Science that gets under our skin

Scientists are on a quest to create materials that mimic the sensory abilities of human skin for uses like the surfaces of robots and prosthetics. This skin-like salt-infused gel is a step towards that goal.

Career Exploration Series with Ian Mallov, Research Chemist at Inkbox

The Chemical Institute of Canada, Toronto Section (CICTor) is hosting the third virtual iteration of our Career Exploration Series on Thursday, May 13th at 6:30 pm EST. This series features talks by graduates of the chemical sciences who have transitioned to successful careers in a variety of fields. Join us for a Career Exploration Talk…

Clean energy hub makes its debut

Catalyst (noun): an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action. ‘Catalyst for change’ is such a well-worn phrase that it has lost much of its descriptive power. But in the case of a new materials research centre in Mississauga, it is apt on so many levels that it’s hard to avoid.

Mapping metals in feathers

Researchers shine a (very) bright light on duck feathers, revealing a sensitive technique for environmental monitoring. Like the proverbial canary in a coal mine, birds of all kind can act as sentinels for toxic metals in the environment. Now agricultural and environmental scientists are discovering that birds – or more accurately their feathers – can…

Chicken, chocolate and celiac disease

What do poultry, chocolate, bananas and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower have in common? They all contain an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which launches a biochemical chain reaction in the body that controls intestinal inflammation and keeps the gut barrier healthy. In people with celiac disease though, that reaction is impaired,…

Tracking COVID-19 with wastewater

How the virus’s chemical signature gives advance warning of the rise and fall of community transmission.
As the pandemic’s second wave tightens its grip across the country, researchers, municipalities, and public health agencies are experimenting with a COVID-19 early warning system that tests wastewater for the virus’s unique chemical signature. Swab tests for the coronavirus are expensive and we aren’t capturing enough data for a true picture of how many people are infected, say epidemiologists.

Medical masks that kill the COVID-19 virus

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…

Getting maple syrup to show its true colours

Gold may be among the most distinctive colours in nature, but the element shows a very different character at smaller scales. At sizes of less than 100 nanometers, they absorb green light from the spectrum and turn a burgundy red. As they bind with other molecules, these nanoparticles can clump together to absorb different wavelengths…

International Symposium for the Analysis and Detection of Explosives (ISADE)

ISADE is sponsored by the Scientific Workshops and organized in affiliation with the Trace Explosives and Drug Detection Workshop (TED).  ISADE-TED is the pre-eminent scientific conference for discussion of the detection and characterization of explosives in both security screening and forensic applications. And this year ISADE will be held jointly with TED workshop to bring…

CIC Career Talk

The Chemical Institute of Canada Toronto Section (CICTor) is launching a new initiative for career exploration and networking! The Career Exploration Series will feature informal talks presented by graduates in the chemical field who are currently working in non-traditional careers in a variety of fields. Join us for the Career Exploration Series talk on Clinical…