Today's Good News Nuggets

Tuesday's collection of uplifting good news nuggets.

  • Tiny traces of DNA found in cave dust may unlock secret life of Neanderthals, solving the mystery of early man. Scientists have pinpointed major changes in Europe’s Neanderthal populations - from traces of blood and excrement they left behind in a Spanish cave 100,000 years ago.The discovery is the first important demonstration of a powerful new technique that allows researchers to study DNA recovered from cave sediments. No fossils or stone tools are needed for such studies. Instead, the good news is that minuscule traces of genetic material that have accumulated in the dust of a cavern floor can be employed to reveal ancient secrets.

  • JCB digs up a green future with hydrogen engines. Chairman, Lord Bamford, believes hydrogen is at risk of being overlooked in the rush to go electric. JCB’s trademark bright yellow has been replaced by green, and the white puffs coming from the exhaust pipe are not smoke but water vapour. The sound is smoother. Its task is not so much to dig but to try out JCB’s latest effort to help save the planet - and the combustion engine. Powering the machine is a new hydrogen engine developed by the company, which it predicts could be a better alternative to diesel than electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells for much of its heavy construction machinery.

  • The US climate envoy, John Kerry, has said 50 percent of the carbon reductions needed to get to net zero will come from technologies that have not yet been invented, and said people “don’t have to give up a quality of life” in order to cut emissions. It would be good news if he's correct.

  • Hats off to the bravery of Republican, Liz Cheney, who was recently ousted as House Republican Conference Chair. She says she could not simply ignore former President Trump because he "continues to be a real danger."

  • Kindness: Mariam Yehia has a Ramadan tradition of buying hot meals and driving around to hand them out to the needy in Cairo, so they can break their fast during the Muslim holy month. But she always felt like she wasn't doing enough. This year, an online post inspired the 26-year-old to do more. A friend wrote about a financially struggling chef, and Yehia decided to buy Ramadan meals from him and then distribute them to the poor.

  • Based in Canada, Ethereum's 27-year-old co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, is now the world's youngest crypto billionaire and is being very generous with his fortune. In a single transaction, Buterin just donated tokens worth $1.2 billion to the India Covid Relief Fund set up by Indian tech entrepreneur Sandeep Nailwal.

  • Costa Coffee is installing rapid electric car chargers at 200 of its drive-through sites around the UK. It's joining forces with charging network owner Instavolt to install chargers that can add 100 miles of range in just 15 minutes. The advent of the electric car poses a major opportunity for companies such as coffee shops and supermarkets that can lure in shoppers with charging points.

Dive in Deeper

Mood-boosting clip

This little gray seal surprises some kayakers in Scotland when it decides to hop aboard after following them for a mile or so.