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Shortt backing for film festival Brain clue to hearing loss Atlantic record for rower Katie

Comic turned actor Pat Shortt has given his backing to the next generation of Irish filmmakers.

Shortt has been named the new patron of Fresh Film Festival, which gives aspiring directors and producers aged 18 and under an opportunity to see their work on the big screen.

Teenagers taking part in the event, to be held in Limerick from March 22 to 25, will also vie for the title of Ireland's Young Filmmaker of the Year.

D'Unbelievables star Shortt said: "It has never been more important to nurture creativity in the next generation and continue to encourage the Irish film industry."

Brain clue to hearing loss

A person's brain rather than their ear could be to blame for the inability to "zoom in" on an individual you want to hear, new research suggests.

The study, by Deafness Research UK scientists at the University College London Ear Institute, looks at the brain's ability to focus its listening attention on a single speaker amid a mixture of background chatter, yet at the same time immediately respond if someone calls our name.

It is hoped the results will lead to improvements in cochlear implants or "bionic ears" and hearing aids.

Atlantic record for rower Katie

A 22-year-old American rower has completed a solo journey across the Atlantic Ocean, touching a pier in Guyana to claim a record as the youngest person to accomplish the feat.

Katie Spotz, who spent more than two months alone at sea, was cheered by 200 people as she arrived in the South American nation.

Ms Spotz said she had trouble sleeping inside the cramped, 19ft boat, after her departure from the Senegalese capital of Dakar.