Methane leaks from abandoned oil and gas wells underestimated

CHEMISTRY FOR ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

When Mary Kang landed an environmental policy fellowship at Princeton University in 2012, she decided to model methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells. It didn’t take long to discover a major roadblock. “I couldn’t find any data. And you need data for modelling,” recalls Kang, now a civil engineering professor at McGill University.

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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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Take a quick conference overview

CONFERENCES

CIC graphic designer extraordinaire Krista Leroux has made it easy for you to navigate the busy itinerary of the upcoming Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, which takes place in Halifax from October 20-23.

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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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Wrangling with resistance

PHARMACEUTICALS

Early in his career at McMaster University Medical Centre in Hamilton, Ont., while on his way to the cafeteria for coffee, Justin Nodwell regularly walked past the unit for premature babies, watching as jaundiced infants were wheeled into the sunlight for phototherapy treatment. The route also took him past the paediatric oncology unit, filled with...

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