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FROM CHICKEN FEATHERS TO BIOPLASTICS

I am involved with an Australian Research Scientist who has found ways of using Chicken feathers to make plastics for a wide range of industries including : Mining – Construction – Automotive – Packaging – Cosmetics – Textiles and many more. The protein constituting the Chicken Feathers is KERATIN, that produces very strong and very light materials. Turning Chicken Feathers, being a waste, into usable materials, will be a First ! For more information:  michael@sinclairimportexport.com

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Making tram power lines disappear

The thick “spiderweb” of overhead cables needed to keep electrified light rail on the move is ugly, costly to maintain and requires a complex network of infrastructure and sub-stations. Now though, there’s a new development that could do away with overhead power lines and move everything safely onboard the tram. Supercapacitors are milk carton size devices that can store large amounts of energy, release it in fast bursts, and then recharge rapidly. It means a tram could arrive at a stop, be charged up with megawatts of power in a minute, then continue on its way. All without the need for overhead power lines. The CSIRO is working on a range of supercapacitor projects to do this with the Australian Government’s Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre and the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation https://blog.csiro.au/supercapacitor-magic-making-tram-power-lines-disappear/

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Personalised gifts while you wait

I first discovered this shop in Venice a few years ago and bought a personalised apron for our daughter. She recently discovered one in Syracuse Sicily. I’m now in Florence and there’s one here near the Duomo. Surprising that there are not more around the world. A machinist sits at the window and embroiders any name that you like on their items. www.ricamiveronicaroma.it

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Minimalist products focused on wellness

Brandless, the online retailer dedicated to minimalist and affordable products, is now expanding into the billion-dollar clean beauty market. It became popular last year when it cut out hidden middleman markups for home supplies. It found success in non-perishables and household cleaning products, and now it wants to bring that transparency to wellness-inspired personal care products. www.fastcompany.com/40586488/brandless-takes-on-the-ever-growing-clean-beauty-industry

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3D printed organs allow surgical pre-planning

A British hospital was the first in the word to use 3D printing to pre-plan a complicated transplantation of an adult kidney into a small child. Doctors scanned the father’s kidney and his son’s abdomen and 3D printed both so that surgeons could find out if the transplant was even possible, and then work out the best way to insert the organ. In similar cases where surgeons are worried that transplant organs will not fit, subjects need to be be placed under anaesthesia so that a surgical exploration can be carried out to determine feasibility. But with 3D printed models of the patient, the need for surgical exploration can be reduced because pre-planning can happen before the patient is on the operating table. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/05/17/surgeons-use-3d-printing-check-dads-kidney-would-fit-sons-abdomen/

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A robot fish that could revolutionise how we view the ocean

A team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has developed a soft robotic fish that can independently swim alongside real fish in the ocean and take high-resolution photos and videos. It’s the first robotic fish that can swim untethered in three dimensions for extended periods of time. A robot like this can help explore a reef more closely than current robots. It has the potential to be a new type of tool for ocean exploration and to open up new avenues for uncovering the mysteries of marine life.” http://news.mit.edu/2018/soft-robotic-fish-swims-alongside-real-ones-coral-reefs-0321

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A 10 year vision for retail

Westfield global shopping centre group has presented its vision for the future of retail as Destination 2028. It describes the future mall as a “hyper-connected micro-city” which will go way beyond shopping to incorporate wellness enhancement and community involvement. It offers interior features such as sensory gardens and waterways, as well as spaces for wellness workshops, walkways with AI, magic mirrors, drones to deliver parcels and even toilets that can diagnose hydration and vitamin levels. The concept was developed after internal research highlighted consumers’ growing interest in health and wellness.. www.jwtintelligence.com/2018/06/enlightening-retail/

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An installation that protects a national treasure

A special technical installation, a sort of “artificial lung”, is at the entrance to the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy. The Chapel is a masterpiece in the history of painting in Italy and Europe in the 14th century. The special air-conditioned environment in the installation both purifies the air inside the Chapel and monitors its atmosphere continuously, in order to protect unique frescoes, some of the most important of all time. Groups of maximum 25 people wait at the door to the air-conditioned waiting-room to the chapel for 15 minutes, the time needed to stabilise the interior microclimate. They then enter the Chapel for another 15 minutes. Visits last a total of about 30 minutes. Automatic access doors open only once on entrance and exit, to allow stabilisation of the interior microclimate. http://www.cappelladegliscrovegni.it

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Trading comfort for efficiency

Melbourne trains should be reconfigured to align more closely to trains running in cities like New York and Hong Kong that cater for significantly higher volumes of commuters each day. By removing the five seats placed across the width of each carriage and replacing them with bench-like seats against the internal sides, additional space will be freed-up in the middle where handrails could be installed. This would enable more people to travel on each train; speed-up on-boarding and exiting time; improve adherence to schedules; and support the efficiency of the entire rail network.

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