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Expedition Unlimited is a collaboration between South African Tourism and the Netherlands’ VSB Fonds and National Committee for International Co-operation and Sustainable Development. A new reality TV show, Expedition Unlimited, is showcasing the South African adventures of five models and five young people with physical disabilities on Llink television in the Netherlands. In the first episode, broadcast on 10 November, five teams, each comprising one model and one disabled person, were assembled. Over the next nine episodes, the teams perform a series of challenges – including a specially developed tandem bicycle route – at scenic locations across South Africa. 14 November 2008 Expedition Unlimited provides viewers with a glimpse of different worlds: South Africa versus the Netherlands, models versus people with disabilities, the African bush, the desert, the sea and mountains. “As such, each episode aims to depict South Africa to Dutch consumers as both exotic and challenging, but also accessible and engaging.” SAinfo reporter “South Africa is a prime example of a country full of contrasts and extremes – the ideal place for challenge and adventure,” says Ilse-Marie Sobering, marketing and communications manager at South African Tourism in the Netherlands. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material While each stage involves cycling, each episode also includes new and uniquely South African challenges as teams compete for a head start in the next episode – and ultimately for the 20 000 first prize. For more information, visit Expedition Unlimited.
South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a low-cost method of manufacturing the antiretrovirals used to treat HIV/Aids, paving the way for more extensive HIV treatment across Africa.The CSIR’s new technique will reduce the production costs of thymidine, a valuable ingredient in the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs AZT and stavudine. The two generic drugs are used in combination therapy treatment of HIV/Aids.By using two drugs of different classes, combination therapy minimises both HIV virus resistance to ARVs and the development of serious side-effects. Because of this, it is the preferred method of ARV administration.Until now, Indian drug manufacturers supported by state subsidies have offered the most competitively priced active pharmaceutical ingredients, and so dominated the global market.The CSIR’s breakthrough will now allow for the production of thymidine at a fraction lower than the Indian market.According to Dr Moira Bode, who led the CSIR project probing the low-cost production of ARVs, this research could stimulate establishment of an industry for local production of active pharmaceutical ingredients.“This will empower African governments to supply more people with the life-saving drugs,” Bode said.The CSIR-developed technology relies on a biocatalytic step to produce thymidine. The research included total development of the biocatalysis reaction to produce 5-methyluridine as well as the chemistry to convert 5-methyluridine to thymidine.“This involved, among other things, initial screening work to identify useful enzymes, the fermentations to produce enzymes and the process development for scale-up of the biocatalytic reaction, as well as the chemistry,” said Bode.“The entire process was scaled at the CSIR to produce thymidine at kilogram scale.”The CSIR has filed a patent application on the technology and a new market player in antiretroviral manufacturing, Arvir Technologies, has been granted the commercial rights.The company will explore various options, including granting licences to existing ARV active pharmaceutical ingredient producers, and establishing a new ARV pharmaceutical ingredients facility for South Africa.“We need to ensure that South Africa has an economically sustainable and well-secured supply of high quality ARVs,” ,” said Dr David Walwyn, CEO of Arvir. “Negotiations are presently underway with government.”Dr Gatsha Mazithulela, executive director of the CSIR Biosciences research unit, said South Africa’s high HIV prevalence rate made low-cost ARVs essential.“In South Africa, with the number of people requiring ARV drugs estimated at approaching 1 million [where the CD4 count of the individual is less than 200], the local manufacturing of these drugs is an imperative,” he said.“Ironically, now that the science has been done, the challenge is to find commercial partners willing to invest in manufacturing. We look forward to interesting conversations with our government and other stakeholders in making local production of ARVs a reality.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] linksCouncil for Scientific and Industrial ResearchArvir Technologies
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Whilst enjoying a run with his ‘Old Grey Sharks’ mates on Thursday night, Mick suffered a heart attack, and despite the extraordinary efforts of volunteers and ambulance staff, could not be revived.Mick, his immediate and massively extended family, have played a huge part in the landscape of both Launceston Touch and Touch Football Tasmania for many years, and there is no doubt that his passing will sadden a great many.Mick embodied what our sport is really all about, having fun with your mates and spending some quality time with family and friends.Gone way too soon, Mick will be remembered by all who came to know him.Our thoughts are with Tania, and Mick and Tania’s beautiful daughters Tahila and Alix, as well as all of the very close and wonderful Webb and extended families.The LTA is providing counselling services to any of their members who may have been affected by this tragedy with:Newport and Wildman15 Lawrence St Launceston03 6332 09991800 650 204
By BEN HARRISIt seemed New South Wales Scorpions came from the clouds last year to win the women’s Elite Eight division at National Touch League.This year they won’t be so incognito.With the targets on their back, every team will be gunning for the Scorpions.They had an unblemished record in 2014, which gives them the confidence heading into this year’s campaign.Adding to that confidence is majority of last year’s side remain, which makes them definite short-priced favourites.New South Wales Mets will be nipping around once again.The perennial finalists love the Elite Eight, having played in every final since the first competition at the 2011 NTL. This year should be no different.Louise Winchester is the major drawcard for this side; she’ll work in tandem with Ash Quinlan.Mets also picked up Shellie Davis and Tayla Clifford to add to their arsenal.Queensland Chiefs have a lot of Australian representatives – 10 in all – playing and will be a team to keep an eye on.Emily Hennessey returns and she adds that much-needed spark the Chiefs were lacking last year where they were knocked out in the semi-finals.Their matches against Mets and Scorpions will be incredible showdowns.The Stingrays could be the dark horses of the competition having made the semi-finals last year.They have some talented players but it will come down to consistency.Stability was something lacking the New South Wales Country Mavericks in 2014.The Mavericks failed to win a match last year despite making the final four in 2013.A new coach and a new-looking side means the Mavericks should go better this year.New South Wales Rebels, Queensland Country Outlaws and The Alliance are not to be discounted from the field.The Outlaws made massive improvements in 2014 and with a lot of youth-based players in their side, they could pull off a few upsets.The Rebels didn’t have the best of it last year but they only missed the finals by a win.Not having Maddie Studdon (injury) is a lost but there are other Australian representatives who are able to step up.The Alliance is building every year and will be hard opposition for teams.Leah Percy captains the side, which has brought on the best talent from around the country.You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2015 National Touch League in the following ways: Websites www.ntl.mytouchfooty.com www.touchfootball.com.au Social Media Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia Twitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #NTL2015) Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus (live streaming of select games will occur, stay tuned to www.touchfootball.com.au for all of the links)Related LinksWomen’s Elite Eight preview
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Sevilla sporting director Monchi: We won’t dwell on Real Madrid defeatby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSevilla sporting director Monchi insists there’s no need for panic after defeat to Real Madrid.This was Sevilla’s first defeat of the season in LaLiga Santander, but Monchi isn’t getting carried away either way.”It’s a very long season,” he said.”We’re happy with what the team is doing.”We can’t draw positive conclusions for either the good or the bad.”We came up against a team made to win and they played a very good game.”
Economic Growth Council (EGC) Chairman, Michael Lee-Chin, says the Council is working closely with several key stakeholders, including the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies, to identify and rectify factors delaying the development approval process.Speaking at Thursday’s (August 23) sixth EGC quarterly briefing at Jamaica House, Mr. Lee-Chin said the Council is seeking to lend technical expertise, where necessary, to drive timely reform of the process.This, he said, is aimed at expediting the timeline for granting approvals and standardising the attendant fees.The Chairman noted that the delay in granting approvals has been a perennial challenge and a major hindrance to Jamaica’s attainment of higher levels of sustainable growth.According to the World Bank’s Doing Business report, approvals span about 147 days and 19 processes.Mr. Lee-Chin said the issue is further compounded by delays in the relevant stakeholders’ completion of parish development orders, which were due to be finalised by June 2018.The missed deadline, he pointed out, is attributable to several factors, including: delayed feedback from the respective Municipal Corporations, and the printing of provisional Development Orders.The Chairman said preliminary information indicates that some of the Orders have, “to some extent,” not been entirely completed.Against this background, Mr. Lee-Chin said the EGC conducted its own investigation into the matter and along with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), which is responsible for the country’s orderly development, and Jamaica Printing Services Limited, undertook work which enabled the printing of provisional Development Orders by June 24, 2018.Additionally, he said the Council is following up with the various Ministers/Ministries, Municipal Corporations, Mayors and Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, “to ensure that the completion of the initiatives is expedited.”“The Economic Growth Council will continue to work and we will be relentless in following up on agreed strategies and timelines,” Mr. Lee-Chin emphasised.He argued that if the country “is going to attract the kind of growth-inducing investments we seek, we’ll have to continue to work hard at removing the high levels of bureaucracy from our processes, particularly in the development and building application approval process.”In this regard, the Chairman urged the relevant stakeholders to “once and for all, get the Development Orders finished so (that) we can clear up the backlog of projects that are lingering.”NEPA indicated in 2015 that four new Development Orders had already been done for Portland, Manchester, Trelawny and Negril, while work was being undertaken on an additional three for Kingston, Clarendon and St. Thomas.