ACCN writer wins journalism award from Engineers Canada

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) contributor Mark Lowey of Calgary is this year’s recipient of the annual Award of Journalism Excellence in Engineering from Engineers Canada, the national organization representing the country’s 280,000 professional engineers.

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Grapevine

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Top Canadian chemists were honoured at the annual Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) awards ceremony on Feb. 16 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. University of Toronto biochemist...

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CIC submits briefs to Ottawa

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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On Feb. 19, the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) and its strategic partner the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR) submitted pre-budget Briefs to the federal government recommending the following:

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Using DNA as a printing press to create nanostructures

BIOCHEMISTRY

Just as hydrocarbons ranked as perhaps the most influential family of complex molecules in the 20th century, DNA may well be on its way to claiming that title for the 21st. Since it was first characterized in the 1950s, this intricate double helix biopolymer has opened up new frontiers in the study of life on earth, including an unprecedented understanding of how our own bodies grow and develop.

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Engineering change

POLICY

University of Calgary president and vice-chancellor Elizabeth Cannon, who also chairs Universities Canada, is helping nurture closer ties between the scientific community and Ottawa’s elected MPs.  When Elizabeth Cannon joined the engineering faculty at the University of Calgary in 1991 she doubled the number of women professors — from one to two. Her gender trail-blazing...

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Managing both sides of the workplace safety coin

CAREERS

Occupational safety aims at avoiding workplace injuries and ensuring a safe and healthy work environment. It utilizes rules, training and personal protective equipment to achieve that goal. It is an individual responsibility of each and every worker. Companies also have a responsibility to support and promote occupational safety; codes and regulations are in place to...

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Rarefied air

EDUCATION

Particulate matter holds special interest for atmospheric chemist Graydon Snider, who is not only a Dalhousie University postdoctoral fellow but a competitive long-distance runner.  Last summer, Dalhousie University’s Graydon Snider was on the roof of a half-built office building in Bangladesh setting up a nephelometer — an air sampler device — to measure the concentration...

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Epidemics create quandries for drug companies

INTELLECTUAL MATTERS

In the early 1980s, the world became aware of a viral disease that was causing a number of rare diseases among a variety of groups, including intravenous drug users, homosexual men and haemophiliacs. The condition, of course, was AIDS, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  Shortly after the identification of the virus, scientists began...

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Then and Now

HISTORY
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Within the world of chemistry, global company Johnson Matthey has roots as English and nearly as royal as the British monarchy.   The company was founded in the early 19th century by London gold assayer Percival Norton Johnson, who was also one of the founding members of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the oldest national...

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Cheesy Parmesan headlines mislead public

CHEMFUSION

TIME, usually a reliable source of information, got this story wrong. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that products labeled ‘100% Parmesan’ might actually contain cheese substitutes like wood pulp.” Actually, the FDA did not issue any such warning. In 2012 it did send a letter to Castle Cheese, claiming the company’s grated Parmesan...

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The farmer in the lab

CATALYTIC CHEMISTRY

Chemistry professor Michael Organ has taken on some tough puzzles in organic chemistry and added to the roster of industrial tools for synthesizing valuable materials.  Over the past decade, as a member of York University’s Department of Chemistry, Organ and his team developed one of the world’s most widely used systems for palladium-mediated cross-coupling, pyridine-enhanced...

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