CIC News features cutting-edge scientific discoveries, the latest innovations from industry, insightful columns, and breaking news stories embracing all aspects of the Canadian chemistry scene.

Guts and glory

CHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH

Emma Allen-Vercoe touts her motto as “My microbes told me to do it”. The phrase captures the essence of her work as a professor in the University of Guelph’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, where she has spent more than a decade exploring the daunting biochemical frontier that makes up the human gut. This all too familiar part of our anatomy — which most of us would prefer to think of as a simple black box that turns food into feces — harbours an anaerobic environment known as the microbiome.

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Pursuing policy

CIC MEMBERS

Thomas Baker, FCIC, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Catalysis Science for Energy Applications at the University of Ottawa, recently became a faculty affiliate with the university’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP). This position will allow him to participate in ISSP governance meetings, where he can contribute to setting priorities for this multi-disciplinary academic body’s work on teaching, research, and outreach.

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Verifying the virtues of volunteering

CAREERS AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Over the last 4 years, I have made the Chemical Institute of Canada – Toronto Section a major part of my volunteer work. As I approach the end of my graduate degree, I wanted to share with the CIC membership how volunteering with the CIC has helped shape who I am today and changed the trajectory of my career.

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Celebrating peer review

PUBLICATIONS

September 16-20th, 2019 is Peer Review Week. This is the 5th annual event celebrating the vital contribution that peer review makes to upholding quality in scientific publishing. As a journal dedicated to cutting edge chemical engineering research, The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering relies on the discerning work of our reviewers to ensure the high...

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EIC Accepting Nominations

CIC MEMBERS
BY:

The Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) is currently accepting nominations for its 2020 senior awards and EIC fellowship inductees. The deadline for nominations is midnight, November 15, 2019.  The awards include: SIR JOHN KENNEDY MEDAL For outstanding services rendered to the engineering profession, or of noteworthy contributions to the science of engineering, or to the...

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Science Literacy Week gets under way

CIC MEMBERS

Next week, September 16-22, is Science Literacy Week, an annual celebration of scientists and science communication that is taking place in locations across the country. Keep an eye out for events in your community. The local library may have a themed display of science books that come recommended by other readers. Science centres, museums, and...

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Helium: what should Canada do?

MATERIALS & TECHNOLOGY

A global helium shortage has created a crisis for scientists across Canada. Chemists and other researchers depend on this unique element to cool superconducting magnets to 4.2K for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments and certain low-temperature studies. However, helium supplies are limited, demand from new markets is increasing, and the United States has been emptying...

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Notorious killer yields a life-saving toxin

CHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH

The death-cap looks much like any harmless variety of mushroom and is rumoured to have a pleasant flavour, but as its gruesome name suggests, tasting comes with serious consequences. Known formally as Amanita phalloides, this particular fungus can synthesize various families of toxins, like phallotoxins and amatoxins. One compound in particular gives the death-cap its...

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Countering corrosion

MATERIALS & TECHNOLOGY

Anyone who works with metal recognizes the constant threat of corrosion, a problem that becomes especially profound for structures installed in the world’s oceans. In this complex chemical setting, the breakdown of metallic stability represents a leading safety hazard, which is why it sits uppermost in the mind of Faisal Khan, MCIC, who holds the...

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