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chemistry

This category contains 42 posts

Forests, water quality, and climate change

I know that nature provides great water filtration. I’ve read studies and reports about how restoring wetlands improves water quality and can cost less than building a water filtration plant to produce the same results. I haven’t considered how much filtration forests do before. It makes perfect sense though. Any time you have water moving … Continue reading

Turns out my anaesthesia sensitivity makes me better for climate change

I don’t deal well with general anaesthetic. And unfortunately, I’ve had enough opportunity to experience it that I know what alternatives work best for me. It turns out, at least in the hospitals where I’ve had surgery, that they put you to sleep with intravenous anaesthesia but then switch you onto gas. I know this … Continue reading

What does the label actually mean?

Anyone else confused by the stamps on different types of plastics? You know the ones that look like a recycling symbol with a number inside? What about the idea that a plastic is biodegradable but only under certain conditions? Or perhaps which ones are going to breakdown into microplastics? I work into sustainability and about … Continue reading

Trees store air pollutants

I’ve written before about the role of urban trees. They contribute to a number of positive outcomes. A newer area of research is whether the trees actually absorb air pollutants. Klingborn et al (2022) examined the levels of a specific type of pollutant in both deciduous (leafy) trees and coniferous (cone bearing) trees. They found … Continue reading

Curiosity didn’t kill the cat

Saving the Metals From Batteries

Batteries are incredibly useful technologies and key to many sustainable technologies. Unfortunately, the chemicals in batteries pose a huge environmental problem themselves. But a new study by Xiao et al (2021) may have a solution or at least an improvement over the current situation. Ultrasound is a relatively common imaging technology. It uses sound waves … Continue reading

Nanoparticles for nano-potholes?

I live in a winter city. Potholes are a reality on our roads, splits on our sidewalks, and cracks in our foundations. The number of construction stories here that include some version of “they had to replace the materials because they warped or broke in the extreme cold” is plentiful. But the thing is, these … Continue reading

What’s in a (female’s) title?

The old John Cleese show Fawlty Towers had an episode that has always stuck in my mind. A couple is checking into the hotel and Cleese’s character Basil becomes ever more confused because the couple challenge his patriarchal views of the world. You see, both the husband and wife are doctors and therefore check-in as … Continue reading

Cortisol and Anxiety

Somebody asked me about the relationship between hormones and anxiety so I did some research and found some really interesting information about cortisol and anxiety. Rather than focus on a particular study I’m going to just go through some of the more interesting connections. Cortisol is a long-term (more than 3 minutes) stress hormone that … Continue reading

Turkey, seratonin, and uncertainty

We just had Canadian Thanksgiving here and aside from my growing discomfort with colonial history it is a good time to recognize the many things that I’m grateful for. It is also as good a time to find the science in the everyday. Turkey is of course connected to the turkey stupor, which it turns … Continue reading

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