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Macleans

More Calcium Needed

An old wives’ tale reminded Mary Oordt that calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. "There’s a saying that for every baby, you lose a tooth," recalls the managing editor of Lethbridge Living magazine, who began to supplement her diet when she was pregnant.

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Chemistry

Chemistry, the science concerned primarily with the structure and properties of matter and with the transformation of one form of matter into another. Now one of the most theoretically and methodologically sophisticated sciences, chemistry had its beginnings in medieval alchemy.

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Chemistry Subdisciplines

Early chemistry was principally analytical in nature; only as the body of experimental data increased did the present-day specialities evolve. The principal chemical subdisciplines are analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.

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Biochemistry

Biochemistry, encompasses the study of the chemical nature of living material and of the chemical transformations that occur within it.

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Uranium

Uranium oxide was first identified in 1789 by M.H. Klaproth in the MINERAL pitchblende, but its distinctive property of radioactivity was discovered much later (1896) by Henri Becquerel.

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Food Additives

Consumers normally consider that the term "food additive" refers to almost all substances, primarily chemical in nature, added to foods during production, manufacture, packaging or storage.

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Lighting

From earliest times it has been recognized that artificial light prolongs daytime activities. Relaxation and social interaction necessarily occurred after the day's work was done; therefore, indoor lighting has always had a special association with this aspect of living.

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Molybdenum

Molybdenum (Mo) is a silver-grey metallic element with an unusually high melting point (2610°C). It is an important alloying element in iron, steels and specialty alloys and is used frequently in combination with other ferrous additives.

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Petrochemical Industry

The petrochemical industry, which produces chemicals using OIL AND NATURAL GAS as major raw materials, occupies an important position in Canada's MANUFACTURING and consuming sectors. Oil and natural gas are composed primarily of hydrocarbons. Most petrochemicals contain hydrogen or carbon or both.

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Nobel Prizes and Canada

The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually for achievements that have significantly benefitted humankind. The prizes are among the highest international honours and are awarded in six categories: physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace, and economics. They are administered by the Nobel Foundation and awarded by institutions in Sweden and Norway. Eighteen Canadians have won Nobel Prizes, excluding Canadian-born individuals who gave up their citizenship and members of organizations that have won the peace prize.

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Salt

Sodium chloride (NaCl), or common salt, is ubiquitous in the environment. In its solid form, salt crystallizes as colourless cubes and is called rock salt. Salt is also known to geologists as halite. Its crystal structure was the first to be determined by X-rays.

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Radium

Radium (Ra) is a rare radioactive metal found with naturally occurring URANIUM (about 1 part radium to 3 million parts uranium). It was discovered in 1898 by Pierre and Marie Curie and G.

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Tungsten

Tungsten (W), also called Wolfram, lapis ponderosus or Heavy Stone, is a silver-grey metallic element with the highest melting point of any metal (3410° C). Tungsten has a high density, high strength at elevated temperatures and extreme hardness.

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Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy is the field of study that examines, measures and interprets the electromagnetic spectra produced when radiant energy is emitted or absorbed by a substance. Spectroscopic methods are important in performing chemical analyses of substances and are used in astronomical studies.

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Titanium

Titanium (Ti) is a metallic element estimated to form about 0.5% of the rocks of the Canadian SHIELD. Titanium minerals of commercial importance include the dioxides rutile and anatase, which are polymorphs of TiO2 and ilmenite (FeO.TiO2), a mineral that contains 52.7% TiO2.

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Tantalum

Tantalum (Ta) is a grey, heavy, very hard metal with a high melting point (2996°C). When pure, it is ductile and can be easily fabricated. Tantalum has good rectifying properties (ie, converts alternating to direct current) and dielectric properties (ie, does not conduct direct current).

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Platinum

Platinum (Pt) is the best known of the 6 greyish-white, metallic, platinum group elements, which also include palladium (Pd), iridium (Ir), rhodium (Rh), osmium (Os) and ruthenium (Ru). Platinum and palladium are more commonly used than the other elements in the group.

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Spodumene

Spodumene is a lithium aluminum silicate (8.0% Li2O, 27.4% Al2O3, 64.6%SiO2) and is the world's most common commercially mined lithium ore mineral. Petalite, lepidolite and amblygonite are also mined in different parts of the world.