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OGN Monday

Kick-starting the week with a collection of upbeat news snippets.

  • For the first time in its 150 year history, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has hired a full-time Native American curator. Patricia Marroquin Norby will work on collection development and exhibition programming that focuses on Native arts. She's also tasked with forming partnerships with Indigenous American communities, scholars, artists and audiences.

  • The UK government has announced it will commit at least £3 billion ($4bn) to climate change solutions in developing countries, helping to protect and restore nature and biodiversity over five years.

  • Potential Cancer Cure: A research team from Korea Institute of Science and Technology has developed a new cancer-targeting photo-therapeutic agent capable of eliminating cancer cells with almost no side effects.

  • Geologists will tell you that they never know what they might find on research trips. And a Californian scientist certainly wasn’t expecting to open up a volcanic egg-sized rock in Brazil, only to find an uncanny resemblance of the Cookie Monster inside. After posting this image on Facebook, he's already received an offer of $10,000 for it.

  • Never short of ideas, or afraid to put his money where his mouth is, it looks like Elon Musk has joined the ranks of climate philanthropists, as he's just announced that he's donating $100m as a prize for the best carbon capture technology.

  • Complex Desalination Problem Finally Solved: The discovery will make it possible to produce clean water at a lower cost. It's particularly good news for low-resource areas.

  • Tribal biologists have confirmed that chinook and steelhead salmon are spawning in the upper-Columbia River system in Washington state for the first time in 80 years. It’s the culmination of decades of dreaming, and years of work, which one can hear in the words of Crystal Conant, a Colville tribal member: “I was shocked at first, then I was just overcome with complete joy…I don’t know that I have the right words to even explain the happiness and the healing,” she said.

  • Imagine you're a 79 year old man looking forward to attending Joe Biden's inauguration on a cold January day. You get there early, with your comfy foldable chair, to nab a good spot on the steps of the Capitol. You wear your snuggest coat and put on your favourite pair of mittens, and sit down to enjoy the ceremony. You sit discreetly and quietly and then, suddenly, for no particular reason, you become a meme sensation.

  • BioNTech, the German firm which together with Pfizer created one of the Covid-19 vaccines, say they have used the same technology to create a vaccine which delayed the onset and reduced the severity of multiple sclerosis (MS) in mice. Clinical trials published in Science raise the hope of a breakthrough in the search for a cure, as the results showed that not only was the progression of the disease halted, but some lost motor function was also recovered.

  • Counting Elephants from Space: For conservationists to work effectively, they need to know how many elephants they are dealing with and where they are. New technology is helping.

  • Hats off to Lai Chi-wai, a paraplegic athlete who 'climbed' 820 feet up the side of a Hong Kong skyscraper while in his wheelchair - on purpose! For fun! Well, it was also for charity. The 37-year-old climber was crowned Asia champion four times for rock climbing before an accident 10 years ago left him paralyzed from the waist down. However, he got back into it by attaching his wheelchair to a pulley system and using his upper body strength to haul himself up. His recent ascent up the Nina Tower raised more than $670,000 in donations for spinal cord patients.

  • Electric vehicles are close to the “tipping point” of rapid mass adoption thanks to the plummeting cost of batteries, experts say. Global sales rose 43 percent in 2020, but even faster growth is anticipated when continuing falls in battery costs bring the price of electric cars dipping below that of equivalent petrol and diesel models, even without subsidies. The latest analyses forecast this to happen some time between 2023 and 2025.

  • Photographer travelled 5,500km in six weeks exploring the vast landscapes of British Columbia and Alberta. With 54,000 single photos shot along the way he created ALIVE - a 4 minute timelapse film which takes you on a vivid journey through some of Canada's most spectacular wildernesses. Breathtaking and soul cleansing!

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