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Satellite view of hurricane

Global death tolls from natural disasters have plummeted over the last century

According to a recent study from Our World In Data, in the early-to-mid 20th century, the average annual death toll from disasters was very high, often climbing to over a million. In recent decades, such deaths are typically fewer than 20,000 people, even as natural disasters become more frequent and more extreme.

Global death tolls from natural disasters have plummeted over the last century More

Place bandage on knee

Scientists successfully 3D-print human skin tissue into open wounds

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University have successfully 3D-printed living human skin tissue directly into the open wounds of rats for the first time in history. This bioengineering milestone could pave the way for major developments in reconstructive surgery — or even human hair treatments. Current methods of skin and hair reconstruction — like skin grafts — often result in scars, meaning this discovery could lead to a more seamless treatment for humans.

Scientists successfully 3D-print human skin tissue into open wounds More

Bicyclist on city street

Denver will now pay residents who commute on bikes

The city’s new Bicycling Rewards Program aims to encourage community members to ride a bike instead of driving. The program comes as a response to the city’s lagging climate goals. According to Denver Streets Partnership, transportation was responsible for 30% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, and this incentive is part of a larger research project to see what motivates locals to ditch their cars.

Denver will now pay residents who commute on bikes More

Elephant

2023 was the first year without elephant poaching in Republic of Congo’s Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park

The park, which celebrated its 30th anniversary on December 31 of 2023, also shared an exciting conservation milestone: 2023 was the first year without any elephant poaching detected. “We didn’t detect any elephants killed in the Park this year, a first for the Park since [we] began collecting data. This success comes after nearly a decade of concerted efforts to protect forest elephants from armed poaching in the Park,” Ben Evans, the Park’s management unit director, said in a press release.

2023 was the first year without elephant poaching in Republic of Congo’s Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park More

Mail-in ballot with pen

Colorado to be first state in the U.S. to expand automatic voter registration to tribes

Tribal communities in Colorado share some of the same registration and voting barriers as other rural communities across the U.S., like geographic isolation and unreliable mail delivery. But according to the Native American Rights Fund, tribal communities also commonly experience obstacles like language barriers, a lack of voter registration opportunities, and state laws in some parts of the country that block polling places on tribal lands.

Colorado to be first state in the U.S. to expand automatic voter registration to tribes More