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    Daily Digest 1/25 – Good News Friday: Physical Activity Helps Fight Depression, Neighbors Helping Neighbors Amid Shutdown

    by DailyDigest

    Friday, January 25, 2019, 6:16 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


Physical activity protects against depression (Thomas R.)

The researchers examined independent genetic variants linked to two physical activity phenotypes — self-reported and objective accelerometer-based — and to major depressive disorder as genetic instruments from large genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Then, they combined mendelian randomization estimates from each genetic instrument. The GWAS included data from the UK Biobank on physical activity and studies in the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium on major depression among adults of European ancestry.

Iowa governor to propose amendment allowing ex-felons to vote (Jen H.)

“I believe that people make mistakes and there’s opportunities to change, and that needs to be recognized,” she said, according to the Des Moines Register. “So it’s something that I’m passionate about.”

Two states — Maine and Vermont — never take away a felon’s right to vote.

Blood test could predict Alzheimer’s 16 years before symptoms begin: Study (Thomas R.)

Researchers have discovered that a simple blood test could predict if a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease up to 16 years before symptoms begin.

We may finally know what causes Alzheimer’s – and how to stop it (Adam, Thomas R.)

However evidence has been growing that the function of amyloid proteins may be as a defence against bacteria, leading to a spate of recent studies looking at bacteria in Alzheimer’s, particularly those that cause gum disease, which is known to be a major risk factor for the condition.

Texas Sikh community feeds federal employees affected by govt shutdown (Jen H.)

“Workers and families affected by the shutdown are invited to Sikh Centre all weekend for free meals starting today,” the Center posted on its Facebook on Friday.

Syrian refugee whose falafel shop was named the ‘Nicest Place in America’ feeds government workers during shutdown (Jen H.)

“It’s important for me [to provide free meals] because these guys are our brothers and sisters, and they already did the work, and they aren’t getting paid,” Terou explained to “Good Morning America.” “For someone like me who is living the American dream in the American land…I believe every hard worker should reach his goal and have a good level of life.”

Nova Scotia amends rules to allow waste-to-energy projects (jdargis)

“Nova Scotians are national leaders in waste diversion, but there is still more we can do to keep waste out of our landfills,” Environment Minister Margaret Miller said in a news release. “We want Nova Scotians to continue to recycle and compost, but we also need to ensure we’re doing all we can to reduce our footprint. This will give new businesses the chance to create something useful from waste destined for landfills.”

Cleaning New York’s filthy harbor with one billion oysters (jdargis)

Hundreds of years ago, New York Harbor teemed with more than 200,000 acres of live oyster reefs. The molluscs cleaned and filtered the water, naturally removing pollutants. Dolphins, seals and other creatures, drawn to the vibrant ecosystem, swam just off the shore of Manhattan.

“When Europeans first arrived in New York Harbor, there were oyster reefs everywhere and there were so many fish that they couldn’t physically get out of the way of the boats,” Malinowski said. “In about 100 years, we had harvested all the native oysters from the harbor. All those oysters were eaten, consumed locally by New Yorkers, and shipped all over the world as food.”

Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies (edelinski)

And as pollinator habitat wanes, solar installations are taking up ever more land. The U.S. is expected to convert six million acres of land to such facilities before 2050, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Some researchers see this as an opportunity to reclaim land for pollinating species by replacing the usual grass or gravel at these sites with wildflowers that need insects to pollinate them, and that produce the nectar those insects eat. “If we can create some habitat where there wasn’t habitat before, like on solar farms, we can likely have a positive impact,” says Scott McArt, an entomologist at Cornell University.

10 Reasons to Feel Hopeful About Climate Change in 2019 (TS)

In case you missed it, renewable energy is thriving. A recent report from Wood Mackenzie predicts that clean energy technologies have now become so cost effective that they will replace fossil fuels as the main source of energy within the the next 20 years. Already, five states—California, Nevada, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Vermont—generate 10 percent or more of their energy from solar energy. More than 100 cities and counties across the country have committed to transitioning to 100 percent clean energy. Germany produced enough renewable energy in the first half of 2018 to power every household in the country for a year, and Portugal ran on renewable energy for the entire month of March. In many places, it’s now cheaper to build and run new wind and solar farms than to run existing coal plants.

Gold & Silver

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Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the “3 Es.”

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