Issues Magazine

Issues Magazine 90

An overview of what's in this edition of Issues.
Biosecurity helps us control what we let into Australia and what we keep out. Getting the balance right requires constant vigilance. Dung beetles, honeybees and biocontrol agents show us why.
In September 2008, an independent panel of experts chaired by Roger Beale provided its review of Australia’s quarantine and biosecurity arrangements to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The opening chapter of the review sets the scene.
Vast human migration, environmental disruption and trade have seen the recent emergence of many novel natural biological threats. Prevailing political, economic and ideological factors have increased the risk of unnatural microbiological events – bioterrorism.
The “converging technologies” approach – cross-disciplinary linkages with a common goal – has a role to play in Australia’s biosecurity capabilities.
The emergence of new diseases and re-emergence of known diseases is related to a complex matrix of social, economic and environmental factors. Difficulties predicting the next disease outbreak mean we need to have the skills and agility to respond to the unexpected.
Two members of a 2004 think tank look back to see how Australia has responded since this meeting to the ever-increasing risks from emerging diseases, in particular to aquaculture.
The “risk” and “results” perspectives of biosurveillance rely on maths, probability and statistics.
Plant pests and diseases are on the move, and they are not respecting national borders. CABI’s Global Plant Clinic, through its partners and community-based plant clinics, has been helping to map their global spread.
Undeterred by physical and biological control strategies, can cane toads be halted by chemical ecology?
Australian researchers are studying genetic codes to learn how insects like the lesser grain borer are developing resistance to the world’s most widely used grain fumigant – phosphine.
A number of promising ballast water treatment systems that aim to eliminate the risk of translocating harmful marine phytoplankton, zooplankton and bacteria are in various stages of national or international certification.