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The biggest chemistry news from 2014 sets the scene for the New Year

American Chemical Society

Scrutinizing the flood of chemistry news from 2014 reveals which stories had the greatest impact on the field's science, policy and industry landscapes. Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, rounds up the year's game-changing news that could potentially influence the course of the coming year.

The hottest science picks from C&EN include expanding the genetic code and major advances in the development of inexpensive solar cells. Chemists also were busy in the lab, chasing down new treatments for the Ebola epidemic. On the regulatory side of science, activists ramped up pressure to label products made with genetically modified organisms. Many lawmakers urged restrictions on the use of insecticides called neonicotinoids, which some research suggests affects bee health. And a chemical leak in West Virginia fueled concerns over the lack of toxicity data and oversight of thousands of substances used in industry.

Top business news of 2014 peeled back the curtain on challenges facing industry giants, including skyrocketing construction costs for chemical makers and increasing calls from shareholders to boost profits through major reorganizations. The effects of these shake-ups and more could ripple well into the New Year and beyond.


The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 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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