Check out our #FactsToLife - we share these inspirational facts each Friday about the weird, the wonderful and the wacky!
💬📲🤳🏾 Did you know that the first text message was sent 30 years ago? Engineer Neil Papworth sent the message, which simply said 'Merry Christmas', on 3rd December 1992. Can you remember what YOUR first text message said? #FactsToLife #History #PR
🙏🌨👩🏽⚕️Many of us get the blues in the winter, but scientists at the University of California have found that not only can GRATITUDE help us focus on the positive, it can lead to multiple health benefits! In a study of more than 1,000 people aged between 8 - 80, those who regularly 'practise' gratitude had stronger immune systems, slept better and reported feeling less lonely and isolated. Read the full Positive News story to learn more: https://tinyurl.com/4bwxu5p3 #positivity #gratitude #science #winter #health
🐬🐠🧽 Dolphins are gatekeeping a skincare secret! Ever wondered why dolphins have such smooth skin? Biologists at the University of Zurich have noticed dolphins queuing up to rub their bodies against the coral on the seafloor in an attempt to keep their skin glowing and healthy. But they’re picky, only certain corals and sponges are used by the dolphins, including gorgonian and leather corals, which contain antibacterial compounds that help prevent infection and protect their skin. #dolphins #skincare #coral #sealife#sea #marinelife
🌼🌸🌻 Hay-fever season is upon us, but there's a UK-wide shortage of some antihistamine medication such as Piriton. Pollen counts have remained at mid - high for the past few weeks, with ~10m people affected. Some of us may have to start looking for other ways to stop the sneezing. Shortages of medicine are not uncommon, and are often due to manufacturing issues. To ease the effects, we can also buy nasal sprays or eye drops, wear sunglasses, and remember to shower off the pollen! #hayfever #pollen #summer
🍄🥦🍠 Alternatives to meat are becoming increasingly popular as we feel the pressure to look after our planet, with strong links between our meat consumption and the rise in global greenhouse emissions. Fermented mushrooms could be the next best thing in convincing omnivores to seek plant-based alternatives, with a very similar taste and texture to the real thing. The substitution of a fifth of the meat we consume for fermented mushrooms could see deforestation levels cut in half by 2050. It is already very easy to get your hands on in the UK and in Switzerland, with hopes that the rest of the world will follow! #vegetarian #whatveganseat #treelove
🕸🕷🥽 Scientists at the University of Oldenburg, Germany are researching how spiderwebs can collect tiny plastic particles from polyester clothing and car tyres in order to monitor airborne pollutants. Are these micro plastics getting caught in our lungs? We are one step closer to finding out thanks to Barbara Scholz-Bцttcher and her team. Luckily they are not afraid of these creepy crawlies! #microplastics #plasticwaste #science #environment #green
🥽🧫🦠 Scientists at the University of Texas have created an enzyme that can break down non-recyclable plastics in up to 48 hours. The focal point of the study is on polyethylene terephthalate, a polymer found in most packaging that makes up 12% of ALL global waste! With a million plastic bottles bought around the world every minute, this new recycling process could revolutionise industrial industry waste. #recycling #green #plasticwaste #environment
🐢🦀🐋 Happy Earth Day! On the 22nd April each year, we celebrate the marvels of our wonderful blue and green planet. The first ever Earth day took place on 22nd April 1970, initiated by a demonstration to spread awareness of the environmental crisis, organised by a senator from Wisconsin in the United States. These demonstrations led to the formation of the Environment Protection Agency by the end of the same year. There are plenty of little ways to help to look after Planet Earth, including planting trees, turning off lights, saving water and spreading the message! What will YOU do this Earth Day? #environment #nature #sustainability
🕵🏽♂️ 🐌 🧬 A new, faster, and cheaper way of surveying wildlife has been discovered by the park rangers of China's Ailaoshan Nature Reserve. Leeches will eat anything - they do not discriminate between species. The DNA from these creatures' blood is extracted by the leeches, and can be used as a very useful tool in iDNA. The leech detectives in China helped rangers to detect 86 different species in the park, as well as their favourite roaming spots. Important data is being found faster and more cost-effectively by these greedy leaches....
🔔🩸🔬Alarming news: people can absorb microplastics from their environment in amounts that are measurable in our bloodstream. A study published by @vuamsterdam and @amsterdamumc last week showed that 77% of the 22 people tested for the presence of 5 different polymers had traces of plastics in their blood. Further research is required to determine the health risks. We know that plastic is ending up in so many areas of our lives and our planet. Now it's in our blood. How concerned should we be? #plastic #blood
🐌🍄🍃Researchers have been collecting mantleslugs from the Kanazawa University campus in Japan. The team involved is studying slug faeces under the microscope to detect spores and thus identify which species of fungi slugs are eating. The results of the study found that almost 3/4 of the slugs had fungal spores in their droppings, with DNA from dozens of different fungal species. What a complex, intertwined miracle Nature represents!
🌼🌸🌻 Rising global temperatures aren't just causing extreme weather and sea level rises... Research has shown that flowers are actually changing colour due to climate change. Plants are increasing their ultraviolet absorbing pigments to protect their pollen from UV damange. The result? Deeper, darker colours, according to Lucy Hicks, writing for Science.org. #climatechange
Hardy tardigrades may just be the toughest animals on earth - these microscopic creatures have evolved to survive even the most extreme conditions, and can live almost anywhere, including outer space! 💫 Moss Piglets, or Water Bears, so called because of their 'cute' appearance under the microscope, were the first animal known to survive direct exposure to outer space. Two tardigrade species were flown into low-Earth orbit in 2007, and around two thirds of them were alive for their return to earth! Hardi AND Tardi! #FridayFact #Tardigrade #Space
🦕🦠🤒 Palaeontologists have found evidence that dinosaurs caught potentially fatal coughs, according to the @newscientist . Fossil records from MOR 7029, or Dolly, as the specimen is known, show evidence of a serious respiratory infection. The illness would probably have caused sneezing, coughing, fever and even a premature death. Dolly is a young diplodocid – a large, long-necked herbivorous animal about 18 metres long – dating back to the Jurassic period approximately 150 million years ago. She was discovered in 1990 in Montana. #Dinosaurs #Palaeontology
🍎🏙🥦The UK could grow up to 40% of its own fruit and veg in their urban green spaces, according to research into urban growing potential by Lancaster University. While no one would suggest digging up every green corner of our UK cities, the research highlights the potential of our underused land for food production. We'd love to see an urban food revolution, reducing our dependence on international imports and getting urban communities into growing! #foodproduction #urbangardening
🐃🗳️👉 Did you know that democracy also exists in the Animal Kingdom? African Buffalo are herd herbivores, who make group decisions about when and where to move. The females will stand up and stare in the direction they'd like to travel, before lying back down. The direction with the most votes is almost always the way the herd ends up moving. Funnily enough, it is only adult females who get a say, regardless of their social status within the herd. #Nature #Democracy
👶👄💧 Before they learn to navigate our complex social world, clever babies are able to identify close relationships between people around them. How do they do it..? By noticing who is sharing saliva! Whether it's kissing, or sharing an eating or drinking utensil, babies understand the swapping of saliva as an indicator of closeness, according to a study by Ashley Thomas of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the study, babies were shown clips of adults interacting with a puppet - after seeing an adult take bites from the same orange as the puppet, the babies looked to this same adult in later clips of the puppet in distress. This reaction is interpreted as a belief that the adult in question would offer comfort to the puppet. #Anthropology #Science
🍪🍩🍭Sugar is the issue at hand - not only for health, but for environment. With sugar beets producing 1.15m tonnes of sugar per year, (two thirds more that the RDA of the entire UK population combined!) their growth is accountable for the generation of SOIL LOSS at an astonishing rate of 490,000 tonnes per year! It's easy to feel disheartened when British Sugar plans to increase sugar production by 50%, and obesity is predicted to cost the NHS £9.7Bn /yr by 2050! Lest we forget the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi, “To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” #uksoils #saveoursoils #nature
🐟🌏🌊Once humans stop adding mercury to their environment, freshwater fish populations recover quickly from mercury pollution. A recent 15-year study on a lake in Canada found that concentrations of methylmercury had declined eight years after the metals supply ceased. Levels fell by 76 per cent in northern pike and 38 per cent in lake whitefish. #pollution #climatechange
📱💻📺 @johann.hari ’s book, 'Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention' challenges us to reflect... After witnessing his godson become addicted to the ‘constant scroll’ and allowing himself to loose capacity for concentration, he felt like he was "running up a down escalator.” Over the next 3 years, Hari travelled the globe interviewing global experts on Focus. Hari learned, "We are living in a serious attention crisis – one with huge implications for how we live.” In an interview with Prof Joel Nigg, world-renowned expert on children’s attention problems, he stated; "We need to ask if we are now developing an 'attentional pathogenic culture' – an environment in which sustained and deep focus is harder for all of us.” … How long do you spend scrolling, can you focus on 1 thing at at time, is this important to you? What is the solution? We'd love your thoughts!
🌳🎋🧍♂️Scientists from the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew have named a new species of tree after Leonardo DiCaprio: Uvariopsis dicaprio. The Oscar-winning actor attended Cop26 in Glasgow, and plays an ongoing role in bringing awareness to environmental causes. The new tree only grows in the Cameroon Forest. Plans to open for logging the Ebo Forest were met with grave concern by experts, as it is home to the Banen people, and an array of unique flora and fauna, including threatened gorillas, chimps and forest elephants. DiCaprio saw the issue at hand, and utilised his millions of followers on social media to add momentum to the cause. "We think he was crucial in helping to stop the logging of the Ebo Forest," said Dr Martin Cheek of Kew.
🍃🚨🌱Acacia trees are a staple of the African Savannah, and they have a very clever defense system. When an Acacia tree is being eaten, it emits a warning gas called ethylene, which signals danger to other nearby trees. The trees then pump their leaves with a toxin called tannin (poisonous to animals) to prepare for the potential danger of a being eaten! #nature #trees
🕷🕸🎄What would you do if you found a spider on your Christmas tree? If the answer is scream, you haven't heard the Ukrainian folk-tale of the Christmas spider! Legend has it that a poor, but, hardworking, family could not afford to decorate their tree, and the children went to bed very sad on Christmas Eve. When they awoke next morning, they found the tree covered in cobwebs. They opened the windows, and as the first rays of sunlight touched the webs, they illuminated them in gold and silver, transforming them into exquisite decorations! (Well, nothing can beat nature.) In Ukraine, trees are decorated with ornaments of spiders and spiders webs as symbols of good luck and prosperity. We loved finding this one out! #Christmas #Folklore #Ukraine
🐦🌲❄️ Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without trying to spot a festive little Robin red breast. But did you know that winter is a particularly difficult time of year for this songbird? Robins need MORE water for bathing than usual, as it helps them preen and maintain their feathers with oil from the preen gland, ensuring they remain waterproof and insulated to stay warm in the cold months. Robins can loose 10% of their body fat in just one cold night.
You can support UK songbirds by donating to client @songbirdsurvival which will celebrate #NationalRobinDay on 21st Dec as always. #christmas
🐝🌻🌺 Bees are responsible for a third of the world's food production, meaning every 3rd spoonful of food depends on pollination. In a new study published in PNAS, researchers found that even a single exposure to insecticides during a bee's first year of life has an impact on offspring production. Thiamethoxam, an insecticide commonly used in pest control, poses an especially high risk to wildlife since it leaches into the soil where it endures, is absorbed by plants, and poses harm to pollinators by killing the insects that feed on them. Even 1 exposure to insecticides means it takes generations for bees to recover. #nature #pollinators #bees #saveourbees