Living10 good scientific news to disconnect from the coronavirus

10 good scientific news to disconnect from the coronavirus

On days when the only topic of conversation is the new coronavirus : how to avoid contagion, how long it remains on the surface, what mask to choose if necessary and, until very recently, how not to let isolation affect us psychological level, there are many people who are already experiencing a certain fatigue of the “monothem” . In fact, there are not a few psychologists who recommend not being hooked 24 hours a day to social networks and the media looking for information about the coronavirus and it is that you can fall into a state of permanent anguish.

Therefore, from Very Interesting we tell you 10 good scientific news, so you can disconnect a little.

1. The CRISPR technique is tried to cure genetic blindness

A team of surgeons from the Oregon Health and Science Institute has used the CRISPR gene editing technique to try to cure Leber’s congenital amaurosis, a rare genetic disease that causes blindness in early childhood.

The results of the experiment are not yet known, but it could be a breakthrough that would join other achievements that have been made with the gene editing tool in fields such as Huntington’s disease, herpes, HIV and immunotherapy for some types Of cancer.

This is hopeful news for all people who may be genetically blind. And aren’t all the advances that could be achieved with genetic “cut and paste” exciting?

2. An additional 60,000 seed samples added to the Svalbard World Seed Bank

This past February, a pool of 60,000 seed samples was added to the World Seed Bank in Svalbard, Norway. It is a huge underground storehouse of seeds from thousands of crop plants from around the world.

The increase in deposits in this crop warehouse is a symptom of the worldwide concern about the possible loss of biodiversity and food security , but these actions also demonstrate a beautiful commitment to future generations.

3. We are getting closer to a universal flu vaccine

The virus strains that cause the flu are constantly mutating , so every year the seasonal flu vaccine is different. This facility to mutate many times exceeds our immune capacity to face the disease. Well, currently the FLU-v vaccine has successfully passed phase I and phase II of clinical trials, demonstrating its safety in human subjects. It has been found to induce immune responses that last for at least six months . It is, without a doubt, excellent news.

4. They invent contact lenses that can correct color blindness

A team of engineers from Tel Aviv University (Israel) has devised contact lenses that can correct red-green color blindness. Of course, very good news for those people whose eyes struggle every day to differentiate between red and green.

5. A patient has been declared “cured” of HIV

Researchers have announced that, for the second time, a patient carrying the HIV virus has been declared cured, with no trace of infection in his blood, 30 months after stopping traditional treatment, undergoing a specialized type of stem cell therapy.

The achievement does not constitute a generalized cure because the patient had a type of lymphoma that allowed him to receive this experimental treatment; But it shows a real breakthrough in medical science.

6. Niue becomes the world’s first “Dark Sky Nation”

This small South Pacific nation has recently been named an International Dark Sky Site by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), a non-profit conservation organization charged with preserving the naturally dark night environment by defending it from intrusive disturbances of the pollution by artificial light.

Scientific research on the negative effects of light pollution, whether on animals, plants, or human health is endless. This news highlights that the search for a truly dark night sky is still important.

7. A method for the production of hydrogen fuel has been found that is 25 times more efficient

Hydrogen fuel is one of the most promising zero-emission options out there, especially if it could be produced cheaply and without requiring large amounts of energy.

Well, a team of researchers in Tokyo has managed to do just that, refining a method that produces hydrogen fuel using just a few basic ingredients, including light and a type of oxide. A new study shows that this method produces 25 times more hydrogen than existing methods. Bravo!

8. A way has been found to store renewable energy and we have the necessary technology

One of the biggest challenges for the widespread adoption of renewables remains large-scale storage. However, there is an excellent solution to this problem: the storage of pumped thermal electricity. This approach stores electricity by converting it to heat, and then converts it back to electricity when needed using a motor.

Unlike pumped hydro, which requires specific geographic requirements, this type of storage can be built in many places, and it uses thermodynamic principles to store electricity as heat. And the best part? It is already being tested in pilot plants.

9. The article that blamed the Sun for climate change is withdrawn

In June 2019, an article was published in Scientific Reports that blamed the Sun for anthropogenic global warming (man-made). The scientific community was quick to express concern about this study. Now, the publishers of the publication have corrected the scientific record, issuing a retraction notice that explains the errors.

10. There are 76 solutions available that can slow down climate change

A new report from the nonprofit Project Drawdown has outlined a whopping 76 solutions the world already has on hand if we want to curb climate change. These strategies, from changing our means of energy production, to reducing food waste and empowering women, extend to all sectors.

Also, these solutions are cheaper than maintaining the status quo . The Drawdown Project estimates that if these 76 solutions are put into practice, the United States will save up to $ 144 trillion in avoided climate damage and pollution-related health costs.

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