The chemical mysteries of wine revealed

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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About 100 people attended the annual Café CIC public lecture held at Concordia University College of Alberta in Edmonton this past March. This year’s topic was the Art, History and Chemistry of Wine, presented by Athabasca University chemistry professor Dietmar Kennepohl, FCIC, and organized by Concordia...

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CIC offers recommendations­

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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In 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the Government of Canada’s science and technology strategy, “Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage.” Through a review consultation process, the government sought the views of stakeholders from all sectors of the Science, Technology and Innovation community in early 2014 to help identify solutions that reflect the realities of today’s...

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CIC and CSC 2014 winners announced

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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The Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) and Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) have announced the award winners for 2014. Official presentations take place at the 97th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Vancouver, June 1-5 and the 64th­ Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference in Niagara Falls, Ont., Oct. 19–22. Details about the winners’ research are available at www.cheminst.ca/awards.

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Grapevine

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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This year’s winner of the 2014 Chemical Institute of Canada medal is Douglas W. Stephan, FCIC, of the University of Toronto. Stephan’s research targets innovative new technologies for the efficient production of desirable chemical products. His group develops new transition metal-based catalysts for hydrogenation, polymerization

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Ancient bat guano provides­ historic record of changes to chemical composition of air

ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY

At first glance, you might regard a Jamaican cave that has been continuously inhabited by bats for thousands of years as one of the last places to learn how the chemical content of regional air and water have been changing. But for Jules Blais, a biologist with the University of Ottawa, the countless strata of guano deposited there by these animals provide an ideal record of this information. Blais specializes in gauging the influence of environmental contaminants on the metabolism...

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Analyzing quinoa DNA for growing on Canadian farms

TECHNIQUES

Although quinoa is widely regarded by foodies as an up-and-coming superfood, this nutrition-packed grain is currently grown only in South America’s Andes Mountains. As Canadian tastes and markets for this mild-flavoured product expand, agricultural researchers are considering whether the plant can be adapted for cultivation here.

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A new gold standard of healing with crystalline polymers

NANOTECHNOLOGY

How convenient it would be if we could convince a torn piece of material to return to its undamaged state. Université de Sherbrooke chemist Yue Zhao has been able to purchase just such convenience with some vanishingly small amounts of gold. The substance in question is gold nanoparticles or nanorods, which are inserted into a thin...

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Testing for banned substances in athletes ups its game

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Just as athletes commit to becoming faster and stronger than ever, so too do the authorities testing these competitors for banned substances. For just that reason, the World Anti-Doping Agency has supported the work of chemist Janusz Pawliszyn of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, who has shown how to make the organization’s testing regime more efficient than ever before.

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Creating the ideal 3D environment for cellular research

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Scientists around the world study cell cultures laid out in flat, two-dimensional (2D) arrays — a highly practical but ultimately limited way of understanding how those cells behave. “Everyone — and I mean everyone — can agree that three-dimensional (3D) tissue models are far superior...

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Then and Now

HISTORY
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Canadian Titanium Pigments Ltd. was founded in 1936 by parent company NL Industries, one of America’s most venerable businesses. The National Lead Company, as it was first known, was established in 1772 in Philadelphia, Pa. — four years before the United States became a nation.

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Microwaved Coal

ENERGY
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Stick a chunk of lignite in your home microwave and you’ll find that it doesn’t even warm up: coal is transparent to microwave radiation. But you might also notice that when you’re done, your lump of “brown coal” is sitting in a little puddle of water.

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