‘Crypto addicts’ treatment centre opens

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A treatment centre is opening in the Scottish Borders to treat people who are addicted to trading cryptocurrencies.

The residential treatment course for “crypto addicts” is based in Castle Craig Hospital in Peeblesshire.

The medical facility already runs treatment programmes for drug and alcohol addiction and hopes to treat people addicted to trading cryptocurrencies with techniques developed for gambling addicts.

According to experts, cryptocurrency trading addicts show the same kind of behavioural addictions as problem gamblers.

skynews-bitcoin-price-phone_4224242 0:50 Video: Man loses $440,000 in bitcoin collapse

Although there are no figures available for the number of people addicted to cryptocurrency trading, millions of people worldwide are considered traders.

Chris Burn, a gambling therapist at Castle Craig Hospital, said: “The high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler.

“It provides excitement and an escape from reality. Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains and losses were made. It’s a classic bubble situation.”

Tony Marini, a former gambling and cocaine addict who is now a therapist, will lead some treatments at the centre.

ut_hkthath4eww8x4xmdoxoja4mtsign_4245086 2:44 Video: Carney: Cryptocurrencies must be regulated

He said that introducing life structure is key for addicts.

“Having been through it myself, my experience of addiction gives me insight and empathy towards others who have the same problem,” Mr Marini said.

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“I see cryptocurrency trading as a way for people to escape from themselves, into another world, because they don’t like the world they’re in.

“The first stage of treatment is to join other addicts in group therapy and share their life stories. This helps them identify with each other and realise that they’re not alone.”

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Drones over 250g must be registered with government

By James Pepper, news reporter

Drones weighing over 250g will have to be registered with the government as part of a new crackdown launched today.

The new laws will also ban drones from flying above 400ft, less than 150ft from people or buildings or within 1,000 metres of airport boundaries.

It follows several near misses with aircraft.

People who flout the new rules could face an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison.

Anyone who wants to use a drone will also have to take an online safety test under the new legislation, which has taken the CAA’s Drone Code and put it into law from 30 May.

Owners who fail to register their technology or sit the competency tests could be fined up to £1,000.

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Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said: “We are seeing fast growth in the numbers of drones being used, both commercially and for fun.

“Whilst we want this industry to innovate and grow, we need to protect planes, helicopters and their passengers from the increasing numbers of drones in our skies.”

The number of incidents involving drones and aircraft has risen from six in 2014 to 93 last year.

Gatwick Airport chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe said: “We welcome the clarity that today’s announcement provides as it leaves no doubt that anyone flying a drone must stay well away from aircraft, airports and airfields.

skynews-drones-rules_4324180 0:26 Video: New laws introduced to restrict drone use

“Drones open up some exciting possibilities but must be used responsibly. These clear regulations, combined with new surveillance technology, will help the police apprehend and prosecute anyone endangering the travelling public.”

The government says that ensuring drones are being used safely paves the way for the devices to play an increasingly important role in society.

They are already being used to save money in the nuclear and other power industries, to monitor the rail transport network and by the media.

In addition to the new measures, a draft Drones Bill will be published this summer, which will give police more on-the-spot powers if drones are being used inappropriately.

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Scientists create hair dye from Ribena blackcurrants

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Blackcurrant skins left over in the production of Ribena have been used to create a new type of hair dye.

Scientists at the University of Leeds developed the new technique by extracting natural colouring from the waste skins.

Colour chemist Richard Blackburn said the aim was to create a more natural alternative to existing products.

“Because of issues and concerns around conventional dyes, we wanted to develop biodegradable alternatives that minimise potential risks to health and offer consumers a different option,” he said.

Blackcurrant skins contain high concentrations of anthocyanins – pigments that provide colour to many berries, flowers, fruits and vegetables.

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Further colours can be created – including brown tones – by mixing the blackcurrant pigment with natural yellow.

The colours are expected to last for at least 12 washes, similar to other semi-permanent dyes on the market, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Dr Blackburn said the berries “represent a sustainable supply of raw material because of how much blackcurrant cordial we drink”.

Researchers are commercialising the groundbreaking technology through a University of Leeds spin-out company, Keracol Limited, under the brand Dr Craft.

There have been concerns over whether ingredients in common synthetic hair dyes can cause cancer, and their effects on the environment are unknown.

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Some ingredients found in conventional dyes, such as paraphenylenediamine (PPD), are known irritants that can trigger allergic reactions.

The new blackcurrant hair dyes are expected to go on sale by the summer.

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