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Vol. 31 No. 1
January-February 2009

From the Editor

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue . . . that recipe is for something else, yet it applies surprisingly well to the contents of this issue of Chemistry International.

image of Fabienne MeyersSomething old would be the description of IUPAC’s position with regard to the periodic table. The feature article by Jeffery Leigh (page 4 in print) reminds the reader that “IUPAC’s primary concern is with unequivocal and unambiguous communication,” and in the context of a periodic table format, IUPAC’s recommendation is only for the groups numbering from 1 to 18, and no more. Leigh demonstrates that one table does not fit all uses, and the periodic table as we know it today is an icon often wrongly associated with IUPAC.

Something new would be the focus of Steve Heller and Alan McNaught’s article (page 7 in print) on InChI, known as “in-chee.” The IUPAC International Chemical Identifier (InChI) continues to be developed and is becoming more widely used throughout the chemistry community. In striking contrast to the traditional nomenclature for which IUPAC is well known, InChI constitutes a contemporary tool that renders computer algorithms efficient at searching molecular representations.

Something borrowed would be the feature by Gábor Magyarfalvi (page 10 in print) reporting on the 2008 International Chemistry Olympiad held in Hungary in July 2008. It is “borrowed” in the sense that the Olympiad continues to build on its success in generating enthusiasm among new generations of chemists, and that endeavor is applauded by IUPAC. IUPAC is proud to support the Olympiad, particularly by facilitating the participation of students from economically disadvantaged countries. Magyarfalvi, a former medalist at the 1989 Olympiad, takes the reader on a tour of what was a pretty exciting ’08 event. In 2009, it will take place in the U.K.

Something blue—a symbol of hope—in this case would be the plethora of new applications engendered by nanotechnologies. In their article, Hilda Coulsey and Alan Smith (page 13 in print) review the impact nanotech is having on drug development and consumer healthcare products.

So, here they are, the four items of a good-luck token. With that, I simply wish you all the best for 2009.

Fabienne Meyers
fabienne@iupac.org

 

Cover photo: The periodic table is a familiar icon present in science classrooms around the world. IUPAC’s only recommendation concerning the periodic table stipulates the Group numbering of 1 to 18.


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