Biogas: A pungent power solution

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Kirsten Grant, General Science co-editor On a dairy farm in southern Ontario, two large green silos sit beside the barn. Called anaerobic digesters, their contents smell like a mix of manure and rotting food waste. But there is more than a smelly concoction inside these oxygen-deprived tanks — microbes are at work breaking down organic […]

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Ethanol: A cocktail drink and a clean and sustainable fuel for your car

Sunitha Chari, Biology and Life Sciences co-editor While horse-drawn carriages are a quaint reminder of Victorian England, the internal combustion engine that powers our automobiles is one of the most significant inventions of the 19th century. There are approximately 34 million motor vehicles in Canada. While some are public or shared transport, it is not uncommon […]

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Visualising the invisible: Cool tools that reveal chemistry’s hidden secrets

 Chantal Mustoe, Chemistry co-editor Featuring science cartoonist Armin Mortazavi Take a moment to imagine a scientist in a chemistry lab. Perhaps they sport a white lab coat, protective glasses, and gloves. Around them, strangely shaped glassware contains different coloured liquids alternately fizzling, glowing and smoking. You hear a whoosh as the hissing gas in a […]

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It’s complicated, honey: Bees vs… bees

Kevin Van Tighem, Nature Conservancy of Canada Spring draws nigh: the season of the birds and the bees. Birdsong is a welcome gift, but where would we be without bees? Their obsessive quest for pollen and nectar keeps much of Alberta’s native flora alive. There would be fewer willows, flowers and garden crops without pollinator insects […]

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If you don’t talk to your cat about catnip, who will?

Photo by Ainslie Butler.

Ainslie Butler, Health, Medicine and Veterinary Sciences editor Is your cat a catnip user? Should you be worried about Princess Fuzzbottom’s drug use? What is catnip? It’s the common name of Nepeta cataria, a plant in the mint family that grows wild in many regions, including Canada. Domestic cats generally encounter dried catnip as a […]

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