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Global Good News Round Up

Synopsis of last week's most important medical and environmental good news from around the world.

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News to put you in a positive mood

Countries that get all their electricity from renewables: Seven countries now generate nearly all of their electricity from renewable energy sources, according to newly compiled figures. And three more exceed 98 percent.

Inspiring Tree: At over 400 years old, 'Big Tree' in Orlando, Florida, has survived hurricanes, lightning strikes, diseases, and more. Now, arborists with the nonprofit Archangel Ancient Tree Archive are embarking on a mission to clone the resilient southern live oak and plant replicas across the Southeast. “There’s something in that DNA that, in spite of everything it’s been through, it’s still growing, it’s still healthy. That’s the type of tree we need,” said David Milarch, the organization’s co-founder.

Sounds Right: The sounds of nature (like birds, waves and wind) will now receive millions in royalties from streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, with the money distributed to environmental causes.

Denmark's Bovine Bet: The Nordic nation has agreed to help farmers finance a feed additive that is expected to reduce methane emissions from cattle by up to 30 percent, as part of the country's efforts to meet ambitious climate goals. This is a hot topic and we can expect similar initiatives to play out around the world.

Medical Breakthroughs

'Miracle' Operation: A three year old with a genetic condition that causes blindness is doing incredibly well after unique pioneering operation to restore her sight. The UK is the only country performing keyhole eye surgery to inject healthy copies of a gene into sufferers’ eyes.

Fending Off Alzheimer's: Researchers at New York's Columbia University have discovered a genetic variant that reduces the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 70 percent and may already be protecting thousands of people from the disease. "We may be able to develop new types of therapies that mimic the gene’s protective effect to prevent or treat the disease.”

Asthma Prevention: Researchers at King's College London have announced a potential breakthrough in asthma treatment. Most current therapies are based on the idea of asthma being an inflammatory condition and treat the aftermath of an attack. The new study suggests the damage and inflammation from an attack could be prevented by blocking a process that kills the epithelial cells that line the airways of lungs. Researchers also identified a chemical called gadolinium that can ease airway restriction. More trials are underway.


Bottom Trawling Ban: Greece will ban bottom trawling in all of its marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2030, the Greek Prime Minister announced this week. He said the country would become Europe's first to bring an end to the damaging fishing practice in these protected areas.

California Dreamin': New data shows that supply from geothermal, hydro, solar and wind exceeded demand for at least part of the day for more than three quarters of days since the start of March. It's the first time that the US state has succeeded in drawing all of its electricity needs from wind-water-solar (WWS) sources for such a sustained period of time.

French Revolution: A new report by L’Institut Paris Région has found that the number of cyclists in central Paris now far exceeds the number of motorists, especially during peak times. It's huge change from just five years ago.

Shit Happens: European airline has placed an order for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from human waste. The airline estimates that the new sustainable fuel could reduce its CO2 emissions by 100,000 tonnes per year.

EPA Cracks Down on PFAS: For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set limits for six types of hazardous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in drinking water. Known as "forever chemicals" because they do not naturally break down, PFAS are common in the environment and pose significant health risks. Public health advocates called the limits "historic" and estimated they could prevent thousands of illnesses.

Circular Fashion Boost: eBay has given UK shoppers even more reason to love pre-loved clothing, by ditching selling fees for vintage garments. The measure aims to unlock an estimated £16.3bn ($20.4bn) of unworn clobber languishing at the back of UK wardrobes, and means that individuals will no longer be charged for selling unwanted clothes.

Used EV Prices Plummet: That’s good news for EV adoption overall, but not so great for owners who already own an EV and are seeing their cars lose value at alarmingly high rates in the resale market.

Sublime Cement: Traditionally, cement is heated in a kiln, which produces approximately 8 percent of annual global carbon emissions. Sublime Systems makes its cement through an electrochemical process, with no kilns required. For its inaugural project, the zero-carbon cement mixture is being used to construct a building in the Boston area.

Germany Pulls Plug: Germany has shut down 15 coal-fired power plants as part of plans to shelve the fossil fuel entirely by the end of the decade.

Texas Turnaround: In March, for the first time ever, solar generation in Texas beat coal-fired generators. It’s the first time solar has beaten coal over a whole month in Texas, the largest user of coal for power generation of any state in the U.S.

India's Rooftops: India has approved a massive $9 billion subsidy program to help Indian households install rooftop solar panels in their homes and apartments. The scheme, called PM-Surya Ghar, will eventually provide free electricity to 10 million homes according to estimates.

Today's Articles


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