Today's Good News Nuggets

Updated: Feb 1

Mid week collection of good news nuggets from around the world.

  • In very good news for a metal detectorist in Devon (south west England), who found an extremely rare example of England's 'first ever gold coin', as it is likely to make him a £500,000 ($685,000) fortune. The King Henry III coin was struck in about 1257 by William of Gloucester with gold imported from North Africa. Experts say it shows the first 'true' portrait of an English King upon his throne since the time of William the Conqueror. The amateur metal detectorist was completely unaware of its incredible rarity until he posted a picture of it on Facebook and it was spotted by a specialist at Spink auctioneers, London. The lucky finder, who wishes to remain anonymous, was on his first metal detecting outing in 10 years.

  • Scientists, from the Université de Montréal, have constructed the world’s tiniest antenna in an incredible experiment. This nanoantenna is made entirely from human DNA and its purpose is to monitor structural changes of protein molecules in never before achieved detail. Hopefully, the invention will open many new exciting avenues in biochemistry such as looking more specifically at molecules and their interactions. This could be good news for drug discovery and also investigating diseases.

  • A man who told the Queen he was a solar panel engineer when she asked him ‘what do you do?’ was stunned when she later got in touch - and paid him to install some on Balmoral Castle, the Queen's Scottish estate. Businessman George Goudsmit met the Queen at an event and had a quick ’20 second’ conversation with her. The Managing Director at AES Solar recalls, “As she walked away she turned to an aide and said, ‘maybe I should have solar panels at Balmoral’”. He was shocked when he was later commissioned to install panels at Balmoral. There is now even discussions of installing them at Buckingham Palace.

  • India isn't famous for snow sports. So, good luck to Kashmiri ski racer Arif Khan, who hopes to change that. The first and so far only Indian to qualify for the Beijing Winter Olympics, he crowdfunded trips to Europe to qualify.

  • Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University may have found a way to revitalize rechargeable lithium batteries, potentially boosting the range of electric vehicles and battery life in next-gen electronic devices. As lithium batteries cycle, the battery’s capacity to store charge decreases. But the research team discovered that they can partially reverse this decline and increase a battery's lifetime by nearly 30 percent.

  • A new preliminary, drug-screening study pulished in the Journal of Natural Products suggests that two chemical compounds identified in live cannabis plants may prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, from infecting healthy human cells. The compounds in question cannot be consumed via smoking, meaning they'd have to be harvested separately to manufacture a specific medicine or treatment. And surely this isn't to say that smoking marijuana will protect you from Covid-19, or that the reason why a person gets Covid while another doesn't has anything to do with enjoying the occasional spliff.

  • An album of Australia’s most-endangered birds and their calls has sold its way into the No.3 spot on national pop charts, beating Taylor Swift and ABBA in its flight path. Songs of Disappearance is a 24-minute album of endangered birdcalls recorded by Australia’s best wildlife sound recordist, David Stewart. Its success demonstrates the love of Australians who want to help their native species - with all proceeds going to conservation of our feathered friends.

 

Quote of the Day

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." Helen Keller

 

On this Day

19 January 1955: U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower held the first-ever televised presidential press conference.

 

Dive in Deeper


Vitamin D: Those of us living in the northern hemisphere at this time of year are very unlikely to be getting enough vitamin D from sunshine. Here are three warning signs to look out for and how to fix it. Read on...

 

Introduction to Kingdom of Bhutan

There’s a place on earth, perhaps one of the last, where nature and humans exist as one; the government prioritizes happiness, and conservation of the land and wildlife is so important, laws are in place to protect it. Welcome to Bhutan, the last great “Shangri-La,” the last great oasis.