Wrapping up the week with an uplifting bundle of good news nuggets.
More than 150 wildlife photographers are taking part in a sale of wildlife prints to raise money for African Parks, a South Africa-based conservation NGO. In 2020, the first Prints for Wildlife sale raised $660,200, with more than 6,500 prints sold within 30 days. This year the initiative is aiming to raise $1m. If you would like to participate, the prints will be on sale through the online shop printsforwildlife.org until 11 August.
A medical student at VCU School of Medicine in Virginia founded The Simple Sunflower, a service that delivers flowers - regifted from weddings - to patients at VCU Medical Center. Her lovely idea makes wedding bouquets special twice - not just for the couple's family and friends at the wedding, but for patients in hospital beds too. Her name? Eleanor Love.
Over the past 30 years, the incidence of dementia has declined an average of 13 percent every decade in people of European ancestry living in the U.S. or Europe. Using this trend, researchers at Harvard estimate that 15 million fewer people could develop dementia by 2040 in high-income countries than if the incidence of the disease remained steady. The reasons for the decrease is not clear, although several medical interventions that influence blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation may have contributed.
With tiger families, it’s the mother who provides the parental care. After giving birth to cubs, for two years they stay near her side, learning hunting and survival skills. Then they head off on their own. But since a tigress died of unknown causes at Panna Tiger Reserve in India this May, the father tiger has been exhibiting “rare behavior” by caring for the four cubs beyond the usual protector role.
Good news if you live in Reykjavik, Bern or Helsinki: Low pollution levels, robust social security structures and political stability helped these three cities top the ranking for the world's best cities for mental wellbeing. Liverpool was the only UK city to feature in the top 20.
Scientists have discovered that canines are more in tune with human emotions and feelings than any other species - and have this ability from birth. Researchers from Duke University in North Carolina looked at the difference in behaviour between hand-raised wolf puppies and infant dogs, studying their ability to find treats when guided by a gesture, such as a pointed finger or glance. It was found that the puppies were twice as likely to get it right as wolf puppies. They have put the strong bond between dogs and humans down to more than 10,000 years of domestication.
Major Taiwanese tech companies have done a deal to buy 10m vaccine doses for Taiwan, sidestepping months of complicated geopolitical wrangling between Beijing and Taipei. The companies will donate the vaccines to Taiwan’s central epidemic command centre for distribution. The convoluted deal closes the loop on a saga that tied China’s long-held but rejected claim over Taiwan to the island’s desperate need for vaccines, and allows Taiwan to procure the China-linked vaccines without the government having to deal directly with China.
If you need proof that going green is financially beneficial, look no further than Germany. A coal power station in Hamburg was shut down for good last week, a mere six years after its initial opening. The plant's owner is switching to pursue a new, hydrogen project at the same site, designed to transform offshore wind energy into green hydrogen. It's also very good news for the country's greenhouse gas emissions, as shutting the plant will save around 9 million tons per year.
Dive in Deeper
Chances are you have never heard of them as they live in the dessert. But, they are remarkable creatures, built to handle the hot and cold extremes of one of the harshest environments on Earth.