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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A 10 sec check for cancer

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Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin have developed a pen called the “MacSpec pen” that can screen and analyze tissue samples for cancer in just 10 seconds when the process usually takes weeks. The pen, which looks like a white permanent marker with a cord down its back, is made with a 3D-printed surgical-ready plastic tip and uses water instead of gases and other harming solvents. The tool works by releasing a small water droplet onto a tissue sample and sucking the water, with some residual tissue, into a mass spectrometer to analyze the tissue samples in real time. With 93 percent accuracy, the researchers identified lung, ovary, thyroid and breast cancers using both mice and human tissue samples. https://www.google.com.au/amp/newatlas.com/macspec-pen-cancer-healthy-tissue/51238/%3famp=true

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New cancer treatment- gene therapies

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Scientists are researching ways of deactivating or repairing faulty DNA within people’s bodies, another pathway that could lead to breakthrough cures. Specialists take a patient’s immune cells and reprogram them with a new gene that instructs them to detect and kill specific cancer cells. They then inject those reprogrammed cells back into patients’ bodies, where they go to work destroying deadly malignancies. In a clinical trial, 83 percent of patients saw remission within three months. This technique is one of several classified as “gene therapies.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-new-cancer-drug-may-be-the-first-in-a-line-of-revolutionary-treatments/2017/09/10/d1526d92-8e82-11e7-8df5-c2e5cf46c1e2_story.html?

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AR to help you adjust to driverless cars

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With fully driverless cars expected to be available to regular consumers by 2025, augmented reality (AR) will play an important social role by helping you adjust to the new reality. You will have to learn to trust driverless cars. You’ll want to know what is happening in the car: why it chooses the specific lane, which cars are around, how busy one or another road is, how the route is being calculated. AR is a natural way to visualize the decision processes in the car so you feel safer and more comfortable. Automotive AR  could use a combiner glass with a holographic film on it, which works as a lens and reflects only certain wavelengths. You will be able to look through the combiner glass in front of the windshield and see the projected video or interactive interface. https://venturebeat.com/2017/08/23/ar-will-drive-the-evolution-of-automated-cars/

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