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Archive for June, 2009

Nyholm Youth Lecture comes to UNE

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

The Nyholm Youth Lecture is an annual event, supported by the NSW Branch of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, and has the aim of ‘bring chemistry to life’ for year 10 high school students. This years lecture is titled ‘Chemical are good for you’ and will be presented by Dr Peter Rutledge of the University of Sydney. Much of the lecture will directly address aspects of the science curriculum and includes practical demonstrations. The lecture will be given at 2pm on Wednesday July 1 in the Lewis Lecture Theatre. A small fee of $2 per student is required to cover the costs of chemicals. For further inquires please contact Dr Peter Lye (02) 6773 3018 or

HSC Students come to UNE for a Boost!

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

UNE hosted over 250 HSC students from Armidale and regional high schools over two days, June 15 and 16, to participate in HSC review activities in the key areas of chemistry, physics, biology and Mathematics. UNE Chemistry presented 5 sessions over the two days with the focus on sulfate analysis of lawn fertilizers and heavy metal, lead, analysis of paint using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. UNE Chemistry with the help of O’Connor Catholic College Chemistry Teacher Regina Menz also ran the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Titration Competition. This years competition saw a record number of teams participating. The overall winning team was from The Armidale School, congratulations to TAS all those that particpated!

Collaboration yields high-profile paper

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

A recent collaboration between University of New England’s Professor Steve Glover and Prof Mike Novak at Miami University in the US recently implicated highly unusual reactive intermediates, called aryloxenium ions, in the anticancer activity of a new type of antitumour drug. The drug (a 4-(benzothiazol-2-yl)-substituted quinol ester II) has demonstrated strong activity against a range human colon and breast cancer cell lines. Experimental detection and trapping of the ions at Miami University has been supported by quantum mechanical computations carried out at University of New England and which accurately predicted the structure and reactivity of the 4-(benzothiazol-2-yl)phenyl oxenium ion I . oxeniumion2

Their research has shown that the ions may well be formed from the drug under physiological conditions and could be the responsible for their anticancer activity. Similar aryloxenium ions were first generated chemically by Professor Novak and modelled computationally by Steve Glover, while Mike Novak was on sabbatical at UNE in 2003. Since then the collaboration has produced six publications in J.A.C.S. and J. Org. Chem., high impact journals of the American Chemical Society, as well as a theoretical paper in the Canadian Journal of Chemistry. The latest work will be published in the ACS Journal of Organic Chemistry as a special Feature Article in recognition of quality and importance of the work.