Ensuring the week gets off to a sunny start with a global round up of positive news nuggets.
Bhutan just announced a “milestone achievement” after seeing a 40 percent increase in its snow leopard population - demonstrating that conservation efforts are having a positive impact. It's the Himalayan Kingdom's second national survey of 9,000 km2 (3,500 square miles) of snow leopard territory with over 300 camera trap stations, and shows that numbers have risen from 96 individuals in 2016 to 134 in 2022/23. Officials use what they learn from the survey to fill in knowledge gaps about snow leopards and shape conservation policy. Snow leopards play a key role as a top predator and as an overall indicator of the health of the mountain habitat in which they live.
An eight-year-old girl has become the first child in the UK to receive a special type of kidney transplant that does not require the use of long-term drugs to stop rejection of the organ. According to medics at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the treatment was made possible by reprogramming Aditi Shankar's immune system before giving her the new kidney. They also used bone-marrow stem cells from the donor - Aditi's mother, Divya, who says she was "happy and proud" to donate both bone marrow and one of her kidneys to her daughter.
... to Ethiopia's Tigist Assefa who smashed the women's marathon world record as she won yesterday's race in Berlin - crossing the line in a time of two hours, 11 minutes and 53 seconds, and thereby taking more than two minutes off the previous record. It's even more impressive when you learn that she's a former 800m specialist who only started racing marathons in April last year.
The Record Co. in Boston, Massachusetts, was created to give musicians from all backgrounds the chance to lay down beats and bring their tunes to life. "Our philosophy is that every single person deserves to express their musical creativity," says founder Matt McArthur. Musicians can book recording time for as little as $10 an hour; the typical price in Boston is $100 an hour. About 3,500 musicians make use of the affordable studio every month. "That moment of creation where something now exists that didn't exist before - watching other people have that experience - is magic," says McArthur.
Lunar South Pool
A new mosaic of the Shackleton Crater showcases the power of two lunar orbiting cameras working together to reveal unprecedented detail of the Moon's South Pole region. The peaks along the crater's rim are exposed to almost continual sunlight, while the interior is perpetually in shadow.
Since the 1990s, wildlife bridges have been popping up along major stretches of highway in Texas to 'guide wildlife to pass under the road rather than over it and reduce wildlife vehicle collisions.' To date, there are 32 wildlife crossings, and 21 of them are built in locations intended to specifically protect endangered animals like ocelots and the Houston toad.
“I'm convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they're stones that don't matter. As long as you're breathing, it's never too late to do some good.” Dr. Maya Angelou
On this Day
25 September 1513: On this day (or two days later) in 1513, Spanish conquistador and explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, standing “silent, upon a peak in Darién,” on the Isthmus of Panama, became the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean.
This chirpy starling had a lot to say this morning...