To bring attention to these positive and optimistic acts, we’re sharing a monthly roundup of our favourite good-news stories. These highlight any uplifting stories, useful resources, or promising scientific advancements, and help finish the month with a healthful dose of the positive.
The world's largest wildlife crossing is now being built in California
The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing, which spans 10 lanes of Highway 101, aims to improve the lives of mountain lions and other species in the Santa Monica Mountains. Crews broke ground on the $87 million wildlife crossing in Agoura Hills, California, last week, and once completed — the target is 2025 — it will be the world's largest such corridor, according to CBS Los Angeles. The 165-foot-wide crossing, which would be about 10 feet above the road, will connect the Santa Monica Mountains with the Simi Hills. The crossing will be enclosed by trees, bushes, and sound barriers to ensure that the cars and traffic below do not scare the animals away.
Hair-braiding class for dads
Annis Waugh's hair-braiding session for dads overturned preconceived beliefs. Waugh owns Braid Maidens in St. Albans, England, and she organised workshops for parents as part of a fundraiser for a local primary school. Waugh created a course called "Beers and Braids" after learning she had never had a man enrol in any of her hair-braiding sessions. She hoped it would appeal to dads. Hundreds of fathers signed up for the waiting list after the class sold out. Waugh displayed brushing and braiding techniques while teaching the dads about hair textures and varieties. Waugh told The Washington Post that the men practised on plastic heads and were "very engaged and extremely happy learners." John Hardern enrolled in the session so he could assist his children in getting ready for school, and he told the Post that learning how to braid hair with other dads gave him confidence. Hardern stated, "It shouldn't simply be one gender doing anything like this." "The more we help each other and share the burden, the better for my daughters."
Scientists finish sequencing a complete human genome
Scientists have sequenced the entire human genome for the first time, a significant achievement that will aid researchers in better understanding how DNA differs from person to person and the role heredity plays in disease. The Human Genome Project reported in 2003 that it has sequenced 92 percent of the human genome, and a team of almost 100 scientists has laboured for the past two decades to fully expose the remaining 8%. "Having this entire knowledge will allow us to better understand how we form as an individual creature and how we differ not just from other humans but also from other species," said University of Washington researcher Evan Eichler.
Global surge in turtle activity
Turtles are flocking to beaches in greater numbers all across the world. The decrease in people visiting the sandy beaches where turtles lay their eggs appears to have resulted in an increase in females coming ashore to do just that. Turtle numbers are expected to rise in the near future, according to reports from throughout the world, because people are not currently harming these marine creatures. The increase in turtle activity, according to David Godfrey, executive director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy, is directly tied to recent changes in human behaviour.
Contact lens technology could help those with diabetes
Medical technology is frequently employed to assess chronic illnesses, and diabetes is no exception. For the first time, a biocompatible polymer has been used on contact lenses to provide diabetics with real-time information on their blood sugar levels. People can use the technology simply by blinking rather than bringing a kit out to examine themselves. The lenses will make it simple to make up-to-the-minute assessments.
Coal use for electrical power on the wane
Coal is one of the worst fossil fuels in terms of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. According to sources in the British press, coal-powered electrical production in the UK reached an all-time low in April. What was less generally known was that Austria and Sweden both permanently shut down their remaining coal-fired power plants within seven days of each other. Both countries, according to Inhabitat, have accomplished their goal ahead of schedule. Belgium has already eliminated coal consumption, and France is expected to be the next large economy to do so by 2022.
Alzheimer's treatment developed in the form of a spray
According to an article in Interesting Engineering, a Japanese team may have developed a novel technique to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The plan is to concentrate on the tau protein, which is found in the brain. This protein is known to accumulate in dementia patients. The protein was combined with a harmless virus and administered to mice through nasal spray. The immune systems of the mice recognised the tau proteins as a threat rather than accumulating them. This, it is hoped, will lead to the development of a similar treatment for individuals in the near future.
Breakthrough means good news for US coral reefs
According to CNN, the Florida Aquarium has grown a coral outside of its natural environment for the first time. The researchers have successfully generated a ridged cactus coral in a tank under human supervision. The reefs near Florida have been hit hard by disease in recent years, and it's believed that cultivating corals in this manner would help safeguard them for future generations, maybe allowing them to be put back into the environment.
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