Balance February 18 - 8

February

GOOD
NEWS

The Six Million Dollar Man, Lazarus and Theresa May are
just three unlikely reasons to be cheerful this month

Environment
Technology
A MAJOR WIN
When hunky actor Lee
Majors found fame with The
Six Million Dollar Man (a
1970s TV show about bionic
astronaut Steve Austin) it
was quite the flight of fancy.
Now the seminal sci-fi
hit seems eerily prescient
with the news that the first
bionic hand with a sense of
touch has been unveiled.
Almerina Mascarello, an
Italian woman who lost her
hand in an accident 25 years
ago, is the first person to use
the pioneering technology,
which sends data from the
hand to a computer
to the brain. Now the team
from Italy, Switzerland and
Germany is looking to add
more sensors to improve the
experience. If they could
then help other old TV
shows come true, that would
be great, please. And, yes,
Knight Rider, we mean you.

8

Society
MUM'S GONE
TO ICELAND
For a country with 330,000
people (to put that into
context, Bristol has a
population of around
440,000), Iceland has
brought a lot to the table.
The Holy Trinity of Bjork,
Sigur Rós and twinkle-toed
former Bolton Wanderers
striker Eidur Gudjohnsen
makes them winners in our
books. However, Iceland
just attained truly heroic
status with the news that
it is now illegal to pay a
man more than a woman.
If that doesn't make your
heart swell with admiration,
you're probably reading
the wrong magazine. 'We
have managed to get to the
point where people realise
the legislation we have had
in place is not working and
we need to do something
more," says Dagny Osk
Aradottir Pind, of the
Icelandic Women's
Rights Association.

Science
WOMB FOR
IMPROVEMENT
The term 'scientific
breakthrough' might be
over-used (especially if
you've ever watched a latenight shopping channel),
but, not in this instance.
That's because doctors
at Texas Children's Hospital
have carried out pioneering
surgery on a foetus while
still in the womb. The
operation was a bid to treat
spina bifida, a condition
that leaves nerves in the
spine exposed and can
leave sufferers unable to
walk. In what could prove
a huge breakthrough, the
experimental operation
seems to have been a
resounding success. The
procedure took place in
September, six months
after conception, with the
baby successfully delivered
in January. It isn't a cure,
per se, but does mean the
baby will be able to walk
unassisted and could pave
the way for a brighter
future for other sufferers.

BA LA N CE February 2018

What's the greatest
comeback of all time?
Liverpool vs Milan in the
2005 Champions League
final? Lazarus vs death
in the Gospel of St John?
Winston Churchill vs Lady
Astor; Astor: 'If I was your
wife, I'd put poison in your
coffee.' Churchill: 'If I was
your husband, I'd drink
it.' Zing!? We would like
to add the ozone layer to
the mix. It transpires the
ozone layer is mounting
a comeback thanks to the
ban on chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs). Oh, sure, your dad
might have grumbled that
it was political correctness
gone mad, as he reluctantly
popped his beloved cans
of Insignia deodorant into
the bin, but it seems it
was wholly worthwhile.
'We see very clearly that
chlorine from CFCs is going
down in the ozone hole,'
says Susan Strahan, an
atmospheric scientist based
at Nasa's Goddard Space
Flight Centre in Greenbelt,
Maryland, 'and that less
ozone depletion is occurring
because of it.' Hurrah!

WORDS: JAMES GILL, IMAGES: SHUTTERSTOCK, STOCKSY

HAPPY ATMOSPHERE



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Balance February 18

Balance February 18 - 1
Balance February 18 - 2
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Balance February 18 - 4
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