Good news: Mars clearly visible | SOS Dolfijn builds hospital | NOW

Due to the bad news that usually dominates the front page of NU.nl, the good news sometimes gets snowed under. That is why we make an overview of the positive and cheerful news.

Mars is clearly visible throughout October by standing close to Earth

The planet Mars is clearly visible every night throughout October, reports the US space organization NASA. Mars was especially visible on Wednesday, because the planet was closest to the Earth at a distance of “only” 62.1 million kilometers.

It is the second time since 2003 that Mars has been so close to Earth. Mars will not be so close to our planet again until 15 years from now.

SOS Dolfijn builds hospital for cetaceans

Aid organization SOS Dolfijn is going to build a hospital for stranded marine mammals in Anna Paulowna (North Holland). Among other things, the hospital will have an intensive care unit for specialist care of sick or injured dolphins, whales and porpoises. The hospital is part of the new reception center that SOS Dolfijn is opening at Landgoed Hoenderdaell.

The shelter should be ready in early 2022 and, according to the organization, is unique in Europe. Nowhere else can beached cetaceans recover for months if necessary.

First corona rapid tests approved, use study started

The first corona rapid tests have been approved, Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) has told the WE. The best way to use these tests from the American companies BD and Abbott is currently under investigation.

The two tests, of which the results are known after fifteen minutes, have been approved after an investigation by the Amphia Hospital in Breda and the UMC Utrecht. A total of five variants are being investigated for reliability in the Netherlands.

In the coming weeks, it will be investigated in practice how the rapid tests can be used in addition to the PCR test that is now used in the test lanes.

Chilean neighborhood helps lost elephant seals back to the sea

Elephant seals and humans rarely cross paths, but in the Chilean city of Puerto Cisnes, the large animal turned up in a residential area. This caused quite a bit of confusion among local residents on Monday. A group of neighbors devised a plan to return the animal to its habitat.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developers of ‘genetic scissors’

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna on Wednesday. The pair receive the prestigious prize for the development of ‘genetic scissors’ that can modify DNA.

Charpentier and Doudna have developed a technique called CRISPR-Cas9. With this a protein can be programmed into a kind of ‘scissors’.

These scissors can very accurately cut specific pieces of DNA, with which, for example, errors can be ‘cut away’ from DNA. Scientists are using the technique to see whether they can cut genetic disorders from DNA.

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