Worldwide collection of good news nuggets to help brighten the day.
New Bee Species
As part of her PhD, Kit Prendergast surveyed bushland in Western Australia and discovered a new species of native bee. It has a protruding clypeus that is "snout-like", so she named the new species Leioproctus zephyr after her beloved dog, Zephyr. "It's been a dream of mine to find and describe a new species of native bee. And whoever describes a new species, the taxonomist gets to have naming rights. The only rule is that you can't name it after yourself because that's really egotistic. You can name it after something descriptive, a location, or even a famous person or someone who is significant in your life – which is exactly what I did."
Immune System Booster
A new study shows that a substance found in pomegranates significantly boosts the immune system to fight cancer - triggering a constant supply of endless rejuvenated T cells. German scientists discovered that a metabolite in the red fruit, known as urolithin-A, rejuvenates immune T cells to make them better at fighting tumors. “Our findings are particularly exciting because the focus is not on the tumor cell but on the immune system - the natural defense against cancer,” said Dr. Dominic Denk of the Frankfurt University Hospital and lead author of the study.
Pomegranates Good for Brain Health: Since the arrival of Yotam Ottolenghi on the cooking scene, ruby-red pomegranates have become wildly popular. And they're not just good for your brain health. Here are their other powerful benefits...
Sharing the Kudos
The Wright brothers conceived their famous flying machine in Ohio but first piloted it on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. On the 80th anniversary of the Wrights’ pioneering feat, North Carolina issued plates with the slogan, 'First in Flight.' Ohio, the home of Orville and Wilbur Wright, not wanting to miss out on the celebrity status of their local heroes, countered by changing its slogan to “Birthplace of Aviation” 15 years later. Both states still carry these slogans on many of their plates today.
The Colour Purple
The flag of Nicaragua features a rainbow in the centre that includes a band of purple, while the flag of Dominica boasts a picture of a sisserou parrot, a bird with purple feathers. These elements make them the only two flags in the world that use the colour purple. Let's hope that comes up in your next pub quiz.
T Rex Capital
A Tyrannosaurus rex skull unearthed in South Dakota is expected to sell for $15 million or more at a Sotheby's auction in New York next month. The 200-pound (91-kilogram) skull fossil, nicknamed Maximus, is being sold on 9 December by an owner who wishes to remain anonymous. The skull was excavated last year in South Dakota, where other T. rex skeletons like Sue and Stan were found, according to Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby’s head of science and popular culture. She called the area “the world capital for T. rexes.”
Scientists have grown red blood cells in a laboratory and successfully transfused them into a person, in a world first that could revolutionise the treatment of blood disorders. The breakthrough could take the pressure off blood supplies and help people with rare blood types. Ashley Toye, professor of cell biology at England's University of Bristol said: “This challenging and exciting trial is a huge stepping stone for manufacturing blood from stem cells."
Quote of the Day
“Friends are people who know you really well and like you anyway.“
On this Day
10 November 1871: According to his journal, explorer Henry Stanley greeted David Livingstone, the fellow explorer in search of the source of the Nile River, with the famous words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
A flying visit to Florence - the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.