November 2021 Good News: Marathons, Medicine, Minawao and More

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James Chondrogiannis, Staff Writer

The end of the year is slowly approaching, with only a month and a half remaining before 2022.  With that in mind, The Schreiber Times is once again glad to share some good news to close out the month.

The New York City Marathon held its 50th race this past week.  Since starting in 1970, the annual race has only been cancelled twice: in 2012, due to Hurricane Sandy, and last year because of COVID-19.  The elite races were won by Albert Korir (men), with a time of 2:08:22, and Peres Jepchirchir (women), with a time of 2:22:39.  The general race had about 30,000 participants.  One participant, Jamel Melville, collapsed only a few hundred meters from the finish line.  As a result, his fellow racers helped him up to complete the final stretch.  This act of kindness was watched by thousands of people in person and was caught on camera, showing how there is still good in the world. 

“As someone who likes to be active and plays on a team sport, seeing how those marathon runners stopped in the middle of their race out of the kindness of their hearts to help a fellow racer, it is very inspiring and amazing to see.  It assures you that the world isn’t such a bad place,” said junior Ryan Morosanu.

Recently, there has been a new breakthrough in the treatment of prostate cancer.  When diagnosed with this form of cancer, patients are treated with drugs that lose their effectiveness one to two years after their use due to the disease developing resistance.  However, a new RNA molecule that suppresses prostate tumors was discovered at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  When the team at the university implanted human tumors into mice, the treatment helped cure them.  Unlike other protein molecules, this new RNA molecule, known as (R)-9b, attacks a different aspect of prostate cancer, giving it an advantage over others.  Because of that advantage, this form of treatment is being regarded as a potential new strategy to overcome prostate cancer.

Minawao, a refugee camp located in Cameroon, a Central African country, began hosting over 60,000 immigrants, starting in 2014.  Cameroon is a place that has an extremely harsh climate—with rivers becoming dry in the summer—and is a victim of deforestation; the refugees sped this process up by cutting down trees and plants for their use.  Because of these factors, Cameroon’s environment was essentially destroyed, with natural resources becoming more scarce.  Over the past few years, however, communities have begun working together to reverse this process and make the land green again.  Now, Minawao’s environment is beginning to recover.  This improvement benefits the people living there, as it gives the refugees much cleaner air to breathe, which used to be extremely polluted.  Additionally, this development could push other refugee camps in the same direction that the Minawao camp took, showing how deforestation can be reversed. 

“I think that what happened in the Minawao refugee camp is very inspiring, not only for other refugee camps but also for the world as a whole to reverse deforestation and help fight off climate change,” said junior Hayden Lundberg.

Across the seas, a major project is underway between the small town of Alverdiscott in Devon, England, and the country of Morocco, in Northern Africa.  An undersea cable will be connected between the two locations in order to send clean energy from Morocco to all of the United Kingdom.  The Xlinks Morocco-UK power project estimates that by 2030, more than seven million homes will be supplied with a sufficient amount of energy generated from the wind and the sun.  The cable will reach an astonishing length of 2,361 miles, ultimately connecting to Morocco’s renewable energy-rich region known as Guelmim Oued Noun. 

“I still find it amazing and hard to believe that this is even possible.  It’s crazy to think that this cable will be connected between two entirely separate countries and is well over 2000 miles long.  If everything goes according to plan and the project is a success, then this can be a huge step in the right direction for the promotion and use of clean energy,” said junior Henry Caiati.