Chemist Mario Pinto new head of NSERC

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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B. Mario Pinto, FCIC, takes on his latest leadership role this fall as president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Pinto, the former vice-chair of the Chemical Institute of Canada and former vice-president, research at Simon Fraser University (SFU), is the third chemist to head NSERC.

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Canadians shine at Chemistry Olympiad

EDUCATION
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Canadian chemistry high school students brought home two silver and two bronze medals from the 46th International Chemistry Olympiad IChO 2014, held this past July in Hanoi, Vietnam. Silver medal winners included Grade 11 student John Zhou and Grade 12 student...

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Nanotech pares platinum to cut catalysis costs

ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Automobile manufacturers have well-established technology for adding an oxygen molecule to the toxic carbon monoxide from vehicles’ tailpipes, so that the output instead consists of CO2. Unfortunately, this active catalytic oxidation does not come chea...

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Grapevine

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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Harold Jennings, FCIC, was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in June. Jennings developed a pediatric vaccine that is used internationally to prevent the most prevalent strain of meningitis.

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CSC gets the Royal treatment

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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The Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) signed a reciprocal agreement with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) in June at the 97th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Vancouver.

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Western gathering of chemists at UVic

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
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This past May at the University of Victoria, 80 scientists from across Western Canada spent three days sharing their knowledge at the 2014 Western Canadian Undergraduate Chemistry Conference. Guest speakers included Darren Johnson...

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Waxing poetic about plastics

MATERIALS CHEMISTRY

It’s in your car tires and the roads you drive on. It bonds the wood particles in your desk. It coats the apples and fancy cheeses you eat for lunch. Wear lipstick? It’s in that, too. It’s also scribbled in the pages of your child’s colouring book and helps set a romantic tone for dinner...

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Running Interference

BIOCHEMISTRY

In Guinea, West Africa, February is the dry season; a dusty haze, stirred by the northeasterly harmattan winds, thickens the air. This year, the winds were harbingers of ill omen. That same month, Guineans began falling ill with symptoms ranging from fever, vomiting and diarrhea to muscle and joint pain and headaches. Some developed red...

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Hydrogen is an energy currency, not an energy source

LETTER

I write in connection with the article “It’s a Heat Wave” in the July/August 2014 issue of the Canadian Chemical News (ACCN). The opening paragraphs of the article are reproduced below. “It is a dream that fell short of its early optimism and hype: use abundant hydrogen to supply the planet’s energy needs to eliminate...

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Scientists need to protect their discoveries with patents

INTELLECTUAL MATTERS

Recently, The Globe and Mail reported on a list of the world’s top researchers compiled by Thomson Reuters, a provider of solutions to the Canadian legal marketplace. The list, found at highlycited.com, ranks scientists on the impact of their research based on how many times their papers have been cited by others. While there has...

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Then and Now

HISTORY
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They say that nothing sells like celebrity, the proof being in the number of Hollywood stars hawking perfume, umbrellas, clothes and hair dye. But celebrity encompasses historical figures too, and corporations have used Albert Einstein, Shakespeare and Michelangelo’s David to peddle their wares. So, when Catalytic of Canada used an image of Italian navigator John...

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When no further testing is needed

CHEMFUSION

The gold standard in science is the randomized, controlled, double-blind trial. If you want to know whether Garcinia cambogia (also known as assam fruit) causes weight loss, or whether glucosamine helps with arthritic pain, there is only one way to find out. You have an experimental group that is given the substance and a control...

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