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By Madeleine Schultz

Pedagogical content knowledge from teachers and academics has been captured and coded to create a new resource for chemistry education.

Classroom teaching practice is a personal skill that develops with experience and through reflection. Teacher behaviour involves responding to a specific group of students in a particular class and so is impossible to completely plan in advance. However, steps towards the development of more effective teaching methods are possible even with limited time and resources.

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Drones, droids and robots

By Ian A. Maxwell

Technology & innovation

The Australian Government’s ‘National Innovation and Science Agenda’ is hosting the schools theme of ‘Drones, Droids and Robots’ as part of National Science Week this month. The aim of this theme is to ‘embrace [in schools] … real-world application of autonomous technologies in areas including agriculture, mining, manufacturing, medicine and space and deep ocean exploration’.

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Milestone in solar cell efficiency

By Wilson da Silva

New world record set

A new solar cell configuration developed by engineers at the University of New South Wales has pushed sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency to 34.5% – establishing a new world record for unfocused sunlight and nudging closer to the theoretical limits for such a device.

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Also in this issue...

Expressing a passion for chemistry and crystals

Four PhD students at the University of Warwick are exploring the creative side of crystal research.

Cobalt blues

Alongside inspiring stories in elite sport are those centred on the use of banned substances such as cobalt.

Successful pilot method for chemical risk data

US federal government researchers have successfully pilot tested a new method to more quickly and cheaply collect data that can help define the potential cancer and other human health risks for more than 80 000 chemicals now in commerce and the environment.

Chardonnay or anything but

Chardonnay is an amazing grape cultivar that seems to thrive in most wine-growing regions throughout the world. In Australia, the success of Chardonnay was the driving force for our export markets to the UK and Europe. Our ability in Australia to blend across regions and to use oak and especially oak chips when they were not approved for use in Europe gave rise to wines that were seen by consumers as consistent in style and full of flavour.

Previous issue

By Brittany Howard

Cultural change is at the core of the new National Innovation and Science Agenda, say its proponents.

Australia has a science and innovation problem. By now, most of us are aware of the bleak statistics – Australia is ranked ninth in the Global Innovation Index in respect of the calibre of its science institutions, yet 72nd for innovation efficiency. So why do we continue to have such trouble traversing the gap between scientific research and innovation?

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Thirty years in the life of Chernobyl caesium

By Sally Woollett

30th anniversary of Chernobyl disaster

Early on 28 April 1986, alarms sounded as an employee of the Forsmark nuclear power plant in Sweden set off a radiation detector on his way back from the bathroom. Radioactive particles on his shoes were soon identified as being Soviet (

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Improving the safety and efficacy of ‘last resort’ antibiotics

By Kade Roberts

Technology & innovation

The emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) gram-negative pathogens is now a major global health issue, a problem that is further compounded by the lack of development of new antibiotics.

Gram-negative bacteria, particularly Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae, are spread worldwide in virtually all environments that support life. These opportunistic pathogens have a range of serious consequences for infected patients, including secondary meningitis, respiratory problems and ventilator-associated pneumonia.

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Also in this issue...

Flavours, fragrances and force fields

Computational methods that analyse how drugs interact with protein targets are also effective for flavour and fragrance molecules.

Prime numbers: 41 years of EMDG

The Export Market Development Grant is helping take Australian innovation to the world.

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