Research on influenza virus gives grounds for new hope

immunisation against influenza by a vaccination

Although we were treated to some glorious sunshine at the beginning of the month, the change in weather which we are now experiencing, with cold fronts advancing from the frosty north and snow squalls already affecting some regions in the south, hardly came as a complete surprise. With the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, we could slowly rest assured that autumn was finally upon us and that if we were not very careful the cold, wet weather would soon start to take its toll.

To mark the onset of the winter season, the members of our company were last week all offered free flu inoculations in the workplace so that we could protect ourselves against the annually recurring and very real threat of a flu epidemic. In a large company like ours, where people work together as a close team in an office environment and workers and colleagues come into contact with clients, suppliers and forwarders from all parts of Germany, Europe and as far off places as China, the bug has countless opportunities to spread from one host to another until there isn’t a dry nose or clear throat in the house.

For years now, scientists in the field of vaccine research have been desperately trying to come up with a vaccine which would be able to provide potent long-term protection against the dreaded influenza virus which each year raises its ugly head with a force so powerful that it could at least potentially lead to an outbreak on a pandemic scale.

Now history appears to be in the making.

A team of microbiologists at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York under the direction of their principal investigator Professor Peter Palese have made a major breakthrough and appear to have succeeded in coming one vital step closer to developing a vaccine which could provide long-term immunisation against the often lethal virus which not only has the potential to cripple whole economies but also bears enough potency to bring a country to its knees.

The newly developed process designed by the team around Professor Palese no longer targets the head of the protein, it now attacks the tail which mutates at a considerably lower speed than its opposite end. This would in effect mean that a vaccine could remain effective for a period of up to several years.

Although this new avenue has proved to be extremely promising, there are still many hurdles that need to be taken. Up to now the vaccine has only been tested on mice and exhaustive tests still have to show how the complex human organism will react. Another significant point is that although the vaccine prevents the virus from spreading, it does not actually tackle the infection itself. Yet these revolutionary results nonetheless give grounds for new hope not only in research circles, but the world over. And who knows? Perhaps the scientists who produce the vaccine for 2011 will already be able to benefit from the fruits of these studies.

But until they do, there are one or two things we can continue to do to stop ourselves from coming down with a bout of flu: wrap up warm, make sure you wash your hands often enough, follow a balanced diet, boost your vitamin intake and try to get out and get a lungful of fresh air as often as you can to help strengthen your immune system. And if you or your family are unlucky enough to come down with the flu, then apart from perhaps consulting your GP you should try to make sure that you get enough rest, drink enough fluids and perhaps take a hot bath or put a hot-water bottle in your bed if you are feeling exceptionally cold. In addition, it is also imperative that you pay particular attention to your temperature, so as to be able to track the course of the illness.

The Temptection BodyPlus infrared thermometer TROTEC is excellently-suited to help you do so, because it measures your body temperature quickly, reliably, and because measuring is carried out contact-free, hygienically too. And as if that were not enough, the Temptection BodyPlus can also measure the temperature of your bath water, your tea, your leg compresses and even your hot-water bottle in next to no time too.

Quite an impressive list for quite an impressive tool. From Trotec.

Trust Trotec to come up with yet another Super Special Offer!

super special offer on dehumidifier TTK 140 S

If there’s one thing that experience has taught us here at TROTEC, it’s that autumn holds a whole host of new challenges in store for many of our clients: the wet, stormy weather, the endless downpours, heavy, driving rain and the accompanying freak flash floods and high water stretch them and their abilities to the limit. And you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would admit to actually liking being constantly caught in heavy showers or hailstorms only to be greeted by a damp climate when they finally arrive home sopping wet and frozen through.

Which is why our dehumidifiers are in such big demand at this time of the year. The dehumidifiers from Trotec are ideal when it comes to providing immediate aid after water damage, to help dry pumped out cellars, to combat high levels of moisture in production sites or storerooms and warehouses or to quite simply regulate the relative humidity in your home. It doesn’t matter where you put them – the slim, sophisticated dehumidifiers cut a fine figure whatever the application, wherever they are.

So to make sure that you are well prepared we have prepared a super campaign that will help you through the wet weather!

The TTK 140 S is an extremely versatile, high-quality, power-packing dehumidifier which you can now buy at a sensational knock-down price. And because we don’t believe in special offers which create the impression that you are saving by buying a low-priced electrical or domestic appliance whereas in fact you are compromising on service and quality, what you get at TROTEC is the real deal – a truly efficient and reliable mobile dehumidifier at a truly attractive price.

Interested in the TTK 140 S? Come and visit our shop to save up to 50% on new products and get used models at cut-price!

Don’t let the rain sodden season dampen your spirits. Bring down moisture levels to where you want them and create your own individual indoor climate wherever you are.

Get rid of that overpowering smell – and your used car into the bargain!

Getting rid of the unpleasant smell in used carsParting can be sweet sorrow – and especially difficult if the object you are planning on parting company with is that lovely little hatchback, that small-family-sized SUV or that really stylish ragtop which you had once so set your heart on buying. Yet time waits for no man – and for no four-door saloon either – and so having outgrown your car and with that brand new model smiling at you from your local showroom, you decide that the day has come to find your car a new owner.

But there’s something which could make selling the car with which you share so many a fond memory and which you cherished so dearly even more difficult to sell than you had previously imagined – the smell.

It doesn’t matter how perfect the bodywork is, or how impressive the car’s interior, as soon the buyer who has developed an avid interest in your car catches the smell of stale cigarette smoke or any other persistent odours which have accumulated over the years, then the buyer’s interest doesn’t just cool off – it drops to below freezing.

There is no denying that the smell that smoke leaves behind in the upholstery of your car is a real sales damper. The used and new car portal wanted to know just how big a role the lingering and often overpowering smell of smoke plays when potential buyers are on the lookout for a new used car. Interestingly enough – although less surprisingly for some – of the 1400 people asked in the survey if this fact would stop them from buying a second-hand car, 54% answered with “yes”. That means that one in two people would not be prepared to buy a car from someone who has smoked regularly in his or her vehicle. And to make matters worse, according to Thomas Firmery of KÜS, the Association of Motor Vehicle Assessors, cars belonging to smokers are often marked down by as much as 3 to 7 percent, which, depending on the car in question, can quite quickly add up to several thousands of pounds or euros.

So what can you do to get rid of that overpowering, lingering stale smell of cigarette smoke from the inside of your car? Well, Step 1 is a good, thorough cleaning: the seats and upholstery have to vacuumed properly and so do the mats in the footwell. Step 2 involves using a suitable shampoo to remove stubborn stains and smells from the car seatbelts and the seats’ fibres and Step 3 includes cleaning just about all the other parts, like the dashboard, components made of synthetic materials, the windscreen and windows and the lining of the roof. And don’t forget the ashtray. If you want to play it really safe, then you might even want to invest in a new one if the old ashtray has seen far better days.

And speaking of playing it safe… in order to achieve not just a good, but a brilliant impression on your next potential buyer, don’t just try to mask any smells which might prove to be the reason for him or her wanting to pull out of an otherwise watertight deal at the last moment – eliminate the smells altogether with an Airozon 5000 , one the mobile odour neutralisers from Trotec. Odour neutralisers like the Airozon 5000 use ozone to not just conceal the smell of smoke or other exceedingly unpleasant odours, including vomit and pet faeces, but crack the molecules that actually cause the smell in the first place, thereby neutralising them both effectively and permanently. All you have to do is follow the instructions and treat your car to the ozone treatment it deserves.

So when you are thinking of buying a new car – and selling your old one beforehand – make sure that you go through the steps mentioned above so that you don’t get caught on the hop when the buyer sticks their head into the inside of your car to “see” what it smells like.

Remember: only the nose knows…

Electricity straight from the sea

Electricity from the sea is no longer a vision: the future has already begun off the coast of the Orkney Isles in the North of Scotland where the world’s largest wave test facility has been installed near the small port of Stromness, a site which was not picked for its rugged views and primeval landscapes but because it has the highest wave energy potentials in Europe, if not the world.

Huge hopes have been placed in the eco-friendly plant dubbed “Oyster” which transforms the energy produced by the waves into electricity. This incredible feat is achieved by means of flap gates anchored to the seabed which pump seawater from 10m long yellow pipes floating half a kilometre off the coast in the Atlantic through a turbine installed on land to the rhythm of the waves.

Now that the first contracts allowing sea areas to be used to generate electricity have been awarded, the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, already predicts that Scotland will one day be “the Saudi Arabia of marine energy”. In fact of the ten licences that were issued worldwide, nine were specifically for areas off the Orkney Isles.

The project is an extremely ambitious one: one of the intermittent targets that has been set is to provide 350,00 households with electricity derived from this power source by the year 2020. So just how realistic are these plans? Neil Kermode, managing director of the European Marine Energy Centre Ltd, the company providing the marine-based energy technology, has his doubts. He believes that these are still early days compared to other renewable energy alternatives like wind farming. He puts this partly down to underfunding, pointing out that it is not only seawater but also money that needs to be pumped into the project for it to succeed on such a scale.

So until the necessary steps have been taken to ensure that this revolutionary new form of inexhaustible and therefore hopefully more affordable energy is made available to people not only in the outer corners of Scotland, but also all over the world, we, the consumer, will have to continue to cut back on the amount of electricity we are using to keep our electricity bills in check. What a better a way to do this than with the BX11 energy meter, the easy-to-use, plug-in-and-monitor energy-saving device that can knock £100s of pounds off your energy bill by unearthing the greedy little appliances around your home that gobble up electricity even when they are in stand-by so that you can do something about changing your own little cosmos.

Buy a BX 11 energy meter today and make a statement that will also make a difference on your bank statement.

Pull the udder one – it’s got bells on

Cows can be very choosy. It’s a well-known fact. And being choosy, they tend to be very picky when it comes to the way they are kept.

Cows are particularly partial to certain types of feed. And certain types of flooring. And they need to have enough room in their cowsheds to move about in. Some cows give the most milk when they listen to the strains of classical music (there are farmers who swear by Beethoven) and others that like to be pampered with a well-meant morning massage. But what – as any old dairy farmer would be only too happy to tell you – cows appreciate most of all is the right climate in their cowshed.

Cows hate high temperatures. Temperatures above 20°C can quickly trigger stress among the more tender-footed bovines. What cows really adore is a temperature somewhere between 4 and 16°C – a fact they are only too keen to display by producing high yields of high protein, high quality milk. But just as high temperatures often affect the milk output, so do low temperatures around freezing point. Now is the time to think about a flexible solution which will allow you to bridge the cold gap and provide you with a means of bringing the temperature in the cowshed up to the required temperature when the thermometer falls close to or below freezing.

The electric heaters in the TDE series are robust, no-nonsense heaters which have been designed especially for flexible, mobile use in the cowshed and in other farmyard scenarios

And now there’s a special autumn special offer on which you really won’t want to risk missing: a selection of second-hand models at knock-down prices – all checked by the manufacturer and all with a full year’s guarantee.

There’s no time to waste. Take the bull by the horns and invest in the mobile electric heaters in the TDE series – your cows will be moo-ved by the way you care for them.

Go here to see our super special offer!

Time again for the TROTEC waiting game. This time for electric heaters

Electric heater waiting game

The TROTEC waiting game has become one of the most popular discount special offers to date. And now it’s back just in time for the colder time of the year. Now it’s time to save on: electric heaters.

And this is how it works: the TROTEC waiting game begins on 30th September 2010. From this day on the countdown runs backwards. With a 1% discount for every day. The special offer is valid for 40 days, which means that there is a maximum discount and saving of 40%. So order early and save more.

Keep the pressure up on your tyres

Safe journey! – This is an expression which is commonly used in many parts of Great Britain to wish someone you know or a loved one bon voyage before they mount their motorbikes or climb into their cars and set off for their destination. But in order for a journey to be a safe one, some simple rules must first be followed: the driver has to make sure that he or she is well-rested, relaxed and calm before setting off and those travelling must also make sure that they really have left themselves enough time for the journey.

But although these rules may provide the essence of a safe journey with regard to you the driver, it doesn’t mean that these same rules must also apply to the tyres on your car or motorbike.

Tyres need pressure. And you have to keep up the pressure on them if you want your tyres to last longer and your car to consume less petrol and handle more safely.

According to the ADAC, Europe’s largest automobile club, one out of two cars driving on European roads is doing so with the wrong tyre pressure. With disastrous possible consequences:

  • The higher the pressure, the less the tyre squirm. Or to put it differently: a pressure loss of 0.5 bar can result in a 20% increase in tyre squirm.
    Tyre squirm is name given to the phenomenon that occurs when the sidewalls of a tyre come into contact with the ground while the car or motorbike is negotiating a bend. This is because tyres that are not inflated properly have less grip when they go into corners. The result: the car can understeer and pulls towards the outer edge of the curve, which can be exceptionally dangerous when the bend is being taken at high speed.
  • The braking distance of a car depends heavily on the tyre pressure, especially when the roads are wet.
    Tests carried out by the ADAC confirm that a pressure loss of 1 bar on only one of the front wheels can increase the breaking distance of a car with ABS by as much as 10%.
  • Modern electronic stability systems like ESP or ABS can fail to respond correctly if the tyre pressure is too low.
    This can lead to precarious situations, especially when cars are pushed to their limits and the driver has to perform a sudden swerve to avoid hitting an obstacle.
  • The rolling resistance increases with lower tyre pressure. This is bad for the environment and bad for your wallet.
    The tread on your tyres wears down more quickly when the tyres are underinflated. Not only do you have to spend more money sooner on new ones, you also have to pay more money at the pump because flatter tyres increase the drag, thus causing the car to consume more petrol.

TROTEC tyre pressure gauge

Unfortunately on-board tyre pressure monitoring systems are not yet standard equipment in cars. This is why it pays to use a tyre pressure gauge to check your tyre pressure at least once a fortnight. In fact, the BY10 from TROTEC is so handy that you can even quickly check your tyres before you set off. This also allows you to check the pressure while the tyres are still cold, thus avoiding any errors that can occur at filling stations when checking tyres that are already warm from friction.

Make your journey a safe one. With the BY10 tyre pressure gauge from TROTEC.

Yes, but is it art?

Art electromagnetic fields

The great Pablo Picasso once said: “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” And although Picasso was a visionary who is often best remembered for his revolutionary Rose and Blue Periods and his avant-garde interpretation of the barbaric bombing of Guernica, he too would well have had difficulty imagining that a century later an artist would create a work of art with the use of an electromagnetic field.

In 2004, the British artist Richard Box planted 1301 fluorescent tubes vertically on a piece of land covering circa 3,600 m² and called his piece “Field”. The land was in close proximity to an electricity pylon which supported overhead power lines carrying 400,000 volts of electricity. The electromagnetic field discharged by the power lines caused the fluorescent tubes to glow in warm, gentle colours, which looked especially spectacular when seen in the dark.

Electromagnetic fields are all around us. If you live in an industrial country, there is really no way of getting away from them. Mobile phones, WLAN routers, cordless phones, radio and TV transmitters, microwave ovens – they all emit electromagnetic fields which you can normally neither see, hear, feel, taste nor smell. So how then can you know whether the dose that you are getting is good for you? Guidelines drawn up by the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) clearly state that the thresholds for microwave radiation should not exceed 0.2 or 5 mW/cm², depending on the type of application.

So wouldn’t you want to know just how high the emissions are in your home, your flat, at your office or in your workplace? The BR15 microwave radiation meter from TROTEC makes invisible electromagnetic fields visible by transforming the measurements it takes into clear and concise readings on an easy-to-read, crisp display.

Of course we don’t claim to be in the same artistic league as Richard Box whose exposition is currently being shown as a documentary at the Uferhallen in the Kulturzentrum (Culture Centre) in Berlin-Wedding. The exhibition, which runs until October 10th, showcases a variety of exhibits with the conservation of nature and the environment as their central theme. Art becomes a medium that has a special influence on conscientious consumer behavior and a sustainable way of living.

But what we do think is that we have done a really good job of one of the things we do best: manufacturing and developing measuring equipment for industrial, commercial and private use.

TROTEC – the new name in measuring technology.

What is an Energy Pass?

What is an Energy Pass

As of January 1 2009, any house that is sold or let in Germany must under new legislation have an Energy Pass. These same regulations apply to any extensions or major changes that are carried out on the property concerned. What some people don’t know: the EnEV 2009 energy conservation guidelines have actually been in place for new houses since 2002.

So if you are planning on selling your house or letting out your property in the near future, then you have to count on being asked to provide legitimate proof that your house, flat or apartment conforms to EnEV 2009 guidelines in the form of the new Energy Pass.

The pass shows buyers and tenants how energy efficient a building is, thus giving them a clear idea of the energy costs they can expect and the type and the extent of modernisation which would have to be carried out.

This information includes:

  • Exact details on the energy costs you can expect
  • How this particular object compares to similar objects
  • Which modernisation measures are recommended

And here’s something else that you as a tenant or house buyer should be watching out for: the recommendations regarding the type and extent of the modernisations to be carried out on the object in question are just that – mere recommendations. It is therefore crucial that you as a potential tenant find out when these recommendations are going to be put into practice and when you can count on paying lower energy costs. And as a buyer it is equally important to know which costs for carrying out the recommended modernisations could be coming your way.

There are two Energy Passes:

The Energy Requirement Pass: How energy efficient is a building? This pass includes an analysis of the building substance as well as the central heating system and shows which energy requirements the house has. This Energy Pass is for new houses.

The Energy Consumption Pass: This pass is for all other buildings. It tells you just how much energy in the form of heating and warm water was consumed during the previous three years. This pass is also particularly useful for house owners and property developers who can highlight the object’s strong points if the energy consumption is low and inform their clients of the prospective costs which additional modernisation measures would entail.

So it would seem that the Energy Pass will not only help you to save energy – it will help save you unnecessary trouble too.

Unique special offer: Laser distance measuring meter – 14 days long low price!

Laser distance meter discount

For the following 14 days, you too can buy a BD 15 profesional laser distance measuring meter and save over 40%: yours for only 79.95 euros (incl. VAT) was 141.61 euros (incl. VAT)!

This unique special offer is only valid while stocks last. The quicker you are, the more you save!