News Release

American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting Press Conference Schedule

Meeting Announcement

American Chemical Society

Watch live and recorded press conferences at Press conferences will be held Monday, Aug. 17 through Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. 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, Aug. 17

9 a.m. Eastern Time (6 a.m. Pacific Time)

Negative side effects of opioids could be coming from users' own immune systems (video)
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

In addition to possibly developing opioid use disorder, those who take opioids long term, including patients who have been prescribed the drugs for pain relief, can develop chronic inflammation and heightened pain sensitivity. Scientists now report in a pilot study that some of those side effects might be influenced by the body's own immune system, which can make antibodies against the drugs. A brand-new video on the research is available at

Cody J. Wenthur, Pharm.D., Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jillian Kyzer, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison

10 a.m. Eastern Time (7 a.m. Pacific Time)

Immunotherapy extends survival in mouse model of hard-to-treat breast cancer (video)
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug, 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Immunotherapies for cancer -- treatments that prime the immune system to attack tumors -- are valuable weapons in the anti-cancer arsenal. But some cancers are more difficult to target with this strategy than others. Today, scientists report a new type of immunotherapy that dramatically extends the survival of mice that have triple negative breast tumors, a difficult-to-treat form of cancer. A brand-new video on the research is available at

Chad Mirkin, Ph.D. Northwestern University

12 p.m. Eastern Time (9 a.m. Pacific Time)

Micro- and nanoplastics detectable in human tissues
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Plastic pollution of land, water and air is a global problem. Even when plastic bags or water bottles break down to the point at which they are no longer an eyesore, tiny fragments can still contaminate the environment. Animals and humans can ingest the particles, with uncertain health consequences. Now, scientists report that they are among the first to examine micro- and nanoplastics in human organs and tissues.

Rolf Halden, Ph.D., P.E. Arizona State University

Varun Kelkar Arizona State University

1 p.m. Eastern Time (10 a.m. Pacific Time)

Ocean microbes could interact with pollution to influence climate
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Oceans cover almost three-quarters of the globe, yet little is known about how gases and aerosols made by ocean microbes affect weather and climate, or how human-produced pollution could influence this process. Now, scientists report they've used an "ocean-in-a-lab" to show that air pollution can change the makeup of gases and aerosols that sea spray releases into the atmosphere and, in turn, potentially alter weather patterns.

Kimberly Prather, Ph.D. University of California San Diego

Tuesday, Aug. 18

9 a.m. Eastern Time (6 a.m. Pacific Time)

Bio-based communication networks could control cells in the body to treat conditions
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Like electronic devices, biological cells send and receive messages, but they communicate through very different mechanisms. Now, scientists report progress on tiny communication networks that overcome this language barrier, allowing electronics to eavesdrop on cells and alter their behavior -- and vice versa. These systems could enable applications including a wearable device that could diagnose and treat a bacterial infection or a capsule that could be swallowed to track blood sugar and make insulin when needed.

William E. Bentley, Ph.D. University of Maryland

Eric VanArsdale University of Maryland

10 a.m. Eastern Time (7 a.m. Pacific Time)

More healthful milk chocolate by adding peanut, coffee waste
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Milk chocolate is a consumer favorite worldwide, prized for its sweet flavor and creamy texture. This confection can be found in all types of treats, but it isn't exactly health food. In contrast, dark chocolate has high levels of phenolic compounds, which can provide antioxidant health benefits, but it is also a harder, more bitter chocolate. Today, researchers report a new way to combine milk chocolate with waste peanut skins and other wastes to boost its antioxidant properties.

Lisa Dean, Ph.D. USDA Agricultural Research Service

12 p.m. Eastern Time (9 a.m. Pacific Time)

Pothole repair made eco-friendly using grit from wastewater treatment
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Potholes are aggravating to drive over, and they can cause billions of dollars of damage every year to automobile wheels, tires and suspensions. Currently, road crews fill in these holes with hydrocarbon-containing asphalt, but that material can leach out, polluting the environment. Now, scientists report a brand-new way to repair roads that's also eco-friendly -- by using a remnant of wastewater treatment called grit that's usually disposed of in landfills.

Zhongzhe Liu, Ph.D. California State University-Bakersfield

1 p.m. Eastern Time (10 a.m. Pacific Time)

Stopping tooth decay before it starts -- without killing bacteria
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Oral bacteria are ready to spring into action the moment a dental hygienist finishes scraping plaque off a patient's teeth. Eating sugar or other carbohydrates causes the bacteria to quickly rebuild this tough and sticky biofilm and to produce acids that corrode tooth enamel, leading to cavities. Scientists now report a treatment that could someday stop plaque and cavities from forming in the first place, using a new type of cerium nanoparticle formulation that would be applied to teeth at the dentist's office.

Russell Pesavento, D.D.S., Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago

Wednesday, Aug. 19

9 a.m. Eastern Time (6 a.m. Pacific Time)

Mixing silk with polymers could lead to better biomedical implants
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Spun by spiders and silkworms, silk has mystified human engineers who have yet to figure out how to artificially recreate this tough, fine fiber. But by combining silk, which is safe for use in the human body, with synthetic compounds, one research team is getting closer to developing new implantable composite materials with the best properties of both. Potential applications, which are still years away, could include structures that hold bone in place after surgery or replacements for the cartilage cushions in the knee.

Juan Guan, Ph.D. Beihang University

10 a.m. Eastern Time (7 a.m. Pacific Time)

'Cyborg' technology could enable new diagnostics, merger of humans and AI
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Although true "cyborgs" -- part human, part robotic beings -- are science fiction, researchers are taking steps toward integrating electronics with the body. Such devices could monitor for tumor development or stand in for damaged tissues. But connecting electronics directly to human tissues in the body is a huge challenge. Now, a team is reporting new coatings for components that could help them more easily fit into this environment.

David Martin, Ph.D. University of Delaware

1 p.m. Eastern Time (10 a.m. Pacific Time)

Targeting iron uptake to create a new class of antibiotics against UTIs
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

At 11 million cases annually, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common outpatient infections in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At least half of all women will have a UTI during their lifetimes, and many of the infections -- which have increasingly become resistant to a wide array of antibiotics -- recur. Now, researchers report early progress toward developing a new class of antibiotics that would fight these infections by starving the causative bacteria of iron.

Scott Eagon, Ph.D. California Polytechnic State University

Thursday, Aug. 20

9 a.m. Eastern Time (6 a.m. Pacific Time)

Studying viral outbreaks in single cells could reveal new ways to defeat them (video)
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Many viruses, including HIV and influenza A, mutate so quickly that identifying effective vaccines or treatments is like trying to hit a moving target. A better understanding of viral propagation and evolution in single cells could help. Today, scientists report a new technique that can not only identify and quantify viral RNA in living cells, but also detect minor changes in RNA sequences that might give viruses an edge or make some people "superspreaders." A brand-new video about the research is available at

Laura Fabris, Ph.D. Rutgers University

10 a.m. Eastern Time (7 a.m. Pacific Time)

3D printing 'greener' buildings using local soil
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

The construction industry is currently facing two major challenges: the demand for sustainable infrastructure and the need to repair deteriorating buildings, bridges and roads. While concrete is the material of choice for many construction projects, it has a large carbon footprint, resulting in high waste and energy expenditure. Today, researchers report progress toward a sustainable building material made from local soil, using a 3D printer to create a load-bearing structure.

Sarbajit Banerjee, Ph.D. Texas A&M University

Aayushi Bajpayee Texas A&M University

12 p.m. Eastern Time (9 a.m. Pacific Time)

Safer, more comfortable soldier uniforms are in the works
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Uniforms of U.S. Army soldiers must meet a long list of challenging requirements. They need to feel comfortable in all climates, be durable through multiple washings, resist fires and ward off insects, among other things. Existing fabrics don't check all of these boxes, so scientists have come up with a novel way of creating a flame-retardant, insect-repellent fabric that uses nontoxic substances.

Ramaswamy Nagarajan, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts

Sourabh Kulkarni University of Massachusetts

1 p.m. Eastern Time (10 a.m. Pacific Time)

How sour beer gets so... sour (video)
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, 5 a.m. Eastern Time

Sour beer, the tart and tangy outcome of a brewing process that's been used in Europe for centuries, has recently surged in popularity in the U.S. Today, scientists report progress on a study of how acids and other flavor components evolve while the beverage ages. Their aim is to help brewers understand and gain more control over sour beer's taste. A brand-new video about the ongoing research is available at

Teresa L. Longin, Ph.D. University of Redlands

David P. Soulsby, Ph.D. University of Redlands

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 its people. The Society is a global leader in 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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