PHILADELPHIA -- Advancements in energy and fuel research, environmental concerns about the effects of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, potential biomarkers for improving disease diagnosis and new findings about the health benefits of foods and food supplements are among the topics addressed at the 228th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, in Philadelphia, Aug. 22-26. The meeting, which includes approximately 7,000 research presentations, will also feature symposia on decontamination of sites affected by bioterrorism, new findings about the chemical origins of life and the ongoing debate over organic vs. conventionally grown foods. Selected topics are described below.
Sunday, Aug. 22
Gene for strawberry flavor identified -- Researchers in Germany have identified, for the first time, the gene that is responsible for producing the chemical that is thought to be chiefly responsible for the unique flavor of strawberries. The finding could lead to more flavorful strawberries as well as genetically engineered hybrid fruits with unique flavors and aromas, they say. The presentation is part of a two-day symposium, "Genetic Engineering in Flavor Chemistry," held Aug. 22-23. (AGFD 15, Sunday, Aug. 22, 10:10 a.m., Courtyard by Marriott, Room 102)
Selenium good for the heart, studies confirm -- Researchers have found new evidence in animal and human studies that selenium supplementation may protect against heart disease. In an animal model, selenium supplementation significantly decreased the extent of atherosclerosis. Of the dietary supplements available commercially that were te