Gold-forming molecule identified in bacterium

BIOCHEMISTRY
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A Canadian team of researchers has identified a molecule used by a bacterium to convert soluble gold ions into insoluble elemental gold. Although soluble gold ions are inhibitory to most microorganisms, two species of bacteria are known to survive in their presence. The first, Cupriavidus metallidurans, has been studied for about a decade by researchers...

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‘Rusty’ catalysts advance renewable energy storage

ENERGY
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University of Calgary researchers have developed a new family of amorphous catalysts based on iron oxide — rust — that turns water into hydrogen fuel. The innovation could improve systems for storing energy from intermittent, renewable sources like solar and wind. Currently, expensive materials like iridium or ruthenium oxide are used to overcome the activation...

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Student merit award winners

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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This year’s Canadian Society for Chemistry Merit Award winners are: 1st place, the University of Toronto at Mississauga and honourable mention...

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New extraction technique for functional foods

TECHNIQUES
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A team of engineers at Université Laval has developed a new system for efficiently extracting high-value bioactive molecules — potential nutraceuticals or pharmaceuticals — from plant and animal proteins. In our gut, enzymes break up plant and animal proteins into hundreds of smaller peptides. Some of these reportedly have health benefits such as antioxidant or...

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Building public understanding with ‘molecular lego’

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Deoxyribonucleic acid, the blueprint of evolution, is arguably the world’s most famous molecule. But as McGill University’s Hanadi Sleiman explained to Toronto audiences last fall, the possible applications of DNA range far beyond merely encoding and decoding genetic information. Her public talk, entitled “Molecular Lego with DNA: Building Structures for Medicine and Materials Science,” was...

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