Number of independent bookshops in UK hits ten-year high

The number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland soared to a ten-year high last year, as people appeared to stick to the reading habits that they’d developed during the pandemic. According to the Booksellers Association, there are now some 1,072 independent bookshops across the two countries, following six consecutive years of growth. In 2016, there were 867. “You would think, with computers and so on, we would lose readership,” said Steve Matthews, the owner of Bookends in Carlisle. “I think though that they have enhanced readership.”

Diabetes sufferers to be offered ‘artificial pancreas’

More than 100,000 people with type 1 diabetes in England are to be offered an “artificial pancreas” by the NHS to help them manage their condition. The groundbreaking device, which sits outside the body, monitors sugar levels in the blood and uses an algorithm to determine the amount of insulin that should be administered. It means diabetics won’t have to use continuous glucose monitors or finger-prick tests, or give themselves daily injections of insulin.

Ozone layer on track to recover completely 

The ozone layer is on track to recover completely within four decades, thanks to reductions in the use of ozone-depleting chemicals, a UN report has concluded. If current policies remain in place, it is expected that the layer over the Antarctic, where depletion was the worst, will be restored to 1980 levels by 2066; over the Arctic by 2045; and over the rest of the world by 2040. The hole in the layer was identified by scientists in 1985, triggering a worldwide effort to reverse the damage. The report suggests that these are working as hoped.

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