There were many stories of hope and happiness in September. If you thought that feel-good news was thin on the ground throughout the late summer, then read on to discover some of the more optimistic news items which did not necessarily always get the attention they deserved.
Diagnosing cancers in the body at an early stage is something that all medical professionals know could lead to improved recovery rates. Thankfully, a new test has been developed which offers high rates of accuracy. According to a story in The New York Post, over 20 different types of cancer can be detected with just one procedure. Following trials at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, extremely low misdiagnosis rates – less than a per cent – were established in what may be a game-changer in the fight against this ever-present disease.
According to Autocar, the electric commercial vehicle industry has been helped thanks to a massive order from electronic retail giant Amazon. With a power source that requires no fossil fuels, the vans will be able to make deliveries without adding to global warming, so long as the electricity needed comes from renewable sources. Amazon has ordered 100,000 such delivery vehicles from Rivian, an electric car start-up company.
Although there are many research avenues into Parkinson's disease including drug therapies, a Rhode Island professor has won substantial funding for another approach: a wearable technology that may help patients control their symptoms more effectively. As reported in Parkinson's News Today, Kunal Mankodiya, an associate professor of engineering at Rhode Island University, will be able to spend up to $250,000 to develop a so-called smart glove that will help exercise regimes to be individually tailored. The funding will hopefully allow Mankodiya to turn his prototype into a workable reality.
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In news that will bring happiness to anyone concerned with the destruction of the globe's ancient forests, a Chinese company, Ant Financial Services Group, has won praise for planting approximately 122 million trees in some of the country's driest areas. The United Nations Environment Programme said in September that the so-called Ant Forest green initiative in China had won its Champions of the Earth award for 2019.
Chinese forest and lake shutterstock/Efired
Thanks to a substantial donation from the Bedari Foundation in the United States, UCLA will set up a new institute which will be entirely devoted to the scientific study of kindness. This is a world's first in which an interdisciplinary research institute into kindness will share its findings globally. UCLA's Chancellor, Gene Block, commented on the venture, saying that the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute will bring together the best research into to this vital issue, allowing researchers from across the numerous scientific disciplines as well as external organisations to work with one another. In all, $20 million was given to establish the institute.
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As reported in The Guardian, technology giant Google has announced an investment program into renewable energy that is the biggest of its kind in corporate history. The investment – which will focus on both wind and solar energy production – is said to be worth an eye-watering $2 billion across 18 different commercial agreements. The corporation says that it wants all of its electrical usage to be matched by the green energy its investments produce. Much of the investment will be going to renewable energy companies in the United States and Europe. However, there will be a substantial spend in Chile, too, where Google has one of its big data centres.
Main image: shutterstock/smileus
Ed Gould is a UK-based journalist and practitioner of Reiki.
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