Putting a virus-busting air filter to the test

CHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are working on an air filter to destroy viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. The idea is to capture airborne water droplets after someone coughs or sneezes, and to render viruses inside the droplets harmless by oxidizing them.

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Inspired by the sea to fight cancer metastasis

CHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH

Macrolides are a class of natural products known for their antibiotic properties and in the past few decades, scientists have also shown they can be important allies in the battle against cancer. Queen’s University researchers are getting closer to developing a macrolide-based treatment.

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The push to disinfect and reuse disposable PPE

CHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH

The toll of pandemic-related plastic waste from discarded PPE is mounting at an alarming rate. Health Canada estimates that between June 2020 and June 2021, 63,000 tons of COVID-19 related PPE will end up as landfill waste. Researchers are investigating possibilities for disinfecting and reusing single-use PPE, including medical gloves and hospital gowns.

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New anti-psychotic nasal spray could ease side effects

CHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH

Sneaking medications past our bodies’ blood-brain barrier has always been tricky. McMaster University chemical engineer Todd Hoare recently teamed up with a group of neuroscientist colleagues to make an antipsychotic nasal spray that does just that. The spray could reduce the drug’s often nasty side effects, including weight gain, diabetes, movement disorders and organ damage.

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Connecting the dots between sex, gender, and chemicals

CHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH

Environmental contaminants can have different effects on women and men. The International Pollutants Elimination Network recently connected the dots between sex, gender, and chemicals with its report about the distinct effects of chemicals on women. It found women are disproportionally impacted by exposure to chemicals and have less access to participation in decision making.

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New life-saving medical isotopes

CHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH

In 1971, U.S. researchers published a proof-of-concept showing how a cyclotron could produce the world’s most commonly used medical isotope. For the next four decades, the paper sat on a shelf. In 2009, University of British Columbia radiologist Dr. François Bénard dusted it off and thought, ‘Why not try to develop that technology?’

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Raising a stink

CHEMISTRY FOR ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

When something fails to pass the ‘sniff test’ – whether it’s a plan of action or the milk in the back of the fridge – it’s often best to leave it be. But when it comes to unpleasant odours in the air, we don’t have much choice. We have to breathe.

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Science-based decision-making

ENVIRONMENT

Chemist partners with City of Kitchener on innovative air pollution study It’s not every day a chemist gets to directly affect government policy. So Wilfrid Laurier University chemistry Professor Hind Al-Abadleh, MCIC, is understandably excited about her school-based air pollution study in Kitchener. Al-Abadleh launched a pilot air-quality monitoring project earlier in 2020 in partnership with...

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Medical masks that kill the COVID-19 virus

CHEMISTRY FOR HEALTH

Researchers put anti-microbial mask coatings to the test. Triiodide, salt, and graphene-nano silver take their turn on the lab bench. Face masks with COVID-fighting coatings may be the next frontier in PPE. At least one such mask is available commercially in Canada – using a triiodide coating – and researchers are investigating the virus-busting powers...

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