How Technology Changes our news Consumption.

Technology has opened up a myriad of new avenues for news production and consumption, but there are dangers with the raw amount of sometimes potentially falsified information available on the web. Jade Peters, a University graduate, blogger and editorial journalist, has discovered first had how the internet has affected her news consumption. “There are so many avenues you can receive your news, it can become dangerous when you find yourself constantly searching for news and opinions that reflect your own. I found myself reading stories and using websites that mirrored my own right wing political bias, and all I was doing was solidifying my own opinion, and not exposing myself to others.”

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National News Health Report: Organ Donation

Australia is a world leader in human organ transplantation successes, but the historically low organ donation rate has capped the number of surgeries able to take place. However, with the recent momentum of Government community programs and awareness campaigns, focusing on culturally and religiously diverse education and recruitment programs, in the last two years statistics have show a steep upturn in deceased donor rates in Australia. Medical Scientist Lindsay Holder B.Sc. (Hons), worked for many years with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in donor matching, and was gracious to give his educated insight into this complex area of medicine.

Alexandra: Australia has typically had a very high organ transplantation success rate, but a very low deceased organ donation rate. The factors that cause this are complex, but what, in your opinion, are the most prominent factors creating this disparity between the two, and what accounts for the recent upturn?

Lindsay Holder B. Sc. (Hons): Organ transplantation began in Australia in the mid 1960’s. Organ donation programs, organ transplant units and laboratories specializing in transplant immunology were established in the major capital cities and have continued to grow and to adopt new technologies ever since. This has meant that transplant success rates, firstly for kidney transplantation and later for other organs such as the heart, liver, lung and pancreas, as the surgical techniques for their transplantation were developed, they have remained of world best standard. Demand for donated organs has always outstripped supply and the reasons for low deceased donor rates per capita compared to most other countries have continued to perplex professionals working in this field. Australia’s ethnic diversity may be one factor contributing, with many cultures greatly under-represented in the donor population compared to the proportion of patients from these groups requiring transplants. Religious and cultural attitudes to donation may contribute to this and education and recruitment programs have focused on these groups.

Having said this, disparity has been greatly offset for kidney transplantation by the development of living donor transplant programs where a consenting and healthy relative or friend, after an exhaustive screening program, donates one kidney to a person in need of transplant. In Victoria and Tasmania, almost half of kidney transplants are sourced in this way.

Alexandra: According to the ABC, SBS and a variety of other sources, Australia is a world leader in transplant successes, what technologies have you seen, encountered or introduced over your years of work, has contributed to this?

Lindsay: For the first thirty or forty years of organ transplantation, all testing for Human Leucocyte Antigen typing, antibody screening and donor/recipient cross-matching employed serological testing techniques where antigen/antibody reactions were directly observed microscopically using the microlymphocytotoxicity assay. The focus has almost entirely shifted to detecting the gene sequences that code for these antigens and antibodies using techniques such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction), Gene Sequencing and Flow Cytometry and the specificity and accuracy of information so obtained has further improved transplant outcomes and enabled the successful transplants of patients with reduced likelihood of finding a suitable donor.

 

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Report from the 4th Annual Reducing Hospital Re-admissions and Discharge Planning Conference.

Recently, Melbourne was host to the 4th Annual Reducing Hospital Re-admissions and Discharge Planning Conference. Patricia Doughney, conference speaker and Community Health care coordinator, discussed important issues and case studies from this Government Initiative to help individuals in the community struggling with complex or chronic illness. “High re-admissions have been proven to be very detrimental to health. Statistics show that this community oriented and strategic support approach is very effective in reducing unplanned hospital re-admmissions. We aim to link people with the community, give support to those socially disadvantaged equitable support. Coordinating with specialists and general practitioners in the community, we provide comprehensive care and the support to self manage their health needs.”

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Slightly ‘Off the Wall’, Endearingly Inept Video Slideshow of Melbourne.

 

Melbourne is a wonderful, vibrant city. Breathtaking architecture, intriguing art, and a ‘cooler than cucumbers’ atmosphere. There are many, many, many tour buses shuttling around the masses of eager tourists with the standard camera pressed to face, and rosy red faces of awe and discovery. But you know who misses out on all these amazing places, all these amazing views vibes and venues? Teddies. Weird answer you say? Read on. You’ve seen Toy Story right? Well, awaiting you is a  YouTube video of how that scenario plays out in grand old Melbourne town…..

Sneak Peek

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An Insider Perspective of UK Unemployment.

If the pundits are to be believed, it seems Britain is one cup of tea away from complete bankruptcy, and a chunk of the population are turning to crime. At the very least the Government has revised its economic growth projections to a resounding.. zero. Recent University of Newcastle graduate and videographer Tom Litherland sat down via Skype, to hash out a ground level perspective of the job market in the media. “You want to make yourself as indispensable as possible for job security. You can read the figures and projections, but in the end it is your individual effort that secures a job.”
To see Toms skills in action, go to his YouTube feed. To check out my other ‘lets try get a job in the media’ article (Australia edition), go here.

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New Artistic Haven to Open in the Victorian Mountain District.

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Amateur artist Barbara Doogan will soon be opening an art studio, retreat and gallery that will be a haven for amateur and up-start painters, sculptors, textile and non-traditional artists. “The studio will be in Monbulk, and has a beautiful view … Continue reading

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Are Environmental Awards Always Egalitarian?

 

Neighborhood just outside of the Central Business District of Melbourne

The City of Boroondara, 6 kilometers from Melbourne CBD, has been awarded the “Sustainable City of the Year” title by the ‘Keep Australia Beautiful: Victoria Sustainable Cities and Clean Beaches Awards’. Hawthorn resident and activist Emma Fenton; “I wonder whether it is due the fact that this is one of the richest suburbs in Melbourne. Can those in the lower socioeconomic sector afford to ‘go green’ on their bills, and do they have that disposable income to spend on higher education and environmetalist projects?” Councellor Kreutz, Mayor of Boroondara, said in a press release; “This is one of Victoria’s most prestigious sustainability award and a major achievement.”

 

A street in Hawthorn, 6 ks outside Melbourne, and part of the City of Boroondara- winner of recent Environmentalism and Sustainability Award.

It is a pretty neighborhood
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