CNC-IUPAC Travel award winners announced

RESEARCH & INNOVATION

Travel award winners announced CIC and the Canadian National Committee of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (CNC-IUPAC) are pleased to announce the winners of their 2020 travel awards competition. Established in 1982, the awards are jointly sponsored by CNC-IUPAC’s company associates and CIC’s Gendron Fund, a trust established in honour of prominent...

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Keeping tabs on the Table

MATERIALS & TECHNOLOGY

Although the early alchemists have been stereotyped as gold-diggers eager to transmute lead into something with a better cash value, what they were really after was an orderly description of the materials that make up our world. While the gold thing never really worked out, alchemy’s loftier vision was ultimately realized with the conception of...

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Hewers of wood, drawers of water, pumpers of petroleum

CHEMISTRY FOR ENERGY & THE ENVIRONMENT

Canada’s impressive base of natural resources, along with the hard work and entrepreneurship that has developed them, is a defining feature of the country. Like the fur trade, forestry, and mining, the development of petroleum oil and gas products has most recently added to this national character. Our lives would look substantially different without the...

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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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Microfluidics turns to multipoles

RESEARCH & INNOVATION

The past two decades have been a heyday for the field of microfluidics, which has adapted highly accurate etching methods from the information technology industry to create miniaturized arrays where reactions can occur with minimal amounts of reagents. The resulting “lab on a chip” has set the stage for entirely new categories of analytical hardware,...

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Measuring milk’s many micronutrients

RESEARCH & INNOVATION

Milk may be among our most familiar and venerable parts of the human diet, but its complex chemistry still holds a few mysteries and surprises. Most analyses have focused on the macronutrients, the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that make up this product. The latest generation of metabolomics methods, however, bring powerful technologies such as mass...

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Alberta pilot plant marks the latest milestone for Forward Water

CHEMISTRY FOR ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

At the beginning of 2017 Canadian Chemical News offered an introduction to Forward Water, a start-up company that was spun off from research led by Philip Jessop, a professor in the Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University. He had devised a “switchable” solvent whose solubility can be altered with the addition of CO2, which can...

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Oceans facing an acid test

CHEMISTRY FOR ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Global temperatures began to soar as early as May this year, beginning with a 50ºC heat wave that hit India. Meanwhile parts of Europe endured sauna-like conditions, while North America and the Arctic saw temperature records melt like ice cream in summer. While weather and climate are two very different things, such severe warming is...

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