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The Year in Good News – 2020

Whilst the news flow of 2020 has been dominated by the global impact of COVID-19, advances across the arts and sciences have continued. Here’s a round-up of some of the highlights over the last year.  

January – Lual Mayen, a former refugee, taught himself how to code whilst in a refugee camp in Uganda with no electricity. Mayen proceeded to develop a video game that enabled him to find success as the CEO of his own company in WashingtonFind out more >>

February  Take a look at this interview with Jane Goodall for a source of hope from 2020. Her activism continueto thrive through her work with young people and her Roots and Shoots program. In 2020, the organisation promised to plant over 5 million trees. Find out more >>

March  Researchers in the UK confirmed that a stem cell transplant successfully cured a second person of HIV. The researchers involved hope that other scientists may be able to use state-of-the-art gene editing tools to treat HIV in the future. Find out more >>

April – An all-female robotics team in Afghanistan, consisting of girls aged 14-17, designed a cost-effective ventilator powered by the motor of a Toyota. The team was founded by Roya Mahboob, a tech entrepreneur who became one of Afghanistan’s first female CEOs at 23. Find out more >>

May – Crayola unveiled new skin tone crayons aimed at promoting inclusivity, representation, and acceptance. Each crayon label also lists the name of the colour in English, Spanish, and French. Find out more >>

June – Researchers in the UK found a new way to detect neurodegenerative diseases up to 24 years in advance. Precise timing could enable intervention for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. Find out more >>

July – A US lab 3D-printed a working human heart pump from human cells. Whilst this wasn’t the first time this had been attempted, previously scientists were unable to get the human heart muscle cells to work due to problems with cell density. Find out more >>

August – Have a glance at the amazing artwork produced by the 10th annual Art of Neuroscience Contest. Artists and scientists submitted their work using various mediums showing the connection between the arts and neuroscience. Find out more >>

September  Google announced that their carbon footprint was net zero in 2020. They first became carbon neutral in 2007 and have been investing in high-quality carbon offsets. They have set the bar high for companies in the digital space. Find out more >>

October – Architect David Adjaye received the award for the Royal Institute of British Architects Royal Gold Medal 2021. He is the first black architect to win the prize. His previous work includes projects such as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Ideas Store Whitechapel in LondonFind out more >>

November – 12year-old from Brookyln became one of the youngest musicians to perform for the New York Philharmonic. Her piece ‘Summer’ was inspired by a series of momentous events from 2020, including the Black Lives Matter movement. Find out more >> 

December – DeepMind, Google’s Artificial intelligence research lab, announced that they had successfully developed a program that can determine the 3D shape of a protein. This development in AI could make it possible to decipher gene variations that cause diseases. Find out more >>  

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