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Putting melanoma to sleep

Australian scientists have discovered that special immune cells have the power to put melanoma tumours ‘‘to sleep’’, potentially paving the way for new treatments. The cancer cells aren’t completely killed. They are still there, but they are held in check by the tissue-resident memory T cells. It seems that the T cells can patrol the skin and watch over the melanoma tumour cells. Melanoma remains the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, behind breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. Australia and New Zealand have the world’s highest incidence rate for melanoma. https://www.smh.com.au/healthcare/hopes-of-melanoma-breakthrough-from-cells-that-put-cancer-to-sleep-20181231-p50oz3.html

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Bringing life to an image

Researchers from the University of Washington and Facebook have developed a way to animate stationary characters in any image, resulting in them springing into action to sprint toward you out of the background. Most current AR applications are built for a specific image, like a billboard; this tool can identify a human silhouette, generate a 3D version of the person, and create a realistic animation for the figure to jump off the photo into the real world. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/ar-figures-walk-off-backdrop/

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Unlocking value in textiles at a fibre level

BlockTexx is a fashion technology platform and marketplace for the world’s recycled textiles – an end-to-end recycling ecosystem unlocking the value of textile waste, one fabric at a time. Their idea is to change the fundamental model of the fashion industry that doesn’t consider end-of-life garments to have value – so everything that is considered either ‘waste’ or a ‘cost’… they have reimagined as a revenue opportunity, With the help of the CSIRO they have developed the S.O.F.T.® (separation of fibre technology), a process that can separate and recover the raw materials from clothing like polyester and cotton. https://www.chiefentrepreneur.qld.gov.au/stories/blocktexx

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A clever way to take revenge on thieves

An engineer has designed a Apple HomePod box that is “enticing” for any thief. It’s GPS-enabled, so its journey can be tracked once it leaves his home perimeter. It records video with embedded mobile phones, no matter how the thief picked up the parcel. And, once triggered, it sprays half a kilo of glitter. To add insult to injury it includes a can of “fart spray,” programmed to automatically spray after the glitter explosion is triggered. Reactions by the thieves are captured on the video. www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/thieves-stole-a-package-from-an-engineer-so-he-created-a-trap-using-glitter-and-fart-spray-20181219-p50n57.html

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A whole new level of entertainment for retail customers- a smart mirror

A whole new level of entertainment for retail customers- a smart mirror

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Robotic surgery demonstrated on a grape

The da Vinci Surgical System is a robotic surgical system made by the American company Intuitive Surgical. It’s designed to facilitate complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach, and is controlled by a surgeon from a console. The system is commonly used for prostatectomies, and increasingly for cardiac valve repair and gynecologic surgical procedures According to the manufacturer, the da Vinci System is called “da Vinci” in part because Leonardo da Vinci’s “study of human anatomy eventually led to the design of the first known robot in history”. https://youtu.be/KNHgeykDXFw

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A groundbreaking solution to flood-prone slums

Dutch architectural firm Waterstudio has engineered flood-resistant City Apps, which use available space on water to convert slum dwellings into useful structures. These waterborne structures built from standard sea-freight containers with solar panels on the roof and floating foundations of recycled plastic bottles are suitable for installing and upgrading sanitation, electricity, water filtration, medical clinics, community kitchens, workshops, classrooms, housing and communication. They can quickly add essential services to adapt to cities’ changing needs and can be moved easily to where they are needed most. http://www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/architects-worldwide-invent-groundbreaking-waterborne-solutions-to-climate-change-part-4?slumsutm_campaign=2018-12-15&utm_medium=morning-edition&utm_source=inkl

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Mandatory childcare in disadvantaged areas

Parents in some parts of Denmark who do not send their children to daycare will lose family benefits. Denmark has adopted legislation making daycare mandatory for all children over the age of one in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and parents who do not comply will lose their family allowances. This idea could be helpful in other disadvantaged communities around the world, including in indigenous areas. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/denmark-makes-childcare-mandatory-in-disadvantaged-areas

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Free public transport

By summer 2019 all public transport in Luxembourg will be completely free. Luxembourg has the highest car-to-person rate of any nation in the European Union:- 662 cars for every 1,000 people. Every day the population of its capital city swells five-fold due to commuters. The hope is that eliminating all fees for public trains, trams, and buses will encourage more people to use those service. Not only would that decrease personal vehicle traffic, it would also be better for the environment. A few cities in Germany are also trialing this idea. https://futurism.com/luxembourg-public-transportation-free

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A non-invasive way to diagnose and treat IBS

Gastrointestinal diseases, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are extremely common, affecting up to 20% of people in western countries. Symptoms include pain, bloating and altered bowel habits. It can be debilitating, embarrassing, and have a huge impact on quality of life. Current methods for diagnosing IBS typically include invasive tests, such as s colonoscopy. The Noisy Guts Project is developing an acoustic belt that records gut noises over time so doctors can accurately screen, diagnose and monitor gut disorders and diseases. Their Fitbit for the gut helps patients identify triggers and symptoms. www.marshallcentre.uwa.edu.au/research/the-noisy-guts-project

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