TRIUMF ramps up rare isotope output with ARIEL

RADIOCHEMISTRY

Vancouver-based TRIUMF, already an international focal point for accelerator-based science, is poised to help researchers take stock of radioactive isotopes that have been too rare to examine in any kind of practical way. This capability comes with the recent launch of a new facility, the Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL).

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Revving the engine of biology to solve complex problems

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

According to Vikramaditya Yadav, biological systems have a considerable head start on us when it comes to solving sophisticated problems in chemistry and chemical engineering. While we struggle to sort out the behaviour of molecules that might generate new drug compounds or be the source of hydrocarbon fuels, humble microorganisms may have long since mastered the very processes we seek.

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Smog tucks in for the night in the darnedest place

ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY

One of the chemical agents responsible for smog has a sleeping spot — and it is right beneath your feet. Nitrous acid (HNO2), which quickly degrades in sunlight to form the hydroxyl radical OH, appears to spend the night tucked in the ground so that it can be steadily released under the right atmospheric conditions. “Oxidation of volatile organic compounds initiated by the hydroxyl radical..

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Paper platform holds promise for disease diagnosis

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

With a population almost three times that of Canada’s, Vietnam has just two hospitals capable of confirming the presence of measles or rubella in a patient’s body. In places where that diagnosis cannot be made, doctors often present hard choices to patients suspected of having these diseases, which can wreak havoc on the health of unborn children. Expectant mothers can be forced...

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Nanoparticles could relieve annoying dry eye syndrome

NANOTECHNOLOGY

Nanoparticle technology being developed at the University of Waterloo could come to the rescue of individuals taking cyclosporin eye drops to treat dry eye syndrome. Users — who sometimes find they must administer the medication several times a day — could ultimately wind up applying the drops just...

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Nanoparticles improve chemotherapy treatment

NANOTECHNOLOGY

A device developed by chemists at Université de Montréal promises to improve the way a powerful cancer-fighting drug is administered to patients. By using nanoparticles to generate optical effects, this new technology will make it possible to determine almost immediately how much of the drug remains in...

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It’s all relative when rewriting oxidation state limits

FUNDAMENTALS

Oxidation states — describing the number of electrons an atom loses or gains when it joins [IrO4]+with other atoms in chemical compounds — have fascinated Gary Schrobilgen since his graduate school days in the 1970s, when he managed to make the first bromine VII cation, [BrF6]+. Today, as a chemistry professor...

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High hydrochloric acid levels measured in stratosphere

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Canada’s SCISAT satellite, which last year marked 10 years of actively observing more than 30 different molecules in our planet’s upper and lower atmosphere, has earned a reputation for providing a unique collection of measurements that sometimes contain surprises. This reputation was reinforced this past...

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Unravelling the atomic puzzle of vanadium oxide

PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY

At 68 C, vanadium oxide (VO2) undergoes a significant change in electronic properties that has vexed physicists and chemists for more than 50 years. In 1959 it was discovered that as the material cools, it changes from a metal to a semiconductor while its atoms reorganize themselves from a tetragonal to monoclinic crystal structure.

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