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By John Lewis

An international convention for managing ships’ ballast water to prevent the arrival of invasive marine species is about to come into force.

The diversity of marine ecosystems evolved, not just by the physico-chemical characteristics of regional water bodies, but also by the biogeographic isolation of coasts by oceans and seas. From the time mariners first set to sea, their vessels became a vector for the global distribution of species, both intentionally, for example food crops and domestic animals, and accidentally, for example terrestrial weeds and rodents.

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The chemistry of everything

By Jeremy Just

Chemistry for fun

As a scientist primarily interested in the chemical and biological sciences, I find it hard to go outside and not be reminded of the sheer beauty and complexity of the natural world. Studying and understanding just a small fraction of its chemical processes gives me sheer and humbling joy.

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US Chemical Safety Board faces uncertain future

By American Chemical Society

US budget proposal to abolish independent body

Under US President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget, the world’s only independent body dedicated to investigating chemical-related industrial accidents would be abolished.

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Also in this issue...

Getting a reaction: 100 ways to reach out

Dave Sammut was thrilled to share a set with two of his science heroes while filming experiments for the RACI Centenary project 100 Reactions in 100 Days.


Phytochemistry of Australian plants: a new database

The creators of a new phytochemical database describe its development and their continued efforts to cover the many thousands of Australian plant species.


Environmental change could be damaging some of the world’s most precious archaeology

Star Carr in North Yorkshire is perhaps the most important archaeological site in the UK relating to the Mesolithic period from the end of the last ice age. Archaeologists have discovered unique organic artefacts at Star Carr that are over 10 000 years old.


Post-harvest vineyard activity

After the grape harvest each year, winemakers move their focus from the vineyard to the successful completion of fermentations as well as preparing wine for ageing or bottling. For the viticulturist, management of the vines continues for some time post-harvest at least until leaf fall or senescence. One of the critical issues in this post-harvest period is the build-up of reserves in the vines for the next growing season.


Previous issue

By Trevor McAllister

Trevor McAllister leads the way between some of Melbourne CBD’s great buildings.

If you’re a congress participant from out of town, then welcome to Melbourne! Please forget the tourist slogans ‘Marvellous Melbourne’, coined by a visiting English journalist in the 1880s, and ‘The world’s most liveable city’, a trite assessment by the business travellers of the Economist. Come with me, instead, on a personalised journey through a select part of the city where I have lived for 48 years.

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RACI Centenary Congress: an opportunity to celebrate

By Mark Buntine

Guest editorial

Founded in 1917, the RACI is the oldest scientific or technical professional society in Australia. This month we are hosting one of the most exciting activities as part of the Institute’s celebration of our first 100 years – the RACI Centenary Congress.

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Don’t relax drug approval process, experts warn

By University of Sydney

Comment on FDA regulatory system

Experts are warning that moves to deregulate the US drug approval process could see a flood of unproven and even harmful new drugs enter the market that could threaten human health.

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Also in this issue...

Would you publish in a ‘Chemsitry’ journal and who is Stefania?

What do you think when you receive an exhortation to publish in ‘an academic, online peer-reviewed journal’ that has the stated objective ‘to publish quality research that undergoes a thorough scrutiny process’? But their thorough scrutiny does not extend to spelling ‘chemistry’ correctly! Not much, I imagine.


RACI’s first 100 years: an inspiring chemical history

To celebrate his 50th year as an RACI member and the Institute’s centenary, Andrew Holmes reflects on some great Australian chemistry over the past century.


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