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Global Good News Round Up

Synopsis of last week's important good news from around the world.

Man punching the air after hearing good news
Celebrating good news!

Charles Darwin's Library: The entire contents of the eclectic personal library of naturalist Charles Darwin is now available to view online. The 9,300 entries come with links to the works, making them freely available to read.

Golden Possibility: Phase 2 clinical trials using orally administered gold nanocrystals to treat multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease have produced promising results, restoring metabolites linked to crucial energy activity in the brain that are depleted in these neurodegenerative conditions. “We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to prevent or even reverse some neurological disabilities with this strategy.”

River Dolphins: An international effort to protect endangered river dolphins is gathering steam. Known as the Global Declaration for River Dolphins, it commits 14 of the animals’ range countries to implement specific actions and strengthen regional and national initiatives.

Earth Aid Live: The original promotor of Live Aid - 1985’s benefit concert for famine relief in Ethiopia - has announced a series of similar events to promote climate action. Earth Aid Live will take place in six countries across five continents over one weekend in August 2025, including London, Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro.

Medical Breakthrough: Rheumatoid arthritis can be prevented, according to a breakthrough Lancet study. Weekly injections of a drug, abatacept, can reduce the risk of so-called "wear and tear" arthritis by as much as 80 percent, the study showed.

Guitar Heroes: Answering the call from Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, dozens of guitar heroes and rock music legends have come together to record a charity single for the benefit of teens with cancer. All the net proceeds will go to Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK and its American equivalent Teen Cancer America. Click here if you'd like a sneak preview.

Compost Obligatoire: Municipalities in France must now provide residents with ways to sort bio-waste, which includes food scraps, vegetable peels, expired food and garden waste. Households and businesses are required to dispose of organic matter either in a dedicated small bin for home collection or at a municipal collection point. The waste will then be turned into biogas or compost to replace chemical fertilizers.

Mountains Discovered: An ocean research vessel has just discovered four underwater mountains, the tallest almost 3 km high. The 'new' underwater mountains were found in the high seas off the west coast of South and Central America. “The tallest is over one-and-a-half miles in height, and we didn’t really know it was there,” says Jyotika Virmani at the Schmidt Ocean Institute in California.

Spiral Lens: Scientists have developed a new type of lens that creates multiple focal points, which could make for glasses or contacts that provide a clearer view over a range of distances. The secret? Making the lens a spiral shape. “For potential implant users or people with age-related farsightedness, it could provide consistently clear vision, potentially revolutionizing ophthalmology.”

Nature Boost: From this week, new building developments in England must result in more or better natural habitat than before, in a move hailed as one of the world’s most ambitious. The initiative, called “world-leading in its scope” by an ecological economist at the University of Oxford, is gaining global notice. Sweden, Singapore, Scotland, and Wales have already expressed interest in adopting or adapting the approach.

Bioluminescent Houseplant: Firefly petunia's glow in the dark without special lights or food. It’s a gentle green glow similar to the light of the full Moon and the remarkable plants have been approved by the US Department of Agriculture. At a base cost of $29, Americans can get a petunia - Petunia hybrida - with flowers that look white during the day; but, in the dark, the plant glows a faint green.

Tidal Kite: Minesto's Dragon 12 behaves remarkably like a kite underwater - using lift generated by tidal flows to fly patterns faster than the currents, thereby harvesting renewable energy. It's just started providing clean, cost-effective, predictable energy to the grid.

US Plastic Bags: Over recent years, U.S. cities and states have passed hundreds of policies restricting the sale and distribution of single-use plastic bags. A new report (co-published by Environment America, U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, and Frontier Group) says these laws have made a significant impact in their goal of reducing plastic bag use. New Jersey’s ban alone has eliminated more than 5.5 billion plastic bags annually.

Marine Protection: Spain has designated seven new marine protected areas across the country’s three marine regions: the Mediterranean, Macaronesia, and the Atlantic. This will increase Spain’s area of ocean protection from 12 percent to 21 percent.

School Lunches: School lunches are Brazil's secret weapon against hunger, says NPR. At all public schools, children are provided meals for free under a government-run program that feeds more than 40 million students from daycare through high school across 5,570 municipalities, ensuring all children stay nourished and engaged in their education.

Mission Accomplished: The world's coral reefs are now fully mapped. This is important because the detailed satellite mapping, which is readily available to all, will help with vital ecosystem conservation. The information will allow scientists, conservationists, and policymakers to better understand and manage reef systems.

Good News on Malaria: Lots of positive news on malaria this week. Cameroon and Burkina Faso have begun their rollouts of the RTS vaccine, Cambodia has announced that it's on track for malaria elimination by 2025, and another trial of the R21 vaccine in four African countries has shown that it's safe and extremely effective.

China Plugs In: Electric vehicle sales in China, the world's largest automotive market, are booming. All plugin models accounted for 37 percent of the market in 2023, up from just 6 percent in 2021. Fully electric vehicles accounted for 25 percent, with the rest being hybrids.

Today's Articles

National Treasure: Trees thought extinct for 2 million years discovered, and then kept secret for 30 years.

Seaweed Packaging: The world’s first scalable replacement to single-use plastic packaging has just been launched. Hooray!

Artistic Craft: A British artist is keeping the centuries old craft of fore-edge book painting alive.

Chuckle-Worthy: Random collection of wise but amusing quotations.

Epigenetics: Analysis shows that plants can pass on climate adaptation tips to their offspring.

Top Performers: Trio of last week's most popular articles (including an hilarious one), plus the most watched mood boosting video.


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