Just Good News Friday

Updated: Oct 13

Today's collection of positive news nuggets from around the world.


Facade of the EPA headquarters, Washington, D.C
EPA headquarters, Washington, D.C | Wikipedia
Environmental Justice

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will create a national office of environmental justice in a bid to address the disproportionate burden of climate change and toxic pollution on low-income areas and communities of color, writes the New York Times. The new office will oversee a $3 billion climate and environmental justice grant program aimed at underserved communities. The program was created as part of a sweeping climate law passed last month.


Spiral galaxy IC 5332 photographed by JWST
Courtesy of ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-JWST and PHANGS-HST Teams
Spiral Galaxy

When astronomers observe the galaxy known as IC 5332, they typically see a wispy, dusty spiral-shaped form, with details that are a bit hard to make out. But when the powerful James Webb Space Telescope turned its high-tech devices toward the galaxy, it offered scientists an “unprecedented” look at its intricate structure, the European Space Agency says. The highly detailed image of IC 5332, located more than 29 million light years away from Earth, is just the latest in a series of impressive snapshots taken by Webb, the $10 billion telescope that launched last Christmas.


Two Chinese scientists at Sinopec
Credit: Sinopec | Released
Used Cooking Oil

A Chinese petroleum company just obtained an airworthiness certificate for their new biological jet fuel made of used cooking oil. It will be the first time that large scale production of bio jet fuel will serve the aviation industry in China. Aviation is one of the last remaining transportation sectors that still has no decisive alternative to fossil fuels. Western companies are also trialing bio-based fuels, including cooking oil. Compared to traditional petroleum-based aviation kerosene, bio jet fuel can reduce carbon emissions by up to 50 percent throughout the entire lifecycle.


New Cancer Therapy

A new type of cancer therapy that uses a common virus to infect and destroy harmful cells is showing big promise in early human trials, say UK scientists. One patient's cancer vanished, while others saw their tumours shrink. The drug is a weakened form of the cold sore virus - herpes simplex - that has been modified to kill tumours, says the BBC. Larger and longer studies will be needed, but experts say the injection might ultimately offer a lifeline to more people with advanced cancers.

 
Saudade

The longing to be near someone or something that is distant.

 

Eco-Tyres

Over the past decade Bridgestone has invested more than $100 million into eco-tyres made from guayule, a drought-friendly shrub that produces a compound that's good enough for race tyres. The eco-tyres have been tested on Indy Cars for over a year and provide 'similar or better performance' than traditional rubber tyres.


Getting The Lead Out

Following decades of pressure from environmental-justice advocates, the US Federal Aviation Administration has authorized the use of a high-octane unleaded aviation gasoline in the nation's general aviation fleet. The agency described the decision as ''a major step forward'' to safely phase out leaded aviation fuel, which contains a highly toxic additive known as tetraethyl lead.

 
Quote of the Day

"It isn’t where you came from. It’s where you’re going that counts." Ella Fitzgerald

 
On this Day

30 September 1935: The Boulder Dam (later the Hoover Dam), astride the border of Arizona and Nevada, opened by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 
Etymology of Sycophant

Today, the word describes 'a person who acts obsequiously towards someone important in order to gain advantage.' But that's not its original meaning. Read on...


xWave Clean Power Tech

CalWave believes it can harness the waves to become the first company to deploy wave energy systems at a mass scale. Read on...

 
Mood Booster

Ancient viking sayings: These life rules are based on the Hávamál, a collection of old Norse poems from the Viking age. Legend tells us that they were written by the deity Odin himself.