The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-11-16T05:35:03Z 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. ACT Health CIO receives global Leadership Award 2019-11-07T03:30:04Z act-health-cio-receives-global-leadership-award Some of the world’s leading experts on global data standards for healthcare have recognised ACT Health’s Chief Information Officer, Peter O’Halloran, with an international Leadership Award for his leadership in digital data management over the past decade. The awards are organised by the GS1 Global Healthcare Provider Advisory Council, which comprises key decision makers and early adopters of GS1 standards in the global healthcare industry. The ability to scale up or down digital solutions for the healthcare sector is one of the most challenging aspects to any country’s health sector. GS1 Australia’s Industry Manager Healthcare, Catherine Koetz, said Peter’s comprehension of the benefits of global data standards has been outstanding and noticed worldwide. “In addition, Peter’s leadership and commitment to driving improvements within the Australian healthcare system have been transformative.” Amongst his many achievements, Peter successfully designed and implemented traceability for all fresh and manufactured blood products across Australia and now he leads the ten-year digital transformation occurring at ACT Health. Peter O'Halloran said he’s humbled by this award. “It’s really great to be acknowledged for your work generally, but to be recognised internationally just takes it to a level I certainly didn’t expect,” he said. “What is really pleasing about this opportunity is that I get to share my expertise and knowledge with more people world-wide as we all work to improve health systems around the world. “Digital technology knows no barriers and so global awards such as these don’t just recognise an individual, they also work well to promote the incredible work that is being done by many amazing people globally,” Mr O'Halloran added. ACT Health Director-General, Michael De’Ath said having such a highly qualified and high-achieving digital expert at ACT Health and at the helm of our digital journey is tremendous. “This international recognition is absolutely well-deserved because every day we are benefiting from Peter’s expertise in the digital space, which means our broader ACT community is also getting the benefits,” Mr De’Ath said. For more information on GS1 standards in healthcare visit www.gs1au.org/healthcare or email the GS1 Australia Healthcare team About the ACT Health Directorate The ACT Health Directorate is responsible for the stewardship of the health system in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ACT Health provides a strong policy and population health capability based on a foundation of world-leading health and medical research. ACT Health develops strategies and sets the direction to ensure services meet community needs and expectations, delivers improved health outcomes, and that the health system is innovative, effective and sustainable now and in the future. This includes managing a portfolio of digital and infrastructure programs to ensure the ACT has world class, sustainable, fit for purpose clinical and patient care facilities. More information at www.health.act.gov.au About GS1 Australia GS1 Australia is the Australian member of GS1, a not-for-profit global organisation that develops and maintains the most widely-used supply chain standards in the world. GS1 Australia currently serves 22 industry sectors, including healthcare, and supports around 20,000 member organisations nationally to improve supply chain efficiency, enable traceability and for healthcare improve patient safety by adopting best practice GS1 global standards. For more information visit www.gs1au.org or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter For more information: Wendy McWilliams, WMC Public Relations Pty Ltd. Tel: 03 9803 2588 / 0421 364 665. Email: wendy@wmcpr.com.au Caption for photo: Marianne Timmons, President, Industry Engagement & Standards Development, GS1 Global, presents the Leadership Award to Peter O’Halloran, CIO of ACT Health at the 36th GS1 Global Healthcare conference held in New Delhi, India. Churchill Fellowship recipient to help Australian primary industry and national food traceability 2019-11-05T23:00:51Z churchill-fellowship-recipient-to-help-australian-primary-industry-and-national-food-traceability Peter Carter, Director of Business Development and Innovation at GS1 Australia, has been awarded a highly-esteemed Churchill Fellowship, which will benefit agriculture exports. Mr Carter will investigate one of the most pressing challenges for Australian primary industry: traceability for the modern supply chain to ensure export market access. To support ongoing operations and achieve the National Farmers’ Federation goal of $100B worth of primary production in the next 10 years, an increased awareness of methods and techniques for traceability and quality assurance in other parts of the world is necessary. The consequences and costs for Australian industry are likely to be significant if compliance with importing country requirements are not met. Mr Carter’s farming background and his passion for digital transformation of agricultural supply chains has led to his investigations. He is firmly focused on supporting Australian agriculture with enhanced national traceability through a better understanding of the best practices and capabilities being developed abroad. In 2020, Mr Carter will travel to Vietnam, China, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Canada and the United States exploring commodities including eggs, milk, oranges, red meat and wine. Visits with international producers and processors will provide a first-hand understanding of the measures and traceability processes that are in place, how effective they are, how markets are changing and what export market customers are expecting. “Through the Fellowship, I hope to learn from others and intend to bring back techniques and methods used in other parts of the world to address challenges being faced by Australian industry. For example, a smart way of identifying eggs to enhance traceability and provide customers with confidence,” Mr Carter said. Mr Carter has already championed CSIRO and industry efforts to improve traceability and regulatory aspects to help make Australian industry more competitive. He has also been actively engaged with Federal Government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and industry bodies including Food Standards Australia New Zealand, to address national traceability challenges. “When I return, I am looking forward to taking part in industry discussions and experimentation with new ideas identified through the investigation,” he added. Mr Carter is one of 115 recipients from across the country who have this year received the prestigious award worth some $3.35 million collectively. “Being recognised as a Churchill Fellow is a celebration of curiosity. They are ordinary Australians with extraordinary abilities and aspirations,” said Adam Davey, CEO of the Churchill Trust. To find out more about the Churchill Trust visit www.churchilltrust.com.au. For more information on GS1 Traceability visit www.gs1au.org/traceability. ends About GS1 Australia: GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used global standards for efficient business communication. We are best known for the barcode, named by the BBC as one of “the 50 things that made the world economy”. GS1 standards and services improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in 25 sectors. With local Member Organisations in 114 countries, 1.5 million user companies and 6 billion transactions every day, GS1 standards create a common language that supports systems and processes across the globe. For more information visit the GS1 Australia website or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and our YouTube channel. History of Churchill Fellowships and The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Five decades ago, just four weeks after the death of Sir Winston Churchill on 28 February 1965, the “Churchill Memorial Sunday” doorknock appeal was held across Australia. The doorknock was to raise funds for an unusual type of memorial to Sir Winston - something like Rhodes Scholarships, but more egalitarian, and available to all people and on a much wider basis. The concept, endorsed by Churchill before he died, was Fellowships, bearing his name, for ordinary people - providing a unique opportunity to travel, learn, and bring knowledge back to their country. Such was the admiration and respect that Australian fighting men and women of World War II held for Churchill, that this became the greatest one-day doorknock in Australian history. Funds collected from everyday Australians together with donations from Government and Australian companies totalled the princely sum of 2,206,000 Pounds ($4,412,000). That laid the foundation for an incredible opportunity – Fellowships offered annually and worth on average $27,000 each, available to Australians who want to make a difference. The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established to administer not only the total funds raised by the 1965 Appeal, but also the Churchill Fellowship award scheme. Since the inception of the Churchill Trust, more than 4,400 Australians have identified projects where overseas research allowed them to bring back vital networks and skills. Further information: Tracey Kelly-Jenkins, GS1 Australia 03 8581 5982. Julia George, Churchill Foundation 02 6247 8333. Caption 1: Peter Carter receives his Churchill Fellowship certificate from Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, Governor of New South Wales at Government House. Caption 2: Peter Carter from GS1 will use his Churchill Fellowship to investigate export market access for food commodities and wine. 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/ The sneezin’ season is here so reduce hay fever symptoms with an air purifier 2019-10-09T23:38:29Z the-sneezin-season-is-here-so-reduce-hay-fever-symptoms-with-an-air-purifier Australians, particularly Victorians, should prepare for a worse grass pollen season than last year, according to botanist Dr Ed Newbigin from the University of Melbourne. As reported by ABC Science* last week, the 2019 season is looking like it will be worse than 2018 for hay fever sufferers as last year was a low-pollen year. With nearly 1 in 5 Australians suffering allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and the sale of hay fever medicines doubling as a result, it's good to know that an air purifier can trap almost 100 per cent of allergens. Simply using an air purifier could help reduce the need for expensive and invasive medicines such as nasal sprays and oral antihistamines, and they can be used in the home, at the office and even in vehicles. Simon Haberle, a professor of natural history said that short-term pollen data from around Australia suggests there is a lengthening of the pollen season, and that pollen is increasingly abundant. Hay fever does occur throughout the year but peaks in October and November with the worst states being ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, closely followed by Western Australia and New South Wales. Allergy triggers Common triggers include pollens, house dust, animal fur, fungal spores and air pollutants. The highest standard of air purifiers use HEPA filters, which stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, and designates that the filters are able to trap 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size. Paul Beggs, an environmental health scientist from Macquarie University, said there's a lot of research showing that increases in CO2 in the atmosphere makes some pollen grains more potent, increasing allergenicity. Unlike many health conditions, allergic rhinitis is most common in the middle years of life: 15 to 59 years and is triggered by an allergic reaction. One of Australia's largest suppliers of portable air purifiers is Andatech with its Ionmax products that range from a personal unit that can be used in cars, trucks and on aeroplanes, to a larger model, the ION390, which can be placed in open spaces at home and in offices. The unit combines three forms of efficient air purification technologies: HEPA filtration, UV light and negative ions. Five-step filtration process The intelligent Ionmax ION390 UV HEPA Air Purifier utilises a five-step filtration process to completely and efficiently filter and clean indoor air. Starting with the pre-filter, the ION390 removes large airborne articles from the air. The HEPA air purifier filter then removes microscopic particles from the air, while the carbon filter removes undesirable odours and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). The next step is the Titanium Dioxide filter and the UV lamp, which work hand-in-hand to break down harmful contaminants in the air and kill mould, bacteria and viruses. Finally, the ION390 UV HEPA Air Purifier releases negative ions into the air to help revitalise and refresh indoor air. Ionmax air purifiers help to clean and filter the air not only of dust, hair and dander, but also from airborne allergens, bacteria, viruses, odours and harmful chemicals. With added benefits such as negative ionisers, UVC lamps and improved filters, Ionmax air purifiers ensure clean, healthy air anywhere and anytime. By placing an Ionmax air purifier in the home or workplace, users can enjoy healthier, cleaner air free of pollutants. And because they are portable and quite compact, they are easy to move around different rooms. Ionmax air purifiers are energy efficient and affordably priced so clean and healthy indoor air is accessible to everyone. Andatech air purifiers are available from selected stores including JB Hi-Fi, Betta Home Living, Winning Appliances, Sleep Solutions and online at www.andatech.com.au https://www.andatech.com.au/air-purifiers/ Ends Further information & References: Dr Ed Newbigin comments: https://about.unimelb.edu.au/newsroom/news/2019/october/worse-grass-pollen-season-predicted-for-victoria *ABC Science report: https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2019-10-01/climate-change-pollen-hay-fever/11545464 Federal Government statistics: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-respiratory-conditions/allergic-rhinitis-hay-fever/contents/allergic-rhinitis-by-the-numbers Melbourne pollen count and forecast: https://www.melbournepollen.com.au/ Prices of Andatech air purifiers: RRP of ION390 is $369 (HEPA filter) RRP of ION401 is $299 (Ionic tower) RRP of ION330 is $149 (car & desktop model) RRP of ION420 is $299 (HEPA filter) Marvel Habanero 2 is $349 (cordless) Marvel Aladdin is $199 (compact with e-Nano filter) About Andatech: Andatech is a 100% Australian owned company that designs, supplies, supports and services safety and wellness products including high quality alcohol and drug testing equipment, and air quality products. The company has the widest range of Australian Standard-certified breathalysers in Australia, which are designed for personal use, in workplaces, at hospitality venues (wall mounted) and as car interlock devices. Drug testing kits cover saliva and urine testing of 7 drug groups providing error-free results. Air quality products include dehumidifiers, air purifiers, humidifiers and aroma diffusers. https://www.andatech.com.au/ HIGH RES IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE (products and in-situ): Please send an email to Wendy McWilliams at wendy@wmcpr.com.au Renewable Energy Cup Yacht Race Gathers Phenomenal Support 2019-10-08T08:29:15Z renewable-energy-cup-yacht-race-gathers-phenomenal-support The Renewable Energy Cup committee has had a successful few months ahead of their inaugural industry event, a charity yacht race with proceeds going towards Donalea Patman’s AM, organisation “For the Love of Wildlife”.   The Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy & the Environment and a vocal supporter of the Australian Renewable Energy industry has confirmed his attendance at the event.   Furthermore, the event also secured their Gold Sponsor. The committee thanks Enel Green Power for being an avid supporter of the Renewable Energy Cup from the start of the process. Hamish Wall, founder and committee member commented by saying, “Enel Green Power is a true global leader in the Renewable Energy sector and a key player involved in Australia’s transition away from fossil fuel to clean generation”. He went on to also say, “as the Gold Sponsor Enel Green Power secures the naming rights, so the event is now known as the Enel Green Power Renewable Energy Cup Yacht Race”.     Javier Blanco, Head of Enel Green Power Australia, said: “Australia’s unique biodiversity, together with its wealth of renewable energy sources, represent true assets that should be preserved and enhanced as they generate tremendous value for the country. Enel’s pursuit of a zero-carbon future shares a common path with the protection of the environment and endangered species. Through our sponsorship of the Renewable Energy Cup, Enel green Power is further underscoring its commitment to sustainability in Australia.”      The event has now been locked down with 25 companies and all available sponsorship positions have been filled, with corporate sponsors Lendlease, Pinsent Masons and KPMG, along with Canadian Solar and Signal Energy secured as silver sponsors, and Longi, Vestas, SMEC and Consolidated Power Projects coming on board as bronze sponsors.   The event promises to be a fun-filled day of friendly competition between industry colleagues, and is a key opportunity to celebrate the success of the Renewable Energy Industry in Australia. About Enel Green Power Enel Green Power Australia Pty Ltd, is a part of the Enel Group’s global business line Enel Green Power, and a Sydney-based owner and operator of renewable energy plants in Australia with projects both operating and under development currently in 4 Australian States. Enel Green Power is the global business line of the Enel Group dedicated to the development and operation of renewables across the world, with a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector with a managed capacity of more than 43 GW across a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable power plants.   GS1 standards help to drive patient safety in Africa 2019-10-08T01:09:44Z gs1-standards-help-to-drive-patient-safety-in-africa Vaccine tenders issued by UNICEF and backed by Gavi financing now require GS1 data and barcode standards. This was just one momentous outcome announced by UNICEF at the 2nd African GS1 Healthcare Conference which took place in September in Lagos, Nigeria. The conference, which brought together 287 participants from 34 African countries and a further nine countries around the globe, was co-hosted with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control in Nigeria (NAFDAC) and financed by the World Bank, the Global Fund, USAID and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (IFPMA). Representatives from 70 regulatory bodies and 12 humanitarian organisations, like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF, joined manufacturers and healthcare providers at this incredible event. The conference culminated in 25 African regulatory authorities and six health financing and donor organisations proclaiming their intention to pursue pharmaceutical traceability by adopting GS1 global supply chain standards. See the full text of this Call to Action here. Maria Palazzolo, GS1 Australia Executive Director and CEO, said GS1 embraces the power of standards to transform the way people around the world work and live. “When used in healthcare, GS1 standards can help save lives and this healthcare conference in Lagos is indicative of the big step forward that has been achieved,” she said. “The commitment, passion and dedication of all conference participants to what global standards can bring to improve health in Africa was stunning. As we have seen in working with the healthcare sector in Australia, the path will be long. “However, something happened in Lagos to show us that anything is possible if you believe in the power of standards.” What does this mean for Australian Healthcare?Ms Palazzolo said that GS1 Australia continues to work with local regulators and industry groups to improve patient safety by using GS1 standards. “Driving the implementation of traceability standards is for the benefit of everyone not only from a business perspective but for the greater cause of patient safety. “It has been rewarding to share learnings with our colleagues globally to achieve similar outcomes, as healthcare is a truly global issue. There is much more to do, but collectively we are headed in the right direction,” Palazzolo added. ends GS1 Australia ContactMarian Makram-Perkins, Marketing Program Manager, T: 03 8581 5940E: marian.makram-perkins@gs1au.org About GS1 AustraliaGS1 Australia is the Australian member of GS1, a not-for-profit global organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used supply chain standards in the world and a leader in facilitating efficient international business. GS1 Australia currently serves 22 industry sectors and supports more than 20,000 members nationally to improve supply chain efficiency and cost effectiveness by adopting best practice GS1 global standards.In healthcare, the application of the standards delivers improvements in all aspects of the service delivery system. Tasks are carried out more safely and efficiently, while patient experience is also enhanced.For more information visit https://www.gs1au.org/for-your-industry/healthcare/ or follow us on https://www.linkedin.com/company/793758/ and https://twitter.com/gs1_au. To request high res photos please contact Wendy McWilliams at WMC PR on:Tel: 03 9803 2588 / 0421 364 665 E: wendy@wmcpr.com.au Microba and Google Cloud use innovation and AI to level up gut microbiome testing 2019-10-03T23:39:28Z microba-and-google-cloud-use-innovation-and-ai-to-level-up-gut-microbiome-testing-1 CEO of gut health testing specialists Microba, Blake Wills, presented at the Google Cloud Summit in Sydney last week to share how working with global powerhouse Google Cloud allowed the startup to combine expert scientific knowledge with high-powered analytics and machine learning capabilities. In March this year Microba first announced it had turned to hyperscale computing from Google Cloud to expand Microba’s capabilities within Australia and overseas in the microbiome research and biotechnology fields. Since Microba launched its customer test, Microba Insight™ in June 2018, over 10,000 samples have been pushed through their proprietary bioinformatics pipeline – Metagenomic Analysis Platform (MAP™). The collaboration with Google Cloud and Partner Max Kelsen has thus far reduced storage costs by 20 per cent, allowed for computing scalability up to thousands of CPUs when processing is required and down to zero when not, moved workload storage into cloud native architecture and reduced time for sequence run processing from 48 hours to under 12 hours. Mr Wills said that working with Google Cloud allowed the company to bring the best cloud engineering talent together to optimise the use of Google Cloud services. “The use of Cloud Storage for production pipelines and data storage is recognised as an important business requirement to keep Cloud Storage costs down for a small startup that relies heavily on using 100TBs of data,” he said. “Microba has enabled thousands of customers in Australia to grasp a deeper understanding of their gut microbiome and provided diet-based interventions to make a positive change since launch. “Microba has also assisted practitioners to use new insights and world-leading research to assist in making informed decisions for patient health.” The world-leading biotech are building the world’s largest database of metagenomic gut microbiome samples and assisted health and lifestyle data using innovative technology. Microba’s Lead Bioinformatician Dr David Wood said that as the database grows, Google Cloud’s machine learning technology will be used to identify increasing numbers of significant associations between specific microorganisms and genes which can accurately predict different disease states. “Deploying artificial intelligence allows us to explore complex relationships between bacteria and human health, delivering promising leads for new diagnostic tools using the gut microbiome and AI,” he said. “Providing computing at the scale and elasticity required by Microba was an exciting challenge for Max Kelsen, by leveraging Google Cloud Platform’s particular capabilities, including specific instance sizing and high throughput networking, and Kubernetes, we achieved a state that ticks the technical requirements at the same time as delivering significant cost reductions,” CEO and Co-founder of Max Kelsen, Nicholas Therkelsen-Terry said. Colin Timm, ANZ Country Director of Google Cloud said, “Genomic data is growing significantly and we’re honoured to play a role in the work Microba and Max Kelsen are doing to accelerate breakthroughs in gut microbiome research.” Microba’s MAP™ is up for the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Award for Product Innovation in October 2019.   ENDS Brisbane-based Microba partners with UNSW Sydney’s Microbiome Research Centre to deliver world-class analysis 2019-09-23T05:54:02Z brisbane-based-microba-partners-with-unsw-sydney-s-microbiome-research-centre-to-deliver-world-class-analysis Australia’s leading gut microbiome testing specialists Microba have partnered with the Microbiome Research Centre (MRC) at UNSW to power new gut microbiome research to discover new links with disease states and potential therapeutics. The collaboration between Microba and the MRC combines world-class microbiome analysis with leading clinicians and scientists, sharing a vision to not only discover new links with disease states, but with the ultimate goal of developing new diagnostics and therapies to help patients. Launched in 2018, Microba is leading the way with next generation analysis investigating the role the gut microbiome plays in overall health. MRC held its official opening 12 August and will investigate how disturbance in the microbiome occurs and how it causes disease – a critical step in preventing it. Microba co-founder and microbiome research pioneer, Professor Phil Hugenholtz welcomed the partnership, explaining that this opportunity would enable some of Australia’s best researchers to access the best analytical tools available. “We hope that by furthering our knowledge of the gut microbiome, we will be able to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals. This collaboration allows all parties involved to contribute to this vision,” he said. “With at least half of the population complaining of a digestive issue each year, high-powered research is essential to provide diagnostics and therapeutics into the future.” The MRC is directed by UNSW Medicine Professor Emad El-Omar, a well recognised clinical gastroenterologist specialist with 20 years of gut microbiome research experience.  Professor El-Omar is also the Editor in Chief of the highly reputable journal, Gut. “We are delighted to collaborate with Microba, a company underpinned by outstanding scientists at the cutting edge of research in the microbiome field,” he said. “Our complementary strengths will deliver real benefits to patients the world over. “The microbiome is an exciting new frontier in medicine and together we will harness its power to treat and prevent disease.” Microba’s team were pleased to host Professor El-Omar on a tour of the Microba lab when he spoke at Brisbane’s Translational Research Institute on 13 August.   ENDS