The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2020-01-08T00:51:09Z Microba founder next VP of international Society 2020-01-08T00:51:09Z microba-founder-next-vp-of-international-society Prof Hugenholtz is widely known in the microbiology field as a leading researcher and was recently announced in the Clarivate Analytics 2019 Highly Cited Researchers List in two fields; Microbiology and Biology & Biochemistry. Prof Hugenholtz said it was an honour to have been voted in for the role and he looked forward to contributing from 2020 onwards. “Having worked in microbial ecology for many years now, I am excited to have been chosen by my peers for this important role, which will give me a chance to help shape the field in the coming years” he said. “Microbiology and microbial ecology in particular have really gained momentum in the last decades due to incredible technological advances, most conspicuously in the area of the human microbiome,  leading to a greater awareness of gut health in the public domain.” The research that launched the world-leading microbiome analysis technology of Microba was formed from Prof Hugenholtz and Professor Gene Tyson’s work at The University of Queensland. Both are co-founders of Microba and lend their high level of knowledge and expertise to ongoing research and discoveries. Prof Hugenholtz will start his term in August 2020, following ISME18 – the Society’s 2020 conference in Cape Town. ISME is a non-profit, membership organisation which promotes microbial ecology and connects those working in the field. Microba CEO Blake Wills said he was very pleased to see Prof Hugenholtz acknowledged as a leader in his field. “At Microba, we appreciate the exceptional skill and knowledge of both our co-founders, and we congratulate Phil on his appointment and look forward to supporting his endeavours as he continues his work with Microba here in Brisbane,” he said. ENDS.        Microba-empowered study investigates link between gut health and allergy in infants 2019-12-15T22:42:43Z microba-empowered-study-investigates-link-between-gut-health-and-allergy-in-infants Microba awarded Curtin University PhD Candidate, Jacquelyn Jones with a $10,000 research grant to empower her research with a team from multiple research institutions. For the first time, a team of researchers will examine the impact of prebiotic supplementation in maternal diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding to prevent allergic diseases in babies. Microba is supporting a sub-study to perform a detailed analysis of the gut microbiome of some infants to track how the prebiotics given to their mothers during pregnancy may have an impact on their baby’s microbiome. Detailed analysis of the infant gut microbiome may identify gut-derived factors that influence the healthy development of the infant immune system. The study utilises some of the stool samples from participants enrolled in the SYMBA study, operating out of the Joondalup Health Campus in Western Australia as part of the ORIGINS Birth Cohort Project. Microba CEO Blake Wills said that the research grants were awarded to three shortlisted candidates, with the aim of seeing a tangible impact through investment in clinical research. “At Microba, we are focused on making a global impact in gut health and overall health,” he said. “We are committed to empowering Australian researchers to find the best ways to improve gut health for Australians and, in turn, the world.” PhD candidate Jacquelyn Jones said that “it is our hope that this study will show us how the infant gut microbiome develops and how autoimmune diseases such as allergy occur throughout this process. “To better understand the interactions that can occur in response to therapeutic intervention such as prebiotics, we will capture this data which will assist us in interpreting the shifts in this complex system.” Microba continues to partner with local and international groups to assist with groundbreaking research to bring their mission of ‘Bringing science to life’ and making a real impact across the globe to fruition. ENDS FlipRobot E310 Plus - The First and Only to Offer AIoT Combining Artificial Intelligence with the Internet of Things 2019-12-03T23:12:24Z fliprobot-e310-plus-the-first-and-only-to-offer-aiot-combining-artificial-intelligence-with-the-internet-of-things-1 Sydney, New South Wales – 2019   ·        Local Australian company is the first to offer AIoT revolutionary robotic model. ·        The latest in Artificial Intelligence technology on offer. ·        Company offers the ultimate formula for success.   Local Australian company, Actura has just released its FlipRobot E310 Plus model. The company is the first and only to offer AIoT technology – combining artificial intelligence with the internet of things. The latest in technology is on offer for students to develop their STEAM robotic learning skills. Talent can only grow when the right tools are provided and the latest in Actura’s FlipRobot AIoT technology provides students with the best technology to develop their robotic, coding and technical skills. Local company Actura, with its leading FlipRobot hardware and software is the leading robotics and coding technology solution provider. With the AIoT technology on offer through its FlipRobot robotic models - combining two technologies that dominate the technology industry – the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Actura is a stand-out in the STEAM education field, particularly with the release of is E310 Plus model. The convergence of AI and IoT is set to redefine the future of industrial automation and lead to the industry 4.0 revolution. In context of FlipRobot and its practical applications, the cutting-edge technology of AIoT means an algorithm can be designed that when one robot’s humidity sensor’s reading exceeds a certain value, then four other robots move to their designated locations. In agricultural settings, this enables things like machine-to-machine communication to avoid adverse weather conditions, for example, cyclones. Through robotic sensors, and cloud-based modules, the possibilities are endless – visual recognition and voice recognition all become possibilities. With FlipRobot’s E310 Plus Bluetooth module, students are able to upload code anytime, wirelessly on either their desktop, laptop or ipad (with all FlipRobot products). With many educational learning factors, students will be able to appreciate the considerations that companies must content with. These issues in the near future include latency, power, security and privacy concerns. This will provide students with insight for discussion in the classroom. FlipRobot’s STEAM robotics solution helps students develop the capabilities of creativity, critical-thinking, collaboration, cooperation and communication to overcome challenges for the 21st century. IoT and AI are two independent technologies that have a significant impact on multiple industry verticals. While IoT is the digital nervous system, AI becomes the brain that makes decisions which control the overall system. The powerful combination of AI and IoT brings us AIoT – Artificial Intelligence of Things, that delivers intelligent and connected systems that are capable of self-correcting and self-healing themselves. The promise of AIoT involves examining the evolution of connected systems. Cloud computing provides three key aspects to connect systems – connectivity, storage and computing. Apart from machine-to-machine messages to each other, these devices send telemetry data to the cloud that was ingested and stored centrally.   As the leading provider of robotics and coding technology in the STEAM education area, Actura’s release of the FlipRobot E310 Plus model hardware and accompanying software sets the tone for the future of technology and innovation; with cutting-edge technology on offer. Students will be able to be empowered for their future success through utilising this latest technology. Actura is a strong proponent of the belief that talent can only grow when the right tools are provided – and being able to release the latest in AIoT technology makes Actura a stand-out in its field.   “Actura’s formula to help students achieve future success is: success = talent + Attitude + passion + opportunity. Our strategy is working. We continue to provide and release that latest in hardware and robotics technology to facilitate students to harness their talent”. Charles Chung, CEO, Actura Established in Australia in 2014, Actura provides the leading STEAM learning solution comprising of in-class to out-of-class solutions. Actura is the exclusive global partner of the California Association for STEAM Education (CASE). Headquartered in Cupertino, California, CASE was established by educators, industry leaders and entrepreneurs to advocate excellence in STEAM education through the development and implementation of innovative in-classroom curriculum and extra-curricular education programs.     Download Logos, Photos and Videos:   Media File   Contact: Actura Australia Nerilee Chen – Marketing and Communications Specialist  Phone: 1300 303 402 | Mobile: 0422 071 905 Email: nerilee.chen@actura.com.au      Company Name: Actura Australia Company Address: Sydney Office - Suite 2B, Level 2, 802 Pacific Highway, Gordon, NSW, 2072 Phone Number: 1300 303 402 Email Address: media@actura.com.au Website Address: http://www.actura.com.au     Rocket Lab Named as Gold Sponsor of Actura's OneWorld Robotics Competition 2019-12-03T03:24:03Z rocket-lab-named-as-gold-sponsor-of-actura-s-oneworld-robotics-competition-1 Auckland, NEW ZEALAND – November 2019     Local Australian company, Actura has recently secured Rocket Lab, the New Zealand-founded global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, as honorary Gold Sponsor of Actura’s OneWorld Robotics Competition. Rocket Lab builds and launches rockets dedicated to carrying small satellites to space. Rocket Lab has delivered 40 satellites to low Earth orbit on the Electron launch vehicle, enabling operations in space debris mitigation, Earth observation, ship and airplane tracking and radio communications. Headquartered in Huntington Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron launch vehicle, and Photon – an in-house designed and built customizable satellite platform. Together, Electron and Photon offer an all-inclusive spacecraft build and launch service for Rocket Lab customers. Rocket Lab operates launch sites in Mahia, New Zealand and Wallops Island, Virginia. Rocket Lab has been signed as honorary Gold Sponsor of Actura’s global robotics competition that is set to commence in mid-November the OneWorld Robotics Competition. The competition will bring together students from around the world, from New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia. The students will grapple with the competition category of “Smart Cities” – dealing with such issues as global emissions, transport, travel, environmental impact and a consideration of the Autonomous Vehicle (AV) in alleviating the problems of our cities. As the Gold Sponsor, Rocket Lab will be present at the Auckland competition to judge the award entries and will have a Special Award (dedicated in the name of the company). Actura is delighted to have Rocket Lab be the honorary Gold Sponsor of the OneWorld Robotics Competition. “We are delighted that Rocket Lab have been named as the Gold Sponsor of Actura’s OneWorld Robotics Competition for 2019. This will be a terrific addition to our inaugural global robotics competition”. Charles Chung, CEO, Actura A career in the aerospace industry can represent the pinnacle of STEAM education, and as the company operating the world’s only commercial small launch vehicle dedicated to small satellites, roles within Rocket Lab are highly sought after.   Established in Australia in 2014, Actura provides the leading STEAM learning solution comprising of in-class to out-of-class solutions. The FlipRobot range provides the ultimate robotic STEAM learning solution for the in-class environment. For the out-of-class solution, the CASE Space School International Study Program aims to deliver the best STEAM experience at the most inspiring organisation, NASA. With offices in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, China and with further international expansion on the horizon, Actura continues to seek to achieve its mission on a global scale. Download Logos, Photos and Videos:   Media Resources   Contact: Actura Australia Nerilee Chen – Marketing and Communications Specialist  Phone: 1300 303 402 | Mobile: 0422 071 905 Email: nerilee.chen@actura.com.au     Company Name: Actura Australia Company Address: Sydney Office - Suite 2B, Level 2, 802 Pacific Highway, Gordon, NSW, 2072 Phone Number: 1300 303 402 Email Address: media@actura.com.au Website Address: www.actura.com.au Website Address: www.actura.co.nz Rocket Lab: www.rocketlabusa.com OneWorld Robotics Competition: www.oneworldrobotics.com Pheburane Listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme 2019-11-28T09:13:34Z pheburane-listed-on-the-pharmaceutical-benefits-scheme Pheburane Listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme MELBOURNE, Australia, December 1st, 2019 – Orpharma Pty Ltd. and Lucane Pharma SA. are pleased to announce the listing of Pheburane on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Pheburane will be funded from the 1st December 2019 for the treatment of Urea Cycle Disorders (UCDs).   Pheburane was approved by Australia’s TGA in May 2017 for the treatment of UCDs. Listing on the PBS will make the product readily available to all patients diagnosed with the condition. The Product Information can be accessed here. The Consumer Medicine Information can be accessed here.   Pheburane is an improved formulation of Sodium Phenylbutyrate, a standard treatment for UCD patients to remove ammonia. Sodium phenylbutyrate has a very strong bitter and salty taste which may compromise compliance to treatment, especially in children. Pheburane offers a formulation where the taste is completely masked.   PBS Prescribing Information   Max.Qty Packs No. of Repeats Prescribing code Prescribers 3 5 11865L Medical Practitioner Nurse Practitioner    About Orpharma Orpharma is an Australian pharmaceutical company focused on the supply of orphan, paediatric and emerging therapeutics. Orpharma is Australia’s first and only one stop shop for metabolic products supplying a range of low protein food, medical nutrition and medicines. Orpharma is collaborating with global leaders in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals to deliver therapies to patients in need. The company’s current product portfolio includes innovative medicines targeting rare metabolic diseases, cancer and anti-infectives. For more information about Orpharma visit www.orpharma.com   About Lucane Pharma French Lucane Pharma S/A, Paris, incorporated in 2009 is part of Dutch based privately owned company Eurocept Pharmaceuticals Holding. The company specializes in the development and commercialization of medicinal products targeting rare disorders.   Its’ products will provide patients with a real improvement in the management of their disease: new products for diseases currently lacking effective treatment, improved formulations of existing products, new presentations fulfilling a specific need, existing products not available in most countries. Perkins researcher develops tool to target the right vein, the first time 2019-11-25T23:47:03Z perkins-researcher-develops-tool-to-target-the-right-vein-the-first-time A medical device start-up established at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, is aiming to help patients undergoing one of the most common medical procedures.   Along with Emergency Consultant Dr Katherine Arenson and Telethon Kids Researcher Nick Buckley, Perkins Vascular Engineer Nik Bappoo designed a technology to help doctors more successfully cannulate patients with difficult vascular access.   For most patients admitted into hospital, having a cannula or needle placed into their arm is a necessary procedure to enable doctors to either take blood for tests or provide fluids or medication.   These cannulas can be difficult to place successfully in certain patient groups, in particular obese patients, with some patients requiring up to 5 or more attempts.   Other tools such as the ultrasound can be used to assist cannulation, however other applications such as pregnancy scans and cardiac imaging have higher priority. Ultrasound imaging also requires extensive experience.   Perkins Vascular Engineering Researcher Nik Bappoo, said that the start-up, called VeinTech, was founded from the development of a simple imaging technology to assist clinicians with this issue.    “The overall cost to the healthcare system is much greater than the wasted hardware and includes clinician time and increased complications,” Nik said.    “Lifesaving tests and treatment can be drastically delayed and infection rates increase with each cannula attempt. Multiple attempts also cause significant pain and anxiety to the patient.”   “We set out to create a solution that would be simple to use while reducing cannulation attempts in difficult access patients.”   Bappoo who led the development of the technology known as the VeinWave, said in just six months the team had identified a largely unmet clinical need and developed a solution to address the need through the Perth Biodesign program, derived from Stanford University   "We are proud of our progress in the course and I hope to encourage entrepreneurial research and showcase the translation happening at the Perkins,” Nik said.    The technology has this week been awarded the first prize at the 2019 Perth Biodesign Final Presentations.  Marc Bailey steps down as Intersect CEO 2019-11-20T01:17:03Z marc-bailey-steps-down-as-intersect-ceo Intersect Chair Emeritus Professor Mark Wainwright expressed his thanks and support for Bailey’s decision, saying “Marc has, as in everything he tackles, given his total commitment to the company, made a tremendous impact on Intersect and on the Australian eResearch agenda, and he leaves with the goodwill and full support of the Board”. Since Macquarie University CIO and Objective Corp CTO alumnus Bailey joined Intersect in 2014 the company has refined its mission to ‘Research Faster’ expanded its membership and operations into four states, created dozens of high tech products, applications and services, trained over 10,000 researchers, served over 200M hours of supercomputing, created over 15PB in research storage and implemented a successful user-pays business model for research cloud computing. “My respect and heartfelt thanks are extended to our teams of scientists and engineers that get up each day to make a difference for research. Our staff includes some of the finest people I’ve had the privilege to serve with. I could not be more grateful for their care, commitment and adaptability - or their willingness to go the extra mile, every time, frequently against adversity or convention”, Bailey commented.  Western Sydney University Chief Information and Digital Officer, and CAUDIT NSW Chair Kerry Holling mused “Intersect is a unique and vital piece of the Australian research landscape. Members like Western depend on it for essential eResearch services through non-traditional delivery vectors. Marc understands the value of mutually beneficial negotiations, has seized every opportunity to increase yield, and set a very high bar for customer service. Our commitment to Intersect will endure, though we will miss his innovative approach.” Professor Wainwright added “During Marc’s tenure Intersect private sector engagement has flourished with partnerships and projects with Platform9, AWS, Google, Microsoft, Macquarie Cloud Services, Hitachi Data Systems, HPE and Dell Computer. Governmental and NGO relationships have expanded or strengthened with sixteen Government entities, AARNet, NCI, the AAF, ARDC and CAUDIT. Our strong and growing University Member base may rest assured that commitment to and momentum of broadening and deepening of these relationships will continue even as we bid a fond farewell to Marc”. As to what’s next for Bailey, he says he has a deck to paint, a family vacation to take, then ‘watch this space’ in 2020. In considering the decision he reflected “In 2014 we set out on what I imagined would be a three year mission for scientists and researchers. Before I blinked almost six had flown by. Our company is in an excellent financial and strategic position so the time is right for me to pass the baton with confidence.” He will formally conclude his role by Christmas though will be retained in an offline advisory capacity to the Chair. The Board is appointing an interim CEO and will begin an executive search for a replacement in 2020.  About Intersect Intersect (intersect.org.au) is a pivotal accelerator of Australian research and scientific productivity. We’ve provided robust, innovative and collaborative technology and services to speed up world class research at our member organisations since formation in 2008. Our professional scientists and engineers deliver high performance computing, storage and analysis platforms, software engineering, training programs and expert consulting to thousands of researchers and consumers every year. Members and customers include preeminent universities, progressive government departments and innovative corporations across Australia, served on-campus and from offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. First to Offer Exclusive AIoT Technology – STEAM Education Company Launches Global Robotics Competition 2019-11-16T05:35:03Z first-to-offer-exclusive-aiot-technology-steam-education-company-launches-global-robotics-competition-1 Singapore – 15 November 2019  • Inaugural OneWorld Robotics Competition is set to launch with Area Competitions commencing this weekend 16-17 November 2019 in Singapore. • Robotics Competition is the very first to offer the latest in AIoT Technology.  • Competition to unite students from around the world competing to solve real-world STEAM problems through the application of robotics. Competition to encourage essential STEAM skills in our youth for the future.  Company Actura, the global leader in STEAM education, robotics & coding, is on the brink of launching its first global OneWorld Robotics Competition. The competition is a stand-out with it being the first to incorporate the latest AIoT Technology. The Area Competitions commence this weekend in Singapore, with the competition bringing together hundreds of students from around the world competing to solve problems surrounding the category of “Smart Cities”. Area Competitions will occur in major cities including Singapore, Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney. The Area Competition for Singapore will kick-off the global competition around the world, with the schools hosting including Canadian International School, Dulwich College and Singapore Science Center. There will be many Singaporean schools in participation including Yio Chu Kang Secondary School among others, with students from Grades 7-9 competing.  The competition category is “Smart Cities” with students competing to solve problems surrounding this topic. Subjects to contend with will include transport congestion, pollution, environmental sustainability and over-crowding. The Autonomous Vehicle will be a solution to many of these problems and students will consider the technical, legal, social and ethical solutions, including privacy and cybersecurity risks, through their technical application of robotics and coding.   The competition will have three components – the first focusing on “Future Skills” based on Dr Tony Wagner’s (Harvard University) Seven Survival Skills. These skills will be the basis of the assessment – the skills being: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence; Agility and Adaptability; Initiative and Entrepreneurialism; Effective Oral and Written Communication; Accessing and Analyzing Information and Curiosity and Imagination.   The second component – the “Technical Challenge” – will provide students with the chance to use their coding skills with five robots. One of the challenges will include mandatory use of Artificial Intelligence to code the FlipRobot hardware to mimic autonomous driving, picking up an object and arriving at a set place. This part of the competition will exclusively offer students the chance to use the latest cutting-edge AIoT technology. Using the latest FlipRobot robotics hardware and software including the FlipAIoT App, students will have the opportunity to use the Artificial Intelligence camera in the FlipRobot to navigate simulated roads.  The last component – the “Presentation”, will offer the students the chance to practice their communication and analytics skills in presenting their findings to an expert panel of judges. The panel of expert judges for Singapore includes Dr Wong Choon Yue, Mr Yusuf Pranggonoh, Mr Egmond Boon, Mr Jay Thompson and Mr Ben Morgan.   The official sponsors for the competition are the Roboto Academy of Singapore. This exclusive coding Academy aims to help students discover a passion for coding and to develop computational thinking skills applicable to all facets of their lives. The Academy strives to be the world’s leading academy in student-centric education for technology and future skills.  “We are ecstatic to be able to launch our inaugural OneWorld Robotics Competition this year, with the Area Competitions commencing in Singapore. This is an exclusive chance for us to continue to promote essential STEAM and robotics skills in the youth of today, to empower them for their futures”. Charles Chung, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Actura Australia  “We are delighted to be the first to offer AIoT Technology within the bounds of this exciting global robotics competition. Our FlipRobot hardware and software will enable students to access cuttingedge AIoT technology”. Kurt Yang, Manager, FlipRobot Product Management  In the next thirty years, 75% of the fastest growing occupations will require STEAM-related skills. Mastering STEAM skills will be essential for students to become innovative job creators in our fastchanging society. The ability to harness STEAM skillsets will define 21st century leaders. The OneWorld Robotics Competition is set to challenge students to apply STEAM skills to solve the problems associated with navigating our smart cities of the future. Students will hone their STEAM skills including critical thinking and problem-solving in order to find solutions through robotics, and present these to a panel of industry experts.  Established in Australia in 2014, Actura provides the leading STEAM learning solution comprising of in-class to out-of-class solutions. Our FlipRobot range provides the ultimate robotic STEAM learning solution for the in-class environment. Actura continues to seek to fulfil its mission to become the most trusted STEAM education solution provider. With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei and with further international expansion on the horizon, Actura seeks to achieve its mission on a global scale.   Contact: Actura Australia Nerilee Chen – Marketing and Communications Specialist   Phone: 1300 303 402 | Mobile: 0422 071 905 Email: nerilee.chen@actura.com.au     Company Name: Actura Australia Company Address: Sydney Office - Suite 2B, Level 2, 802 Pacific Highway, Gordon, NSW, 2072 Phone Number: 1300 303 402 Email Address: media@actura.com.au Website Address: www.actura.com.sg OneWorld Robotics Website: www.oneworldrobotics.com Roboto Academy Singapore: https://www.roboto.sg/    New drug that breaks down the ‘barbed wire’ around some cancers 2019-11-13T05:40:34Z new-drug-that-breaks-down-the-barbed-wire-around-some-cancers Some solid tumours are so stiff they make a cracking noise when they are cut by researchers on the laboratory bench.   The fibrous nature of liver, pancreatic and some breast cancers make them difficult to treat. However, five years of research by a team of Perth scientists has resulted in the development of a novel, non-toxic agent that can deliver drugs to the cancer cells embedded in the fibrous matrix.   Research published in EMBO Molecular Medicine showed a non-toxic therapeutic agent boosted immune cells to selectively remove the fibrous scar tissue allowing cancer treatments to reach their target.    Dr Juliana Hamzah, head of the Targeted Drug Delivery, Imaging and Therapy Laboratory at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research said by breaking down the fibrous matrix of stiff tumours the patient’s own immune system paved the way for drug treatments to take effect.   “The cancer is like a wound, and a way that our body tries to repair the wound is to grow a scar tissue around it, but that scar tissue makes it very difficult to get to the cancer cells to destroy them.    “It is stiff, non-cellular, has very few blood vessels and impenetrable. The scar tissue is not only a physical barrier but it constricts blood vessels which are key pathways for delivering cancer treatment.    “The barrier around some cancers, such as liver cancer, pancreatic cancer and some breast cancers is like barbed wire.    “We have developed a non-toxic agent that does not affect surrounding healthy tissue.    “The agent activates immune cells to release enzymes that digest the scar tissue. This allows more cancer killing immune cells to enter the tumour. Our results show that removal of the fibrous tissue dramatically eliminates the drug delivery barrier.     “Tumours treated with the drug we’ve developed are more permeable to anti-tumour immune cells and cancer treatments”, Dr Hamzah said.   The research data have been validated in four laboratories including the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth, the School of Engineering at The University of Western Australia, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, California, USA, and the University California Davis, California, USA. Dr Hamzah says that now the drug has been proven to have a positive impact on fibrosis, or scar tissue, she is investigating whether it can be used to prevent malignant cancer by treating the early stages of fibrosis in liver cancer.  “If you take liver cancer, it doesn’t start immediately as cancer, it starts as fibrosis, cirrhosis, which then develops into liver cancer.    “Because chronic tissue fibrosis can lead to cancer we aim to investigate whether early treatment with our drug of the pre-cancerous stage, such as liver fibrosis, could prevent development of malignant cancer.   Testing of the drug is due to commence using human tissue biopsies. Brisbane’s Microba represented at international competition in Berlin 2019-11-12T01:45:36Z brisbane-s-microba-represented-at-international-competition-in-berlin Brisbane biotech Microba were chosen to participate in international pitching competition, the Falling Walls Venture in Berlin, based on their world-leading work in analysing gut bacteria. Microba CEO, Blake Wills, represented one of 20 pioneering young companies chosen to attend the global pitch competition, with an audience of over 750 industry leaders, decision makers and media representatives. Falling Walls Venture is held each year in Berlin, with universities and research institutions from across the world called upon to nominate their most innovative science startups who present their business models in five minutes. Mr Wills presented the company’s innovative Metagenomic Analysis Platform (MAP™), which powers the gut microbiome analysis capabilities of Microba, to the audience. The gut microbiome (community of microorganisms living in the gut) has been linked to numerous disease conditions and is thought by many to be a new frontier in medicine. Microba’s MAP™ recently won the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Award for Product Innovation, for its ability to produce high-resolution gut microbiome profiles to consumers, health care practitioners and researchers. Mr Wills said it was a privilege to compete against international innovators and have Microba recognised as a world-leader. “To be able to showcase Microba’s capabilities as an innovative hub to international leaders and subject-matter experts is an excellent outcome,” he said. “Our technology is world-leading, innovative and growing its reach rapidly, allowing us to expand into international markets. “To fly halfway across the world and present our work at a globally-renowned conference is a great indicator that we are on the right track and can continue to grow in our research and impact on the global health care industry.” Microba is a home-grown Brisbane-based startup, with its roots coming from research of Co-founders Professors Phillip Hugenholtz and Gene Tyson at The University of Queensland. The company recently announced expansion into the United States with its MAP™ platform through a partnership with DNA sequencing company, Macrogen. Kids & nature in Melbourne’s north missing out – more bush kinders needed now says Friends of Merri Creek 2019-10-28T04:33:19Z kids-amp-nature-in-melbourne-s-north-missing-out-more-bush-kinders-needed-now-says-friends-of-merri-creek The children of Melbourne’s northern suburbs are missing out on the health and social benefits of interacting with nature as the result of a bush kindergarten shortage said Friends of Merri Creek’s (FoMC) President Nick Williams.   As access to open space and parklands is diminishing as the result of Melbourne’s population and building boom, there has been a dramatic shift from childhood activities from outdoor to indoor play.  The consequences of spending time in front of TV screens and computers instead of playing outdoors is seen in increased rates of obesity, diabetes and mental illness in youngsters.   The development of bush kindergartens reflects the mounting body of evidence that outdoor activities such as exploring natural environments, are good for children and improve their health and wellbeing said Nick Williams.   There are over 350 bush kinders or nature playgroup programs in Victoria, and the number is growing rapidly.   Demonstrating the growing popularity of nature play, Nature Play Week in April 2019 included 150 events across Victoria with an estimated 15,000 participants.   A study by the Kids in Nature Network in 2016-17 identified a growing and unmet demand for nature play, outdoor learning and bush kinder programs in Victoria.  It found that 90% of programs were delivered in Eastern Melbourne – indicating a major gap in the northern suburbs.   The Kids in Nature Network study report outlines the benefits of nature play and active outdoor learning: “When children are outside, they move more, sit less and play longer. These behaviours are associated with improved physical and mental health and improved cognitive and social skills.   “Children are more curious about and interested in natural play spaces than pre-fabricated play structures.   “Children who engage in active outdoor play in natural environments demonstrate resilience, self-regulation and develop skills for dealing with stress later in life.  Outdoor play in minimally structured, free and accessible local environments facilitates socialisation and connection with peers, the community and the environment, reduces feelings of isolation, builds interpersonal skills and facilitates healthy development.”    Parks and reserves are fantastic places for children to run, jump, explore and learn.  Research shows it’s good for them.  Children who learn outdoors are less disruptive, show improved social skills, motor skills and physical health, and develop resilience, self-awareness, self-esteem, independence and the list goes on.   An ideal outdoor classroom is an open space amongst natural bushland with low grass and minimal ground cover.  This allows children to explore independently while remaining within the supervisors’ line of sight.   It also allows easy identification of any ground hazards and minimises trampling, which can damage the undergrowth.   Nick Williams concluded, “FoMC would like to see a strategy prepared that identifies potential nature play sites and how they can be made accessible and resilient, along the Merri Creek from Clifton Hill to Craigieburn and in the new suburbs to the north.  Local Councils are best placed to develop this strategy, along with Merri Creek Management Committee”.   “A site that has great potential as a bush kinder / nature play site with some tree planting, logs and basic visitor facilities is 1 – 17 Leonard Street Fawkner that was recently purchased by Moreland City Council from the State Government”.   ENDS   Issued by:                  Friends of Merri Creek       www.friendsofmerricreek.org.au   Media enquiries:                 Mr. Joe Perri, T: 0412 112 545   E: jperri@joeperri.com.au Microba: Could one of the secrets to high-performing NRL players lie in the gut? 2019-10-21T04:18:20Z microba-could-one-of-the-secrets-to-high-performing-nrl-players-lie-in-the-gut Brisbane-based gut health testing specialists Microba, have partnered with Australian National Rugby League teams the Kangaroos and Jillaroos to investigate whether one of the secrets to high performance in sport can be found in the gut. Microba has administered their home-testing kit, Microba Insight™ to Kangaroo and Jillaroo players ahead of their 2019/2020 representative season, to discover if making changes to their diet and influencing their gut microbiome can assist in driving performance. The local biotech is a world leader in gut microbiome testing which looks at the bacteria living in a person’s gut, the functions they are performing, the potential of that bacteria and how they can improve gut microbiome health with dietary and lifestyle changes. Microba CEO Blake Wills said that working with elite athletes provided a great opportunity to test how effective influencing the gut microbiome could be on performance. “Working with the NRL has given us a mutually beneficial chance to investigate the best ways to impact sporting performance by influencing the gut microbiome with diet and lifestyle,” he said. The athletes will have their individual gut microbiomes tested, with personalised reports, tailored dietary suggestions and the opportunity to talk with Microba’s team of scientists, Accredited Practising Dietitians and Nutritionists about changes they can make to boost performance based on how their gut microbiome absorbs nutrients, the capacity of their gut bacteria to produce beneficial substances and their metabolism function. Recent research has shown that a certain species of bacteria in the gut microbiome appears to be more abundant after exercise in some individuals, impacting the way that bacteria break down lactate. This study on the Veillonella bacteria has opened up a world of possibility around simple, accessible ways that athletes could potentially increase performance. Australian Kangaroos Elite Performance Manager Troy Thomson has championed the efforts, seeking the best possible natural advantage for his players in the coming season. “Microba are providing a great opportunity to find ways we can alter our athletes’ diets while in camp and on the road to see if we can find even a small way to increase their performance,” he said. “It is our hope that this type of intervention could translate across other teams in the NRL as a best practice for healthy, high-performing players.” Microba’s experts and the NRL will look at the test results and decide on the best dietary changes going forward to boost the teams’ performance and ensure player gut microbiome health is at a high level. ENDS Customers get deeper into discovery with the new version of JMP 2019-10-15T23:55:08Z customers-get-deeper-into-discovery-with-the-new-version-of-jmp TUCSON, AZ (Oct 14, 2019) From Pleistocene fossils to infrared technology on a mission to map the surface of a near-Earth asteroid, JMP® statistical discovery software from SAS is helping scientists, engineers and other data analysts make a difference. In JMP Pro 15, the advanced analytics version of JMP, data scientists have more predictive modeling tools than ever. Both JMP 15 and JMP Pro 15 are launched today, 30 years after the first version of the software was released. "The higher the volume of data we collect, the greater the chance we will get some signals from them that add value and build knowledge…. It can be complicated to visualize. I really like JMP for this, especially Graph Builder, which is very practical and efficient,” said Augustin Cathignol, Principal Engineer for Product Reliability and Data Science, at Lynred, which designs high-performance infrared detector technology for probes traveling deep into space. For Sherri Gust, founder and Principal Paleontologist at Cogstone, the ability to interact with data is key. “The interactivity is one of my favorite things about JMP. You can say, ‘I’d like to explore that more and then do this,’” said Gust, who is conducting research on Ice Age fossils at Rancho La Brea in California. “Our customers can explore and understand their data even more fully with JMP 15,” said John Sall, co-founder and Executive Vice President of SAS and head of SAS' JMP business unit. “And they get instant graphical gratification with new visualization enhancements.” Sall marks the launches and 30th anniversary of JMP with his keynote speech “Import. Understand. Communicate” at analytics conference Discovery Summit Tucson this week.  JMP® 15 highlights ·         New column header graphs in the data table that show linked histograms for a quick view of the distribution of table variables. ·         Import wizard for importing and processing XML, JSON and PDF file formats. ·         Many enhancements to Graph Builder, including for Heatmap and Box Plot. ·         New hover label options that extend information available in graphs. ·         New Explore Patterns platform for investigating data integrity. ·         New Group Orthogonal Supersaturated Design platform for creating and analyzing designs with more factors than runs that have groups of correlated effects. ·         Publishing to JMP Live, a secure, private online portal for collaborating with analytics. JMP® Pro 15 highlights ·         Functional Data Explorer with workflow improvements to bypass intermediate table creation, reshaping and joins. ·         Structural Equation Modeling, a new predictive modeling platform, for modeling relationships among observed and unobserved variables. ·         New Support Vector Machines platform, providing another nonlinear machine learning technique. What other customers say about JMP® and JMP® Pro “The Functional Data Explorer platform has potential to significantly change the way we look at designing new products.” – Dan Fortune, Six Sigma Black Belt, Hexion “The PDF Import Wizard is breathtaking! I have complicated scanned PDFs with many tables, and the ability to manually select tables is just awesome!” – John Madden, Associate Professor of Pathology, Duke University “I could see the distribution of the data immediately in the header of the data table… users will find it powerful because they can check the structure of new data quickly and easily.” – Seonjin Kim, Senior Scientist, Samsung BioLogics “JMP is what has helped us be able to see the big picture more clearly and in real time.” – Tyler Wise, Project Analyst for Global Business Services, Diebold Nixdorf “I’ve never seen any single software application as transformative to scientific learning as JMP. With JMP you start seeing patterns and relationships in your data you never thought possible. It takes the guesswork and mystery out of statistics.” – Timothy Gardner, CEO and Founder, Riffyn, Inc. A fully functional 30-day trial of JMP is available free on the JMP website. About JMP SAS created JMP (pronounced “jump”) in 1989 to empower scientists, engineers and other data analysts to explore and analyze data visually and interactively. Since then, JMP has grown from a single product into a family of statistical discovery tools, each one tailored to meet specific needs. John Sall, SAS co-founder and Executive Vice President, leads the JMP business unit. About SAS SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.   Congratulations to Dr Megan Clark AC 2019-10-14T02:09:50Z congratulations-to-dr-megan-clark-ac The Board of the Space Industry Association of Australia extends their congratulations to Dr Megan Clark AC on receiving the prestigious award from the Australian Academy of Science in recognition of her contribution to Australian science and technology. Dr Clark has been honoured with an Australian Academy of Science medal. “The medal is awarded to a person outside the Fellowship who has, by sustained efforts in the public domain, significantly advanced the cause of science and technology in Australia or who has made a substantial contribution to the Academy,” President of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor John Shine said. Chair of the SIAA, Mr Rod Drury, said “I am extremely pleased that the immense contribution of Dr Clark to science and technology in Australia has been recognised by this eminent body. I commend the Academy of Science on their selection of Dr Clarke AC and businessman Peter Yates AM. Hand-Washing More Effective Than Hand Sanitiser 2019-10-10T03:34:48Z hand-washing-more-effective-than-hand-sanitiser A new study has found washing your hands under running water removes the flu virus much faster than alcohol sanitizer – suggesting hand sanitizer might not be as effective as people think when fighting against the flu. The influenza A virus (IAV) remains infectious in wet mucus from infected patients, even after being exposed to an ethanol-based disinfectant (EBD) for two full minutes, report researchers at Kyoto Profectural University of Medicine, in Japan. Fully deactivating the virus, they found, required nearly four minutes of exposure to the EBD. The secret to the viral survival was the thick consistency of sputum, the researchers found. The substance’s thick hydrogel structure kept the ethanol from reaching and deactivating the IAV. “The physical properties of mucus protect the virus from inactivation,” said physician and molecular gastroenterologist Ryohei Hirose, PhD, MD., who led the study with Takaaki Nakaya, PhD, an infectious disease researcher at the same school. “Until the mucus has completely dried, infectious IAV can remain on the hands and fingers, even after appropriate antiseptic hand rubbing.” The study suggests that a splash of hand sanitizer, quickly applied, isn’t sufficient to stop IAV. Health care providers should be particularly cautious: If they don’t adequately inactivate the virus between patients, they could enable its spread, Hirose said. The researchers first studied the physical properties of mucus and found — as they predicted — that ethanol spreads more slowly through the viscous substance than it does through saline. Then, in a clinical component, they analyzed sputum that had been collected from IAV-infected patients and dabbed on human fingers. (The goal, said Hirose, was to simulate situations in which medical staff could transmit the virus.) After two minutes of exposure to EBD, the IAV virus remained active in the mucus on the fingertips. By four minutes, however, the virus had been deactivated. Previous studies have suggested that ethanol-based disinfectants, or EBDs, are effective against IAV. The new work challenges those conclusions. Hirose suspects he knows why: Most studies on EBDs test the disinfectants on mucus that has already dried. When he and his colleagues repeated their experiments using fully dried mucus, they found that hand rubbing inactivated the virus within 30 seconds. In addition, the fingertip test used by Hirose and his colleagues may not exactly replicate the effects of hand-rubbing, which through convection might be more effective at spreading the EBD. For flu prevention, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend hand hygiene practices that include using EBDs for 15-30 seconds. That’s not enough rubbing to prevent IAV transmission, said Hirose. The study wasn’t all bad news: The researchers did identify a hand hygiene strategy that works, also sanctioned by the WHO and CDC. It’s simple: Wash hands, don’t just rub them. Washing hands with antiseptic soap, they found, deactivated the virus within 30 seconds, regardless of whether the mucus remained wet or had dried. Source: mSphere. Original Post https://myosh.com/blog/2019/10/03/hand-washing-more-effective-than-hand-sanitiser/