30 Positive News Of 2018

1. New Cancer Vaccine proves 100% successful on Mice

Scientists have developed a new vaccine that — in conjunction with existing therapies — can not only treat aggressive melanoma(skin cancer), but also prevent its recurrence.

 

2. Hole in Ozone layer shows signs of recovering

The ozone layer is showing signs of continuing recovery from man-made damage and is likely to heal fully by 2060, new evidence shows.

3. Alzheimer’s blood test detects disease decades before symptoms, aiding drug search

  • Alzheimer’s remains a deadly and incurable disease that affects 5.5 million Americans.
  • It is one of the greatest threats to the solvency of Medicare.
  • New blood tests can identify patients up to 20 years before physical symptoms.
  • This could prove crucial in developing preventative treatments.

4. Special bacteria is found to turn sewage waste into clean hydrogen fuel

  • You’ve flushed something valuable down the toilet today.
    This new study is the first to show that purple phototrophic bacteria – which can store energy from light – when supplied with an electric current can recover near to 100% of carbon from any type of organic waste, while generating hydrogen gas for electricity production.
    Organic compounds in household sewage and industrial wastewater are a rich potential source of energy, bioplastics and even proteins for animal feed – but with no efficient extraction method, treatment plants discard them as contaminants.
    Purple bacteria, however, is an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution.

5. Researchers developed nano wires that can mimic the function of actual neurons

  • Scientists have developed a nanowire that functions similar to a biological nerve cell, an advance that could pave the way for building processors that mimic the human brain. The component is able to both save and process information, as well as receive numerous signals in parallel.These could be used to build bioinspired “neuromorphic” processors, able to take over the diverse functions of biological synapses and neurons.

6. Rain or shine: new solar cell captures energy from raindrops

A solar panel that can generate electricity from falling raindrops has been invented, enabling power to flow even when skies cloud over or the sun has set.

Solar power installation is soaring globally thanks to costs plunging 90% in the past decade, making it the cheapest electricity in many parts of the world. But the power output can plummet under grey skies and researchers are working to squeeze even more electricity from panels.

The new device, demonstrated in a laboratory at Soochow University in China, places two transparent polymer layers on top of a solar photovoltaic (PV) cell. When raindrops fall on to the

layers and then roll off, the friction generates a static electricity charge.

7. Scientist developed a cheap 10-minute test that can detect cancer anywhere in the body

Australian scientists are being hailed for possibly developing a quick and easy test that can detect any kind of cancer in a matter of minutes.

Cancer is an extremely complicated and variable disease and different types of cancer have different signatures. Up until now, the scientists have had trouble finding a simple signature that was distinct from healthy cells and common to all cancers – but the team was finally able to identify a unique biomarker that was common in every type of cancer they examined, including prostate, colorectal, lymphoma, and several different forms of breast cancers.

8. 6 paralyzed patients regain use of their hands thanks to noninvasive spinal stimulation

The ability to perform simple daily tasks can make a big difference in people’s lives, especially for those with spinal cord injuries. A UCLA-led team of scientists reports that six people with severe spinal cord injuries — three of them completely paralyzed — have regained use of their hands and fingers for the first time in years after undergoing a nonsurgical, noninvasive spinal stimulation procedure the researchers developed.

9. Newly developed device can generate clean water from the air – even in arid deserts

Around the world, severe water shortages are becoming increasingly common, and the situation is only expected to worsen as temperatures rise.

In light of this, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have created a concept device that can extract moisture from the air and turn it into drinking water, even in the driest places on Earth, potentially providing a solution to the problem of water scarcity in arid climates.

Deserts and other arid regions may seem as though they are completely devoid of water, but there is actually always some moisture in the air. The device has been designed to capture it.

10. The world’s first artificial iris implant has been approved to repair damaged eyes

The FDA approved the CustomFlex Artificial Iris, the first standalone prosthetic iris in the United States that will treat adults and children with a missing or damaged iris. It is a permanent implant designed to replace the colored contact lenses currently used by patients with the problem.

“Patients with iris defects may experience severe vision problems, as well as dissatisfaction with the appearance of their eye,” said the FDA’s Dr. Malvina Eydelman. She added that the artificial iris will treat defects that lead to reduced sensitivity to glare and bright lights, and will improve the cosmetic appearance of patients with aniridia.

11. The UK went 55 hours without using coal for the first time in history

Coal, which fueled the world’s biggest economies for more than a century, is increasingly losing out to renewables.

The latest example of how one of the dirtiest fossil fuels is being squeezed out of the market came this week in Britain, which went for a record 55 hours without its any of its power plants producing electricity by burning coal.No coal was used for power generation by stations in the U.K. between 10:25 p.m. in London on Monday until 5:10 a.m. on Thursday, according to grid data compiled by Bloomberg.

At the same time wind turbines produced more power.

12. Low-cost , printable solar panels have been launched in Australia

An Australian physicist is leading a push to pioneer a new type of low-cost solar energy he believes could make signing up for energy accounts as straightforward as taking up a mobile phone plan.

In May last year, the University of Newcastle professor Paul Dastoor used organic printed solar cells to power screens and displays at an exhibition in Melbourne.

Less than one millimetre thick and held down with double-sided sticky tape, the panels are similar in texture to a potato chip packet and can be produced for less than $10 per square metre.

Paul Dastoor has been working on the technology for more than a decade, but has now begun a 200 square-metre installation – the first commercial application of its kind in Australia and possibly the world.

13. Researchers utilize artificial photosynthesis to clean air and produce energy simultaneously

A chemistry professor in Florida has just found a way to trigger the process of photosynthesis in a synthetic material, turning greenhouse gases into clean air and producing energy all at the same time.

The process has great potential for creating a technology that could significantly reduce greenhouse gases linked to climate change, while also creating a clean way to produce energy.

14. Newly developed battery eats carbon dioxide before it reaches the atmosphere

A new type of battery developed by researchers at MIT could be made partly from carbon dioxide captured from power plants. Rather than attempting to convert carbon dioxide to specialized chemicals using metal catalysts, which is currently highly challenging, this battery could continuously convert carbon dioxide into a solid mineral carbonate as it discharges.

While still based on early-stage research and far from commercial deployment, the new battery formulation could open up new avenues for tailoring electrochemical carbon dioxide conversion reactions, which may ultimately help reduce the emission of the greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.

15. Researchers created the world’s first 3D printed human corneas

Researchers at Newcastle University have been able to 3D-print a biocompatible corneal framework using a new gel formulations that “keeps the stem cells alive whilst producing a material which is stiff enough to hold its shape but soft enough to be squeezed out the nozzle of a 3D printer.”

There is a significant shortage of corneas available to transplant, with 10 million people worldwide requiring surgery to prevent corneal blindness as a result of diseases such as trachoma, an infectious eye disorder,” wrote the researchers. “In addition, almost 5 million people suffer total blindness due to corneal scarring caused by burns, lacerations, abrasion or disease.”

16. Solar-powered, weed killing robots could save farmers billions and eliminate herbicides

These dexterous robots are getting ready to disrupt the multi-billion dollar pesticide and seed industry by using AI technology to selectively seek and destroy weeds.

Currently, farmers are forced to shell out cash for large amounts of herbicide that is indiscriminately sprayed over their crops – 90% of which have already been genetically modified to resist the weed-killing chemicals, says Reuters.

The seed and pesticide industry is currently worth about $100 billion, and thanks to lucrative business models such as this, $26 billion of it alone is from the herbicide industry.

17. Scientists build a greenhouse in Antarctica that allows growing and harvesting vegetables

Scientists in Antarctica have harvested their first crop of vegetables grown without earth, daylight or pesticides as part of a project designed to help astronauts cultivate fresh food on other planets.

Researchers at Germany’s Neumayer Station III say they’ve picked 3.6 kilograms (8 pounds) of salad greens, 18 cucumbers and 70 radishes grown inside a high-tech greenhouse as temperatures outside dropped below -20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit).

18. Costa Rica becomes the first nation to ban fossil fuels

Costa Rica’s new president has announced a plan to ban fossil fuels and become the first fully decarbonised country in the world.

Carlos Alvarado, a 38-year-old former journalist, made the announcement to a crowd of thousands during his inauguration on Wednesday.

“Decarbonisation is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first” Mr Alvarado said.

19. France announces shutting down all coal-fired power stations by 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to shut all of his country’s coal-fired power plants by 2021.

“We’ve also decided to make France a model in the fight against climate change”, Mr Macron said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In a speech stressing the economic benefits of innovation, Mr Macron called the commitment “a huge advantage in terms of attractiveness and competitiveness”.

France only produces around 1 per cent of its energy from coal-fired stations, but the commitment is a signal that the country is determined to lead on climate issues.

20. California beats its 2020 emissions target four years early

In 2016, California’s greenhouse gas emissions were lower than in 1990, despite a larger population and booming economy, the state’s air resources board reported. Emissions in 1990 were 431 million metric tons and they were 429.4 million metric tons in 2016.

The savings relative to the peak in 2004 are equivalent to taking 12 million cars off the road. The state only has a total of 14 million registered vehicles.

21. A new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease has been successfully tested on mice

Scientists found a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease by testing an existing drug used for another illness. Researchers from Lancaster Universityin the UK discovered that a drug developed for type 2 diabetes has “significantly reversed memory loss” in mice.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and affects nearly 44 million people around the world, according to 2016 stats from Alzheimer’s Disease International. In the United States alone, 5.3 million people suffer from the illness. And these numbers are expected to keep rising.

22. Researchers repurpose wasp venom as an antibiotic drug that can kill bacteria

The venom of insects such as wasps and bees is full of compounds that can kill bacteria. Unfortunately, many of these compounds are also toxic for humans, making it impossible to use them as antibiotic drugs.

After performing a systematic study of the antimicrobial properties of a toxin normally found in a South American wasp, researchers at MIT have now created variants of the peptide that are potent against bacteria but non toxic to human cells.

23. Scientists used antibodies from llamas to produce a universal flu vaccine

Nick S. Laursen of the Scripps Research Institute and his colleagues manufactured a treatment using antibodies – proteins that neutralize invading pathogens – from llamas that protected mice against numerous strains of influenza virus, including influenza A and B viruses, the two types to which humans are susceptible. *Laursen’s treatment is technically not a vaccine, but the effects are similar. A vaccine infuses a host with weakened or killed viruses, allowing their immune system to produce its own antibodies. Instead the treatment simply inserts the antibodies directly.

Why llama antibodies? Turns out, the fluffy, adorable camelids evolved antibodies that have the smallest binding sites of any known antibody.

This allows llama antibodies to attach to a wide variety of disease antigens.

Moreover, llama antibodies are exceptionally stable and easy to produce compared to other antibodies.

24. Scientists are making carbon fiber from plants instead of petroleum

Scientists say it may soon be possible to make carbon fiber from plants instead of petroleum, driving down costs, making the material more widely available for use in cars, planes and other vehicles.

Carbon fiber is made from a chemical called acrylonitrile.

Currently, producers make acrylonitrile from oil, ammonia, oxygen and an expensive catalyst. The process produces a lot of heat and yields a toxic byproduct. And, because acrylonitrile is made from petroleum, the cost of carbon fiber tends to rise and fall with the price of oil.

25. Swiss businessman Hansjoerg Wyss contributes $1 billion towards protecting 30% of the planet

A Swiss businessman is taking it upon himself to ensure the planet’s survival by contributing $1 billion to an astonishing international conservation effort. In a recent op-ed that he published through the New York Times, Hansjörg Wyss announced that he will be using the money to launch the Wyss Campaign for Nature: an ambitious collaborative mission to protect 30% of the world’s surface by 2030.

The money will be distributed through his foundation over the course of the next decade in partnership with the National Geographic Society, the Nature Conservancy, and Argentinian environmental group Fundacion Flora y Fauna.

26. Taiwan announces banning disposable plastic items by 2030

Taiwan has announced plans to ban plastic items in an attempt to reduce plastic pollution. As reported by EcoWatch, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Agency put forward a 12-year plan that will officially begin in 2019 with a blanket ban on plastic straws in stores and restaurants. In 2020, the ban will be extended to all dining establishments.

By 2025 people will have to pay a fee to use plastic straws, bags, cups, and disposable utensils. Although the specific pricing was not disclosed, we suspect it’ll be high enough to deter people from using plastic items. The plan is to ultimately phase out all plastics by 2030, and replace them with reusable and biodegradable items.

27. India announced banning all single-use plastic in country by 2022

India will eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, has announced.

The pledge is the most ambitious yet of the global actions to combat plastic pollution that are taking place in 60 nations around the world. Modi’s move aims to drastically stem the flow of plastic from the 1.3 billion people living in the fastest growing economy in the world.

28. Newly developed robot can print a $64,000 house in just 8 hours

It takes an average of 7.5 months to build a new home. Even the smallest of domiciles—cabins, micro homes—usually take months to construct. But the Ukrainian startup PassivDom has cut that time down to as few as 8 hours by using a 3D-printing robot to print autonomous, mobile homes for $64,000 each.

The robot only prints the walls, floor and roof of the 410-square-foot homes, while human workers later install the windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical systems. Also, the 8-hour timeframe only applies to the company’s most basic model. Still, since its launch in early 2017,

PassivDom has already received more than 8,000 preorders for the homes in the U.S. alone.

29. New eyedrops could repair corneas, make glasses unnecessary

A team of Israeli scientists have developed a kind of eyedrop that can heal damaged corneas and fix a patient’s nearsightedness or longsightedness.

The patented “nanodrops”, as they are called by the ophthalmologists at Bar-Ilan University, were successfully used to improve the vision of pigs. If shown to have the same results during clinical testing on humans later this year, the treatment could waive the need for eyeglasses.

30. The European Union agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides

The European Union will ban the world’s most widely used insecticides from all fields due to the serious danger they pose to bees.The ban on neonicotinoids, approved by member nations on Friday, is expected to come into force by the end of 2018 and will mean they can only be used in closed greenhouses.

Bees and other insects are vital for global food production as they pollinate three-quarters of all crops.

The plummeting numbers of pollinators in recent years has been blamed, in part, on the widespread use of pesticides.

The EU banned the use of neonicotinoids on flowering crops that attract bees, such as oil seed rape, in 2013.

2019-01-01T22:15:23+00:00