Raising a stink

CHEMISTRY FOR ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

University of British Columbia researchers launch app to map Metro Vancouver’s ‘smellscape’ When something fails to pass the ‘sniff test’ – whether it’s a plan of action or the milk in the back of the fridge – it’s often best to leave it be. But when it comes to unpleasant odours in the air, we...

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Q&A on teaching with Mark Workentin, FCIC

EDUCATION

Mark Workentin, FCIC, is a professor of chemistry at Western University who is lauded for his entertaining and rigorous organic chemistry classes. He is a multi award-winning university teacher with honours including the OCUFA Excellence in Teaching Award and Western’s Pleva and Marilyn Robinson Awards. CICNews recently asked Workentin to share some insights from his...

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The Story of CO2

PUBLICATIONS

University of Toronto chemists team up to tell us why we need not fear this small molecule Geoffrey Ozin leans in close to his computer’s camera as he warms to his subject –- the many products that can be made with waste CO2 captured from industrial processes. “Aspirin!” exclaims the University of Toronto materials chemist....

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Mapping metals in feathers

ENVIRONMENT

Researchers shine a (very) bright light on duck feathers, revealing a sensitive technique for environmental monitoring. Like the proverbial canary in a coal mine, birds of all kind can act as sentinels for toxic metals in the environment. Now agricultural and environmental scientists are discovering that birds – or more accurately their feathers – can...

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Queen’s chemist was a ‘joyful warrior’

CIC MEMBERS

In the early 1980s, China sent a select group of 100 graduate students to study abroad – the first to leave the country since the Cultural Revolution. Ninety-seven young men and three young women, including the late Suning Wang, FCIC, made that ground-breaking journey. A whip-smart,...

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Chicken, chocolate and celiac disease

RESEARCH & INNOVATION

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,...

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Tracking COVID-19 with wastewater

HEALTH & SAFETY

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.

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Science-based decision-making

ENVIRONMENT

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...

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Medical masks that kill the COVID-19 virus

CHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH

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...

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Meet the new CIC NEWS editor

COMMUNITY NEWS

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...

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