21 June 2019 Bulletin

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Acetamide (IUPAC: ethanamide) is an organic compound with the formula CH3CONH2. It is the simplest amide derived from acetic acid. [1] It is a colourless, deliquescent hexagonal crystal. Acetamide is odourless when pure, but frequently has a mousy odour. It is soluble in water, alcohol, chloroform, glycerol, hot benzene, and slightly soluble in ether. Acetamide is combustible and when heated to decomposition, it emits toxic fumes of oxides of nitrogen. [2]

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Sunscreen manufacturing: Demonstrating compliance with the PIC/S guide to GMP, PE009-13

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has released guidance for sunscreen manufacturers who must comply with the PIC/S Guide to Good Manufacturing Practice for Medicinal Products. In Australia, many sunscreens are regulated as therapeutic goods because of their important role addressing public health issues. As such they must comply with the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 and any other relevant regulatory requirements. Sunscreens that are regulated as therapeutic goods under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 are referred to as ‘therapeutic sunscreens’. Included in this category are:

  • primary sunscreens with SPF 4 or more
  • secondary sunscreens – except those regulated as cosmetics
  • primary or secondary sunscreens with SPF 4 or more that contain an insect repellent

sunscreens with SPF less than 4 that are exempt from being listed under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 because they come within the exemption in Item 8(g) of Schedule 5 of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990. Details on the therapeutic sunscreen regulatory framework are available at Australian Regulatory Guidelines for Sunscreens. To be listed on the ARTG, sunscreens must comply with the Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standard AS/NZS 2604:2012 Sunscreen products-Evaluation and classification.


Fungus that draws gold from its surroundings discovered in Western Australia

Fungus that draws gold from its surroundings has been discovered in Western Australia, stunning scientists who say it could signal new deposits. Found near Boddington, south of Perth, the strain of the Fusarium oxysporum fungus attaches gold to its strands by dissolving and precipitating particles from the environment. There may be a biological advantage in doing so, as the gold-coated fungus was found to grow larger and spread faster than those that don’t interact with the precious metal. “Fungi are well-known for playing an essential role in the degradation and recycling of organic material, such as leaves and bark, as well as for the cycling of other metals, including aluminium, iron, manganese and calcium,” CSIRO researcher Dr Tsing Bohu said. “But gold is so chemically inactive that this interaction is both unusual and surprising – it had to be seen to be believed.” Bohu is undertaking further analysis and modelling to understand why the fungus is interacting with gold, and whether it is an indication of a larger deposit below the surface. Australia is the world’s second-largest gold producer, and while volumes broke records last year, output is forecast to fall in the near future unless new deposits are found. Chief research scientist Dr Ravi Anand said the industry was already using gum leaves and termite mounds, which can store tiny traces of gold, to guide exploration sampling. “We want to understand if the fungus we studied … can be used in combination with these exploration tools to help industry to target prospective areas,” Anand said. Commonly found in soils around the world, the species is not something prospectors should look for as the gold particles can only be seen with a microscope.


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