Don’t recycle your specs – new is cheaper for Africa; NASA boss in Sydney; L’Oréal Fellowships expand to NZ

You might feel good sending about your old reading glasses to a developing country. But it would actually be more beneficial to give $10 towards providing new spectacles when you buy your new glasses, according to an international study led by Sydney scientists.

The study found that only 7% of a test sample of 275 recycled glasses were useable, and that this helped push the delivery cost to more than $US20. Ready-made glasses can be supplied for half that cost.

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Don’t send your recycled glasses to developing countries, it costs twice as much as giving them ready-made glasses

Dr David Wilson, Research Manager Asia-Pacific, International Centre for Eyecare Education  Photo courtesy of International Centre for Eyecare Education

You might feel good sending your old reading glasses to a developing country. But a recent international study, led by the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE), a collaborating partner in the Vision CRC, in Sydney, suggests it is far better to give $10 for an eye examination and a new pair of glasses if you want to help someone in desperate need, and it is far better for building capacity in these communities.

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Million dollar lab to fight TB; Aussie role in global vaccines push; who’s top in science and more

See a $1.2 million high-containment laboratory opening tomorrow at 11 am in Sydney before they lock it up forever and start work with live TB.

The lab will speed up efforts to understand and fight back against tuberculosis (TB), a bacterium that lives inside two billion people worldwide and kills three people every minute. More below.

Also this week

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Science in Charlie Teo's Australia Day address

In his Australia Day address, noted brain surgeon Charlie Teo said he was ashamed to admit to an American friend, who had received a US$50 million grant in the US to study brain cancer, that he works with just AU$150,000 over three years from the Australian government.

Teo says we need another AIS – one for sport, one for science.

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