Good News From 2016 That You Might Have Forgotten About

Honestly, it wasn't all bad news.

Donald Trump, Zika, Prince, Brexit, Orlando, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Nice, Ronnie Corbett, Leonard Cohen, Harambe.

It’s been a tough old year, hasn’t it?

Of course, we could go on and on and moan about the utter sh*tshow that has been 2016 - but that would be too easy.

So instead, here are some of the downright amazing things that have happened instead.

An HIV cure came one step closer
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After undergoing an experimental treatment, a 44-year-old social worker appeared to be completely free of HIV, it was revealed in October.

In simple terms, a combination of treatments removes the camouflage that allows HIV to remain hidden and then shines a spotlight on it, allowing the immune system to clearly identify infected cells and kill them.

This method is essentially a complex and aggressive form of drug therapy, far less invasive and complex as a technique like gene editing.

Although researchers said that there’s an extremely long way to go before they start throwing parties - for starters this is just one man in a trial that involves 50 people - this is still very promising news.
The Ozone layer has started to heal itself
FogStock/Alin Dragulin via Getty Images
The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica is finally starting to 'heal' according to new research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it was reported in July.

A team in Boston reported “the first fingerprints of healing” in a paper published in the journal Science.

The September ozone hole has reportedly shrunk by 4 million square kilometres since 2000, when ozone depletion was recorded at its peak.

Scientists say they don't expect a complete recovery until about 2050 or 2060.
Team GB had its most successful Olympics in more than a century
Dan Kitwood via Getty Images
The Olympics feel like an age ago now, but just four months ago we were cheering on our athletes as they gave an incredible performance in the Rio 2016 games, which saw Team GB finish second on the medal table.

There were too many brilliant moments to recount them all, but you can catch up on our coverage of some of the best stories form the games here.

A few highlights included Jason Kenny becoming only the second British athlete since 1908 to win three gold medals at the same Olympic Games, while his partner Laura Trott (also a cyclist) became Britain's most successful all time female Olympian with a total of four golds.

Gymnast Max Whitlock won Britain's first ever gold medals in gymnastics in men's floor and pommel horse, while the whole men's team won a record of seven medals.
Londoners finally got the Night Tube
Yui Mok/PA Wire
No more the days of running for the last tube! No more the days of falling asleep on the night bus and waking up at the depot!

It was a long battle, started by Boris Johnson, and commuters endured a number of tube strikes as London Underground workers protested against hours and pay in relation to proposed night services - but we got there in the end.

Londoners rejoiced as night tube services began to be introduced in the summer, with more services rolling out in the autumn.

Trains now operate overnight on Fridays and Saturdays on the Victoria line, Jubilee line, Piccadilly line, and parts of the Central line and Northern lines.
A clothing company donated all the money it made on Black Friday to groups trying to protect the environment
Patagonia gave some of the world’s biggest companies a lesson in how to give back amid feverish Black Friday sales.

The outdoor clothing brand followed through with a commitment to donate all its sales from the day to grassroots environmental organisations - even though the final total is five times its own expectations.

Some $10 million, or £8m, was earmarked to be given to hundreds of groups “working on the front lines to protect our air, water and soil for future generations,” the firm said in a statement.
Andy Murray won Wimbledon again
Clive Brunskill via Getty Images
Our hopes were raised and dashed repeatedly for decades until 2013, when Andy Murray became the first Brit since 1936 to win the men’s singles title.

And Murray only went and flipping did it again this year didn’t he?

The Scot won in straight sets against Canadian Milos Raonic in July.

Murray beat Raonic 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-2) to claim his third Grand Slam title.
78 people in the UK donated a kidney to a total stranger
Sean Justice via Getty Images
It's incredible how kind strangers can be.

So far this year, according to NHS Blood and Transplant, 78 people have donated one of their kidneys to someone they didn't know.

Altruistic living donors do not have a recipient in mind but volunteer to donate a kidney to someone who is need of a transplant.

This is different to normal living donation, where people donate to someone they know. Most living donations involved people who know each other.

Altruistic donors are especially valuable because they can generate transplant chains, where two or three kidney transplants are triggered thanks to the generosity of one stranger .

In a chain, their recipient will be registered in the scheme with a donor, usually a friend or relative, who cannot donate directly to him/her - usually because the pair are incompatible by blood group or HLA (tissue) type or would prefer a closer HLA match to one another. The donor for recipient one will then donate to recipient two and, in longer chains, in turn, the donor for recipient two donates to a person on the national transplant waiting list.
The Ice Bucket Challenge funded a really important breakthrough into Motor Neurone Disease/ALS
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If you threw freezing cold water over yourself as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge back in 2014, you can give yourself one big pat on the back.

Money raised from the social media trend helped scientists make a discovery that could help people suffering from motor neurone disease (MND), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as it’s known in the US.

The challenge raised more than $100m (£76m) for the ALS Association that summer and the charity has been able to donate funds to a number of research projects since, including Project MinE.

Led by a team at The University of Massachusetts Medical School, the project has discovered the gene NEK1, which is thought to be responsible for the disease.
We got a new Harry Potter story
Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
We all though the journey ended for the wizard back with the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows back in 2007.

But fans of JK Rowling's magical world were thrilled when it was revealed that a new play, which covered events in Harry's later life, was to debut in 2016.

For those who couldn't get their hands on the prized tickets for the two-part play, the script was published in book format in July.
Germany produced so much green energy that customers actually made money
Morris MacMatzen / Reuters
In a world where coal, nuclear and gas are still seen as the main energy sources, Germany managed to use sun, wind and rain to provide 87 per cent of an entire country’s energy requirements. Pretty cool, right?

On one day in May, the country produced so much renewable energy that it actually had to pay some customers to use it.

Say what you want about them being an eyesore, it looks like those wind farms are working.
Leicester City had a fairytale ending to their Premier League campaign
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Claudio Ranieri’s team were 5000/1 outsiders at the beginning of the season but the Foxes defied the odds to win the Premier League.

They were crowned champions in May after Tottenham drew 2-2 at Chelsea.

The result means bookmakers William Hill was expected to pay out £2.2 million pounds.
Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY won an Oscar
At last, justice for Leo!

The actor was the favourite to win this year for his role in ‘The Revenant’, but the world still rejoiced when he was at last handed the Best Actor statuette in February.

He used his acceptance speech to highlight environmental issues, declaring: "Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species."
The 'saddest cat on the internet' found his forever home
BenBen the stray ginger cat ended up in a shelter suffering a crushed spine, lacerations and a cauliflower ear - injuries which meant he was scheduled to be put down.

Shelter staff said the cat, whose excess skin makes him look permanently sad, stopped eating, drinking and even moving in what were supposed to be his final days.

But at the last moment, a kind-hearted woman took pity on BenBen and took him home with her, it was reported in November.

He even went on to prove vets wrong, as he can now walk, run and even jump a little too.

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