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8th - 14th May: Mind reading, Covid success, Solar cells and Coral reefs

It is mental health awareness week this week. With that, I'm proud to share five of the mental health benefits of this newsletter.

**Side effects of this newsletter may include**

More accurate view of reality

Improved mood

Higher levels of hope

Increased levels of optimism

A higher regard for humanity

Please share this newsletter to give someone a smile today and help the world see what's working well, not just what is failing!

Australia has been one of the most successful countries in the world at keeping COVID-19 in check. It combined strict lockdowns with consistent messages from scientists and politicians. While the daily average number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. over the last week was 39,000, Australia’s was just 13 — despite low vaccination rates. Nick Schifrin reports on the factors that made that possible. (PBS)

AI lets man with paralysis type by just thinking about handwriting An artificial neural network can interpret signals from the brain of a person who is imagining that they are writing with a pen, and convert them into text. The device converts words accurately at 90 characters per minute, more than twice the previous record for typing with a head- or eye-tracking system. (New Scientist)

Mounting evidence suggests COVID vaccines do reduce transmission. How does this work? In April, Public Health England reported the results of a large study of COVID-19 transmission involving more than 365,000 households with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated members. It found immunisation with either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine reduced the chance of onward virus transmission by 40-60%.(The Conversation)

With the world’s attention on vaccines, now feels like a good moment to sing the praises of an often forgotten contributor to their development. Three hundred years ago this month, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's daughter was the first child to be inoculated against smallpox with this new and unfamiliar technique. Without which, vaccines today may not be as we know them. (The New Scientist)

When you picture solar power, chances are you conjure up images of large solar panels spanning the length of a roof

top or a large solar farm out in a field. But what if you could put a solar panel in the sunroof of a hybrid car, on a tent or within the windows of an office building? What if you could power a vaccine refrigerator in a remote place with a flexible solar panel that could be shipped in a mailing tube? These are just a few possible applications of a relatively new technology known as organic solar cells. (Ensia)

When Hurricane Iris hit southern Belize in 2001, the country's magnificent corals were destroyed. But within 10 years, a radical restoration project brought the reef back to life.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, Positive News celebrate 20 people who, in diverse ways, are making a difference to the wellbeing of millions. Discover their projects, and see which may be helpful to you. (Positive News)

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