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Marcolin To Double In-House Made In Italy Production and Signs JV for China PDF
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Tuesday, 04 November 2014

MarcolinEyewear company Marcolin has announced the acquisition of a new 3.500m2 manufacturing facility in Longarone (Fortogna area), in the heart of the eyewear district. This move is in line with its mid-long term strategy of creating value leveraging on the opportunities offered by the development of high-end products, consistent with Marcolin's historical DNA. Company's employment will strongly benefit of this operation as well.

The new site, starting operations from mid-2015, will double Marcolin's in-house Made in Italy production: this is the answer to structural good sales' performance and, on top, to the opening of new directly managed markets mixed with new highly recognized brands in the portfolio.

The company has recently signed license agreements with fashion and luxury brands like Ermenegildo Zegna, Zegna Couture and Emilio Pucci, all of which (in addition to Tom Ford, Montblanc, Balenciaga, Roberto Cavalli, Dsquared2 and Diesel) have a policy of developing and manufacturing their products in Italy, and whose superior creativity and quality are perfectly expressed by the local artisan tradition.

Marcolin's CEO Giovanni Zoppas said: "To us, Made in Italy is a vital strategic asset and finalizing this investment in Longarone, the area where Marcolin’s history began, is one more reason to feel proud of it."

Furthermore, Marcolin and Ginko Group, a longstanding operator in the Chinese eyewear market, recently announced the incorporation of a joint venture (JV) for the Chinese market. Purpose of the deal is to improve the partners' presence in Mainland China and to expand and strengthen the development of direct distribution of Marcolin products in the region. GINLIN Optical Shanghai Ltd Co., the name of the new joint venture, is a Shanghai-based company owned on a 50/50 basis by Marcolin and the Ginko Group.

Marcolin's CEO Giovanni Zoppas said: "I'm very proud and excited to enter into this joint venture. Ginko Group and Marcolin have a very complementary background and attitude: the two of us are longstanding in the industry and reliable partners for their respective clients. That's why I'm sure this joint venture will deliver extra-value to the Chinese eyewear market."

Ginko Group's President Kuo Chou Tsai declared: "Starting business in China since year 1992, Ginko Group has been conducting quality commodity, good service and innovation as the target of enterprises. It's our honour to cooperate with Marcolin, a worldwide leading eyewear company, to provide suitable pattern and reasonable price commodity for our Chinese customers. We believe this joint venture will be a win-win cooperation and create successful benefit to both sides."

Whole Eye Transplant Under Development PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Monday, 03 November 2014

With a US$1million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine hope to someday make implantation of an entire, functional eye a reality.

"A whole eye transplant could be a holy grail for vision restoration," said Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, PhD, professor of ophthalmology and grant co-recipient with colleagues at University of Pittsburg Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard University. "It is in the realm of scientific plausibility."

The basic idea is straightforward: Doctors would implant a donor eye in the recipient's eye socket. The vascular system to the eye would be re-established, as would the eye’s musculature to enable normal movement. The greater challenge – and focus of the two-year project – would be devising effective methods to reconnect the eye's neuronal wiring to the brain through the optic nerve, which contains more than 1 million nerve cells and transmits visual information from the retina. Past experiments at University of Pittsburg Medical Center have demonstrated the ability to perform whole eye transplants in genetically inbred rats (selected to minimize issues of tissue rejection). But while retinal tissue in the transplanted eyes appeared healthy, the optic nerves did not recover and regenerate connections, eliminating the possibility of restored sight.

"We know from previous experiments that the biggest scientific hurdle is not hooking up all the eye's tiny blood vessels or its musculature," said Goldberg, who is also director of research at UC San Diego Shiley Eye Center. "It's that when you cut the optic nerve, the nerve cells do not regrow. Our goal for this project is to be able to transplant a whole eye in an animal model and successfully demonstrate neuronal regrowth from the donor’s eye to the recipient’s optic nerve”.

Researchers at UC San Diego and Harvard University have developed a variety of molecular techniques for enhancing optic nerve regeneration. One of the primary objectives is to assess whether these different techniques can be combined for greater therapeutic effect. Among the most promising is restoring the embryonic ability of adult nerve cells to grow and blocking production of molecules that squelch nerve cells’ initial intrinsic regenerative properties. This loss of regenerative capacity is similar to what happens in spinal cord injuries that result in permanent paralysis. Scientists have also identified proteins in the optic nerve known as neurotrophic factors that are involved in growth, survival and maintenance of developing neurons and have developed techniques for enhancing their signaling to nerve cells. Other "molecular tricks" will be used to try to overcome the inhibitory environment for re-growth normally found in the optic nerve.

Luxottica Announces Decreased Retail Performance in Australia and New Zealand PDF
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Friday, 31 October 2014

Luxottica has announced solid growth in net sales and profitability in the third quarter of 2014 and record free cash flow. Luxottica's adjusted net sales are up by 6.8% (+ 5.5% on a reported basis) and its wholesale division's net sales are up by 9.3%, at constant and current exchange rates. The retail division's comparable store sales are up by 4.4% with LensCrafters comparable store sales up by 2.5%, accelerating versus the second quarter. However, Luxottica's optical specialty chains in Australia and New Zealand reported a slightly decreased performance in comparable store sales, as a consequence of a more competitive and promotional environment. Sunglass Hut, the company's sun specialty chain, continued to contribute significantly, reporting a 7.4% increase in comparable store sales in the third quarter of 2014 on a global basis, after growing by 8.3% in the first half of the year. Contributions came from all geographic areas in which Sunglass Hut is located, including Australia and New Zealand.

Overall adjusted operating income for the company is up by 16.1% while adjusted net income increased by 17.5%, to Euro 173 million.

Wayfinding and Tactile Signage System Launched in Sydney PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 30 October 2014

The City of Sydney has launched the first step in a comprehensive wayfinding and tactile signage network that will make the city more accessible for people of all abilities. The $8 million Legible Sydney Wayfinding System will link central Sydney streets using tactile and braille street signs, pedestrian-friendly maps, information pylons, new signs and digital technology. The first stage will be tested along two busy city routes.

With around 2,100 informative braille and tactile signs to be installed throughout the 26 square kilometre city area, the completed tactile sign rollout will be the most comprehensive of its kind in the world.

The new tactile signs featuring white lettering and braille on an aluminium plate appear on 38 poles next to pedestrian crossing buttons along the York Street test route between Druitt and Margaret streets. While the tactile signs are designed to primarily help people who are blind and vision impaired, it will also make street location information easier to access for everyone. The new signs will replace the current rubber panels installed in the early 1990s that have become worn out from use.

On the second test route, three pylons and 16 flag and finger signs will connect Wynyard Park and Walsh Bay near Barangaroo. The 1.5 kilometre route will travel from York Street, through the Kent Street underpass and along Kent Street to Hickson Road, Walsh Bay.

Pylons and tactile signs will also feature QR tags that can be used for digital links to City websites, Transport for NSW information and timetables and Destination NSW tourism information.

The signs were developed in consultation with Vision Australia and Guide Dogs NSW/ACT. 

Researchers Use App To Image Fundus in Newborns PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Fundus Image AppResearchers at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences  of the University of Buffalo (UB) in the U.S. have successfully used a smartphone app to image the back of the eye, or fundus, in patients who can be particularly challenging to examine: newborn babies and children.

The iExaminer adapter, developed and marketed by WelchAllyn, allows the UB researchers to combine the PanOptic ophthalmoscope, a portable lighted instrument used to look inside the eye, with iPhone technology to instantly take photos and videos of the fundus. The findings were presented earlier this month by the researchers in a poster session and at a news conference at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago. 

Conventional fundus cameras, which typically accommodate adult patients, are expensive and generally only available in specialized eye clinics.

The system can capture key structures at the back of the eye in a single view without necessarily needing drops to dilate the eye. The iPhone technology also enables instant electronic transmission of images and consultation between physicians via telemedicine, and facilitates capturing, storing and transferring collected data. 

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