Researchers advise pregnant women to limit exposure to receipts and plastic

Team led by Deborah Kurrasch has shown bisphenol A and S can alter brain development in zebrafish.

Team led by Deborah Kurrasch has shown bisphenol A and S can alter brain development in zebrafish.

Pregnant women are being warned to avoid reaching for credit card and cash register receipts as the ubiquitous bits of paper are increasingly seen as a threat to unborn children.
The receipts can contain the toxin bisphenol A and its chemical cousin bisphenol S, chemicals that a new study shows can alter brain development and behaviour in animals exposed to extremely low doses.

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Pills of pooh fight off C. difficile infection

Published, October 3, 2013
Dr. Thomas Louie and his pills of pooh. ~ Postmedia News photo

Dr. Tom Louie and his pills of pooh.
~ Postmedia News photo

Dr. Thomas Louie used to whip up fecal transplants in blenders. He now has a more palatable approach: pills you pop in the mouth and swallow.

The capsules — custom-made for each patient — are packed with microbes harvested from fresh, human feces.

After about 90 minutes in transit, the pills release their living cargo into a patient’s intestine, where the microbes start to multiple and restore the gut ecosystem.

“It’s totally un-invasive,” says Louie, an infectious diseases expert at Calgary’s Peter Lougheed Hospital, who invented the capsules to treat stubborn infections caused by C. difficile, a bacterium that can trigger relentless and life-threatening diarrhea.

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Aiming for round-the-clock renewable energy

"Tiny

Tiny gas bubbles turn water white in  a small electrolyzer at the University of Calgary as catalysts split water into oxygen and hydrogen, a potent form of energyPhoto ~ Rodney Smith, University of Calgary

Tiny gas bubbles turn the  water white in a small electrolyzer at the University of Calgary as catalysts split H2O into oxygen and hydrogen, a potent form of energy
Photo ~ Rodney Smith, University of Calgary

Published 23/03/13 – If you’d like to unplug from the grid, Curtis Berlinguette and his colleagues could have the machine for you.

The University of Calgary chemists are working on a “FireWater” fuel device, about half the size of a fridge, to deliver renewable, carbon-free electricity around the clock.

While it will be at least a couple of years before FireWater is energizing houses near you, the scientists’ patented new process is being held up as a “game changer” for renewable energy. Continue reading