Mobile drug testing to reduce car accidents

Safe driving requires good judgement and sharp concentration. You also need to react quickly to changing situations on the road. Drug driving puts everyone on the road at risk. NSW research shows that the presence of illegal drugs is now involved in more fatal crashes than drink driving. Mobile Drug Testing (MDT) has been introduced to operate alongside Random Breath Testing (RBT) for alcohol by police in NSW. MDT detects drivers who have recently used three common illegal drugs: ecstasy, cannabis and speed (including ice). A test for cocaine is being planned soon because of concerns about its increasing use. The roadside tests involve a saliva test. If the initial saliva test indicates positive, then the driver must undertake a second saliva swab at a mobile drug bus or police station. http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/alcoholdrugs/drugdriving/index.html

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Energy independence at your home or office

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Rather than selling your solar power to the grid cheap and buying it back at a higher price, Redflow ZCell batteries let you store your own solar energy for when you need it. It gives you greater energy independence and keeps your lights on when grid power blacks out. Australia is the ideal place for energy storage in the home or business, with high energy costs, widespread solar panel deployment and rapidly disappearing government solar feed-in tariffs, and this tech was developed in Australia. www.redflow.com

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A drug embedded with a digital tracker

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first drug in the country that is embedded with a digital ingestion tracking system. Abilify MyCite features an ingestible sensor that records the fact the medication has been consumed. The pill has been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, and for depression in adults. https://www.springwise.com/fda-approves-first-drug-embedded-digital-tracker/

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An off-road wheelchair

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The HexHog is an off-road wheelchair offering unprecedented access to extreme terrain including hills, mud, snow and shallow water. This battery powered machine offers the freedom to go places you wouldn’t have dreamed possible. It allows wheelchair users or those with limited dexterity to enjoy the countryside and back country wilderness. www.hexhog.com

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Rebuilding lives through jobs

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The Mile High WorkShop in Denver, Colorado is an employment and job training program for those facing barriers to work through the manufacturing and production of handmade goods. It provides contract manufacturing services in cut & sew, woodworking, laser etching/cutting, handmade assembly, and packaging/fulfillment services, in order to employ men and women rebuilding their lives from homelessness, addictions, and incarceration. https://www.milehighworkshop.org/

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A bin than cleans the sea

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Seabin is an Australian invention. It’s a floating debris interception device designed to be installed in the water of marinas, yacht clubs, ports and any water body with a calm environment and services available.  It’s installed in a specific “debris problem area” in the marina on a floating dock and the wind and the currents bring the debris directly to the Seabin. The catch bag can hold up to 12Kgs of debris. Trials of these Seabins are being conducted around the world, most recently in the UK at Portsmouth Harbour. https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/11/seabin-portsmouth-harbour/

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A VR exhibit that helps you see what it’s like to be a refugee.

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Forced From Home is a free, interactive, outdoor educational exhibition presented by Doctors Without Borders in the US to raise public awareness about the experience of the world’s more than 65 million refugees and internally displaced people. With an experienced aid worker as your guide, you can learn about the many challenges people on the move encounter and the work Doctors Without Borders does to address their basic medical needs. Using a combination of 360-degree video and virtual reality Forced from Home involves you in the journey of a refugee, from their life in their home country, through the route they travel and obstacles they face along it. http://www.forcedfromhome.com/

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Winning the war on drugs by treating it as a health issue

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Portugal decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001. Possession and use of small quantities of these drugs was treated as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal but now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program — not jail time and a criminal record. Drug-induced deaths have decreased steeply since then. Portugal’s drug mortality rate is now the lowest in Western Europe — one-tenth the rate of Britain or Denmark, and about one-fiftieth the latest number for the U.S. https://mic.com/articles/110344/14-years-after-portugal-decriminalized-all-drugs-here-s-what-s-happening

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Gene editing could revolutionize IVF

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Genetic modification of a human embryo has led to a breakthrough that could transform our understanding of human biology. For the first time, researchers used a genome-editing technique to remove a gene from an embryo in an early stage of its development. This could revolutionise IVF, helping couples with fertility problems have children and also lead to advances in regenerative medicine. This involves using stem cells, which can form any kind of tissue, to replace missing structures in the body or repair damage. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/gene-editing-breakthrough-could-transform-understanding-of-human-biology-say-scientists?

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A new way to diagnose and treat disease

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The effectiveness of smart pills, biosensors and drug-delivery systems depends on the surrounding tissue inside the body. To overcome this, researchers from Cal Tech have created a mini wireless chip that can vary its output frequency in relation to a local magnetic field, enabling a precise location to be determined. In addition to one day measuring factors such as pH, blood sugar, and temperature inside the body, developments like this should enable massive improvements in our ability to diagnose and treat disease as well as possibilities for life extension. http://www.kurzweilai.net/miniature-mri-simulator-chip-could-help-diagnose-and-treat-diseases-in-the-body-at-sub-millimeter-precision?

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Art classes make medical students better clinical observers

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Penn-CHOP researchers have found that students who took a course in art observation significantly improved their clinical observation and professional development skills. The art sessions were taught by professional art educators using the “Artful Thinking” teaching approach, which emphasizes introspection and observation before interpretation. In a post-study questionnaire, students who received the art training indicated that they had already begun to apply the skills used in the course in clinically meaningful ways as first-year medical students. Following the success of the study, The Perelman School of Medicine will be offering this Philadelphia Museum of Art course to first-year medical students during the 2017 fall semester. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/uops-acc090617.php

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