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POSITIVE NEWS - Nine things that went right this week, including wins for wildlife

Posted 13th January 2023 • Written by •

A welcome rhino record was set, research showed the ozone layer is recovering, and an artificial pancreas was hailed ‘life changing’, plus more good news

There was good news for rhinos

No rhinos were poached last year in the world’s largest reserve for the greater one-horned rhino, Indian police said this week. 

It was the first year since 1977 that no rhinos were killed in Kaziranga national park, a wildlife-filled haven in India’s Assam state.

The news is a win for conservationists who have been working hard to protect the animals. Local police said that 58 poachers were arrested last year, Reuters reported. 

The global population of one-horned rhino has soared from 200 to more than 4,000 since the turn of the 20th century, according to the International Rhino Foundation.

The ozone layer is on track to recover, the UN said

Earth’s ozone layer is on track to fully recover within four decades thanks to global efforts to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals.

That’s according to the UN, which presented its findings on Monday. It said that if current policies remain in place, the ozone layer will fully recover across much of the world by 2040. The polar regions, it added, will take around two decades longer.

The political will summoned to address the ozone layer’s demise is considered a hopeful precedent for tackling the climate crisis. In fact, the UN said that efforts to repair the ozone layer may have avoided 0.5C of warming by 2100.

Read the full story here.

Scientists identified a ‘climate-proof’ wheat

Researchers have identified a heat tolerant wheat that could improve yields in a warning world.

Trials in Mexico’s Sonora desert found that the wheat offered up to 50 per cent higher yields in hot weather compared to variants that are already farmed.   

“This is science we can now use to make an impact almost immediately,” said Prof Anthony Hall of the Earlham Institution in England, which led the research. “This is hopefully going to be the first of many steps to contribute to global food security in the coming years.”

An ‘artificial pancreas’ was hailed a gamechanger

People in England and Wales who struggle to manage type 1 diabetes could be offered new technology to help them control their condition with minimal human input.

Acting like an artificial pancreas, the technology monitors glucose levels and shares the data with a pump, which injects insulin into the body when needed.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) endorsed the system this week after trials showed that it improved quality of life and reduced the risk of long-term health complications.

“This is the best intervention to help [people] control their diabetes, barring a cure,” said Mark Chapman, NICE’s interim director of medical technology.

NICE’s endorsement paves the way for the system to be offered to the more than 100,000 people in England and Wales with type 1 diabetes.

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