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10 Stories From This Week Guaranteed to Make You Smile
We all have moments we want to cherish and moments we don't want to relive. It's part of the complex reality of being human—the ups and downs, the good with the bad. But what we focus on matters. When we celebrate the good, we nurture a mindset of optimism that can spill over into all parts of our lives. This week's roundup of joy includes a mom who gets an unexpected expression of love from her sweet son, a baby who tries pho for the first time, and Kevin Bacon gifted us with the Christmas song of the season.
A New Study Shows Bats Could Hold the Key to Preventing Cancer
A new study on bats reveals their unique genetic adaptations that allow them to avoid cancer and tolerate viral infections. These findings could provide insights into preventing diseases from spreading between animals and humans and offer valuable information on cancer prevention and immunity in humans. By comparing the genetic makeup of bats with cancer-susceptible mammals, researchers are uncovering extraordinary adaptations that may one day lead to breakthroughs in human health and disease prevention.
In Pictures: These are the Best Photos From the Bird Photographer of the Year Awards
The Bird Photographer of the Year competition celebrates the beauty and diversity of avian life while raising awareness about the conservation challenges birds face. This year's winners showcase breathtaking moments in the bird world, from dramatic falcon attacks to serene moonlit silhouettes of blackbirds. The competition serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving these creatures and their habitats, encouraging us to cherish and protect the natural world.
Natural History Museums Are Emerging as Heroes in the Fight Against Climate Change
Natural history museums hold an invaluable record of the Earth's past, and they are now making strides in digitizing their collections to help scientists, educators, and the public access this wealth of information. These digitized records are used to track environmental trends, study diseases, and provide educational resources. Additionally, the collaborative efforts of multiple museums are helping fill knowledge gaps and create a comprehensive digital archive of Earth's history, making this data accessible for a range of purposes.
Rescuers Saved This Tiny Bobcat Kitten During a Tropical Storm
During tropical storm Lee in New Brunswick, Canada, a tiny bobcat kitten was rescued by a caring resident who noticed the unusual animal trying to climb their leg. Weighing just 1.6 pounds and estimated to be one month old, the kitten was taken to the Atlantic Wildlife Institute for rehabilitation. Named "Lee" after the storm, the feisty little bobcat is receiving care and attention, and despite being a handful, she's in good health and expected to be released in the spring.
A NASA Capsule Has Brought Back Asteroid Samples from the Birth of the Solar System
In a thrilling conclusion to its seven-year, four-billion-mile journey, a saucer-shaped capsule carrying asteroid fragments returned to Earth, landing safely in Utah. This remarkable mission, led by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, collected valuable rocks and soil from the asteroid Bennu, offering clues about the solar system's origins. Scientists now anticipate gaining insights into the early formation of our solar system, the conditions for habitable planets, and the potential seeds of life that these asteroids may have delivered billions of years ago.
How a Mom is Using Her Grief to Help Other Families Navigate Challenging Times
Sarah Moore, a mother who tragically lost both her daughters to Mitochondrial disease, has turned her grief into a powerful force for good. In the absence of support during her family's darkest times, she is now helping other families affected by this rare and deadly disease. Her involvement with The Lily Foundation, which was established to support families like hers, is not only raising awareness but also providing vital assistance and a sense of community to those facing similar challenges.
This 500-Pound Pumpkin Named Julius is Bringing Joy to a Canadian Neighborhood
In Vancouver's Dunbar neighborhood, a couple, Michael and Joanna Polay, have cultivated a massive 500-pound pumpkin named Julius, making their debut at the annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in Langley, B.C. This colossal gourd has captivated their community, becoming a social focal point for neighbors and strangers alike. Their dedication to nurturing Julius has not only brought joy but also highlights the camaraderie within the giant pumpkin growing community.
How NASA’s Mars Rover Could Inspire a More Ethical Future for AI
In an era where concerns about AI replacing jobs and ethical challenges dominate discussions, a sociologist working with NASA's robotic spacecraft teams offers a more optimistic perspective. Instead of replacing humans, AI can complement and extend human capabilities when integrated into a human-machine partnership. Such partnerships avoid many ethical pitfalls, encourage respectful data use, and even inspire a sense of care for machines, ultimately showcasing the potential for a more ethical and collaborative future with AI.
A Golf Course in Ohio Surrounded by Ancient Earthwork Has Become a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks in Ohio, which include the Octagon Earthworks, have gained UNESCO World Heritage status, becoming part of the first UNESCO World Heritage site in the state. These earthwork constructions are culturally significant and have been compared to Stonehenge or Machu Picchu in terms of their historical, archaeological, and astronomical importance. This designation not only recognizes the contributions of America's Indigenous Peoples but also brings international attention to these remarkable and ancient treasures.
Meet Haley Van Voorhis, The College Athlete Breaking Barriers in NCAA Football
Haley Van Voorhis made history by becoming the first woman non-kicker to play in an NCAA football game as a safety for Division-III Shenandoah University. She made her appearance during the first quarter, showcasing her determination and skill. Van Voorhis's groundbreaking achievement not only highlights her talent but also paves the way for more opportunities for women in football, sending an inspiring message about breaking barriers and pursuing one's dreams.