years, doctors have recognized that Parkinson’s disease patients are more likely to develop melanoma than the general population. Now, scientists report a molecular link between the two diseases in the form of protein aggregates known as amyloids.

Jennifer Lee, Ph.D.
National Institutes of Health

Dexter Dean, Ph.D.
National Institutes of Health


Thursday, April 8

11 a.m. Eastern Time

Making cleaner, greener plastics from waste fish parts
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, April 5, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Polyurethanes, a type of plastic, are nearly everywhere — in shoes, clothes, refrigerators and construction materials. But these highly versatile materials can have a major downside. Derived from crude oil, toxic to synthesize, and slow to break down, conventional polyurethanes are not environmentally friendly. Today, researchers discuss devising what they say should be a safer, biodegradable alternative derived from fish waste — heads, bones, skin and guts — that would otherwise likely be discarded.

Francesca Kerton, Ph.D.
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Mikhailey Wheeler
Memorial University of Newfoundland


Friday, April 9

10 a.m. Eastern Time

Toward a reliable oral treatment for sickle cell disease
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Friday, April 9, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

For the millions of people worldwide who have sickle cell disease, there are only a few treatment options, which include risky bone marrow transplants, gene therapy or other treatments that address a subset of symptoms. Today, researchers will describe the discovery of a small molecule with the potential to address the root cause of sickle cell disease by boosting levels of fetal hemoglobin, a healthy form that adults normally do not make. The drug could be formulated into a convenient daily tablet.

Ivan V. Efremov, Ph.D.
Fulcrum Therapeutics, Inc.


Monday, April 12

2 p.m. Eastern Time 

Making music from spider webs
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, April 12, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Spiders are master builders, expertly weaving strands of silk into intricate 3D webs that serve as the spider’s home and hunting ground. If humans could enter the spider’s world, they could learn about web construction, arachnid behavior and more. Today, scientists report that they have translated the structure of a web into music, which could have applications ranging from better 3D printers to cross-species communication and otherworldly musical compositions.

Markus Buehler, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Tuesday, April 13

11 a.m. Eastern Time 

Rescuing street art from vandals’ graffiti
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

From Los Angeles and the Lower East Side of New York City to Paris and Penang, street art by famous and not-so-famous artists adorns highways, roads and alleys. In addition to creating social statements, works of beauty and tourist attractions, street art sometimes attracts vandals who add their unwanted graffiti, which is hard to remove without destroying the underlying painting. Now, researchers report novel, environmentally friendly techniques that quickly and safely remove over-paintings on street art.

Michele Baglioni, Ph.D.
University of Florence


Thursday, April 15

11 a.m. Eastern Time 

Snake species from different terrains surrender surface secrets behind slithering success
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Thursday, April 15, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Some snake species slither across the ground, while others climb trees, dive through sand or glide across water. Today, scientists report that the surface chemistry of snake scales varies among species that negotiate these different terrains. The findings could have implications for designing durable materials, as well as robots that mimic snake locomotion to cross surfaces that would otherwise be impassable.

Tobias Weidner, Ph.D.
Aarhus University


Friday, April 16

2 p.m. Eastern Time 

Sweat sensor could alert doctors, patients to looming COVID cytokine storm (video)
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Friday, April 16, 2021, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors recognized that patients who developed a “cytokine storm” –– a surge of pro-inflammatory immune proteins –– were often the sickest and at highest risk of dying. But a cytokine storm can also occur in other illnesses, such as influenza. Today, scientists report preliminary results on a sweat sensor that acts as an early warning system for an impending cytokine storm, which could help doctors more effectively treat patients. A video on the research is available at www.acs.org/acsspring2021cytokinesensor.

Shalini Prasad, Ph.D.
University of Texas at Dallas 

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a specialist in scientific information solutions (including SciFinder® and STN®), its CAS division powers global research, discovery and innovation. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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