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By Ian D. Rae

A century ago, amongst military conflict and political change, chemistry in Australia and around the world was making its mark.

It's almost impossible to pick up a scientific publication at the moment without reading something about graphene or one of its carbon cousins, including nanotubes and buckyballs. Graphene itself is simply an individual layer of the common mineral graphite – the black material in pencil lead – pure carbon atoms bonded together in an ultrastrong hexagonal pattern.

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Chemists tie tightest-ever knot

By University of Manchester

Self-assembly around metal ions

Scientists at the University of Manchester have produced the most tightly knotted physical structure ever known – a scientific achievement that has the potential to create a new generation of advanced materials.

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Scientist employment and remuneration: 2016 survey results

By Professionals Australia

Science employment

The Professional Scientists Employment and Remuneration Survey is an annual snapshot of remuneration including base salary and other benefits across sectors, responsibility levels, years of experience, job functions, industries and branches of science.

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Also in this issue...

Drug detection on the road

Despite numerous studies, our standards of evidence for drugs in relation to driver impairment still fall behind those for alcohol and fatigue.


Choose your chemistry at the Centenary Congress

Early bird registration for the Centenary Congress closes on 23 April, so here’s a taste of what each event has to offer.


Fool’s gold and the ascent of man

Ancient samples of pyrite, or fool’s gold, have revealed the role of plate tectonics in bursts of evolution and mass extinction events. Did humans ultimately originate from mega-mountains?


Teabags as a climate change tool

A group of scientists from Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab has launched a project that will use Lipton teabags as a tool to measure how well global wetlands are storing carbon.


Previous issue

By Rico Tabor

Some clever chemistry is employing magnetism and a light-sensitive soap to turn simple graphene into a super-material with applications in water purification and electronic devices.

It’s almost impossible to pick up a scientific publication at the moment without reading something about graphene or one of its carbon cousins, including nanotubes and buckyballs. Graphene itself is simply an individual layer of the common mineral graphite – the black material in pencil lead – pure carbon atoms bonded together in an ultrastrong hexagonal pattern.

Read more

What makes influential science? Telling a good story

By University of Washington

Appeal of narrative style

In a study published in the journal PLOS ONE (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167983), researchers from the University of Washington looked at the abstracts from more than 700 scientific papers about climate change to find out what makes a paper influential in its field. But instead of focusing on content, they looked at writing style, which is normally more the province of humanities professors than of scientists.

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Hydrogen: fuel of the (far-distant) future?

By Duncan Seddon

Chemical economics

In the community and politics, there is a tendency to conflate technically demonstrated projects with economically viable projects. Many technologies can be technically demonstrated, especially if money is no object, but they will always remain not commercially viable. The hydrogen economy is a good example.

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Also in this issue...

Names and symbols for four newly discovered elements

On 28 November 2016, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) approved the names and symbols for four elements. Following a five-month period of public review, the names earlier proposed by the discoverers have been approved by the IUPAC Bureau.


‘Science meets business’ at the Centenary Congress

Dave Sammut speaks with Sharon Todd, SCI’s Executive Director, about the organisation, its activities and its plans to participate in the 2017 Congress.


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