Global round up of good news nuggets to brighten the day.
It’s decided: decisive people no more accurate than self-doubters. It’s a trait best seen in the eager pub quizzer – a tendency to leap to an answer without a shadow of a doubt. New research shows that while people who have little difficulty making decisions are more confident in their choices, they are no more accurate than those who feel more torn. “What we found is that confidence was the only thing that was different,” said Dr Wojciech Zajkowski, the first author of the research, who is now based at the Riken social decision science laboratory in Japan.
The British/American company ZeroAvia has created an airplane that runs entirely on hydrogen, making it the first clean energy aircraft of its kind. ZeroAvia’s goal is to replace standard fossil fuel combustion engines with clean energy solutions that will lower the impact of the commercial flight industry on the carbon levels in the atmosphere. Through their innovation, and those of others, zero-emission aviation is now not only possible but gaining traction.
An American biotech company has just successfully transplanted a 3D-printed human ear into a patient. The 20-year-old patient was born with a congenital disorder that left her with a small and misshapen right ear. The company, 3DBio Therapeutics, printed the ear using the patient's own cells in a mold that precisely matched the woman’s left ear. It is expected that her new ear will continue to regenerate cartilage tissue over time, giving it the look and feel of a natural ear. This is a stunning development and exciting news in the realm of tissue engineering.
With no way of completely curing the condition, earlier diagnosis of Parkinson's disease can have profound impacts on treatment options and a patient's quality of life. So, it's good news that scientists are making inroads when it comes to picking up the tell-tale signs of the disease's onset, and a new first-of-a-kind study has demonstrated how these can be revealed through an inexpensive blood test that has shown a high degree of accuracy in early trials.
Out With Asphalt
Schoolyards are supposed to be somewhere kids want to play. But if your schoolyard is just an empty expanse of asphalt – merely boring when the weather is fine but mercilessly hot and unprotected when the mercury rises – then it becomes the opposite: a place kids want to avoid. This was the reality for roughly 300 US public schools until they joined a program that completely transformed them. Not only does green space make the schools a happier place, it also makes them more resilient to the climate crisis, whether in the form of extreme heat or torrential rainfall.
Frivolous, light-hearted talk. A useful word because it makes you sound like Oscar Wilde and lets you avoid ever describing your witty repartée as "banter".
A major breakthrough in humanity's efforts to improve food security, with China's development of a salt-tolerant rice variety dubbed as 'seawater rice.' The rice can be cultivated in salty soils near the sea, and by the end of this year, almost 70,000 hectares in seven provinces will be under cultivation.
California's Senate just passed the California Fossil Fuel Divestment Act, which requires CalPERS and CalSTRS, the two largest public pension funds in the US, to divest from fossil fuels. “This is a great step in the right direction. State pension funds should be invested in the future of the state, not in a dark and deadly fossil fuel past," said Ellie Cohen, CEO, The Climate Center.
Quote of the Day
"In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explodes, and every sunset is different."
On this Day
7 June 1929: Through the Lateran Treaty - signed by Benito Mussolini for Italy and by Pietro Gasparri, cardinal secretary of state, for the papacy - Vatican City became a sovereign state.
Dive in Deeper
Jubilee Mood Booster
In case you missed it (or would love to see it again), here's the priceless clip of the Queen having tea with Paddington bear. Ma’amalade sandwich Your Majesty?