From McCartney’s favourite sandwich to a 24 hour danceathon: this week’s good news – iNews

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
The singer raised £1,009,317 for BBC Children In Need with a 24-hour “danceathon”. The 42-year-old embarked on the challenge on Tuesday morning, inspired by the Kitchen Discos she hosted during lockdown, and finished on Wednesday with the song “Dancing Queen” by Abba.
Coffee and tea
Scientists have found that drinking a few cups a day could significantly reduce the risk of having a stroke or developing dementia.
Research into 365,682 UK participants found that drinking two to three cups of coffee, or three to five cups of tea, a day cut the risk of stroke by a third and dementia by 28 per cent. Mixing it up and drinking four to six cups of coffee and tea combined had a similar affect, according to the study, which followed participants for 10-14 years, and also found the beverages cut the risk of post-stroke dementia.
Ashley Watson
The gymnast from Leeds said he is “relieved” to have broken his own backflip world record ahead of Guinness World Records Day 2021. The 29-year-old completed a 6m backflip (19.7ft) between two horizontal bars as part of the annual celebrations for record-breakers on Wednesday.
Overdue books
A library book has finally been returned – more than 73 years late.
Stately Timber by Rupert Hughes – an adventure story set in Boston, US – should have been returned to what was Dunfermline Public Libraries’ Central Library in Abbot Street on 6 November 1948. Staff at the Fife library, now Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, were stunned to receive a parcel containing the book last week. It was found by the borrower’s daughter and posted back from Cromarty on the Black Isle.
Hope for Alzheimer’s patients
A route to a potential treatment and vaccine for the disease has been opened after a new approach to tackling the condition was developed by British and German researchers.
Scientists believe the degenerative disease could be tackled by adopting a different way of dealing with amyloid beta protein – the substance whose “clumping” behaviour forms deposits inside the brain is widely thought to be the key cause of Alzheimer’s.
51 best winter days out in the UK 2021: from stunning ice rinks to bustling festive markets
Erin Langdale
The 20-year-old who set up life-like mannequins of children to slow down drivers passing through her village in County Durham has been named as a road safety hero by police. She was concerned about speeding on the B6287 through Middlestone Village so she set up a road safety group.
Big Ginge the cat
A couple have been reunited with their missing cat a decade after he went missing from their canal boat home. Colin Clayton, 61, and his wife Eva Bellamy, 58, could not believe it when they got the call that their cat, Big Ginge, had been found in Staffordshire.
Athletes
Emma Raducanu and Bukayo Saka were among the young sporting stars honoured in a special edition of the Beano comic, launched to celebrate a golden year of British sport.
The limited edition comic book follows Dennis the Menace and his special guests, including Olympic gold medalist diver Matty Lee, world record holding Paralympic swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton and Olympic skateboarder Sky Brown in a Home Alone-inspired adventure.
Blood production
Scientists have hailed a breakthrough in embryonic research as a “Rosetta Stone” discovery that could enable them to mass-produce blood within a decade. The discovery comes from observations of a human embryo at a stage of its development that has never been studied before.
Embryonic development from 14 to 21 days, known as gastrulation, is arguably the most vital part of any human’s growth – but scientists have been unable to study it because of a legal ban on keeping embryos in labs longer than 14 days.
Observations now carried out from an aborted embryo have significantly increased scientists’ understanding about the formation of red and white blood cells.
The perfect sandwich
Sir Paul McCartney has revealed how his perfect sandwich comes together: with a bagel, marmite, hummus and honey mustard.
The rock legend talked comedian Romesh Ranganathan through the steps to make the snack in a conversation about new cookbook Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen.
Fuel alternatives
The RAF has set a Guinness World Record for completing the first flight using only synthetic fuel. The record was achieved using Zero Petroleum’s UL91 fuel, which is made using hydrogen extracted from water, and carbon extracted from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The process uses only renewable energy sources and can be used to create “drop-in fuels”, which can replace fossil-based aviation fuels.
Seal counting
Wildlife experts are using heat-seeking drones to count pup numbers at one of England’s largest grey seal colonies.
The Farne Islands, off the Northumberland coast, is an important haven for hundreds of adult seals. National Trust rangers have used drones in recent years to do the count on outlying islands, using aerial images which are then analysed later to survey the new population.
Now rangers are working with academics, sea mammal specialists and expert fliers to use drone with two cameras. One films the seals from above and a second uses thermal imaging, with the dual approach giving analysts more accurate results.
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