Here are some feel-good, positive news stories that you may have missed last week!
Blues Clues Make-A-Wish Reunion 22 Years Later
Former Blue’s Clues host Steve Burns and fan Brandon Ragland reunited after 22 years in a heartwarming moment caught on video. In 2000 Brandon was just four years old and suffering from stage 4 cancer and met Steve through the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Back then, Steve recalled that Brandon was a “wild child.” Brandon is now in remission from cancer and met Steve again, where he presented him with a photo of the two of them together 22 years ago. Steve’s eyes lit up and he told him that he remembered him, with both men bursting into tears as they took a reunion photo.
Gut Microbes May Affect Weight Gain
A new study suggests that the composition of a person’s gut microbiome may play a role in their ability to gain weight. Researchers collected stool samples from 85 people and analyzed them to see how much energy their bodies were able to get from the food they ate. They also looked at the types of bacteria living in their digestive systems.
They found that people who were able to extract more energy from their food tended to have a different composition of gut microbes compared to those who were less efficient, and these people tended to weigh about 10% more. The study suggests that the composition of a person’s gut microbes may be a factor in their ability to gain weight, in addition to diet, exercise, and sleep.
5 U.S. States Are Repaving Roads With Unrecyclable Plastic Waste
Pilot programs in several US states are using plastic waste to create asphalt road mixtures as a way to recycle plastic that is difficult to recycle. The projects, which are taking place in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, and Hawaii, involve using plastic bags and ink cartridges from printers. Regulators are monitoring the performance and durability of the roads and so far there have been no reports of microplastic pollutant runoffs. Some roads have also been made using other recycled materials such as used facemasks and shredded tires. Using plastic in road construction could help reduce plastic waste and help with sustainability.
UAlbany test could detect Alzheimer’s disease in seconds
Researchers at the University at Albany have developed a test that can detect Alzheimer’s disease in saliva almost instantly using a laser. The test compares the light spectrum of saliva to an electronic library of known positive and negative samples. As the library of saliva samples grows, the test will become more accurate and specific. The researchers hope to be able to instantly diagnose Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lewy body dementia and tell people where they are in the disease progression. The test is expected to be publicly available in about five years.
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