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19 Mar - 2 Apr: Cows eating seaweed, turning deserts green & thinking yourself younger...


FEEDING COWS SEAWEED COULD CUT THEIR METHANE EMISSIONS BY 82%

Researchers who put a small amount of seaweed into the feed of cattle over the course of five months found that the new diet caused the cows to burp out 82% less methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.⁠ Cows produce methane via microbes in their stomachs as they digest their fibrous food. Methane is shorter-lived in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide but is more than 30 times as effective in trapping heat, making it a major GHG.⁠ (The Guardian)

WE CAN ELIMINATE CHILD POVERTY

The U.S. is implementing a nationwide system of cash support for low-income parents as part of the stimulus plan that was passed last week. ⁠ ⁠ Under the plan’s new Child Tax Credit, the vast majority of parents will receive up to $3,600 per child each year.⁠ ⁠ Child poverty costs the U.S. $800 billion to $1.1 trillion a year — 4.0 to 5.4 percent of the GDP — in lower adult earnings, worse health and higher crime. It is predicted that the new child allowance will reduce child poverty by 45 percent. (Reasons to be Cheerful)

THE SCIENTISTS TURNING THE DESERT GREEN

Ties van der Hoeven, co-founder of the Weather Makers, plans to regreen the Sinai peninsula. Within a couple of decades, the Weather Makers believe, the Sinai could be transformed from a hot, dry, barren desert into a green haven teeming with life: forests, wetlands, farming land, wild flora and fauna. There is evidence that the Sinai once was green. What turned the Sinai into a desert human activity.

(The Guardian)

PSYCHOLOGICAL TRICKS THAT CAN HELP SLOW AGEING

Imagine that you had no birth certificate and your age was simply based on the way you feel inside. How old would you say you are?⁠ ⁠ Most people feel younger or older than they really are – and this 'subjective age' has a big effect on their physical and mental health.⁠ ⁠ Scientists are finding that your ‘subjective age’ may be essential for understanding the reasons that some people appear to flourish as they age – while others fade. ⁠

(New Scientist)

SIX TIPS FOR COPING WHEN THE NEWS IS GETTING TO YOU

If you find yourself beginning to feel negative impacts from the news, try putting some protective steps into place. 1. REGULATE CONSUMPTION

2. TAKE OWNERSHIP OVER YOUR EMOTIONS

3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH

4. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE

5. REPLACE UNHEALTHY COPING SKILLS WITH POSITIVE ALTERNATIVES

6. SEEK SUPPORT

(The Conversation)

FINLAND'S SECRET WEAPON IN THE FIGHT AGAINST FAKE NEWS

Last week, it was reported that almost half of the UK’s children complained they were being exposed to misinformation every day. This "infodemic" is growing but one country has been hot on its tail.⁠

Finland recently topped a European annual index measuring resistance to misinformation. The country puts its success down to targeting its children. ⁠In 2014 the government embedded media literacy into the curriculum, teaching children from the age of six to read sources critically.⁠

(The Telegraph)

WANT TO IMPROVE FOCUS AND PRODUCTIVITY? DO ONE THING AT A TIME

Juggling too many activities wastes time and energy, so shelve some for those life goals (for now).⁠ The most effective ingredient for a happier 2021 is to improve your capacity for doing only one thing at a time.⁠

⁠Three ways to do one thing at a time:⁠

⁠USE A PERSONAL KANBAN

⁠BATCH YOUR TASKS⁠

⁠CULTIVATE DELIBERATE IMBALANCE⁠

(The Guardian)

CORONAVIRUS IS EVOLVING BUT SO ARE OUR ANTIBODIES

Will the antibodies we make after being infected with or vaccinated against coronavirus protect us against future viral variants?⁠ Scientists have been examining how our antibody responses to the coronavirus develop over time. ⁠Although there are fewer coronavirus-specific antibodies detectable in the blood six months after infection, the antibodies that remain have undergone significant changes. ⁠83% of the “mature” antibodies were better at recognising the variants. ⁠

(The Conversation)

ECUADOR COURT ORDERS END TO GAS FLARING BY OIL INDUSTRY IN AMAZON

In the Ecuadoran Amazon, at least 447 flares have been burning gas for decades.⁠

⁠Local communities say these flares are responsible for high cancer rates.⁠ A 2017 study indicates that there were higher incidences of cancer in the population who live near where oil facilities, and flares, are found.⁠ The Sucumbíos Provincial Court ruled in January that the Ecuadoran state had ignored the rights of nine girls to live in a healthy environment.⁠

(Mongabay)

THE INDIAN SCIENTISTS WHO MIGHT HAVE FOUND A WAY TO KILL SUPERBUGS

We've probably all heard about antibiotic resistance. The overuse of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture has meant that they are becoming less effective against pathogens. This has led to the emergence of 'superbugs' that have evolved resistance to many different types of antibiotics. In a lab on the outskirts of Bangalore, a biotech company is fighting back.⁠ ⁠ Their trial drug, BWCO977, is being developed as an intravenous and oral treatment, with a low risk of developing resistance. So far, it’s working against even the most dangerous bugs for human health and is entering human trials next month.⁠

(BBC)