In Brief – July 2023


Battery-powered ferry

P&O, a British shipping company, achieved a significant milestone in eco-friendly ocean travel by completing a battery-powered channel crossing. The company’s Pioneer ferry, the world’s largest hybrid double-ended vessel, made its inaugural journey from Dover to Calais using a combination of onboard diesel generators and batteries. This hybrid design is expected to reduce emissions by 40 per cent.



Ghana approves malaria vaccine

Ghana becomes the first country to approve a malaria vaccine that has the potential to save thousands of lives, particularly among children. Developed by the University of Oxford, the vaccine has shown in trials to provide up to 80 per cent protection against malaria. Oxford aims to produce 200 million doses of its vaccine annually.



Conversion therapy ban in Iceland

Iceland, known as one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly nations, has passed a law banning conversion therapy with significant consequences for those who violate the ban. Iceland now joins approximately 16 other countries, including Brazil, Ecuador, Spain and Germany, in prohibiting conversion therapy. The law specifically targets conversion therapy based on sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity.



Barbie with Down syndrome

Toy manufacturer Mattel has introduced a Barbie doll with Down syndrome to promote inclusivity in playtime. The US company collaborated with medical professionals to ensure an accurate representation of women with the condition. British model Ellie Goldstein, who has Down syndrome, was selected as an ambassador for the new Barbie.



Solar power harvest

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have successfully harvested 200 milliwatts of solar power in space and transmitted it wirelessly to Earth. The experiment involved a solar panel attached to a satellite, which then used microwaves to transmit the electricity to a lab rooftop in California. This breakthrough is seen as a solution to the challenges of energy storage and transmission, thereby contributing to the transition to renewable energy.

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