This Week’s GOOD NEWS From Around The World (January 7th, 2017)

Animals and the Environment

Indian Rhinos are Conservation Success Story

In a rare success story for conservationists, the population of Indian rhinos has multiplied exponentially over the course of the past century. The rhinos were moved from “endangered” to “vulnerable” in 2008, after its population in India and Nepal grew from just 75 in 1905, to over 2,700 in 2007. The article touches on the successes of the conservation effort, and the impact that these rhinos have on the local ecosystem. (TheHindu.com)

Indian Plant Recycles CO2 to Reduce Emissions


An industrial plant in Tamil Nadu, India, is collecting the carbon dioxide emissions from a coal boiler and, instead of releasing them into the atmosphere, is using them to synthesize other valuable chemicals. The plant is just over 100 kilometers away from the world’s largest solar plant. Experts expect that it will reduce CO2 emissions by about 60,000 tonnes annually if it continues production at this rate. (BBC.com)


Human interest

Community Rallies to Help Man Fired for Attending Birth of Son

A New Hampshire man who was fired for missing his shift at a security firm in order to witness the birth of his child has received an outpouring of support from his community, including numerous job offers. The support came following a GoFundMe campaign launched by a former town board member and paid family leave advocate. (Independent.co)

Maybelline Announces First Male Ambassador

Following in the footsteps of its competitor Covergirl, cosmetics giant Maybelline has debuted its first male beauty ambassador. Social media star Manny Gutierrez already has a large following on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube, where he posts makeup tutorials and original looks. (Elle.com)

New York Governor Proposes Free Tuition Plan

New York governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing a new plan to help disadvantaged and low-income youth get a college education. Cuomo’s “Excelsior Scholarship” plan will offer free tuition to students accepted into NY state or city universities, if the prospective students or their families are currently making less than $125,000 annually. Currently, more than 94,000 NY families would qualify for the deal if it were to be implemented. (CNYCentral.com)


Medical Advancements

“Tree Man” Regains Use of Hands

27-year-old Abdul Bajandar of Bangladesh was formerly known as the “Tree Man” has regained the use of his hands thanks to 16 groundbreaking operations. Suffering from rare epidermodysplasia verruciformis warts, caused by a genetic mutation, Bajander’s hands were completely covered in an overgrowth of hard, bark-like tissue. Doctors say that provided the warts do not grow back, the man could be the first to be cured of the rare condition. (TheGuardian.com)

Haryana State Improves Female to Male Birth Ratio

The Indian state of Haryana has reported a drastic improvement in its population’s sex ratio. Where in 2011 the ratio of girls to boys was 834:1000, this year it rose to 900:1000. This success comes after intense campaigns by the state to crack down on sex-selective abortions and unregulated killings of female fetuses. (IndiaTimes.com)

France Institutes Presumed Consent Law for Organ Donations

New rules which came into effect on January 1st now designate every French citizen as an organ donor unless they opt out. Other European nations including Spain and Austria already operate on this system of “presumed consent,” wherein the organs and tissues of any recently deceased person may be used in medical applications unless the individual has specifically refused. (Independent.co)


Tech Innovations

Museums Test Robots to Help the Disabled See Exhibits

Museums may eventually rely on robots to help disabled patrons get the full visitor experience. Ten different museums, including The Mob Museum in Las Vegas, recently invested in Beam Pros, 5-foot-tall robots on wheels equipped with cameras, to give people with limited mobility the virtual experience of walking through the museum’s exhibits. (CNET.com)

Innovative New Breast Pump to Make New Mothers’ Lives a Little Easier

A newly designed “smart breast pump” system may help new mothers enjoy a more comfortable transition into breastfeeding. The Willow system is hands-free, tube-free, and much quieter than traditional breast pumps. Willow also connects wirelessly to an app that monitors milk amounts and dates. (TheVerge.com)

MIT Researchers Working to Reduce Food Aid Lost to Spoilage

Researchers at MIT are hard at work trying to find new ways to limit the amount of food that is lost to spoilage in aid shipments. According to MIT, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), ships about $1 billion worth of food to developing and war-torn nations each year. Currently about 1 percent of that annual sum – $10 million worth of food – has to be thrown out due to spoilage. Researchers are testing new types of packaging to reduce this number. (MIT.edu)

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Dallas Jeffs is a freelance writer, art school grad and lover of all things sci-fi. Visit her personal website HappySpaceNoises for book and art reviews, or follow her on Twitter.