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Charcoal is one of the most important substances ever discovered
It’s a killer. It’s a saviour. It’s also a trickster. It’s one of the most important substances ever discovered. It’s charcoal! Burn any animal or vegetable matter with a limited supply of air, as is the case inside a wood pile, and you are left with charcoal, 


Food Babe Lesson #2
I’m not sure my chemistry lesson for the Food Babe got through to her but many of you said that I should keep up the effort to teach her some science. Others said that it was like trying to teach an ant to crawl up a Teflon wall. Let’s give it another shot.

Citrus Greening
You have probably never heard of the Asian citrus psyllid. But this insect, no bigger than the head of a pin, could be the reason that within a couple of years you will not be drinking orange juice or eating oranges from the U.S.

Food Babe Lesson #1
I think instead of criticizing the Food Babe on a regular basis, which could easily become a second career, it is time to take a different approach. Maybe we can be pro-active here and attempt to teach her some of the chemistry she so sorely lacks.

Food Babe Lesson #3
In our continuing, but extremely challenging effort to educate the Food Babe on science, let us pick on a grapefruit. “A chance finding of our study on ethanol-drug interactions was that citrus fruit juices may greatly augment the bioavailability of some drugs.”

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The 2015 Trottier Public Science Symposium videos are available here:

Symposium, Day 1 (Drs. Brian Ward and Paul Offit)
Symposium, Day 2 (Drs. Geoffrey Kabat and Kevin Folta)

All events took place over two days at McGill's Faculty Club and the Centre Mont Royal. Please visit the symposium homepage for more details on the symposium.

Latest from the OSS:

Hazard and Risk
If you watched the news, read newspapers or surfed the web recently you will have been inundated with pictures of bacon and headlines describing it as carcinogenic. That’s because the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified processed meats as being carcinogenic, placing them in the same category as tobacco smoke, asbestos, oral contraceptives, alcohol, sunshine, X-rays, polluted air, and inhaled sand. Read More.

Chemistry Lesson for Food Babe #5
Just about everyone now knows something about DNA ( with some obvious notable exceptions). The term “template of life” has been repeatedly used in the press to describe this molecule. That is quite accurate because DNA is like a library of information which tells our cells which proteins to synthesize. Read More.

Food Babe lesson #4 
Rottine applease release ethylene gas,  which is a natural hormone produced by fruits to stimulate ripening. A rotten apple is just an overly ripe apple, producing enough ethylene to "ripen" the rest of the apples in the barrel.  Read More. 

Cleaning the air with jeans
You may want them in your jeans, but you probably want to keep them away from your genes. They’re “nano” particles of titanium dioxide, about ten billionths of a meter in diameter that can exhibit beneficial properties not possessed by their larger cousins, but they may also have a darker side. Read More.


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Did You Know?

Polar bears can run as fast as 40 kilometers per hour—but only for short distances. Younger, leaner bears are the best runners and are able to cover two kilometers without stopping. Older and larger bears, on the other hand, quickly overheat. This overheating phenomenon is very commin in polar bears, as they expend more than twice the energy of most other mammals when walking or running—showing higher than average increases in temperature and oxygen consumption

For more interesting facts, please make sure to check out our "Did You Know?" section.