The world is not always a positive place. Many news outlets focus in the majority on the negative; stories of growing social and political unrest, weakening economies, or unprecedented levels of climate change. Although these stories are important, it is crucial to remember that not all is doom and gloom.
There are a huge number of good things happening right now that often do not get the press and social media coverage they deserve. People and organisations are doing incredible things that are transforming our daily lives and practices, even if we do not know it.
In line with this, we have taken the time to find five of our favourite current positive news stories from across the globe. So, sit-back, and prepare yourself for a warm blast of positivity!
You may have heard the term Hhyperloop bandied around for a number of years now, without ever really knowing what it is.
Simply, the Hyperloop transport system is a vehicular technology for shuttling people around in tube-contained pods at frighteningly fast speeds. The concept relies on being able to create a near-vacuum environment inside its transport tubes, allowing the pods to ‘levitate’ between destinations outside of frictional limitations.
With estimated achievable speeds of around 700 mph, the Hyperloop could theoretically get commuters from New York to Washington DC in as little as 29 minutes! Testing facilities are currently being deployed across the globe, with a travel route between Amsterdam and Paris to be made operational by 2021.
@NASA announced last year that any published research, funded by the space agency, will be made available to its readers for free. This vast resource is available through a public, open-access web portal.
This follows NASA’s updated policies in relation to research, requiring all articles in peer-reviewed journals to be made available within one year of publication.
On top of this, NASA is making access to their stunning image libraries increasingly open, enabling space enthusiasts to quite literally ‘see’ the important research NASA is conducting.
According to the UN, antibiotic resistance is one of the most pressing challenges we face as a planet. It has been labelled as a ‘fundamental threat’ to global health. Researchers predict that the spread of ‘super-bugs’ could cause up to 10 million deaths per year by 2050 if current protection methods are not improved. Now, however, it appears researchers may have made a major breakthrough in their battle against the bugs! Earlier this year, Scientists from Oregon State University announced that they have developed a molecule capable of reversing antibiotic resistance in a range of bacteria. With G20 leaders signing a global health declaration in May that included tackling antibiotic resistance, it is looking increasingly likely that the bacterial apocalypse can be stopped!
Building from the above success, it is also looking increasingly likely that the polio disease will be a thing of the past within the next decade. Since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, incidences of recorded polio have decreased by 99.9%. This is due to the widespread usage of our incredibly effective vaccination for the disease. As of 2017, there have only been 8 confirmed cases of the wild virus, a figure that better than halves that recorded in 2016. If this trend continues, Polio will hopefully be a thing of the past in our very near future.
With increasing pressures on fresh water sources from population growth and climate change, scientists are now looking to the big salty-blue as an alternative source of drinking water. In April, researchers confirmed they had developed a graphene-oxide membrane capable of sieving the salt straight from seawater, disproving the poem, “water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.” This technology may be critical for securing sustainable drinking water resources in the future, as current fresh-water supplies face increasing pressures from population growth and climate change.
What the above shows is that there are clear reasons to feel positive. Next time you start to feel like the world is getting on top of you, or you’re just in need of a boost, turn your attention to the sciences. Researchers are constantly pushing forward innovative and ground-breaking ideas that are dramatically changing the world around us. It just takes a bit of effort on your end to find them!