View the May/June 2013 Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) print issue as a PDF.

Cold Case

ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY

As the days wax longer, few of us care to dwell on the snow and ice that dominated the landscape only weeks ago. But for the scientists trying to explain and predict the movement of chemicals in our environment — from contaminants like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to atmospheric gases like ozone — snow and ice...

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Happy half century!

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
BY:

The Constituent Societies of the CIC congratulate their members who are celebrating 50-years of membership in 2013: Hanspeter Alder; Howard Alper; John Apsimon; Ronald Brown; Dennis Davies; Peter Grindrod; Ross Hoyle; Matthew Hrabluk; K. Jabalpurwala; Bryan Jones; Photios Kizas; W. Larisch; John McIntosh; Anwer Mehkeri; J. Muchowski; Frederick Otto; J. J. C. Picot; Maurice Servranckx;...

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The ‘ole cola trick draws a crowd

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
BY:

Charles Lucy, a professor in the chemistry department at the University of Alberta, prepares to do a Diet-Coke-and- Mentos demonstration as part of an evening event organized by the Edmonton Local Section in March. Lucy’s presentation, called “Colour, Catalysts and Coca Cola” focused on the use of “student world examples” in teaching and public outreach...

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A good mix for innovation

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
BY:

Laurence Meadows of Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization that funds internships and fellowships to encourage innovation, presents at a Vancouver Local Section event in...

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The Association of the Chemical Profession of Saskatchewan (ACPS) launched

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
BY:

The Association of the Chemical Profession of Saskatchewan (ACPS) — the voice for professional chemists in Saskatchewan — held their inaugural meeting in Regina on December 8, 2012. Welcoming the announcement is Canada’s Professional Chemists, a member organization of provincial professional chemist associations and the Canadian Society for Chemistry. The ACPS is also a signatory...

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Glycan capture technique sheds light on cell surface proteins

BIOCHEMISTRY
BY:

A new technique for capturing glycosylated proteins, developed by a researcher at Simon Fraser University, has provided fresh insight into the relationship between the structure and function of these biomolecules, knowledge that could advance fields from immunology to cancer research. From bacteria to humans, many cell surface proteins are decorated with glycans: sugar moieties whose...

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Gold & DNA simplify disease detection

HEALTH
BY:

A clever combination of functional DNA and gold nanoparticles has produced a point-of-care diagnostic system that could allow medical workers in developing countries to achieve faster and cheaper detection of many common diseases. ...

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Gold-forming molecule identified in bacterium

BIOCHEMISTRY
BY:

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
BY:

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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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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Social license will trump technological advancements in the chemical industry of the future

CAREERS

The discovery of new chemicals has always supported new functionalities and rising standards of living. But when it comes to applying those discoveries to industry — including resource extraction, chemical processing, biotechnology transformation and efficient product applications — public scrutiny is greater than it has ever been. The future success of the chemical industry will...

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Silence is golden

INTELLECTUAL MATTERS

At a recent symposium I attended, several “studentpreneurs” were showcasing their innovations which had been supported by a local technology incubator. It was heartening to see how passionate the students were about their innovations, and the determination they brought to their projects. One chemical invention particularly caught my eye, as it purportedly solved a problem...

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Cloak and … umbrella?

CHEMFUSION

On my last visit to London, England I made a point of going to Waterloo station. I wasn’t interested in taking a train, I just wanted to stand at the bus stop in front of the station. I wanted to see with my own eyes the famous spot where one of the most ingenious chemical...

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Then and now

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
BY:

From the beginning, the history of the companies that would become Canadian Industries Limited (C-I-L) have been entangled with that of the nation itself. The Hamilton Powder Company, founded in 1862, manufactured black powder — and later, dynamite — which was used in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1885 the American A....

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Human Factor

INNOVATION

These days, technical skills alone do not an engineer make. Over the last decade, engineering schools across Canada have focused increasingly...

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