Category Archives: Captains & Legends 传奇

Eliminating Disease 隔绝疾病

Professor Scott O’Neill
Founder & Head of the Eliminate Dengue Program

In the drier and temperate regions of Australia, many people may not regard mosquito-borne diseases as a serious issue, but they are a silent and prevalent killer for those who are closer to the equator.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has ranked dengue fever as the most critical mosquito-borne viral disease in the world and the most rapidly spreading – with a 30-fold increase in global incidence over the past 50 years. Each year an estimated 390 million dengue infections occur around the world. Of these, 500,000 develop into dengue haemorrhagic fever, a more severe form of the disease, and dengue results in up to 25,000 deaths annually worldwide.

The statistics are alarming with over 2.5 billion people (more than 30% of the world’s population in over 100 countries at risk of infection). The most significant recent epidemics have occurred in South-east Asia, the Americas and the Western Pacific.

Deadly Dengue And More
For years, countries and governments have attempted to mitigate against the disease as well as more recent mosquito-borne disease threats such as Chikungunya and Zika. These measures have been largely ineffective. The Eliminate Dengue Program (EDP), a not-for-profit international collaboration led from Monash University in Australia – part of the Institute of Vector-Borne Disease – has an innovative solution to the transmission of such diseases.

The programme is headed by scientist, Professor Scott O’Neill and brings together scientific collaborators from around the world with a range of skills and experience including Wolbachia mosquito biology and ecology, dengue epidemiology and control, and public health education and promotion.

“In each country we work in, we partner with local people – local research institutes, governments, regulatory authorities, private enterprise and community members,” explains O’Neill, a biologist, who started this research more than 20 years ago.

What propelled O’Neill’s interest in the field study was to create a project and movement for a social purpose, instead of solely for scientific experimentation. After working in this field in Australia and the USA for several years, O’Neill’s team had a breakthrough with the Wolbachia innovation. The scientific team managed to transfer Wolbachia (commonly found in many insects such as the fruit fly) into the Aedes Agypti mosquito after more than 10 years.

Wolbachia is safe for humans, animals and the environment. It is found in many insects associated with human food and is widely consumed by humans; and it does not infect humans or other vertebrates. What the Eliminate Dengue Program innovation has done, is enable the Aedes agypti mosquito to block the transmission of disease. The EDP method uses Wolbachia, a naturally occurring bacteria, to reduce mosquito’s ability to transmit harmful human viruses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika. (Wolbachia has also been known to block the transmission of Yellow Fever and West Nile viruses.)

Expansion to Eliminate
Now, the EDP project has shown that its method of dengue control is feasible, thanks to initial field trials which have shown that the Wolbachia continues to block disease transmission. So far, the disease has been blocked for up to five years in communities where Wolbachia mosquitoes have been released. The team expects this to continue on an ongoing basis. Mathematical modelling by independent experts shows that the disease will continue to be blocked for 30 years.

“We are now further developing the method for low-cost, large-scale application across urban areas in countries affected by dengue.”

The programme is currently deploying its method in Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil and Colombia with plans to expand into other top 20 countries affected by mosquito-borne diseases.

Within the next six years, the project aims to reduce the burden of the disease by 90%. As well as continuing to carry out large scale field releases in several countries, the team is planning large randomised trials in at least one city, Yogyakarta (Indonesia) until 2018-2019.

“We work with local universities, researchers, government agencies and communities in the countries we’re present in.” O’Neill and his team include close to 400 people working on the Eliminate Dengue project, with some 60 people based in the Monash University headquarter in Melbourne.

Unlike commercialised drugs administered to patients after an infection, EDP focuses on providing sustainable protection from disease. Application (release of mosquitoes with Wolbachia) is only done once over a short period (2-3 months) with no need for repetition.

“Our method is quite novel. People think you have to kill mosquitoes, but we have a different focus.”

A core part of the EDP method and innovation is the way the team involves communities. Key for O’Neill is “authentic engagement before, during and after mosquito releases”. The teams and partners engage with local communities and share details of what is involved, and share results as releases progress. They involve the media. Their focus is on accessible and transparent communication and a respectful and inclusive approach.

“Our field trials in five countries in over 30 sites have shown no reported adverse events; and good disease blocking,” says O’Neill. “In Indonesia we are conducting a large scale release and an impact study across Yogyakarta through to 2019.”

This type of new approach requires forward and bold thinking,” explains O’Neill.

While still recognised as a new method, funding for all science based interventions continues to be a challenge. Eliminate Dengue is a non-profit organisation that is looking to increase its philanthropic and government support base globally.

“We believe governments would prefer our method because it is safe, and takes financial pressure off their health systems, especially in countries where they are low on resources,” explains O’Neill.

The work is possible because of the vision of great philanthropists such as Bill and Melinda Gates, The Tahija family, the Gillespie family, the Wellcome Trust and governments including the Australian, UK and Brazilian governments and USAID. In order to expand the life changing work, the scientific team are looking for more partners and supporters.

由于澳大利亚位于干燥和温带地区,毒蚊传染病的严重性没太突出,但对居于靠近赤道的人们来说,它是沉默残酷的杀手。

世界卫生组织(WHO)将登革热(或称骨痛热症)列为全球最严重的蚊虫病毒性疾病,而且病症迅速蔓延-过去50年中全球发病率增加30倍,每年计有3.9亿人惨遭感染登革热。

其中50万人趋向恶化,转为登革热骨痛溢血热症,导致全世界每年多达2万5000人死亡。另外,逾25亿人(超过100国家,30%以上的世界人口处于感染危机中),而情势严峻的区域为东南亚,美洲和西太平洋。

了解更多致命登革热
众国家和政府多年来力图减轻疾病的致命性及蚊子传播疾病的威胁,如基孔肯亚和寨卡病毒,但许多措施效用有限。消除登革热计划(EDP)是一项非营利性国际合作项目,来自澳大利亚的蒙纳士大学(Monash University)-“媒介传播疾病研究所”属下的一部分,为传播类疾病提供创新的解决方案。

Scott O’Neill教授作为这项计划的主导者,他与世界各地科研合作者分享研讨一系列技能和经验:包括沃尔巴克氏菌体(Wolbachia)蚊子生物学和生态学,登革热传播病学和控制,还有公共卫生教育和促进。

“身为每个国家的合作伙伴,我们与当地人、本土研究机构、政府、监管当局,私营企业和社区成员积极互动工作。”同时是生物学家的O’Neill解释,他是在20多年前开始这项研究。

至于推动他对实地研究的兴趣来自开创一个计划和互动的社会目标,而并非仅是用于科学实验。在澳大利亚和美国领域工作多年后,O’Neill的团队在沃尔巴克氏体科研成果方面取得突破,研究团队设法将沃尔巴克氏菌体(常见于昆虫,果蝇)转移到埃及伊蚊(Aedes aegypti),这项研究跨越10年。

而沃尔巴克氏菌体对人体,动物和环境是安全的,通常在与人类食物相关的昆虫中发现,并且被人类广泛使用,对于人类或其他脊椎动物不会造成感染。至于消除登革热计划能消解伊蚊并阻止疾病的传播,那是因为EDP利用天然沃尔巴克氏菌体,降低蚊子传播有害病毒例如登革热,基孔肯亚和寨卡的能力。(沃尔巴克氏菌体也证实阻断黄热病(Yellow Fever)和西尼罗病毒(West Nile viruses)的传播。)

扩大消除规模
目前EDP的计划成果显示,控制登革热的方式具备可行性,由最初的现场试验,沃尔巴克氏菌体有效阻止疾病传播。现今,在已经释放带有沃尔巴克氏菌体蚊子的地区,疾病被封锁长达5年,并且团队期望将持续下去,根据独立专家的数学建模测算,疾病将会被隔断30年。

“我们正在进一步开发更低成本及大规模的应用方式,协助受登革热影响的国家与城市。”现此项计划正在澳大利亚、越南、印尼,巴西和哥伦比亚进行部署,并扩展到其他受毒蚊传播疾病影响的前20个国家。”

该计划目标是在6年内把疾病的负担率减少90%。除了在几个国家继续进行大规模现场释放外,团队小组策划在至少一个城市,即是2018至2019年期间,在印尼的日惹(Yogyakarta)进行大规模随机试验。

“我们与当地大学、研究人员,政府机构和所在国家的社区合作。”O’Neill和他的团队包括近400人参与消灭登革热计划项目,约有60人来自总部设于墨尔本的蒙纳士大学。

EDP更侧重于可持续的疾病防护,这与感染后提供患者药物商业化做法不同。而应用程序(释放沃尔巴克氏菌体蚊子),只在2-3个月短期进行一次,不会重复。“这是新颖的方式,人们认为必须灭蚊,但我们的焦点不一样。”

至于EDP的方式和创新的核心部分是团队参与社区的做法。O’Neill的关键是:蚊子释放之前、期间和之后的真正参与。团队和合作伙伴与当地社区互动,参考所涉及的内容、并分享成果发布进度,其中涉及媒体,重点是获得透明沟通,还有互相尊重和包容。

“我们在5个国家,30多个地点进行现场试验,显示无不良现象报告,且成功隔断疾病传播。在印尼日惹区,直至2019年为止,正在进行大规模发布和分析研究,这类型创新方式需前瞻性和大胆思考。”O’Neill说。

即使这项创新方案受到认同,但资金仍然是干预科学基础措施的一项挑战。而消除登革热是一个非营利组织,旨在推动全球慈善群体和政府支持。

“我们认为政府会更喜欢这个方式,因为安全并减轻公共卫生系统的财务压力,特别是在资源匮乏的国家。”

许多慈善捐献证实这项工作的可行性,包括闻名的慈善资金会:比尔及梅林达·盖茨基金会(Bill & Melinda Gates),Tahija家族,Gillespie家族,维康信托(Wellcome Trust),还有澳大利亚、英国和巴西政府,包括美国国际开发署(USAID)都一致愿景。而为了扩大这项改变生活的意义工作,科学团队正在寻找更多的合作伙伴和支持者。

AN ITCHY FACT:
There are over 3000 species of mosquitoes in the world and only two (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) are responsible for transmitting dengue, chikungunya and Zika.) The O’Neill team’s innovation is focussed on the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

全世界有超过3000种类的蚊子,却只有埃及伊蚊(Aedesaegypti)和黑斑蚊(Aedes albopictus)这两种类会传播登革热、基孔肯亚和寨卡病毒。O’Neill团队新方式集中在消灭埃及伊蚊。

Baby’s First Aroma 婴儿原味香气

Catherine Cervasio
Founder of Aromababy

There is no greater love than a mother’s love for her children. While being a mother can change your life completely, it can also inspire you to do new things and explore avenues that will lead to good fortune.

That’s what Catherine Cervasio did in 1994 when she was pregnant with her first child and started Aromababy, an organic and natural baby skin-care line that’s now exalted by celebrities like John Trovolta, Princess Mary, Jamie Oliver and Kate Moss to name a few.

Catherine developed the Aromababy concept which would set the standard for baby goods worldwide and most importantly, natural, organic-rich baby skin care.

“I’ve always had a strong interest in natural health and well-being and completed a diploma in aromatherapy and massage. I was trained as an Infant Massage Instructor and worked in the area of product development of skin care products. With Aromababy, I wanted to offer natural baby products at a hospital level so that parents would have a choice in the type of baby care they want to use,” she said.

After 22 years, Aromababy is now sold in hospitals and highly recommended by midwives. It has also received numerous accolades in both Australia and overseas.

Some of the awards were the My Business Awards, Micro Business Awards and the Gift Awards. She has received many nominations for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards over recent years, received a Highly Commended (Export) and a Highly Commended status in past Australian Achiever Awards.

Aromababy achieved a Highly Commended Award in the Export Entrepreneur of the Year division of the My Business Awards recently and has won Iparenting Media Awards in USA for several products.

Of course, all these did not just come easily for the mother of two as she slowly worked the business from a small start-up to an international exporter that is setting the world standard for safe and natural baby products.

“In the first few years, the challenge was to educate customers as there was no other product like ours. We kept on growing and started exporting to the Middle East five years into the business. When we were approached by a Korean company, that presented us a big opportunity to export to Korea and signing the multi-million dollar contract catapulted the business even further.”

Aromababy then ventured to Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and smaller parts of Europe. The biggest break was a few years ago when the business started exporting to China. But Catherine wanted to take the trade slow and steady as exporting to China is usually thought of as a get rich quick method. She worked to get the brand licensed there so that it could be sold in retail outlets.

“I’ve visited Shanghai a number of times and it’s a beautiful clean city. I’m also learning Chinese a little now as it’s really important to communicate and embrace other cultures and understand the people you’re doing business with.”

In addition to Aromababy’s therapeutic-grade aromatic product, there is also the aroma-free products that are essential for the baby’s first few weeks of life, as studies show that bland, unscented product or simply water to be the best and safest. “This range only has pure essential oils that have been specifically chosen and blended synergistically not only for their therapeutic properties, but to delight the senses and soothe the soul,” explained Catherine.

母亲的爱让一切皆有可能。作为母亲后会让人生彻底变化,但也可激发创新思维和探索路径,并将引导美好运势。

1994年,Catherine Cervasio怀了第一个孩子,同时启动开发”爱乐湄(Aromababy)”有机和天然婴儿护肤产品系列品牌。而这个婴儿护理品牌甚至赢得国际名流或巨星如John Trovolta, Princess Mary, Jamie Oliver 与Kate Moss等高度赞扬追捧。

引发Catherine开发爱乐湄的概念是将婴儿用品设置为世界性标准,关键是完全天然、富含有机质和纯净的产品。

“我对于自然保健拥有浓厚兴趣,并完成了相关芳香疗法和按摩学位。接着受训为婴儿按摩导师,还有进行护肤品开发工作。创立爱乐湄的初衷是想通过医院供应天然婴儿产品,父母可以选择给孩子们更纯正自然的护理。“22年后,爱乐湄除了在医院热销,还获得助产师的力荐,在澳大利亚和海外获奖无数。

这些奖项包括MyBusinessAwards,微型企业奖(Micro BusinessAwards)及GiftAwards。同时近年来她多次获得Telstra Business Women’s Awards的提名,受到出口部门的高度赞赏,并曾在澳大利亚成就大奖中荣获最佳推荐。

爱乐湄产品在MyBusinessAwards所属的出口企业家赢得高度推荐奖,其中一些优质产品获得美国Iparenting Media Awards的权威肯定。

当然,对于2个孩子的母亲来说,这些名誉来之不易。从最初小规模开发扩展至出口国际业务与符合世界标准安全天然婴儿产品。

“开始的几年,我们面临的挑战是市面没有类似的产品,必须向客户消费者提供说明导向。过后我们持续增长,并且5年后出口到中东。直到与一家韩国公司接洽,也是契机的突破点,出口到韩国并签署价值数百万元的合同,业务呈现大跃进。”

接着品牌也打入新加坡、香港,台湾和欧洲小部分区域。其中亮眼的成绩单是在几年前,正式拓展中国市场。即使中国市场常被认为是快速致富的商业通道,但Catherine却讲求放慢速度,稳打稳扎。她首先取得品牌执照授权,在零售点打响销售战。

“我多次到访上海,一个美丽而干净的城市。我也在学习中文,对于开展业务来说,了解商业对象,深化交流和融合文化是非常重要的。”

她说,除了有机治疗级芳香产品,也提倡无香产品,这是为出生数周的婴儿所配制的精粹朴质产品。研究证明,平淡,无味无香的物质或简单的水显得更精华和安全。而这个阶段范围特意挑选协同混合的纯正精油,不仅拥有治疗特性,也可使感官愉悦和抚慰心灵。

The Interchanging Culture of East & West 东西方文化交汇

east-west2

Marjorie Ho
Director of East & West Art Gallery

Pioneering the exhibition of South-East Asian ceramics and textiles in Australia has brought Director and Founder Marjorie Ho through the highs and lows of advocating Asian artists. Her hard work focusing on exhibition of the finest Asian Art and antiques since 1973 bears fruit to what East and West Art Gallery is today. Boasting a wide selection of cultures from the coast of Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia to India, Indonesia and Asia Minor, some of the works they have managed to recover include textiles, furnitures, ceramics, ivy, jade and many more.

The gallery started exhibiting ceramics since its inauguration and considers it their specialty. Since then, the space has become one of the primary representatives of outstanding Asian artists worldwide and presented some of the most astounding contemporary and antique paintings, woodblock prints, sculptures, weavings and ceramics.

At a recent private interview with Essenze Australia, she shares her thoughts and opinions on the humble beginnings of the East & West Art Gallery, discovering new talent, trend in collecting ceramics and other artwork.

Where it all started
Marjorie Ho has been in Australia since 1950. After graduating with an Architecture Degree from the University of Melbourne, she went on to build her network and knowledge in culture and art and has never looked back since. Her love for Asian Art spurred the desire to start the East & West Art Gallery to promote Asian artists.

“When we first started exhibiting Asian art, it was not known to the masses. We started exhibiting Chinese paintings where most of the works were on bamboo curtains – not on paper.”

“These landscape paintings, influenced by the Song Dynasty were just ink spots and were not accepted by many. Fast forward to today, it’s all together a different story. These artists have become famous in their own rights and have made a name for themselves exhibiting in some of the largest museums in China.”

Her many years of experience discovering new art form connected her to ardent and passionate artists who not only love what they do but greatly deserves the time to build the acceptance of its audience. In retrospect as audience, we cannot claim to understand the subjectivity of their artwork while beauty and admiration is after all an instant affair.

Potential of an Artist
On the subject of purity, creation with only ink and water, and love for originality, Marjorie speaks of her discovery of Tai Chun, in the artistic ‘Dai Fa’ district of Shenzhen, China. Located within a tiny room with three walls and four paintings hanging on the walls, she instantly knew that there’s something unique in Tai Chun. Although his works portray ideas of the future, into a faraway distance, nonetheless oozes a sense of traditionalism using only ink and water on canvas – its originality and purity recreated was something that only belonged to Tai Chun that very moment.

“There’s no fix criteria [of an artist]…you cannot pin it down to that sort of thing. You have to learn the art yourself, however, do not produce it yourself if you can recognise it in somebody else.”

“We love this purity of an artist and in time, let’s say 10 years on, they may not be able to repeat this. Hence, their earlier works may be some of the most innocent and beautiful. If an artist is lucky to recognise and get it, then, there you are. It is what we call an investment.”

Ceramics & Porcelain
East & West Art Gallery defines the stereotypical gallery of exhibiting only expensive and exquisite work, going against the norm by displaying ordinary Chinese stoneware pots. The unusual shapes function more than just any conventional items and have been decorating kitchen tabletops for centuries and remain a characteristic item in the Chinese kitchen. Pieces by Ma Xiao Yao, dating back to 3,000 BC, are examples of old, fine and skillful earthenware made in fires as hot as 800 degree Celsius. However, as popular as it is among collectors, the Chinese has been fearful of such old earthenware. They continue to value a more simple monochrome type of work rather than fuller and decorative works.

Collectors’ Trend
“Glossy pieces with great colouring systems are among the favourite among Chinese collectors. Developed from the French language, the family of rose, green and black, are used for quite a few centuries. The older items from the Ming times became brighter and fuller with decorated elements, whereas there are less decoration on the Song, Yuan and Tang pieces. Some of the more special item that comes with a splash of blue or purple is a Chun piece,” commented Ho on the trend of a Chinese collector.

The realization that pieces from China were distributed all over the world after the fall of Peking and the Last Empress, has spurred an undercurrent of national movement to reclaim these artifacts. With wealth returning to the Chinese people, the determination to recover their tradition and source of inspiration has never been more significant than ever. Their presence at all auction houses from the aristocratic Sotheby’s, and Christies to the tiny villages, become a vital element in acquiring their culture back into China. The question remains as to whether these artifacts and antiques will be placed back into the public museums or in private homes.

“艺术家无固定准则…不能直接标签或定型。你本身必须学会阅读与鉴赏艺术,但是,如果能从某些人身上获得深刻认知,不一定非要自行创作。”

作为澳大利亚开拓东南亚陶瓷与纺织品展览的组织先锋,创始人兼总监何丽香(Marjorie Ho)积极以各种渠道宣扬亚洲艺术家。自1973年以来,她透过东西画廊(East and West Art Gallery)努力专注于展现最好的亚洲艺术品和古董。从亚洲端口的日本与韩国、东南亚的印度、印尼和小亚细亚的一些作品,并且设法修复包括纺织品、家具、陶瓷、藤艺、玉石和许多艺术品。

东西画廊以主要展示陶瓷艺术制品作为开端,也是他们的专长与特项。那时,这个艺术空间成为展现全球优秀亚洲艺术家代表区域之一,拥有迷人的当代与古画、版画、雕塑,编织品和陶瓷藏品。

而在《御智澳大利亚》贴身专访中,与这名艺术鉴赏者分享她的想法,关于东西画廊的始源、如何发掘艺术人才,陶瓷收藏趋势和其他艺术作品的点滴。

实践开始的地方
1950年,何丽香落脚于澳大利亚,从墨尔本大学的建筑学位毕业后,她义无反顾的持续构建艺术知识文化的网络。对亚洲艺术深沉的爱与渴望也是促使她创立东西画廊的动力。

“当我们开始展示亚洲艺术品,其实并不被大众所认知。当时并非在画纸上,而是在竹帘上展现中国绘画作品。”

“这些受宋代熏陶影响的山水画仅是以水墨点作画,受众面很小。如今,局势已大改观,这些艺术家声名大噪,作品在中国一些大型博物馆展出。”

通过多年经验,她也探索发掘众多新艺术形式且关联到具备创作力和富有激情的艺术家,他们不仅热爱工作,而且给予观众时间确认接受。其实细想,作为观众我们不能要求理解作品的主观性,美丽与赞赏毕竟是瞬间感受。

淋漓尽致的艺术
谈到水与墨纯粹充满原创风情的艺术创作,何丽香说起一次她前往中国深圳艺术区域的探索发现。那是坐落在一个小房间里,设有三面墙有四幅画挂在墙上,显现了独特内涵。虽然艺术家作品描绘未来的想法,遥远的距离,但仍然渗透着传统主义,只有简单的水与墨渲染在画布上 – 它的独创性和纯粹再现禅意的时刻。

艺术家无固定准则…不能直接标签或定型。你本身必须学会阅读与鉴赏艺术,但是,如果能从某些人身上获得深刻认知,不一定非要自行创作。”

“我们非常珍惜这些艺术家的纯净时刻,过了10年后可能无法再重现。因此,他们早期的作品可能是最纯真美丽的。如果可预先认知和掌握到类似艺术家和作品,这就是我们所说的投资。”

陶瓷和瓷器
东西画廊颠覆了一般画廊只展示昂贵和精致作品的刻板印象,同样展示了中国普通的炻器。这种器具多样化的形态超出日常用途,几个世纪以来装饰着厨房桌面,这也是中国厨房的特质。至于追溯到公元前3000年的作品,还有以800摄氏度高温的古老熟练手法炼制的陶瓷器具。然而追捧仅限多数收藏家,中国人一直避忌这种古老的陶器,比起那些丰富而有装饰性的,他们持续珍爱更简单的单色作品,。

收藏家趋势
“具备华丽色泽的文物艺术品是中国收藏家的最爱。而源自法语的玫瑰、绿与黑家族,使用了几个世纪。明代时期的文物色彩明亮,装饰元素更加丰富,而宋、元和唐朝的表面装饰较少。有一些更特殊的收藏品,闪烁着蓝紫色的是钧釉作品。“何丽香对于收藏家趋势如是评论。

在末代皇朝沦陷之后,中国的碎片散落在世界各地,这也激发了民族的回潮思绪,想办法让这些文物“认祖归宗”。而随着财富积累,中国人在重新恢复文化传统和灵感来源的决心显得倍加坚定。他们在国际拍卖行显示了强大的存在,从苏富比,佳士得至小村庄,都有中国人的身影,让文物回归中国成为重要使命。问题是,这些文物和古董是否展示在公共博物馆抑或私人住宅。