Making sure the week gets off to a bright start with an uplifting collection of good news nuggets.
Fancy a change of scene? A wildlife ranger is being sought for an idyllic island off the north coast of Scotland - and a free cottage to live in is included. The Scottish Wildlife Trust is looking for someone to take over the position of Handa Island Ranger on the remote island off the coast of Sutherland in the Highlands. The successful candidate will be treated to stunning sandy beaches, spectacular views from the 394-feet-high cliffs, and getting to know the 100,000 breeding seabirds living on the island. Applications are due to close on 17 January so, if you’re looking for a wild adventure, it sounds like it’s time to get applying.
Love this post on Twitter: When my dad passes a person, he always waves and says 'how are you doing?' As a kid I thought he knew everyone, but he was just being kind. I do it too. Today, on a walk, we saw a stranger and my 4 year old daughter waved and said 'how are you doing?' You guys, I just saw third generation kindness!
Scientists at the University of Oxford have developed a blood test that can detect cancer in patients with non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue or weight loss – a breakthrough that could potentially save many lives. Catching cancer early is critical to improving patient outcomes. The new blood test identifies the presence of biomarkers produced by cancer cells in the blood. In a study, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the test was used to analyse samples from 300 cancer patients. The result? Cancer was correctly detected in 19 out of 20 patients. Though more research is needed, the early findings appear to be very good news.
Flying, without climate baggage. That’s what the Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen has promised as she announced a goal to decarbonise domestic flights by 2030. It follows a similar pledge by neighbouring Sweden. Top marks for ambition, but there are no obvious routes to reach those targets – and Frederiksen acknowledged as much, meaning hopes rest on fledgling technologies. For lessons in greening domestic travel, countries could look to France. Last year it announced it will ban internal flights where trains can do the journey in under 2.5 hours.
A UK charity that saves lives at sea looks to have raised more money in 2021 than at any other time in its 200-year history. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) reported a fundraising surge following its highly publicised efforts to save refugees in the English Channel.
A tree that is new to science has been named after Leonardo DiCaprio. Scientists at London's Royal Botanic Gardens say they wanted to honour the star for his help in saving a rainforest from logging. The tree, which has been given the official name, Uvariopsis dicaprio, grows only in the Cameroon forest known for its incredible biodiversity. "We think he was crucial in helping to stop the logging of the Ebo Forest," said Dr Martin Cheek. Scientists and conservationists were horrified when they heard of plans to allow vast swathes of the Ebo Forest to be opened up for logging.
The roofs of the future may be made entirely out of solar panels. At least that’s the goal of GAF Energy. “The potential for solar is enormous, but we haven’t come close to meeting it,” says Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy, a spinoff of the largest roof maker in North America. “When you see solar panels going up the same way now as they were put up in 1990, yeah, you realize there’s an opportunity for innovation.” The company’s new design is called Timberline Solar and consists of solar cells built into standard roof shingles. “All you need to install the solar shingle is a nail gun,” says DeBono. “It goes up just like a regular shingle that can be nailed on the roof like any other shingle.”
Nasa engineers have completed the final unfolding of the huge primary mirror (about the size of a tennis court) of the agency’s James Webb space telescope. The manoeuvre was the final step of the $10bn observatory’s two-week deployment phase that began with its launch on Christmas Day. The telescope, which has already travelled more than 600,000 miles across space, is the largest, most powerful space telescope ever built. The 'time machine’ will allow astronomers to study the beginning of the universe shortly after the Big Bang.
Quote of the Day
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!'” Audrey Hepburn
On this Day
10 January 1776: 'Common Sense' pamphlet by Thomas Paine published, advocating American independence.
Dive in Deeper
Diving Head First
Fox pinpoints mice deep beneath the snow, using his sensitive hearing and the magnetic field of the North Pole to plot his trajectory.