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Start-ups use chemistry to tackle challenges from roll-up TVs to neglected diseases

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The term "start-up" can bring to mind thoughts of economic bubbles and busts. But out of many company starts, a few will go on to succeed and even flourish. For the second year, Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, places its bets on young companies in the field of chemistry that may beat the odds in its "10 Start-ups to Watch" feature.

The 10 companies, selected by C&EN's business reporters, are tackling a wide range of scientific pursuits, from addressing neglected diseases to advancing electronics. They hail from the U.S. and abroad. One Japanese company, for example, is working to enable roll-up OLED TVs and computer screens. A California start-up is designing drugs using DNA-directed synthesis of small molecules.

Many of the chosen 10 have the financial backing of industry giants, such as Intel, LG and Sanofi. Another common factor among the picks is that chemistry is at the core of their research. Now time will tell what these investments will ultimately lead to.

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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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