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Call for Papers: AI for Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology has been successfully used to design biological systems with new and improved functions. However, due to the complexity of biological systems, performing synthetic biology in a quantitative and predictive manner still remains a challenge. In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that allow computers to learn from experience has emerged as a potentially powerful tool to address this challenge.

A new Virtual Special Issue from ACS Synthetic Biology will focus on this dynamic topic, including contributions that develop and apply AI and ML tools for synthetic biology applications. The issue will be led by Editor-in-Chief Huimin Zhao with Guest Editors Hector Garcia-Martin and Stanislav Mazurenko.

Relevant topics include:

  • AI/ML algorithms relevant to synthetic biology
  • AI/ML-guided peptide, protein, and antibody engineering
  • AI/ML-guided metabolic engineering
  • AI/ML for plant, microbial, and mammalian synthetic biology
  • AI/ML for bioprocess development
  • AI/ML for systems biology

Author Instructions:

To submit your manuscript, please visit the ACS Synthetic Biology website. Please follow the normal procedures for manuscript submission, and when in the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, select the special issue of “AI for Synthetic Biology.” All manuscripts will undergo the normal peer review process. For additional submission instructions, please see the ACS Synthetic Biology Author Guidelines.

The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2023.

Learn More About How to Submit

The 2022 Open Call for ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Editorial Advisory Board and Early Career Board Members

ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering is pleased to announce the open call for membership applications to its 2023 Early Career and Editorial Advisory Boards.  Board members of ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering represent researchers at all stages of their careers and play a key role with input and advice to the Journal. Duties include guiding the Journal in the development of its diversity plan and expanding our editorial content.  The Early Career Board augments the Editorial Advisory Board and provides researchers a mechanism for Board membership that avoids competing with senior colleagues for membership opportunities. In addition to full participation in Board activities by Early Career Board members, the Journal’s editors and advisors actively mentor each Early Career Board member. The Journal continues to seek Editorial Advisory Board and Early Career Board members who will be actively involved in these activities.  The Editors invite all interested and eligible researchers to apply.

Two years ago, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering took the innovative step of announcing their first open call for membership; the response was very enthusiastic, and many more applicants were received than could be accepted.  We have created an open self-nominating process for Board membership.  Applications to be part of the Editorial Advisory Board and our Early Career Board are available below and are due by 27 November, 2022

Submit Your Application

Applicants should self-nominate and are encouraged, but are not required, to include up to two (2) letters of support.  The applicants’ responses to the open-ended questions (below) and their ability to represent the topical areas covered and geographic areas represented by the journal’s authors, reviewers, and readers will be assessed.  Board members should also drive the Journal into new areas of research and represent geographical regions that the journal aspires to publish more content from.  The application review committee will keep diversity and inclusiveness in mind as it seeks to fulfill these criteria.  The selected board members will be invited to join the Board immediately after selection in Fall 2022 and will serve terms ending in 2024.

Application

Please submit your applications by 27 November, 2022. Additional details are provided below. If you have questions, please send them to Award.ACSSustainable@acs.org. We hope that many of you will choose to apply.

Early Career Board Eligibility: Faculty members within 10 years or less of their initial academic appointment and industrial and other non-academic scientists within 10 years or less from their last professional training (terminal degree or postdoc).  If you have taken career breaks to accommodate personal circumstances such as caring responsibilities or health-related needs that affects your eligibility under the 10-year timeline described above, please email Award.ACSSustainable@acs.org to discuss extension of the eligibility period.

Editorial Advisory Board Eligibility: Researchers and those active in the development and delivery of Green Chemistry, Green Engineering and the sustainability of the chemical enterprise.

For both Boards: A concise statement of no more than 1,000 words addressing these open-ended questions:

  1. What do you consider to be the Journal’s strengths? What are its challenges and opportunities?
  2. Based on your perception of the strengths and challenges, what is your sense of new directions and topical areas for the ACS SCE Journal, consistent with its mission and scope?
  3. What would you contribute to movement in such directions?
  4. Noting the Journal is asking members of the Journal Editorial Boards to contribute to the development of journal front matter material, in which of these areas might you contribute? What abilities and perspectives do you bring to this effort?
  5. Noting that the Journal is asking board members to assist in developing a diversity plan, what abilities and perspectives do you bring to this effort?
  6. Is there any other unique perspective you bring that we should be aware of?

Submit Your Application by 27 November 

Need a Circuit? Just Print One

This article is based on a recent paper published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, “Thermal Transfer-Enabled Rapid Printing of Liquid Metal Circuits on Multiple Substrates.”

Read the full paper here

As electronics evolve, their component parts—including circuits—need to as well. New research published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces describes a method to print functional liquid circuitry on all manner of objects and surfaces—from smooth ceramics to the dimpled skin of an orange—using a standard laser printer.

Flexible Circuitry: Finding a Solution that Sticks

Most circuit boards used today are built with rigid materials, but as electronics become more widely incorporated in malleable products such as items of clothing or soft robots, there is now a greater need for flexible, low-cost circuitry. Liquid metal circuits have shown to be a promising solution, but current printing methods have proven to be both expensive and complex, rendering them impractical for large-scale production. Xian Huang and colleagues at Tanjin University in China began exploring a new printing approach in hopes of developing a cheaper, more efficient way of fabricating liquid metal circuits for use across many different materials.

While liquid metals have been used for a variety of applications in flexible materials and electronics, their high surface tension often leads to pattern distortion and weaker adhesive properties—making it difficult to successfully print directly on curved or uneven surfaces. To improve this process, the researchers presented a more universal technique for creating circuit patterns on thermal transfer paper using a standard desktop laser printer and Cu−Ag-EGaIn—a liquid metal obtained by melting silver−copper microparticles in a gallium−indium eutectic alloy.

Turning Any Surface Into a Circuit Board

Similar to iron-on decals for transferring photos or images onto clothing, the carbon-based toner was laid down by the laser printer and then heat-transferred to a pane of glass. The toner patterns roughened the glass and created a hydrophobic gap of air between the carbon and the Cu−Ag-EGaIn liquid metal, allowing only the exposed parts of the surface to stick to the electronic ink-based pattern when the liquid metal was brushed on top. The resulting circuit could then be mounted directly onto smooth surfaces, or, after applying a flexible polymer coating, onto rougher materials such as the bumpy skin of an orange.

Regardless of how they were attached, the simple electronics tested in the lab—which included LED displays, sound sensors, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) circuits—all functioned as intended on their underlying surfaces. These included wettable substrates such as thermoplastic polyurethane and glass as well as low-adhesion materials such as knitted fabric, paper, wood, and fruit. By demonstrating a cheaper, easier method of producing liquid metal circuits, this new technology has great potential to expand flexible circuitry across applications such as consumer electronics, health monitoring, wearable devices, and more.

Watch the video around this research created by the ACS Science Communications team:

Read the Full Press Release

Read the Original Article

Discover more research on liquid metals in ACS journals

  1. Kim, S. et al. Liquid-Metal-Coated Magnetic Particles toward Writable, Nonwettable, Stretchable Circuit Boards, and Directly Assembled Liquid Metal-Elastomer Conductors. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 32, 37110–37119
  2. Huang, C. et al. Soft and Stretchable Liquid Metal–Elastomer Composite for Wearable Electronics. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 33, 38196–38204
  3. Bhuyan, P. et al. Soft and Stretchable Liquid Metal Composites with Shape Memory and Healable Conductivity. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2021, 13, 24, 28916–28924
  4. Lopes, P.A. et al. Bi-Phasic Ag–In–Ga-Embedded Elastomer Inks for Digitally Printed, Ultra-Stretchable, Multi-layer Electronics. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2021, 13, 12, 14552–14561
  5. Choi, D.Y. et al. Highly Stretchable, Hysteresis-Free Ionic Liquid-Based Strain Sensor for Precise Human Motion Monitoring. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2017, 9, 2, 1770–1780

Fostering a Climate of Open Science

This post is part of a five-part series published in celebration of International Open Access Week 2022. We encourage you to explore the entire series below, which offers valuable insights and resources in support of advancing transparency and inclusion in the scientific community through open access.

OPEN ACCESS WEEK 2022 BLOG SERIES
Celebrate Open Access Week 2022 with ACS Publications
Fostering a Climate of Open Science
Open Access Copyright and Licensing: A Guide for Authors
The Journey to Open Access: Past and Present
Looking Ahead: The Future of Open Access

Open Access vs. Open Science—What’s the Difference?

“Open access” and “Open Science” are terms frequently used in the scientific and scholarly publishing communities, but they are not the same. Open access refers to the process of making research articles openly and freely available for anyone who wants to access them. However, it is just one piece of the Open Science puzzle.

Open Science describes a broad, collective movement with a goal of increasing transparency and access across all components of the research process beyond the traditional article—including open peer review, data repositories, scholarly communication, and much more. Open Science champions a globally inclusive landscape built on collaboration across academic fields and among researchers around the world.

ACS Publications is at the forefront of initiatives, products, and services supporting open access and the broader, ever-evolving Open Science landscape. Read below to learn more about our commitment to Open Science and the various resources available for our community.

ChemRxiv: Celebrating Five Years of Preprints

ChemRxiv: Celebrating Five Years of Preprints

Launched in 2017, ChemRxiv serves as the primary preprint server for the global chemistry community. By allowing authors to share initial versions of their manuscripts online prior to formal peer review, ChemRxiv supports the Open Science goals of global collaboration and advancing scientific progress through the timely sharing of research.

Now in its fifth year, ChemRxiv is home to more than 14,000 unique preprints across all fields of chemistry, which have generated nearly 38 million views and downloads.

SciMeetings: Global Visibility Beyond the Conference

SciMeetings: Global Visibility Beyond the Conference

SciMeetings is an ACS platform that helps researchers easily and openly share their work presented at conferences and events. SciMeetings is an invaluable tool that offers worldwide visibility for conference posters and presentations, extending reach and impact beyond that of a typical week-long scientific meeting. All published items receive a DOI, enabling them to be easily cited by others. 

More than 273,000 research items have been uploaded to SciMeetings since its launch in 2020, and the platform continues to grow and support researchers in alignment with Open Science goals.

Toward Greater Transparency in Peer Review

Toward Greater Transparency in Peer Review

Peer review is an essential step in the publishing process, but it has traditionally existed as a confidential exchange between authors and reviewers. To support our commitment to Open Science objectives, ACS Publications launched a transparent peer review pilot in ACS Central Science and The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters in 2021, providing authors with the option to make their peer review correspondence publicly available (while still maintaining reviewer anonymity).

Transparent peer review allows readers and emerging researchers to gain a better understanding of an article’s journey through the peer review process, and it also upholds research integrity by instilling a higher level of accountability for authors, reviewers, and editors. To date, the transparent peer review pilot has resulted in more than 250 published papers with publicly available peer review correspondence.  

Taking Data Sharing to a New Level

Taking Data Sharing to a New Level

Around the same time as the 2021 transparent peer review pilot launch, ACS Publications also announced a new Research Data Policy aimed at establishing open data sharing as the eventual norm across all journals. At the initial Level 1 of this four-level policy, authors are strongly encouraged to make the data associated with their research openly available for ease of analysis, comparison, and even reproducibility by others in the field.

One year later, three journals decided it was time to level up. in September 2022, ACS Publications launched a new Data Availability Statement pilot for The Journal of Organic ChemistryOrganic Letters, and ACS Organic & Inorganic Au. These journals now fall under Level 2 of the Research Data Policy, which requires authors to submit a statement describing the availability status of all supporting data associated with the article’s results. Although still in its early days, this new pilot has great potential to lead more journals into further supporting Open Science through the public visibility and sharing of research data.    

Our commitment to Open Science is ever-growing. If you are interested in learning more about how ACS Publications supports the Open Science movement, visit our all-new Open Science Resource Center to find out how you can take the next step toward making science more accessible for all.

Visit the New Open Science Resource Center

Take Your Next Steps Towards Open Science

Take the Open Access Survey

Safety Information in Journal Articles Part 3: FAQs and Additional Resources

Safety is a core value of the American Chemical Society and an integral part of the overall research process. In the final part of this three-part series, we cover frequently asked questions and highlight additional chemical safety resources from ACS. If you haven’t caught up, be sure to read the full series below.

Part 1 |  Part 2 | Part 3

Frequently Asked Questions

Quote: Authors must emphasize any unexpected, new, and/or significant hazards or risks associated with the reported work.

There will undoubtedly be many questions that will arise when considering how to best structure your safety statement within the context of your manuscript.

Here, we’ve provided additional clarification for commonly asked questions when authors seek to meet the ACS requirement to “emphasize any unexpected, new, and/or significant hazards or risks associated with the reported work.”

How do I determine what classifies as a “significant” hazard or risk?

A “significant or unusual” hazard is anything that presents a major risk or requires preventative measures beyond those commonly expected to be present in a laboratory setting. Any hazards that fall within the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Category 1 classification should always be noted. Even with novel or less hazardous materials, it is always best to use discretion, perform a comprehensive risk assessment, and note any potential risks associated with your processes. It will never hurt to be as thorough as possible during this reporting step!

Which section of my manuscript should include the safety statement?

To maximize visibility and utility, it is recommended to insert your safety statement in the Experimental Materials or Methods section of your manuscript. It is also a good idea to reiterate or expand upon your safety statement in the Supporting Information section, especially if it includes any details and context related to the author’s specific experience with the hazardous materials or procedures used.

At what point in the research process should I perform a risk assessment?

The risk assessment is the second step of RAMP, and it should be conducted after you’ve identified any hazards and before you begin your experimental methods. As mentioned in Part 2 of this series, your risk assessment will be the most complex step of RAMP, but it will help inform the necessary components of your safety statement as you begin writing.

RAMP Methodology

Does my safety statement count towards my overall word limit? 

If your statement is 100 words or fewer, it will not contribute towards your final word count. Longer summaries will be handled differently by each individual journal—you can learn more about length requirements by either consulting the journal’s Author Guidelines or contacting the Editor-in-Chief’s office.

Additional Safety Resources

ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety

ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety

The ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety is a technical division of ACS and a premier source for advancing best chemical and health safety practices through authoritative technical resources and mentorship. With nearly 2,000 members, the Division provides educational tools, training, and support for chemists, educators, safety professionals, and the public.

For more information or to become a member of the Division, contact membership@dchas.org.

ACS Committee on Chemical Safety

ACS Committee on Chemical Safety

The ACS Committee on Chemical Safety (CCS) was established in 1963 with the vision of fostering “a scientific community that embraces safety in all activities of the chemistry enterprise.” Through collaborative partnerships, peer-reviewed publications, tools for professional and educational use, and advisory support for other ACS committees and members, CCS is leading resource for promoting chemical and laboratory safety throughout the Society.

Visit the CCS website to learn more about the Committee and its members, explore resources, and browse upcoming events.

ACS Chemical Health & Safety

ACS Chemical Health & Safety

The journal ACS Chemical Health & Safety is a global platform for ensuring that all members of the chemical enterprise receive access to new research, safety information, regulatory updates, effective chemical hygiene practices, and hazard assessment tools. The Journal publishes high-quality articles and research appropriate for scientists, EH&S industry professionals, educators, and others who work in settings that contain chemicals or hazardous materials.

If you would like to learn more or are interested in publishing in ACS Chemical Health & Safety, visit the Journal’s website to browse the latest issue or view manuscript criteria.

ACS Center for Lab Safety

Part of the ACS Institute, the ACS Center for Lab Safety is a one-stop shop for educational resources supporting safe, ethical, and sustainable chemistry practices. From grade school classrooms to industrial laboratories, you will find training tools and learning opportunities—both in person and online— that aim to strengthen ACS’s Core Value of Safety through education.

Further Reading

SAFETY INFORMATION IN JOURNAL ARTICLES: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Part 1: The Necessity of Communication
Part 2: Tips for a Well-Written Safety Statement
Part 3: FAQs and Additional Resources


ARTICLES FROM ACS CHEMICAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Approaches to Understanding Human Behavior When Investigating Incidents in Academic Chemical Laboratories

Ronald W. McLeod
ACS Chem. Health Saf.
 2022, 29, 3, 263–279

Safety Data Sheets: Challenges for Authors, Expectations for End-Users
Anne DeMasi, Harry Elston, and Neal Langerman
ACS Chem. Health Saf. 2022, 29, 4, 369–377

The Ten Most Common Laboratory Safety Issues
Richard Palluzi
ACS Chem. Health Saf. 2022, 29, 1, 19–26

Peer Reviewed Methods/Protocols
Mary Beth Mulcahy
ACS Chem. Health Saf. 2022, 29, 1, 1–2


ADDITIONAL SAFETY RESOURCES
Periodic Table of Safety Elements
ACS Essentials of Lab Safety for General Chemistry: A Course
CHAS Workshops 2022-2023
CCS Publications and Resources
ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication: Communicating Safety Information

Neurotoxicity: Challenges and Chemistry

A recent Virtual Special Issue in ACS Chemical Neuroscience and Chemical Research in Toxicology focuses on cross-disciplinary strategies to address the many challenges embedded in the field of neurotoxicity.

Read the Virtual Special Issue Online

Defining Neurotoxicity: An Ongoing Challenge

Our bodies are continuously exposed to toxic chemicals—both natural and synthetic—that can negatively impact many physiological functions.1 Neurotoxicity can result from exposure to classic contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides, as well as less understood compounds including food additives, packaging, personal care products, industrial solvents, and even medicine coatings. Exposure has increased to the point where all children are now born pre-polluted with hundreds of synthetic chemicals in their bodies. Many of these substances still need to be identified, let alone evaluated for potential neurotoxicity.1  

Given the multitude of contaminants affecting the nervous system and the complexity of possible measurements, it has been challenging for toxicologists to fully define what neurotoxicity really means.1 Although there is growing consensus that exposure to such chemicals is significantly hazardous to our health, we still lack a clear understanding of the relationships between certain environmental drivers and the ways in which they manifest in the nervous system.

A Virtual Special Issue in ACS Chemical Neuroscience and Chemical Research in Toxicology includes 15 recent papers demonstrating novel approaches and cross-disciplinary collaborations that may aid in advancing understanding and addressing challenges in the field.

Plant-Based Problems (and Protection)

Acrylamide (ACR) is a neurotoxicant produced by the high-temperature frying and baking of plant-based foods and found in carbohydrate-rich items such as fried potatoes, chocolate, cereals, and bread. One study examines the effects of repeated low-dose exposure to ACR with evidence of disrupted PERK signaling, shedding light on a possible mechanism for impaired memory and cognitive deficits.2 This work is significant because many chemicals such as ACR are known to be toxic at high doses, but understanding how the brain is vulnerable to low-dose exposure is broadly informative.

Other plant compounds seem to be more protective – including fustin, a phytogenic flavonol with the potential to protect against cognitive impairment following low-dose exposure to streptozotocin, a neurotoxicant that is also potently diabetogenic.3

Is Your Medicine Doing More Harm Than Good?

Food ingestion is not the only route of entry for toxins. Some commonly used medicines can have adverse effects on the central nervous system—for example, Cefepime, a common antibiotic used to treat a variety of infections, has been linked to side effects including reduced consciousness, confusion, and various anxiety-like behaviors.1,4

Another study reports that current antiseizure medications are effective in only 60%–70%  of patients, and development of new treatments has been limited by various—and potentially life-threatening—side effects.5 The researchers found, however, that new benzo[d]isoxazole derivatives display anticonvulsant activity by selectively blocking voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.1, which provides good alternatives for antiseizure drugs in the future.5

The Dangers of Pesticide Exposure

Chronic pesticide exposure might result in oxidative stress, inflammatory reactions, and mitochondrial dysfunction.6 Exposure to the herbicide paraquat not only compromises lung, liver, and kidney function but has also been associated with cancer.7 However, new research suggests citric acid-sourced carbon quantum dots (Cit-CQDs) as a potentially viable biobased nanomaterial, made using environmentally friendly methods, for intervention in neurodegenerative disorders.8

Advances in Neurotoxicity Testing

One key challenge in the field remains the ability to test for neurotoxicity. Acute neurotoxicity that results in death or severe impairment is easily measured in the laboratory or clinical setting, but subtle effects resulting from exposure during a sensitive development period—or from chronic or cumulative exposure—are far more difficult to assess.1

One study shows how zebrafish represent an economical alternative to rodents for developmental neurotoxicity testing.9 Other new research suggests toxicity can be measured using fluorescent false neurotransmitters, allowing visualization of vesicular packaging at baseline levels, and following pharmacological and toxicological manipulations.10

The Special Issue also includes the first in vivo evidence to support the role of dopaminergic toxins in Parkinson’s disease (PD) using Caenorhabditis elegans models. The results suggest that some neurotoxins known to cause PD-related symptoms may be part of a broader group of chemicals that, if commonly present in laboratory or industrial settings, could have a detrimental impact on public health and safety.11

Paving the Way for Progress and Prevention

Ensuring that chemicals in use are as nontoxic as possible is essential for the long-term wellbeing of future generations and our planet. Ultimately, researchers agree there is an essential need for greater cross-disciplinary collaboration between neuroscientists, toxicologists, and chemists to advance the field.

Visit the Full Virtual Special Issue

References

  1. Sombers, L. A., and Patisaul, H. B. Virtual Issue: Neurotoxicology (Editorial). ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2022, 13, 15, 2238–2239.
  2. Yan, D. et al. Subchronic Acrylamide Exposure Activates PERK-eIF2α Signaling Pathway and Induces Synaptic Impairment in Rat Hippocampus. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2022, 13, 9, 1370–1381
  3. Afzal, M. et al. Fustin Inhibits Oxidative Free Radicals and Inflammatory Cytokines in Cerebral Cortex and Hippocampus and Protects Cognitive Impairment in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2021, 12, 24, 4587–4597
  4. Liu, X. et al. Lipidomics Reveals Dysregulated Glycerophospholipid Metabolism in the Corpus Striatum of Mice Treated with Cefepime. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2021, 12, 23, 4449–4464
  5. Huang, X. et al. Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Novel Benzo[d]isoxazole Derivatives as Anticonvulsants by Selectively Blocking the Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel NaV1.1. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2022, 13, 6, 834–845
  6. Yan, Q. et al. High-Resolution Metabolomic Assessment of Pesticide Exposure in Central Valley, California. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2021, 34, 5, 1337–1347
  7. Henriquez, G. et al. Citric Acid-Derived Carbon Quantum Dots Attenuate Paraquat-Induced Neuronal Compromise In Vitro and In Vivo. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2022, 13, 16, 2399–2409
  8. Dong, H. et al. Characterization of Developmental Neurobehavioral Toxicity in a Zebrafish MPTP-Induced Model: A Novel Mechanism Involving Anemia. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2022, 13, 13, 1877–1890
  9. Black, C.A. et al. Assessing Vesicular Monoamine Transport and Toxicity Using Fluorescent False Neurotransmitters. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2021, 34, 5, 1256–1264
  10. Murphy, D. et al. Caenorhabditis elegans Model Studies Show MPP+ Is a Simple Member of a Large Group of Related Potent Dopaminergic Toxins. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2021, 34, 5, 1275–1285

Safety Information in Journal Articles Part 2: Tips for a Well-Written Safety Statement

Safety is a core value of the American Chemical Society and an integral part of the overall research process. In Part 2 of this three-part series, provide tips and best practices for authors to formulate a well-written safety summary statement. If you haven’t caught up, be sure to read the full series below.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

How to RAMP Up Your Safety Statement

Including a clear, articulate safety summary statement in your research is vital to ensuring that others who reproduce or expand upon your work can prepare for significant hazards and conduct their own methods as safely as possible. Therefore, crafting your statement should go beyond simply writing a few lines of text—there are many important things to consider before and during the safety reporting process in your manuscript.

In Part 1 of this series, we provide an overview of RAMP, a system that guarantees laboratory safety measures are at the top of every scientist’s mind before and during experimental processes. After Recognizing significant hazards and Assessing associated risks, you can apply this information to your safety statement to help both yourself and others Minimize these risks and Prepare thoroughly for possible emergencies.1

Safety Hazard Pictograms

Credit: GHS Hazard Communication Pictograms/ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication. Click image to view full size.

This figure contains the nine pictograms established by the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).2 These symbols are located on chemical containers and labels, allowing you to quickly recognize the nature and possible hazards of a chemical. Certain chemical classes are noted as being of particular concern and should always be included in your safety statement.3

It is crucial to document any reaction or process hazards as well. Some examples include elevated temperature or pressure, highly exothermic processes, oxygen/fuel mixtures that are ignitable, or any factors that could make your process more complex such as radiation or biological pathogens.3

After identifying all hazards involved in your experimental process, you must then assess any risks from these hazards. Risk assessment involves consulting authoritative resources and analyzing the available data throughout all stages of your experiment to inform the best strategies for minimizing risk. There is no denying that risk assessment is often the most lengthy and complex component of RAMP, but there is a wealth of information and resources available for you to reference along the way.

Essential safety information should outline the approaches and strategies used to minimize risks and prepare for unforeseen emergencies. Examples may include using special equipment, substituting with a less hazardous method, or, in extremely high-risk scenarios, eliminating the use of certain hazards.3

What to Include in a Safety Summary Statement: A Checklist

The checklist below contains important items to include in your safety statement as they apply to the journal, procedures, and audience.3 Other things to consider:

  • Using numbers and bullets helps compartmentalize your risks and mitigations, making your statement easier to read.
  • Know your audience—with a research audience, certain standard safety procedures are widely known, but a teaching audience might benefit from a bit more detail.
  • Be sure to cite all sources used during the risk assessment portion of your statement.
Information to Include in a Safety Summary Statement: A Checklist

Credit: ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication. Click image to view full size.

Join us on Monday, October 24 for the third and final part of our series, in which we address common questions and provide additional tools and resources for communicating safety information. In the meantime, catch up on Part 1 and explore the resources below to learn more about evaluating hazards, writing your safety statement, and the importance of chemical health and safety.

—————

Further Reading

ACS SAFETY RESOURCES
ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS)
Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories
ACS Chemical Health & Safety
ACS Style Sheet for Writing Safety Statements

FROM THE AXIAL ARCHIVE
Safety Information in Journal Articles Part 1: The Necessity of Communication
Sharps in the Lab: Safety Procedures
How to Make Safety a Priority Before Students Enter the Lab
The Missing Piece of the Lab Safety Puzzle
RAMP Up Your Safety Education and Practice

References

  1. What is RAMP? The ACS Center for Lab Safety.
  2. About the GHS. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
  3. McEwen, L. and Sigmann, S. Communicating Safety Information. ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication 2020:1.3.1–1.3.7.

ACS Celebrates the LGBTQ+ Community

Officially recognized as Pride Month in the US since 1999, June is an opportunity to remember the events surrounding the Stonewall riots that occurred in 1969, celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and commemorate the progress it has made over the past 50+ years. This year, ACS has demonstrated more than ever its support for the LGBTQ+ movement. Starting in April, ACS published in Inorganic Chemistry an Out in Inorganic Chemistry Virtual Collection1 comprising of 37 articles recently published across the ACS portfolio authored by self-identified LGBTQIAPN+ scientists. The virtual collection was introduced with an editorial2 written by the Guest Editor Prof. Abhik Ghosh of UiT–The Arctic University of Norway and Inorganic Chemistry Editor-in-Chief William B. Tolman of Washington University in St. Louis. The Front Cover of the Inorganic Chemistry issue3 where the Editorial appears, designed by Ghosh, is part of the ACS Diversity & Inclusion Cover Art Series4, in which ACS journals use Front Cover art as a stage to amplify underrepresented voices within the field of Chemistry. Tolman said that the collection “serves to raise the profile of LGBTQIAPN+ scientists, with aims including to instill a sense of pride and belonging and to contribute to professional well-being and success”.

The same month, C&EN published its annual Trailblazers Issue featuring the life and work of Chemists from underrepresented communities which this year highlighted 18 pioneer LGBTQ+ Chemists. Reflecting on the Out and Proud5 Trailblazers Issue, Katherine Bourzac, Senior Editor at C&EN and Editorial Lead for the issue mentioned: “I was proud to work on this issue. It was important to our Guest Editor Tehshik P. Yoon, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, that we showcased the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community, in terms of race, gender, and sexual orientation. Something that is special about Trailblazers is that all original stories and art are produced by members of the community we are highlighting. And half the pieces are written by Chemistry graduate students and postdocs, allowing them to get experience in science communication and meet an LGBTQ+ Chemistry icon.”

Later, on June 11th, ACS marched for the very first time in the Washington, DC, Capital Pride Parade. For that occasion, around 20 ACS colleagues from the Pride Affinity Group and their friends, partners or family members gathered at ACS headquarters for a festive pride brunch before heading out to march the 1.5-mile route circulating the Washington, DC, Logan and Dupont Circles areas. The march participants were greeted by tens of thousands of attendees who amassed the parade route. ACS was one of the few scientific associations or societies in attendance. Teodoro Pulvirenti, Assistant Director, Publishing Integrity and Partner Services and Chair of the ACS Pride Affinity Group shared his views on the significance of the ACS participation to the event: “It was such an emotional moment to see allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community at ACS gather to celebrate Pride. The excitement of the parade spectators at the sight of the ACS crowd and banner was overwhelming, as they cheered us on and enthusiastically clapped their hands to show their support. An inspirational, unforgettable and unique experience that hopefully will lead to many more participations to Pride events in the future.”

One week later, CAS and ACS Columbus colleagues walked for the third time in the Stonewall Columbus Pride. Like the DC event, employees, friends, and family gathered at CAS headquarters for a quick breakfast and shuttle ride to the staging area. A total of 81 participants registered with CAS for the 2022 Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade joining over 17,000 other participants and hundreds of thousands of spectators along the +1 mile parade route. Gilles Georges, CAS’s Vice President of Content Operations and Chief Scientific Officer shared his thoughts on the participation of CAS in the Stonewall Columbus parade: “As a CAS employee, I was very proud to participate in the Stonewall celebration. In a world where basic rights are sometime so hard to win, protect, and pass to new generations, I felt it was important to be there with thousands of people of all races, origins, and ages all celebrating freedom and the privilege to be together for a cause we feel is right to defend.”

Collectively, these projects of significant importance for the LGBTQ+ community demonstrate ACS’ commitments to making the workplace as inclusive as possible while ensuring its publications are welcoming a diverse author base. Racquel Jemison, Senior Portfolio Manager at the ACS Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect mentioned “The support that ACS offers through these events and campaigns demonstrates how our organization upholds the core value of diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect, as well as our commitment to Goal 5 of the ACS Strategic Plan to embrace and advance inclusion in chemistry. It is heartwarming to see so many different divisions and groups of ACS staff and members show up to support the LGBTQ+ community in both science and advocacy settings, and I hope to see it continue for years to come.”

(1) Out in Inorganic Chemistry: A Celebration of LGBTQIAPN+ Inorganic Chemists. Inorg. Chem. 2022. Virtual Collection. https://pubs.acs.org/page/inocaj/vi/out-inorganic-chemistry-2022.

(2) Out in Inorganic Chemistry: A Celebration of LGBTQIAPN+ Inorganic Chemists. Inorg. Chem. 2022, 61 (14), 5435–5441

(3) Inorg. Chem. 2022, 61 (14), 5435-5682.

(4) Expanding ACS’ Diversity & Inclusion Cover Art Series in 2022. ACS Axial. 2022. https://axial.acs.org/2022/02/15/diversity-inclusion-covers-2022/

(5) Out and Proud: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Chemists. C&EN, 2022, 100 (12), 1-80.

ACS Publications improves institutional customer security

In an effort to continuously improve the security of the ACS Publications website, we are introducing two new safeguards to prevent unauthorized access of customer data.

  • Effective July 20, 2022, we are enhancing Two-Factor Authentication on attempts to access your institutional accounts. If you attempt to access your account from outside of your institution’s IP range, you will be prompted for one of the following:
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  • Effective July 20, 2022, institutional administrator accounts that have not been accessed for more than one year will be locked. Users that have not logged into their accounts will receive an email notification 30 days prior to the lock. Accounts will remain intact after that, but administrators will have to contact ACS Publications to reinstate their account access.

If you have any questions regarding these safeguards, please contact ACS Publications Customer Service & Support.

What We Owe to Raney® Nickel

What do microwave popcorn, biscuits, margarine spreads, and coffee creamers have in common? Aside from making you hungry, these foods are made possible thanks to hydrogenation. We may not give a lot of thought to hydrogenation, but it’s used in everything from foods and makeup to petrochemical products.

One widely used catalyst that makes hydrogenation possible is a metallic alloy called Raney® nickel. This nickel-aluminum alloy was invented to transform cottonseed oil from a liquid into a semi-solid shortening. A series of hydrogenation experiments by chemist Murray Raney in Chattanooga, Tennessee, between 1915 and 1926 for the Chattanooga Research Company led to its discovery.1 The first patent was issued in 1925,2 with a second in 1927.3

The discovery opened the door for hydrogenation of oils, fats, and waxes in a variety of food and industrial applications. On April 7, 2022—95 years later—the American Chemical Society granted Raney nickel National Historic Chemical Landmark status.4

What Is Hydrogenation?

We commonly think of hydrogenation as a chemical process that adds texture and shelf-life to foods, but it also extends to industrial applications.

In the food industry, hydrogenation is used to solidify liquid fats fully or partially. In the petrochemical industry, hydrogenation transforms a class of unsaturated hydrocarbons called “alkenes”5—which are used to produce alcohols, plastics, lacquers, detergents, and fuels6—into saturated and less reactive forms known as “alkanes” (e.g., paraffins) and cycloalkanes (e.g., cyclic hydrocarbons, or naphthenes).7,8

The hydrogenation process involves hydrogen and another compound. Because hydrogen is generally unreactive with organic compounds, however, a catalyst is needed. Raney nickel is widely used to make a variety of catalysts for this purpose.7

What Is Raney Nickel?

In the 1920s, when Murray Raney was experimenting with nickel alloys, he patented two versions. The first version contained equal parts nickel and silicon, which was then treated with sodium hydroxide.2 His version was found to be five times more active than the existing nickel-based industry standard. Raney continued to experiment and devised a subsequent catalyst using equal parts nickel and aluminum, which forms the basis of Raney nickel catalysts still in use today.3 Promoters such as zinc, molybdenum, and chromium are also sometimes added for different uses.9

Writing in 1940, Raney noted the importance of basic research in exploring the catalytic properties of metals:

The probability that nickel or any other metal will catalyze a given reaction is based on the great amount of work that has been done in many fields, rather than on any correlated, calculable properties of either the catalyzing substance or the reacting elements or compounds. The catalytic value of a substance is determined by trial; if it does its work, it is good.10

Since his original catalysts were devised, the world has bent Raney’s discovery to a vast array of uses. At the broadest level, Raney nickel is used today as a catalyst to help convert building-block chemicals into pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, personal care products, agrochemicals, and petroleum processing.4,11 Today, W. R. Grace & Co produces a variety of catalysts for hydrogenation and dehydrogenation using Raney nickel.

Since its discovery, Raney nickel has been used in a variety of oxidative and reductive applications including:

Novel uses of Raney Nickel

Today, new uses are being explored for Raney nickel. One application is in the emerging field of biomass conversion, where it is used as a catalyst to upgrade raw biomass into biofuels.12,13 With the admirable goal of weaning the world off fossil fuels, this use of Raney nickel may prove to be its most valuable contribution yet. Another use is as a catalyst for hydrogenation to synthesize cariprazine, an anti-psychotic drug used in the treatment of schizophrenia.14

References

  1. The Discoverer of Raney Nickel. Raymond B. Seymour. Chemical and Engineering News Archive, 1947, 25 (37), p 2628. DOI:10.1021/cen-v025n037
  2. Method of Preparing Catalytic Material [US Patent Application]. Murray Raney. 1924, https://patents.google.com/patent/US1563587A/en
  3. Method of Producing Finely-Divided Nickel [US Patent Application]. Murray Raney. May 10, 1927, https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/30/af/21/aca0026193570c/US1628190.pdf
  4. Development of Raney Nickel Catalyst Earns Historic Chemical Landmark Designation [Press Release]. American Chemical Society. April 6, 2022, https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2022/april/development-of-raney-nickel-catalyst-earns-historic-chemical-landmark-designation.html
  5. Alkenes. LibreTexts Chemistry. Updated September 13, 2020, https://chem.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Organic_Chemistry/Supplemental_Modules_(Organic_Chemistry)/Alkenes
  6. Alkenes. ByJu’s. Accessed April 14, 2022, https://byjus.com/chemistry/alkene/
  7. Hydrogenation: Catalysts. Wikipedia. Updated February 8, 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogenation#Catalysts
  8. Naphthenes. ScienceDirect. Accessed April 14, 2022, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/naphthenes
  9. Raney Nickel. Wikipedia. Updated December 21, 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raney_nickel
  10. Catalysts from Alloys. Murray Raney. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 1940, 32 (9), pp 1199–1203. DOI: 10.1021/ie50369a030
  11. Chemical Processing. GRACE. Accessed April 14, 2022, https://grace.com/industries/chemical-processing
  12. Raney Ni as a Versatile Catalyst for Biomass Conversion. Zhouhua Sun, Zhe-Hui Zhang, Tong-Qi Yuan, Xiaohong Ren, and Zeming Rong. ACS Catalysis, 2021, 11 (16), pp 10508–10536. DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.1c02433
  13. Advances and Challenges in the Valorization of Bio-Oil: Hydrodeoxygenation Using Carbon-Supported Catalysts. Tomás Cordero-Lanzac, José Rodríguez-Mirasol, Tomás Cordero, and Javier Bilbao. Energy Fuels, 2021, 35 (21), pp 17008–17031. DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.1c01700
  14. Review of Synthetic Approaches toward the Synthesis of Cariprazine, an Antipsychotic Drug. Siddhanath D. Bhosle, Shivanand V. Image, Balraju Gangapuram, Gyanchander Eppa, RRajesh S. Bhossal, and Jhillu Singh Yadav. Org. Process Res. Dev, 2022, 26 (3) 493-507. DOI: 10.1021/acs.oprd.1c00488