Niagara Falls a dramatic backdrop for chem conference

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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More than 1,000 researchers, academics, students and industry representatives came together for the 64th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference in the spectacular setting of Niagara Falls October 19-22. The theme of the conference was “Advanced Materials, Energy, and Sustainability.”

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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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National Chemistry Week passes the acid test in TO

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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IndigoKids at the Toronto Eaton Centre was the place to be Oct. 19 for a little bit of chemistry magic to celebrate National Chemistry Week. he hands-on activities, sponsored by the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC), included a demonstration of fruit batteries, where galvanized nails...

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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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Grapevine

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Drew Bennett, a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo, is this year’s winner of the $20,000 John Charles Polanyi Prize for Chemistry.

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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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In Memorium

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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The Chemical Institute of Canada wishes to extend its condolences to the families of Philip Ashbaugh of Burlington, Ont., Richard (Dick) Ford, FCIC, of Parry Sound, Ont. and Martin B. Hocking, FCIC, of Victoria.

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Double, double, smoke and bubbles

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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About 1,000 people, including many primary grade school students, flocked to Malvern Town Centre in Scarborough, Ont. Oct. 25 to explore the fun and fascinating side of chemistry...

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Battle of the nanotubes

MATERIALS

When one thinks of the word “nanotube,” the other word that’s likely to come to mind is “carbon.” Even a Google search reveals this bias. It’s easy to understand why. Since 1991, when carbon nanotubes emerged most prominently on the scientific scene, they have captured our collective imagination. These nano-sized cylinders of strictly organized carbon...

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Shoot for the stars

POLICY PUNDIT

World-renowned mathematician and physicist Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for TheoreticalPhysics in Waterloo, Ont., discusses Canada’ s place in the emerging quantum age and the need for scientists to aspire to greatness. In October 2004 the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics opened its doors in Waterloo, Ont. When Research in Motion (now Blackberry)...

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Demystify public misconceptions about chemistry

POLICY

With social media being the dominant mode of communication in the 21st century, celebrities, Twitter sound bites and sweeping simplistic slogans have usurped the general public’s confidence in scientists. “Natural and local” are good. “Synthetic and global” are bad. “Fossil fuel-based chemicals” will destroy the planet. “Bio-based materials” will save the world. Chemistry is powerful...

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Don’t make patent promises that you can’t keep

INTELLECTUAL MATTERS

Late in 2013, many Canadian news outlets blared a headline similar to the one reported on the CBC’s website, “Eli Lilly Files $500M NAFTA Suit Against Canada Over Drug Patents.” The Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant’s lawsuit against Canada followed two court rulings in which the Canadian patents protecting the drugs Straterra and Zyprexa were invalidated in...

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The Chemists’ War

HISTORY
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The Second Battle of Ypres by Richard Jack was commissioned by the Canadian War Memorials Fund to commemorate the first major action of Canadian troops at the Western Front during the First World War. The First World War — which destroyed global empires and the reigns of kaisers and kings — has many monikers, from...

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Start your day with a big cup of pseudoscience

CHEMFUSION

Let me tell you about my day. This morning, as soon as I turned on the car radio, I was treated to an ad for the “Legendary Pure Silver Angel Coin.” I learned that medieval kings and queens bestowed coins depicting angels for good luck on worthy subjects and that these “were even thought to...

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Marking a major molecular milestone in Canada

TECHNIQUES

A decade after the official launch of Canada’s first synchrotron in Saskatoon, many members of the nation’s research community might start to wonder how they ever managed without this powerful investigative resource. For his part, University of Saskatchewan biochemist Miroslaw Cygler points to the...

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