20 Things That Made the World a Better Place in 2020

This is not a year when we will retreat. It started with Australia on fire and ends with more than 1.5 million dead in an epidemic. But this annalus horbilis had bright points. While many of us saved our lives by watching Netflix and shouting at home, a communal act of selflessness that should not be forgotten soon progressed in science, the environment, and even politics – Biden won ! We can buy laboratory grown meat! British Beaver builds a dam for the first time in 400 years! Here is our share of the best news to come out of 2020.

The world’s first mRNA vaccine was created in less than a year

The world’s medical and pharma scientists have never produced a vaccine as quickly as they did this year – and the three of us bargained, with more to come. But BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will not only let us emerge from lockdown, they are also the first to use messenger RNA, proving that the vaccine technology works. This not only opens the door for its use against current diseases, but means that we can make vaccines more quickly to fight future epidemics — because we may have to do it all someday. but do study more Wired.

Lab-Grown Meat is on sale for the first time

The slaughter era for protein may be ending, with the Singapore Food Agency first approving the sale of laboratory-grown chicken. Created by the American company Eat Just, the cells are harvested from living animals and grown in a bioreactor for a “chicken bite”. Although fetal bovine serum is still used in this process, the company plans to switch to a plant-based growing medium for its next production line. but do study more Guardian.

DeepMind solves the 50-year-old protein-folding problem

DeepMind AI has accurately predicted protein shapes from its sequences alone, a difficult task that typically requires long, expensive laboratory experiments. While AI, known as alphafold, cannot unpick all protein structures, it has helped answer questions that have long challenged researchers – and major changes in medical research Can bring. but do study more Nature.

Nuclear fusion can give us unlimited clean energy

Researchers are building a star on Earth in an effort to create nuclear power without radioactive waste. The combined European torus (jet) will start operating next year, destroying hydrogen atoms to generate energy and heat, which can eventually be cut to generate electricity. but do study more WIRED UK.

Kiwi gift repurchases land to the nation

Dill and Jillian Jardine could sell their 900 hectares to developers on the banks of Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand’s Remarkables mountain range. After all, the region is remarkably popular among the affluent, including Pepal and Palentir’s founder Peter Thiel. Instead, the farming couple donated it to a local trust not as a billionaire, but as a park for the enjoyment of all. but do study more Guardian.

British Beavers built a dam for the first time in four houses

The National Trust released the beaver into the wilderness in January, 400 years ago, after reindeer teeth in England. Attempts to return the animals, according to the trust, have been successful with beavers in Scotland relocating to the Hollinot estate in Accur, where they can chew some trees and be “modest but … incredibly special “The dam is sufficiently settled to be assembled. . read more BBC.

A spider species is rediscovered

Mike White of the Surrey Wildlife Trust spent two years in the dark tramping around the Ministry of Defense, discovering a specific species of spider that had not been seen in Britain since 1999. But in October, he saw it: a great fox-spider. “It’s a gorgeous spider, if you’re into that kind of work,” he said. The 2-inch creature does not form a web, preferring instead to chase beetles and small arachnids and submerge them with the venom that liquefies their limbs. How much 2020. Read more Guardian.

First new coral reef found in 120 years

Scientists mapping the seafloor north of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef made a huge discovery: a new reef that is taller than the Empire State Building. It is the first coral structure to be found in the region in 120 years, and an underwater robot-assisted, year-long search voyage discovered 30 new species of marine life, including a 150-foot-long predator string-like creature. Included — yes, that’s right — is known as a cyphonophore. read more BBC.

Pandas have sex after a decade long wait

When the epidemic hit, Hong Kong’s Ocean Park Zoo closed to visitors. Several weeks later, perhaps enjoying their newfound secrecy, pandas Ying Ying and Le Lay tried to induce some zookeepers for 10 long years: they had sex. Sexual intercourse does not cause pregnancy for sex, but achieving it after 10 years of ignoring each other is encouraging those in stale long-term relationships everywhere. but do study more Vice president.

There is a baby boom for elephants-

Ambosley National Park in Kenya reported more than 170 calves from the end of summer to the end of 2018, including two sets of twins. After heavy rains last year Piaderum pregnancy peak meant better grazing and more successful births. With the baby boom, Kenya said the poaching rate had fallen to just seven for the year (as of August) – from 80 in 2018 – making it the country’s total elephant population to rebound from 16,000 to over 34,000 in 1989. with. but do study more Npr.

Painting turbine blade slash bird death

The change in wind energy is good news for the planet, but bad news for birds that fly in the blades of turbines in onshore wind farms. Researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research have found a possible solution: painting one of the three rotor blades with black paint makes them easier to see. And it worked, reducing bird attacks by up to 70 percent – not bad for paint licking. but do study more Ars Technica.

UK tops record coal-free run for 67 days

67 days, 22 hours and 55 minutes — it has gone without coal-generating power since Britain’s biggest industrial revolution. The record run ended in mid-June as the North Yorkshire Power Station fired the coal unit for maintenance. During the two-plus months the rest of the energy mix was dominated by renewable energy at 36 percent, followed by gas at 33 percent and nuclear at 21 percent. but do study more Free.

The enzyme eats through plastic

Plastic waste is choking the planet, but researchers at the University of Toulouse have found a mutant bacterial enzyme that will happily chew through it all, breaking it down into new plastic materials for easy recycling. The enzyme was originally discovered in a compost pile of leaves, although it required some tweaking to optimize its ability to break down plastics. The mutated version managed to degrade a ton of useless plastic in 10 hours. Read more in Wired.

SpaceX’s first launch with humans

Elon Musk’s SpaceX began the commercial space flight era by successfully launching a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Cruise Dragon capsule and two NASA astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Bacon, to the International Space Station. The Falcon 9 rocket formerly carried cargo into orbit, but the voyage marks the first private space launch involving humans and the start of private space flight, including tourism. but do study more Wired.

Porn begins to consider morality

Pornhub removed two-thirds of the videos on its site – by some 10 million clips – following an investigation new York Times It turns out that some clips uploaded by the user featured children and other abuses, sparking Visa and MasterCard to prevent processing payments. From now on, the site will only allow verified users to upload videos, perhaps starting an era of morality in mainstream porn sites. but do study more Motherboard.

UK’s first tech union has become

United Tech and Allied Workers widely set up a branch in the UK Activism in this area in America, With walkout Facebook, Google, And Adventuress. The aim is to give workers more power to leave their employer and hold them accountable without finding another job – not easy during an epidemic. but do study more WIRED UK.

Art sculpture saves a train driver

Public transport met public art in a dramatic, lifelong fashion when a Rotterdam Metro train crashed through buffers at the end of the elevated line in the Dutch city. The driver’s car was saved from falling 10 meters from the ground by a public art installation by Maarten Struijs, abandoned by one of the two whale tails. Struijs called the accident “rather poetic”, and he is not mistaken: the name of the work is Rescued by a whaleRancid. Read more in Time.

Kamala Harris became the first female vice president

She has a female vice president in the US, and is a woman of color who knows her stepkids as “Momla”. In a year of tough politics, and amidst a backdrop of racial tension, the US managed to take a major step by election Kamala Harris As the first female vice president. Read too much anywhere, but start new York Times.

Argentina is ready to legalize abortion

Abortion is illegal in most parts of South America, but Argentina is set to become the first major nation and only gives women the right to choose a fourth. It follows the leadership of Cuba, Uruguay, and Guyana, although United Nations research shows that more than 6 million abortions still occur each year in the region, most of which are unsafe for women. The bill is still to be approved by the Senate in December. but do study more Guardian.

Endurance runner takes a disabled friend to the top of Mount Olympus

Elephantaria Tosiu always wanted to scale Mount Olympus, the highest peak in Greece. The wheelchair-ridden student reached the goal with the help of her friend, long-distance endurance runner Marios Giancou, who tied the 2,917-meter mountain with Tosiou on her back. “I’ve never done anything more beautiful,” Giannakou said. “I think it fulfilled me as a person.” but do study more Reuters.

This story was originally revealed WIRED UK.

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