Day: May 26, 2014

Climate change threatens 30 U.S. landmarks: science advocacy group

Read the full story at Planet Ark.

Climate change is threatening U.S. landmarks from the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor to the César Chávez National Monument in Keene, California with floods, rising sea levels and fires, scientists said on Tuesday.

National Landmarks at Risk, a report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, highlighted more than two dozen sites that potentially face serious natural disasters. They include Boston’s historic districts, the Harriet Tubman National Monument in Maryland and an array of NASA sites including the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable Grants $150K for Green Chemistry Research

Via the ACS Nexus blog.

Last year the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable sent a call for proposals, seeking to fund projects that are developing alternatives for widely employed transition metal catalyzed cross-coupling reactions (the assembly of carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom). These reactions are used frequently in the pharmaceutical industry because they allow for the assembly of compounds with significant molecular complexity (like those found in medicines). They currently depend heavily on palladium and other 2nd/3rd row transition metals that have drawbacks such as high cost, fluctuating global supply, human toxicity concerns, and limited natural abundance.

Rather than perpetuate these typical protocols the Roundtable envisions a more desirable future state for cross-coupling that not only employs non-precious/non-toxic metal catalysts, but also reduces the number of steps, achieves ambient temperature conditions, utilizes environmentally responsible solvents systems, and more. Pursuing these goals will shrink the environmental impact of medicine production, address safety conditions for workers, and reduce costs for the industry (no longer relying on rapidly depleting precious metals).

Many proposals were submitted for this call for non-precious metal catalysis, but after difficult decisions two stood out among all others.

  • Dr. Paul J. Chirik received $100K for his proposal “Modern Alchemy: New Paradigms for Enabling Base Metal-Catalyzed Cross Coupling in the Pharmaceutical Industry.” Over a 2 year period, his group will at first explore the application of redox active ligands that can undergo traditional cross-coupling transformations (carbon-carbon) with a 1st row transition metal catalyst. Eventually, the team will address more long-standing challenges such as iron-catalyzed carbon-nitrogen bond formation and more.
  • Dr. Daniel J. Weix of the University of Rochester received $50K for his proposal “Direct Synthesis of Alkylated Arenes and Heteroarenes from the Cross-Coupling of Heteroaromatic Halides in Non-Amide Solvents.” For the next year, Weix and his team will develop new nickel catalysts and conditions for the formation of new carbon-carbon bonds via cross-coupling. The team hopes to achieve these reactions with simple ligands and metal salts, provide broad function-group compatibility, and employ greener solvents.

Congratulations to the grant winners! Keep an eye out for updates over the coming years to see how this important research progresses. And to learn more about precious metal use in chemistry and alternative technologies, be sure to catch the Green Chemistry & Engineering Hybrid Session on June 19th, where Dr. Chirik and other experts will be presenting. Attend in person or watch the live broadcast.

Register now for this FREE webinar: Endangered Elements: Critical Materials in the Supply Chain » ACS Webinars

WISER for Android 3.1 Released

WISER for Android 3.1 is now available.   Here’s a look at what’s new in this release:

  •  WISER’s Help Identify Chemical capability is now available on the Android platform. Identify and validate an unknown chemical based on the following criteria:
    • physical properties of the substance gathered by observation or sensors
    • signs and symptoms of victims of exposure
    • the ability to categorize a substance, such as a substance used in a meth lab or a flammable substance
    • hazard values from NFPA 704 placards
    • transportation identification, including DOT placards, type of road trailer, and type of rail car
  • Use WISER’s protective distance mapping feature on your Android device. Visualize the areas likely to be affected during the first 30 minutes after a substance is spilled or released on a live map. The Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook serves as the source of WISER’s protective distance data.

WISER for Android can be downloaded and installed directly from the Google Play Store:
https://market.android.com/details?id=gov.nih.nlm.wiser

Coming Soon

Look for these exciting additions in the coming months:

  • WISER for iOS and WISER for Android 4.5, which adds chemical reactivity, triage procedures, and WISER’s full set of radiological tools to these mobile platforms
  • WISER 4.6, which will add many new substances to WISER and update much of WISER’s backend data, including its HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank) substance data

International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference

Look for us at the upcoming International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference that takes place from May 29th - June 1 at the Hilton Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland.  Visit the National Library of Medicine booth and join us at the following session:

308: Craft Your App – Make WISER More Robust   

Learn about the latest improvements to WISER/CHEMM including additions of new substances, feature/capability equivalence across devices, etc. Bring your devices – we will run through scenarios together and see if you’re getting all the information you need quickly and efficiently. Help us to make this tool into something you really need.

Preview the new National Library of Medicine TOXNET interface

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is introducing a new NLM TOXNET interface this Spring. We’ve improved the appearance and interactive capabilities and given it a facelift for a more current look and feel.

The new TOXNET features:

  • Improved appearance
  • Intuitive interactive capabilities
  • Improved multi-database search
  • Easy selection of items to save in “My List”
  • More accessible menus and pull-downs
  • Type-ahead Browse
  • Hover-over Help

You can preview the new look from the TOXNET home page (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov) and at http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/.The old TOXNET will continue to be available for some weeks.