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American Chemical Society Weekly PressPac -- April 8, 2009

ists knew little about the chemical mechanisms that allow mussels to coat the tendon-like fibers in byssal threads with a material that is both hard and extensible.

The researchers conducted a detailed chemical analysis of the protective outer coating of the byssus in a common species of marine mussel. They found that removing iron and calcium from the coating resulted in a 50 percent decrease in hardness, demonstrating that these metals play a key role in maintaining its integrity. Further insights could lead to the development of futuristic coatings with optimal strength and flexibility for medical and industrial applications, they note. - MTS

"Metals and the Integrity of a Biological Coating: The Cuticle of Mussel Byssus"



J. Herbert Waite, Ph.D.
Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program
University of California at Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, Calif. 93106
Phone: 805-893-2817
Fax: 805-893-7998

Developing safer, more effective drugs to fight obesity

Chemical & Engineering News

Safer and more effective drugs to fight obesity appear to be around the corner, but researchers still await a complete understanding of the biological underpinnings of the complex disease, according to an article scheduled for the April 13 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. Obesity is a growing epidemic that affects more than 72 million people in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

C&EN assistant editor C

Contact: Michael Woods
American Chemical Society

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American Chemical Society Weekly PressPac -- April 8, 2009
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