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The world’s first commercial rock lobster hatchery

A new partnership with the University of Tasmania is planning to commercialise rock lobster production research and establish the world’s first hatchery for rock lobsters. Despite the high value of rock lobsters the long and complex lifecycle has made it impossible before now to produce the species in a commercially scalable hatchery. Australian companies are being offered the opportunity to collaborate with the University of Tasmania to scale-up and commercialise its innovative rock lobster aquaculture systems and related technologies.. http://www.imas.utas.edu.au/news/news-items/world-leading-aquaculture-breakthrough-to-transform-lobster-production

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A museum film experience

Il Cinema Ritrovato acts as a time machine, exploring three centuries of cinema, from the end of the 1800s to the start of the twenty-first century. You can discover never-before-seen works and rediscover those you’ve loved before with the screening of the best copies, newly restored, and with ideal projection conditions. The film festival has been held over 9 days in June for the past 14 years in Bologna.

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Train and attraction tickets offered without queuing

We have been on holiday for the past month in Tuscany. Apart from the wonderful attractions, food and wine, we’ve been very impressed with help we’ve received to buy tickets so we could avoid queues. Here you see an attendant who offered to arrange our train tickets to Milano when we reached the station including printing them out for us on the spot. Similarly outside the Duomo in Florence an attendant arranged our tickets. Nothing was charged for the extra service. This made our trip less stressful and more enjoyable.

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3D optical scanning to restore a masterpiece

Optical scanning has been applied to generate a complete 3D model of the famous unfinished Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo da Vinci (Uffizi Gallery, Florence). Application of 3D optical scanning has proved to be of unique value for documenting spatial deformation suffered by panel paintings and can represent a reference tool for conservation. www.researchgate.net/publication/247095407_Painting_Survey_by_3D_Optical_Scanning_-_The_Case_of_Adoration_of_the_Magi_by_Leonardo_Da_Vinci

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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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Sharing a journey of Spiritual Awakening and Self Discovery

Meditation can help individuals with mental health issues cope with stress, anxiety, and depression, according to Healthdirect – an initiative of the Australian Government that provides free health advice. Professor Willem Kuyken and his colleagues agree. In 2016, the researchers found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is as effective as antidepressants. With one out of five Australian adults reporting that they experienced mental health conditions based on 2007 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS),  the study comes as a welcome addition to the techniques used by psychologists and healthcare professionals that provide mental health services at the Department of Social Services. Meditation as Therapy Kuyken, a clinical psychologist at the University of Oxford, notes that although mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is not a panacea, it is a new way to stay well. Meditation, a type of mindfulness therapy is defined by Shafii in his study Silence in the service of the ego: psychoanalytic study of meditation published in 1973 as “a psychological state of active passivity and creative quiescence.” The impact of meditation and self-reflection on mental health has been studied for centuries but the research done by Kuyken and his team provides a more structured approach to the technique. According to Kuyken, MBCT is a form of mental training that allows individuals to arrest depressive relapse by being in tune with the early signs of depression.   As Good as Medication  What truly makes Kuyken’s findings special is the fact that mindfulness is as good as psychiatric medication. Based on the study, individuals who participated in MBCT sessions without the aid of medication were able to avoid a relapse for a period of two years. Drugs, the study shows, also have the same efficacy. It must be noted though that older meditation techniques such as tarot reading or yoga are just as beneficial. Tarot reading, for example, can help individuals reflect while yoga offers inner peace for its practitioners. Awareness of Your Own Thoughts Meditation and concentration can provide clinically depressed individuals with better awareness of their own thoughts. According to Kuyken, knowing that thoughts are not facts is essential in the practice. This knowledge can be quite helpful especially for men and women who get depressed due to negative thoughts. Proponents of the practice also say that mindfulness techniques such as meditation do not only improve mental health but can also help reduce stress.   However, Kuyken reiterates that despite being a compelling alternative to psychiatric drugs, this holistic technique is merely one of the ways to ease mental distress. Australians who do not have access to MBCT sessions can take a look at Kenneth E. Miller’s advice. Miller, an expert in psychology, notes that mindfulness is not just about meditation and that it can be as informal as eating a meal, walking, running, biking, or taking a shower. Mindfulness, according to Miller is being present in the moment which means that anyone who has experienced anxiety or depression can take advantage of this technique to improve their mental well-being. Supplemental Tool Meditation may not be able to cure or prevent mental health problems on its own but it is a good addition to the tools and techniques that can calm the mind. With stress being a major factor of mental health issues, managing it through meditation can help those who experience depression or anxiety. Meditation, based on the study, can also give individuals a chance to get in touch with their thoughts and countering those thoughts through introspection. Author- Cassie Steele, 23 June 2018

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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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