As years go, 2016 has been pretty horrible. There was the wave of beloved celebrity deaths, including David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Prince, Alan Rickman and Leonard Cohen. The awful, relentless terrorists attacks. Syria. The divisive turn politics took. And just when you thought it wasn’t possible for anything more to happen, Bake Off was poached from the BBC.
As with everything, the bad often overshadows the good in the world. So while many of us are counting down to 2017, we think it’s important to take a look back at some of the good things that happened this year:
1. The Number Of Tigers In The World Went Up
A recent survey from WWF showed there are now 3,890 tigers in the world, up from 3,200 in 2010, (when countries announced a commitment to double the population by 2022). Successful conservation projects in India, Nepal and Russia have helped create an increase in the tiger population for the first time in a century! Plus, endangered animals such as manatees and pandas have also grown in numbers. 2016 has shown there’s hope for endangered creatures!
2. Rapid Cancer Tests Could Save 10,000 Lives A Year
New rapid cancer tests are set to save thousands of lives in the UK. Under new guidelines, GPs are being specifically encouraged to order urgent gastrointestinal endoscopies for patients showing possible signs of stomach and oesophageal cancer. GPs are also being advised to order blood tests for patients presenting symptoms of bowel cancer but who do not meet current referral criteria – meaning that patients will be fast-tracked to cancer tests. This will hopefully catch cancer in the earlier stages and prevent it spreading.
3. Andy Murray Won Wimbledon
year was a superb year for British sport and in July tennis legend Andy
Murray became Wimbledon champion for the second time, beating Canadian
Milos Raonic. As 2016 draws to a close, Murray ends his year as the
World Number One – beating five-time champion Novak Djokovic for the
first ATP World Tour Finals title.
4. 5p Bags Have Had A Positive Impact On The Environment
Introducing 5p bags last year has already had an impact on the environment as the number of plastic bags washed up on beaches has decreased. This is great news for wildlife, as sea animals and birds are regularly injured by disgarded plastic bags.
5. Leonardo DiCaprio Finally Won An Oscar
Over the past 25
years DiCaprio has been nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars five
times, including his 1993 performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
(when he was just 19 years old). This year he finally bagged it and the world sighed in relief.
6. Team GB Came Second In The Rio Olympics
year Team GB secured 27 golds, 23 silvers and 17 bronzes, a staggering
67 medals in total, the most they’ve won since 1908.
7. The Queen Celebrated Her 90th Birthday
The country celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday this year and we also caught a glimpse of cheeky George and Charlotte on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Crowds gathered outside the Palace to wish the Queen a happy birthday, and there were street parties up and down the country.
8. The Hole In The Ozone Has Almost Repaired Itself
Worldwide efforts to reduce global warming has helped repair the ozone layer. Scientists predict that the damage will be completely healed by 2050 after the worldwide ban on harmful CFC compounds in 1989.
9. Research Found That Drinking Coffee Is Good For You
It was revealed this year that consuming coffee can actually have a positive impact on your body! Drinking 2-5 cups a day can increase your metabolism, reduce your risk of depression, prevent type 2 diabetes, lower your risk of heart disease and even reduce your risk of cancer. Now you can justify splurging on that high-tec coffee machine in the Boxing Day sales.
10. We May Have Found A Cure For HIV
British scientists could be on the brink of a cure for HIV after a patient showed no signs of the deadly virus following groundbreaking treatment. The patient in question was the first of 50 people to complete a two-stage trial. The new research involves combining antiretroviral drugs with a drug that reactivates dormant HIV and a vaccine that induces the immune system to destroy the infected cell. This was a major breakthrough for HIV research and means we’re one step closer to finding a cure.
11. Tim Peake Returned To Earth After An Incredible Space Mission
British astronaut Tim Peake completed a six month mission at the
International Space Station. He shared his incredible journey on Twitter
with breathtaking views of earth. He also managed to run the London
Marathon…from space. Is there anything this man can’t do?!
12. We Are Close To Finding A Cure For ALS
The Ice Bucket
Challenge in the summer of 2014 has helped researchers come closer to
finding a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). The gene
responsible for the illness was located by research funded by the money raised from the social campaign.