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Call for Papers: The Exposome and Human Health

This new Special Issue from Environmental Science & Technology, “The Exposome and Human Health,” strives to capture the diversity and range of life-long exposures to a wide range of external factors (e.g., chemicals, diet, psychosocial stressors or physical factors), and their internal biological responses. The theme, Exposome, is defined as the “totality of environmental exposures from conception onwards.”

The Special Issue is seeking high-quality research articles on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Novel and innovative approaches for human biomonitoring and human exposome for a broad range of chemicals, including persistent organic pollutants, emerging contaminants (e.g., EDCs, PFAS) and microplastics.
  • Exposure assessment and epidemiology of indoor and outdoor air quality, diet, drinking water.
  • Environmental exposures and multi-omics.
  • Novel and innovative study design (e.g., natural experiment design), to establish causality of the relationship between environmental exposures and human health across the life course.
  • Modelling and impact of chemicals of emerging concern on human exposure and human exposome in general.
  • Innovative studies focused on the link between ecosystem health and human health and their input on chemicals policy and regulation.
  • Application of interdisciplinary research (omics/system biology, environmental epidemiology, toxicology) to better understand adverse health outcomes and their environmental origins.

GUEST EDITORS

  • Pablo Gago Ferrero, Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, Spain
  • Akhgar Ghassabian, NYU Langone Health, United States
  • Marja Lamoree, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Leisa-Maree Toms, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia

SUBMISSION DEADLINE

  • June 20, 2023

AUTHOR INSTRUCTIONS

To submit your manuscript, please visit the Environmental Science & Technology website. Please follow the normal procedures for manuscript submission and when in the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, select the Special Issue “The Exposome and Human Health.” All manuscripts will undergo rigorous peer review. For additional submission instructions, please see the Environmental Science & Technology Author Guidelines.

Submit your manuscript by June 20, 2023.

View Submission Guidelines

Submit Your Manuscript

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

Helping People Breathe Easy

An ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science Virtual Issue explores the molecular mechanisms and management of chronic respiratory diseases. 

The lungs are constantly exposed to a mix of noxious agents present in the air, including particles, chemicals, and infectious organisms.1  Globally, respiratory diseases cause a significant burden and are a leading cause of premature mortality.2 Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, lower respiratory infections were the leading cause of communicable death—responsible for more than 2 million deaths in 2019 and rising sharply in 2020.2 Despite this, many chronic respiratory conditions are poorly understood, and lack effective disease-modifying therapies.

This Virtual Issue in ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science showcases publications in three categories: SARS-CoV-2 infections, cystic fibrosis, and chronic respiratory diseases—looking at the role of chemistry in pushing the boundaries of basic, translational, and clinical research.3

The Next Generation of COVID-19 Treatments

By now, we are all very familiar with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)—the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 infection and that resulted in a global pandemic being declared in March 2020 by the World Health Organization. The speed at which COVID-19 vaccines were developed was remarkable, but scientists are now tackling the issue of vaccine-resistant variants. One study summarizes how next-generation COVID-19 vaccines can prevent the emergence of these variants by circumventing antigenic drift while defusing viral infections.4

Others are turning their attention to potential drug targets for COVID-19 infections, employing a hybrid in silico approach to build novel inhibitors of multiple variants using both machine learning and pharmacophore-based modeling.5

Several papers examine the dynamic structure–function and structure–free energy relationships of the virus’s main protease (Mpro), with a focus on characterizing the mechanism of action of six novel inhibitors directed against this structure.6,7 When used in combination with traditional antivirals, some of these agents show synergistic activity against SARS-CoV-2 replication.8 There is also a potential role for peptide-based antiviral therapy that blocks the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) prior to entry—the connecting point between the virus and the human surface receptor protein.9

New Approaches to Cystic Fibrosis Therapy

Cystic fibrosis is thought to affect at least 160,000 people worldwide, and many—particularly those in low-resource areas—are unable to access proper treatment.10 This Virtual Issue provides a review of preclinical and clinical emerging cystic fibrosis conductance regulators (CFTR modulators), examining their in vitro pharmacology and translation to the clinic.11 This is complemented by a summary of current knowledge about the use of CFTR modulators during pregnancy.12

Looking at Biomarkers for Chronic Respiratory Diseases

Addressing the burden of respiratory diseases requires improved diagnosis as well as treatment. One possibility is in identifying biomarkers for chronic respiratory diseases, such as interleukin (IL)-33 in COPD and asthma, or organoids and lung-on-a-chip in pulmonary fibrosis.13,14

With these recent advances in the field of respiratory diseases, the horizon looks optimistic for several approaches to translate into real-life patient applications.

Read the Special Issue

References

  1. Wisnivesky J, de-Torres JP. The Global Burden of Pulmonary Diseases: Most Prevalent Problems and Opportunities for Improvement. Annals of Global Health 2019;85(1):1.
  2. Leading causes of death globally. World Health Organization 2020.
  3. Virtual Issue: Chronic Conditions Affecting Lungs and Airways. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2022.
  4. Fernández A. Toward the Next-Generation COVID-19 Vaccines That Circumvent Antigenic Drift while Defusing Viral Infection. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2021;4:1018–1020.
  5. Jain S, et al. Hybrid In Silico Approach Reveals Novel Inhibitors of Multiple SARS-CoV-2 Variants. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2021;4:1675–1688.
  6. Wan H, et al. Probing the Dynamic Structure-Function and Structure-Free Energy Relationships of the Coronavirus Main Protease with Biodynamics Theory. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2020;3:1111–1143.
  7. Ma C, et al. Ebselen, Disulfiram, Carmofur, PX-12, Tideglusib, and Shikonin Are Nonspecific Promiscuous SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease Inhibitors. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2020;3:1265–1277.
  8. Chen T, et al. Synergistic Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 Replication Using Disulfiram/Ebselen and Remdesivir. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2021;4:898–907.
  9. Maiti BK. Potential Role of Peptide-Based Antiviral Therapy Against SARS-CoV-2 Infection. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2020;3:783–785.
  10. Guo J, et al. Worldwide rates of diagnosis and effective treatment for cystic fibrosis. J Cyst Fibros 2022;21(3):456–462.
  11. Ghelani DP, Schneider-Futschik EK. Emerging Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Modulators as New Drugs for Cystic Fibrosis: A Portrait of in Vitro Pharmacology and Clinical Translation. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2020;3:4–10.
  12. Qiu F, et al. Balance between the Safety of Mother, Fetus, and Newborn Undergoing Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Treatments during Pregnancy. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2020;3:835–843.
  13. Donovan C, Hansbro, PM. IL-33 in Chronic Respiratory Disease: From Preclinical to Clinical Studies. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2020;3:56–62.
  14. Jeong MH, et al. Recent Advances in Molecular Diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis for Precision Medicine. ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci 2022;5:520–538.

PFAS: A Look at Alternatives and Environmental Pollution

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of anthropogenic chemicals that have extensive applications in industry and daily life. Once released into the environment, PFAS are highly persistent; some are also bio-accumulative and toxic.

PFAS are a class of more than 9,000 compounds, many of which are used in industrial and commercial applications, including firefighting foams, paints, food packaging, cookware, textiles, and electronic and medical devices.1 PFAS owe their properties to the carbon–fluorine bond, which is one of the shortest and strongest known. This also makes them highly resistant to breakdown in the environment. While some are considered chemically inert, others have reactive sites, including sulfonic and carboxylic acid groups.

Acid, salts, and related compounds of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) have been marked for restricted use, with voluntary phase-out initiatives. However, the enduring environmental legacy of PFAS will remain long after they are discontinued.2 An ACS Publications Special Issue in Environmental Science & Technology brings together 23 papers covering a broad range of topics, including fluorinated alternatives to legacy PFAS; methodologies to characterize the structural diversity of PFAS alternatives; environmental distribution, bioaccumulation, transfer, and ecological impacts; and strategies for PFAS control.3

Environmental and Health Impacts

Well-known legacy PFAS have been subject to scrutiny due to their ubiquitous presence in the environment and biological species,2 with evidence for prenatal exposure in humans and adverse birth outcomes such as preeclampsia or low birth weight.1,4 One common route of exposure is dust—both in the home and outdoors—with data from China suggesting daily PFOA-equivalent intakes in toddlers of at least twice the recommended threshold from the European Food Safety Authority.5 Research suggests PFAS are in our drinking water, and they have been detected in over 99% of blood samples from people in the US.1

Emerging PFAS Alternatives: What Do We Know?

Increased restrictions and public attention on PFAS have resulted in a number of emerging alternatives as replacements—but some novel alternatives, such as perfluoroalkyl ether carboxylic acids (PFECAs), have been widely detected in the environment, with a potential health risk identified related to the consumption of polluted seafoods.6 Results from case-control studies also suggest that both legacy PFAS and novel alternatives could interfere with thyroid function, with exposure inversely associated with the risk of thyroid cancer.7 While some PFAS have also shown a tendency to accumulate in the liver and cause hepatotoxicity, certain alternatives have even longer half-lives in humans than PFOS and may also contribute to liver damage.8 However, researchers agree that information on emerging PFAS alternatives is often limited or lacking, and more studies are needed to better understand their effects on humans and the environment.9

A Need for Greater Transparency

Understanding PFAS ecotoxicity and its impact on public health paves the way for treatment, resource recovery, and agreement on sustainable systems that limit PFAS to essential uses where they are critical for health, safety, or the functioning of society—and for which no alternatives are available.9 However, the current uses of PFAS are highly diverse—although PFAS in consumer products are often relatively easy to replace, those in industrial processes can be highly complex, and a thorough evaluation of the technical function is needed.9 Ultimately, there is a need for more coordination between manufacturers, users, government authorities, and other stakeholders in order to make the process of phasing out PFAS and evaluating alternatives more transparent and coherent.9

Read the Special Issue

References

  1. Rodgers K, et al. How Well Do Product Labels Indicate the Presence of PFAS in Consumer Items Used by Children and Adolescents? Environ Sci Technol 2022;56(10):6294–6304.
  2. Ruan T, et al. Emerging Contaminants: Fluorinated Alternatives to Existing PFAS (editorial). Environ Sci Technol 2022;56(10):6001–6003.
  3. Emerging Contaminants: Fluorinated Alternatives to Existing PFAS Compound (Special Issue). Environ Sci Technol 2022.
  4. Ma D, et al. A Critical Review on Transplacental Transfer of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Prenatal Exposure Levels, Characteristics, and Mechanisms. Environ Sci Technol 2022;56(10):6014–6026.
  5. Wang B, et al. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Outdoor and Indoor Dust from Mainland China: Contributions of Unknown Precursors and Implications for Human Exposure. Environ Sci Technol 2022;56(10):6036–6045.
  6. Li Y, et al. First Report on the Bioaccumulation and Trophic Transfer of Perfluoroalkyl Ether Carboxylic Acids in Estuarine Food Web. Environ Sci Technol 2022;56(10):6046–6055.
  7. Liu M, et al. Associations between Novel and Legacy Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Human Serum and Thyroid Cancer: A Case and Healthy Population in Shandong Province, East China. Environ Sci Technol 2022;56(10):6144–6151.
  8. Jia Y, et al. Insights into the Competitive Mechanisms of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Partition in Liver and Blood. Environ Sci Technol 2022;56(10):6192–6200.
  9. Glüge J, et al. Information Requirements under the Essential-Use Concept: PFAS Case Studies. Environ Sci Technol 2022;56(10):6232–6242.

Explore the special issue on PFAS in Environmental Science & Technology

Read more about PFAS in Chemical & Engineering News

Hot Topics in Chemistry: The Big Talking Points of the Summer

ACS Publications journals cover a huge range of specialties within the field of chemistry. Our virtual issues bring together collections of articles in a particular topic of interest, highlighting connections and synergies and casting a light on important papers you may have missed. Here we bring you a selection of the diverse offering of virtual issues released between June and August 2022.

Machine Learning for the Chemist

2022 has seen a dramatic increase in the number of articles published on artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks—up 133% from 2020 to 2021. To acknowledge this, ACS Omega released a special issue exploring the utility of machine learning for the chemist. This includes varied topics from bioinformatics, chemometrics, and small-molecule design and synthesis to diagnostics in medicine. The collection also looks at physical and chemical processes, such as energy materials, metallurgy, wastewater treatment, and image analysis applied to agriculture.

Read More

Metal–Organic and Covalent Organic Frameworks

Next up, emerging advances and applications in metal–organic and covalent organic frameworks (MOFs and COFs). MOFs are a class of porous materials with a multitude of uses, including as catalyst support, adsorbents for CO2 removal, and even in biomedical applications. COFs are related porous materials that have emerged more recently as a field of interest for research. A virtual issue in JACS Au highlights new advances in MOFs and COFs reported over the past 18 months, including their use as precursors for single-atom catalysts, and applications in molecular recognition.

Read More

Nanotechnology: A Game-Changer for Sustainable Agriculture

Another special issue in ACS Agricultural Science & Technology brings together a collection of papers on the role of nanotechnology in sustainable agriculture. Rapid advancements in nanoscale science are delivering promising solutions—scientists have extended technologies developed for drug delivery applications to design more targeted and effective delivery systems for fertilizers and pesticides, with an emphasis on using biodegradable materials in delivery systems. Researchers are also utilizing nanoparticles and nanofibers to enhance plant growth and suppress diseases.

Read More

Industrial Sustainability

Sustainability was also the topic for a joint virtual issue from ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering and Organic Process Research & Development. Although the chemical industry makes positive contributions—accounting for $5.7 trillion of global GDP and supporting 120 million jobs—manufacturing operations cause a negative environmental impact. Researchers are committed to developing renewable materials and new technologies to replace rare, expensive, or toxic materials. These alternatives promote the development of environmentally friendly chemical reactions and processes that require significantly less energy, water, reagents, and solvents than in current practice.

Read More

Advances in Plasma Catalysis

Integrating plasmas and catalysts can achieve reactant conversions and product selectivities that are inaccessible with either material alone. A virtual issue across multiple ACS publications presents 35 recent articles in six classes, including the characterization of plasma and surface plasma/catalysts, plasma-assisted synthesis and modification of catalysts, carbon and nitrogen chemistry, and theory and modeling.

Read More

Excited-State Energy Transfer for Light Energy Conversion

Excited-state energy transfer offers a unique opportunity to tune the properties of light-harvesting assemblies. A virtual issue in ACS Energy Letters offers a collection of recent research on excited-state energy transfer for light energy conversion, whose understanding is essential for practical implications in photovoltaics and solar fuel generation.

Read More

Halide Perovskite Materials and Applications

Our final virtual issue selection highlights recent developments in halide perovskite materials and their applications. This joint special issue from ACS Applied Energy Materials and ACS Applied Electronic Materials explores the vast potential of halide perovskites in the energy and electronics fields, including applications such as optoelectronic devices, LEDs, x-ray imaging, photodetectors, and memory devices.

Read More

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In addition to our high-quality, high-impact journal issues and books, ACS works with Editors to create online collections of previously published research on areas of current scientific interest. These Virtual Collections, which include both Virtual Issues and Thematic Collections, are designed not only for experienced investigators but also as a tool to teach students about the diverse areas of the chemical sciences.

Visit the website to explore more, and connect with us on social media for more news and updates on forthcoming virtual issues.

Explore More Virtual Collections

Further Reading: Recent Virtual Collections

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Advances in Genome Editing for Sustainable Agriculture
ACS Agricultural Science & Technology

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Atmospheric Aerosol Research
ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, The Journal of Physical Chemistry A

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Bioelectronic Materials and Devices
ACS Applied Bio Materials

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Chronic Conditions Affecting Lungs and Airways
ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science

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Crystallizing the Role of Solid-State Form in Drug Delivery
Crystal Growth & Design, Molecular Pharmaceutics

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Diabetes and its Complications
ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science

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Natural Products in Redox Toxicology
Chemical Research in Toxicology

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Neurotoxicology
ACS Chemical Neuroscience, Chemical Research in Toxicology

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Quantum Coherent Phenomena in Energy Harvesting and Storage
The Journal of Physical Chemistry, The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C

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Viruses: A Physical Chemistry Perspective
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B

JACS Au launches first Virtual Issue

We all are witnesses to the recent explosion of applications of machine learning in many branches of science. As a way to realize artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning itself has undergone three stages of progression, being deductive (1950s), knowledge-based (1980s), and data-driven (2000 to now). Undoubtedly, big data, i.e., the increasing accumulation of learnable data, has enabled numerous recent scientific achievements through machine learning, highlighting the above progression of this field of science. Nowadays, machine learning has achieved significant successes in many disciplines, including mathematics, physics, materials science, environmental science, biology and medicine, as well as chemistry. Specifically, it has greatly boosted the measurement and characterization of chemical species and materials, the analysis and understanding of chemical data and simulation results, as well as the design and optimization of chemical reagents and reaction pathways.

Machine learning is an essential tool for chemists and engineers to predict or gain deeper understanding of chemical processes, allowing more rapid discoveries and providing access to possibilities only previously imagined. JACS Au is excited to announce the publication of its first Virtual Issue in this exciting area of chemistry.

Covering a wide variety of topics such as analytical chemistry, catalysis, diagnostics, drug discovery, proteins, reaction prediction, spectroscopy and so on, the 15 manuscripts in this collection highlight some of the exciting work in this subfield published by the journal, offering engaging insight into current and future directions of this work within the chemical sciences. 

Read the virtual issue

Call for Papers: Second Special Issue on Methods for Omics Research

The Journal of Proteome Research is planning to publish its second Special Issue on Methods for Omics Research, which will highlight novel and/or significantly updated methods for proteomics, metabolomics and omics studies in general. For readers, this Methods Special Issue will be an easily identifiable source of methods that have been specifically reviewed for their applicability and ease of adoption. For authors, the Special Issue provides visibility and wider adoption of methods in the proteomics community through dissemination and documentation. In addition, the Special Issue will become a convenient platform to publish significantly updated and improved methods that may have been already published.

The Methods Special Issue will be managed by Journal of Proteome Research Associate Editors Josh LaBaer and Meng-Qiu Dong and Guest Editor Laurence Florens and will cover all subdisciplines within the scope of Journal of Proteome Research.

We invite you to submit a manuscript by January 31, 2023 for inclusion in the Special Issue on Methods for Omics Research.

Scope

Authors must present either a complete description of a relevant novel method (“Research Article” submission) or a substantial and meaningful update of a previously published method (“Technical Note” submission). The focus of the paper should be on the unique functionality of the method. It should be clear to any reader what questions the method addresses and how it is used.

Demonstration of at least one example of an important application of the method should be included in the paper. Data generated to illustrate a method should be supported by an appropriate number of replicates and statistical analyses. In addition, there should be sufficient detail about the method to allow easy replication.

Data associated with demonstrating the method must be submitted to an appropriate repository at the time of submission, along with full access information to the data provided in the manuscript (dataset identifier(s), username, and password). For novel computational methods, software should be made executable, at a minimum, and preferably have source codes made available.

Instructions for Submission

Manuscripts must adhere to the guidelines available on the Information for Authors page for Journal of Proteome Research and the further details laid out in “Managing Expectations When Publishing Tools and Methods for Computational Proteomics” by Martens et al., and be submitted electronically through the ACS Paragon Plus portal. In ACS Paragon Plus, specify a manuscript type, and activate the special issue feature to designate the paper for Methods for Omics Research. In addition, include a statement in your cover letter that the paper is being submitted for the special issue. Provide names and contact information for at least four suggested reviewers who can meaningfully comment on the described method.

The deadline for submission of manuscripts for the 2023 Special Issue on Methods is January 31, 2023. Manuscripts will be screened for suitability for the Special Issue.

Learn More: Read the 2020 Special Issue on Methods for Omics Research, including the Editorial by Laurence Florens, Meng-Qui Dong, and Joshua LaBaer.

Call for Papers: Biomolecular Electrostatic Phenomena

The Journal of Physical Chemistry B (JPC B) will publish a Virtual Special Issue (VSI) on “Biomolecular Electrostatic Phenomena.” The VSI is led by Guest Editors Wei Yang (Florida State University) and Walter Rocchia (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia). Together they encourage researchers to submit their new and unpublished work by June 30th, 2022.

Research areas of particular interest include:

  • Processes where electrostatics plays an important role in either Life or Material sciences.
  • Improvement of potential energy model for a better reproduction of subtle electrostatic effects.
  • Electrostatic treatment on mesoscale systems.
  • Experimental and theoretical methods to quantify electrostatic properties, such as titratable residue pKa and overall protein charge etc.
  • Methods for accelerating electrostatic calculation in either continuum models or particle-particle interacting systems.
  • Exploitation of electrostatic properties to realize new sensors or smart molecular machineries.

In conceiving this VSI, the Guest Editors were inspired by some recent exciting innovations and discoveries, including:

Electrostatic interactions are key in many processes inherent to biophysics and materials science. In the field of protein biochemistry, modulation of the charges on the amino acids, has important effects such as protein denaturation and triggering of signal transduction networks.

Typically, electrostatic potentials around biomolecules are computed from three-dimensional structures. Importantly, a new spectroscopic method was recently devised to experimentally determine electrostatic potentials near the molecular surfaces without using any structural information. Such experimental determination of electrostatic properties allows for direct examination of theoretical models and is a remarkable advance, with potential broad impacts on basic research and pharmaceutical development.

The past decade has also seen the development of various novel computational method developments or improvements to achieve better quantification of biomolecular processes in which electrostatic effects play a critical role.

Submission Instructions

The review process for all submissions for this VSI will be handled by JPC Executive Editor Pavel Jungwirth.

To ensure an unbiased peer-review process, the journal asks that you do not indicate within your manuscript that the submission is intended for the VSI. If you do, your manuscript will be returned for correction. Instead, when you submit your manuscript, please indicate this on your cover letter and note what part and section you feel will be the best fit. You can find a complete list of sections and other important information for authors in the JPC Author Guidelines.

As with all submissions to JPC, your manuscript should represent a rigorous scientific report of original research, as it will be peer-reviewed as a regular article. Manuscripts are expected to provide new physical insight and/or present new theoretical or computational methods of broad interest.

Contribute to this Virtual Special Issue

If you are unsure if your research is within the VSI’s scope or have other questions about submitting a manuscript to this VSI, please email JPC B Deputy Editor Marty Zanni’s office at zanni-office@jpc.acs.org .

Call for Papers: Third Special Issue on Software Tools and Resources

The Journal of Proteome Research is preparing to publish its Third Biennial Special Issue on Software Tools and Resources in January 2023.

Software tools and data resources are essential to research in all omics domains, including proteomics and metabolomics. The goal of this recurring special issue is to highlight the latest novel and significantly updated software tools, web applications, and databases scientists can use for data analysis and visualization in proteomics and related research.

For readers, this provides an easily identifiable source of tools specifically reviewed for their applicability and ease of adoption. For authors, this provides increased visibility and wider adoption of their tools within the proteomics community through dissemination and documentation.

The following team will lead the Special Issue:

They invite you to submit a manuscript by September 30, 2022.

What to Submit—Deadline: September 30, 2022

For inclusion in this special issue, authors must present either a complete description of a relevant novel tool, library, web application, or database (article) or a substantial and meaningful update of a previously published tool or resource (technical note). The full working tool or database must be available free-of-charge to editors and reviewers for evaluation at the time of manuscript submission.

Tools with a graphical or web browser interface are preferred, but the editors will also consider well-documented web service APIs or libraries of functional building blocks for custom data analysis pipelines.

Manuscript Requirements

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically through the ACS Paragon Plus Environment online submission system by September 30, 2022. Submissions must adhere to the appropriate Author Guidelines and the further details laid out in Martens et al., J. Proteome Res. 2015, 14(5):2002-4.

Authors, please:

  • Indicate in your cover letter that the manuscript is for the Special Issue on Software Tools and Resources and explain why you consider it suitable for this Special Issue.
  • Remember that the full working tool or database must be available free-of-charge to editors and reviewers for evaluation at the time of manuscript submission.
  • Be concise and focus the manuscript on the unique or novel functionality of the tool. It should be clear to any reader what problem the system addresses and how it is used.
  • For tools and libraries, use the table form to describe the input, operations, and output of each tool or function. A screenshot of the interface may be included if it has novel or unusual features.

Learn More: Read the 2021 Special Issue on Software Tools and Resources, including the Editorial by Susan Weintraub, Michael Hoopmann, and Magnus Palmblad.

Call for Papers: Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment: Informing Policy and Practice to Prevent the Spread

Public health, particularly its environmental dimensions, is at the forefront of the public and scientific conscience during the current COVID-19 pandemic.  This moment is critical to ensuring preparedness against other public health threats, especially antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the U.S. population is afflicted with 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections each year.  The O’Neill report, commissioned by the U.K. government, predicts that deaths due to AMR will surpass those due to cancer by 2050.

This Special Issue from Environmental Science & Technology will focus on contributions that advance new knowledge and address key knowledge gaps related to AMR in the environment. The issue will be led by Guest Editor Professor Amy Pruden of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech.

Relevant topics include:

  • Advanced wastewater and water reuse treatment technologies to reduce AMR.
  • Treatment of pharmaceutical manufacturing waste.
  • Assessment of on-farm strategies to reduce contamination of soil, water, and food products.
  • Novel AMR sensors and monitoring technologies and approaches.
  • Intersections of water sanitation and hygiene and AMR.
  • Assessment of the efficacy of environmentally-focused interventions.
  • Exposure and risk modeling of environmental AMR sources.

Relevant papers must demonstrably inform policy and practice in a manner that can help stem the spread of AMR while demonstrating robust experimental design and employing methods for assaying AMR that are comparable across studies.

Author Instructions:

To submit your manuscript, please visit the Environmental Science & Technology website. Please follow the normal procedures for manuscript submission, and when in the ACS Paragon Plus submission site, select the special issue of “Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment: Informing Policy and Practice to Prevent the Spread.” All manuscripts will undergo rigorous peer review. For additional submission instructions, please see the Environmental Science & Technology Author Guidelines.

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2022. Submit your manuscript now.