Chicken, chocolate and celiac disease

What do poultry, chocolate, bananas and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower have in common? They all contain an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which launches a biochemical chain reaction in the body that controls intestinal inflammation and keeps the gut barrier healthy. In people with celiac disease though, that reaction is impaired,...


Tracking COVID-19 with wastewater

How the virus’s chemical signature gives advance warning of the rise and fall of community transmission. As the pandemic’s second wave tightens its grip across the country, researchers, municipalities, and public health agencies are experimenting with a COVID-19 early warning system that tests wastewater for the virus’s unique chemical signature. Swab tests for the coronavirus are expensive and we aren’t capturing enough data for a true picture of how many people are infected, say epidemiologists.


Science-based decision-making


Chemist partners with City of Kitchener on innovative air pollution study It’s not every day a chemist gets to directly affect government policy. So Wilfrid Laurier University chemistry Professor Hind Al-Abadleh, MCIC, is understandably excited about her school-based air pollution study in Kitchener. Al-Abadleh launched a pilot air-quality monitoring project earlier in 2020 in partnership with...


Medical masks that kill the COVID-19 virus


Researchers put anti-microbial mask coatings to the test. Triiodide, salt, and graphene-nano silver take their turn on the lab bench. Face masks with COVID-fighting coatings may be the next frontier in PPE. At least one such mask is available commercially in Canada – using a triiodide coating – and researchers are investigating the virus-busting powers...


Meet the new CIC NEWS editor


More than 25 years ago, I launched my career in journalism because I felt it lent some legitimacy to all my nosey questions. I discovered early on that a lot of people knew things I didn’t — interesting things about how the universe works, things I felt were important to understand. Even after all these...