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State soil for Jersey, eMolecules cedes Chmoogle, Women and addiction

by Rick Mullin
June 5, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 23


State soil for Jersey

The New Jersey State assembly couldn't come together on making Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" the state song several years ago, which is probably a good thing given that the song is about getting out of New Jersey by any means possible. State legislators also failed to come to an agreement on making the tomato the Garden State's official vegetable. Just as well—tomatoes are fruit.

Trenton got it together late last month, however, designating Downer soil as the official state dirt. The soil, which is formed in sandy coastal plains, is characterized by a loamy grayish-brown surface layer. It is described as having a porous, spongelike quality that both absorbs rain and drains water by forming streams.

Red oak, New Jersey's state tree, is often found growing in Downer soil, which covers nearly 300,000 acres in 11 counties, primarily in the southern part of the state. Assemblyman Douglas Fisher, cosponsor of the state soil bill, emphasized its importance to state agriculture.

Downer soil got the nod on May 22 from the New Jersey lawmakers, who are currently trying to rebound from their recent adoption of a state motto that everyone has already forgotten.

eMolecules cedes Chmoogle

The chemical structures search engine that made a name for itself as Chmoogle (pronounced shmoogle) has decided to revert to its original name, eMolecules ( The operators of the website say the decision was made under pressure from the search engine giant Google, which challenged the legality of Chmoogle's trademark.

eMolecules notes that Google is mounting an aggressive campaign to claim any trademark related to "oogle," including some unsuccessful high-profile skirmishes with Froogles and Booble, a discount online shopping guide and a pornography search engine, respectively. The chemical search engine, started by three scientists last year, claims it is not up to a legal battle, though it believes it has a solid case.

"It's not about right or wrong; it's about who has the deeper pockets," says eMolecules CEO Klaus Gubernator. Cofounder Craig James adds, "We're scientists and engineers, and we can't be distracted by Google's strange legal theories that seem to be in conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court and with Google" itself.

eMolecules explains in a statement on its website (accompanied by a screen-and-a-half chart detailing Google's legal filings and eMolecules' responses, as well as a cartoon of a shark eating the Chmoogle logo) that it has "real work to do." The statement includes some entertaining anecdotes about other trademark infringement cases: "Does 'Victoria's Little Secret' infringe on the Victoria's Secret trademark? The Supreme Court didn't think so." Similarly, eMolecules notes that Hogg Wyld (now Oink Inc.) got a thumbs-up for its Lardashe jeans, which were presented as a parody of Jordache in a case dating back to 1987.

Gubernator told C&EN that the Chmoogle name was chosen in order to leverage the brand recognition of "google" (lower case "g") as a verb for searching for information on the Internet. The structures-only chemical search engine says it plans to expand its database to include "molecules from more than 15 million sources."

Women and addiction

The National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University has published documented evidence that girls and women become addicted to alcohol, nicotine, and illegal and prescription drugs and develop substance-related diseases at lower levels of use and in shorter periods of time than do boys and men.

On the basis of a 10-year study, "Women under the Influence" reports that at similar or lower levels of use, women develop alcohol-related diseases like cirrhosis and hypertension, brain damage from alcohol abuse and Ecstasy (MDMA), lung cancer, and respiratory diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis from smoking more rapidly than men.

Women are also more susceptible to depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, which are closely linked to smoking and alcohol and drug abuse, according to the CASA book.


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