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Stronger sperm selected by Memphasys’ Felix device

Assessments undertaken at nine international IVF clinics have shown that the Felix device produced by reproductive biology company Memphasys is capable of selecting better sperm from a sample destined for IVF procedures than traditional methods. Felix is a six-minute test that uses an electric force and polymer membranes to separate sperm, selecting negatively charged sperm for use in the IVF process. An analysis of the assessments by Distinguished Emeritus Professor John Aitken of the University of Newcastle, shows that Felix and traditional centrifuge separation are both capable of selecting high quality sperm from a sample. However while yields are lower with Felix, the overall quality of sperm the system selects are superior. Aitken is now analysing results of sperm quality measured by a different, ‘swim up’ technique. Memphasys expects use of the device to increase the chances of the birth of a healthy baby, which currently takes an average of 2.2 IVF cycles.

Ambassador Sinodinos visits US operations of Birdon Group

Australia’s Ambassador to the United States of America Arthur Sinodinos AO has taken the opportunity to tour the North American HQ of Birdon Group (pictured), a Port Macquarie, New South Wales company achieving success in the United States. Birdon and its propulsion partner NAMJet have been producing Bridge Erection Boats (BEB) for the United States Army since 2014 at their factory in northeast Denver. The company has since delivered 100 BEBs. Sinodinos said on social media: “It was very impressive to see their latest contributions to #marineshipbuilding for the United States Armed Forces and Coast Guard.” Birdon America Inc has also a US$17.8 million contract with the United States Navy to provide Scrap Metal and Waste Removal Operations on the Navy Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

Grants to help SMEs access Asia

The Western Australian government has awarded $390,000 in funding to help local businesses grow their export capability across rapidly expanding Asian markets. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will share the latest round of funding from the State Government’s Access Asia Business Grants programme, managed by Invest and Trade Western Australia. Grant recipients will use the funding to improve their competitive edge in these markets, helping strengthen and diversify the State’s economy by creating local jobs. The 16 SMEs are spread across the priority sectors identified in the WA Government’s economic development framework, Diversify WA, including health and medical life sciences, primary industries, and space industries. Full list of recipients here.

AHF sells the farm to support capital needs

Australian Dairy Nutritionals Group (AHF) has sold one of its organic dairy farms to support its capital needs as it prepares to begin commercial production of its organic A2 infant formula and future Gradulac Gentle product ranges. Given inventory investment demands, AHF sold its Brucknell North, Victoria farm for $6.425 million or more than $10,000 per acre, and will lease back the property from the new owners for an initial period of three years with options to extend. AHF will be able to terminate the lease on 90 days notice, ‘giving significant flexibility to the group in determining the optimal strategy for sourcing its raw milk requirements’. Settlement will take place on 15 July.

Guardian class patrol boat handed over to Cook Islands

Newly installed veterans affairs minister Matt Keogh has formally handed over Guardian class patrol boat Te Kukupa II to the Cook Islands, at a ceremony at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia. Keogh said: “This handover speaks to the deep and abiding friendship between our two nations. And it demonstrates our shared commitment to a free and open Pacific region.” The Guardian class patrol boat, built by shipbuilder Austal at Henderson, WA will replace the Pacific class patrol boat Te Kukupa which was gifted by Australia to the Cook Islands 33 years ago under the leadership of Prime Minister Bob Hawke. Keogh also announced that Australia would invest $1.6 million in electronic equipment and amenities at the Cook Islands’ Maritime Surveillance Centre in Rarotonga to support the work of the new vessel.

Picture: Arthur Sinodinos

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