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African in Biological News

Google Earth aids discovery of early African mammal fossils

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---A limestone countertop, a practiced eye and Google Earth all played roles in the discovery of a trove of fossils that may shed light on the origins of African wildlife. The circuitous and serendipitous story, featuring University of Michigan paleontologists Philip Gingerich, ...

Going bananas for sustainable research -- scientists create fuel from African crop waste

Bananas are a staple crop of Rwanda. The fruit is eaten raw, fried and baked it even produces banana beer and wine. Around 2 million tons are grown each year but the fruit is only a small percentage of what the plant produces. The rest skins, leaves and stems is left to rot as waste. Now sci...

Cleaning the atmosphere of carbon: African forests out of balance

Tropical forests hold more living biomass than any other terrestrial ecosystem. A new report in the journal Nature by Lewis et al. shows that not only do trees in intact African tropical forests hold a lot of carbon, they hold more carbon now than they did 40 years ago--a hopeful sign that tropi...

Ancestral genome of present-day African great apes & humans had burst of DNA sequence duplication

The genome of the evolutionary ancestor of humans and present-day apes underwent a burst of activity in duplicating segments of DNA, according to a study to be published in Nature Feb 12, the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birthday. "The new study shows big differences in the genomes ...

Nutritional supplementation program helps prevent weight loss among children in African country

Children in Niger who received a daily nutritional supplement for three months had a lower rate of weight loss and a reduced risk of wasting compared to children who did not receive the supplementation, according to a study in the January 21 issue of JAMA . Wasting (defined as a certain deviat...

Ancient African exodus mostly involved men, geneticists find

BOSTON, Mass. (Dec. 21, 2008) Modern humans left Africa over 60,000 years ago in a migration that many believe was responsible for nearly all of the human population that exist outside Africa today. Now, researchers have revealed that men and women weren't equal partners in that exodus. By tr...

Ecological impact of African cities

African cities are growing faster than anywhere else in the world. This is having a major impact, but few ecologists are studying the urban environment and effect of cities on rural areas. One of the most important ecological changes in Africa's history is being over-looked. Joy Clancy from the...

Fires regenerate African grassland

This release is available in German . Windhoek/Leipzig. Natural grass fires are evidently more important for the ecology of savannahs than has previously been assumed. This is the finding of a study carried out in Etosha National Park in the north of Namibia. It is the first study to ha...

When threatened, a few African frogs can morph toes into claws

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 23, 2008 Biologists at Harvard University have determined that some African frogs carry concealed weapons: When threatened, these species puncture their own skin with sharp bones in their toes, using the bones as claws capable of wounding predators. The unusual defense m...

Alcohol and malt liquor availability and promotion higher in African American inner cities

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (April 2, 2008) It appears that living in a poor neighborhood with a high concentration of African Americans is associated with greater alcohol availability and promotion especially malt liquor according to a recent study by University of Minnesota researchers. The stu...

Marsupial lion tops African lion in fight to death

Pound for pound, Australias extinct marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) would have made mince meat of todays African lion (Panthera leo) had the two big hyper-carnivores ever squared off in a fight to the death, according to an Australian scientist. New research published in the Journal of Zoo...

Study of African traditional medicine will begin world-first clinical trial

COLUMBIA, Mo. Described as a hotspot of botanical diversity, there are more than 20,000 indigenous plant species in South Africa. Several thousand of them are used by traditional healers every day in that country for treating a range of problems from the common cold to serious diseases such as AI...

Newfound ancient African megadroughts may have driven the evolution of humans and fishes

From 135,000 to 90,000 years ago tropical Africa had megadroughts more extreme and widespread than any previously known for that region, according to new research. Learning that now-lush tropical Africa was an arid scrubland during the early Late Pleistocene provides new insights into humans' m...

Understanding hypertension in African Americans proves elusive

Exercise cannot reduce a sodium-retaining hormone in African Americans known to potentially cause hypertension, found Michael D. Brown, Ph.D., the senior author of a study in the September issue of Experimental Physiology. Brown is an associate professor of kinesiology at Temple Universitys Colleg...

Adaptation to parasites drive African fishes along different evolutionary paths

Quebec City, Canada - An international team of scientists from Canada (Universit Laval), the U.K. (University of Hull, Cardiff University) and Spain (Do ana Biological Station), have discovered that a pair of closely related species of East African cichlid fishes a group of fish whose diversity c...

Few clues about African ancestry to be found in mitochondrial DNA

Mitochondrial DNA may not hold the key to your origins after all. A study published today in the open access journal BMC Biology reveals that fewer than 10% of African American mitochondrial DNA sequences analysed can be matched to mitochondrial DNA from one single African ethnic group. There has b...

New HIV statistics indicate increasing toll of AIDS on African American community

The country's leading African-American lawmakers, civil rights leaders and medical experts today called on the federal government to adopt and implement a new blueprint to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in the African-American community. The plan is outlined in a new report, African-Americans, Health...

Scientists describe new African monkey genus ?first in 83 years

For the first time in 83 years, scientists have identified a new genus of a living primate from Africa, according to research to be published by Science May 11 in the online Science Express. "This is exciting news because it shows that the 'age of discovery' is by no means over," says William S...

A large step forward in the fight against African sleeping sickness

Each year, over 300,000 people die of African sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis). Researchers from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) connected to the Free University of Brussels are making strides in the battle against this disease. They have coupled the human prote...

Gene variation increases SIDS risk in African Americans

About five percent of deaths from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) in African Americans can be traced to defects in one gene and half of those deaths result from a common genetic variation that increases an infant's risk of developing an abnormal heart rhythm during times of environmental stress...

Report lists top 20 most-vulnerable African carnivores

Scientists have determined the detailed structure of an essential piece of the telomerase enzyme, an important contributor to the vast majority of human cancers. Understanding the physical shape of the protein has led to a better understanding of how it acts to immortalize cells ?and should help sc...

Hantavirus found in African wood mouse

Researchers have discovered the first African hantavirus, a type of rodent-borne virus that can cause life-threatening infections in humans when it is inhaled through aerosolized rodent urine or droppings. A team led by Jan ter Meulen while he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) interna...

Newly identified mechanism helps explain why people of African descent are more vulnerable to TB

A team of scientists has identified a cellular mechanism that may help explain the puzzle of why people of African descent are more susceptible to tuberculosis infection and why, once infected, they develop more severe states of the disease than whites. The team includes researchers from University...

Tropical Atlantic cooling and African deforestation correlate to drought, report scientists

Against the backdrop of the Montreal Summit on global climate being held this week, an article on African droughts and monsoons, by a University of California, Santa Barbara scientist and others, which appears in the December issue of the journal Geology, underlines concern about the effects of glo...

New partnership to clear landmines for African Elephants

A region made impassable by civil war in recent decades will be cleared of landmines to allow huge elephant herds to resume their normal spread in southern Africa, Roots of Peace (RoP) and Conservation International (CI) announced today. The U.S.-based non-profit organizations are partners in a p...

Crisis in African fish supplies looms, experts warn Africa leaders

32% increase of African fish supply needed by 2020 just to maintain consumption levels Calling fisheries critical for nourishing the poor and for helping Africa cope with the health, economic and social devastation of problems like HIV and AIDS, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPA...

Compound might defeat African sleeping sickness, clinical trial beginning this month

One of the most devastating diseases in sub-Saharan Africa almost disappeared in the late 1950s. That disease, African sleeping sickness, or trypanosomiasis, largely succumbed to heroic public health efforts -- including relocating entire villages. But in the past several decades, because of post-c...

Poaching, logging, and outbreaks of Ebola threaten central African gorillas and chimpanzees

Experts call for $30 million action plan to save mankind's closest relatives A combination of natural and man-made threats is killing gorillas and chimpanzees in Central Africa, and experts say $30 million is needed for special programs to save some of mankind's closest relatives from disappeari...

Fungus-farming termites descend from an African rain forest Eve

Agriculture is not unique to humans: some insect groups have also evolved this way of life. One such group is the fungus-farming termites, which cultivate fungi as food inside their nests. Such termites can be found in both rain forest and savannah habitats in the Old World tropics, from Africa to ...

South African Tribunal Asks For Damages Estimates in GSK AIDS Drug Case

A landmark South African legal complaint against British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) over its AIDS drug pricing and policies in that country will proceed following an order late last week by South Africa's Competition Tribunal that will allow the complaint to go forward. GSK has sought outrigh...

New push for public health, AIDS spending at African Union summit

Activists hope this weekend's African Union (AU) summit will net commitments to boost government spending on public health, helping to curb the spread of AIDS, which killed 2.3 million Africans in 2004. "We are definitely optimistic that this time there will be some movement, that this time ther...

Ethiopian government celebrates rinderpest eradication

... (BOSTON) July 21, 2009 - A menace to the african cattle population for more than a century, the World Organisation for Anima...g rinderpest. Similar tactics were used to eradicate rinderpest in other african countries including Uganda, Sudan, and Kenya. Rinderpest surfaced in Africa...

New theory on why male, female lemurs same size

...the next year to begin gathering data for a new project that will examine the impacts of climate change on lemur populations. Lemurs evolved on the african island in isolation from other primates for 65 million years, and they are well-known for having odd traits not found in other primates. For example, ...

Research network wins approximately £5.7 million to target human and animal diseases in Africa

...-million pound international partnership involving african researchers and the London International Development Centre (LIDC). The Southern african Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS...inks medical and veterinary institutions from five african countries and the UK to improve the capacity of...

Oscar Pistorius: Previously confidential study results released on amputee sprinter

... Dallas, TX (June 29, 2009) -- A team of experts in biomechanics and physiology that conducted experiments on Oscar Pistorius, the South african bilateral amputee track athlete, have just published their findings in the Journal of Applied Physiology . Some of their previously confidential fin...

NSF provides $3.4 million to study climatically important Agulhas Current

...ticipate this study will shed light on the seasonal to decadal variability of the Agulhas," said Beal. "Locally, the warm waters of the Agulhas effect african rainfall rates, and globally, there is paleo-oceanographic evidence suggesting that changes in the amount of Agulhas water reaching the Atlantic may h...

Environmental cues control reproductive timing and longevity, University of Minnesota study shows

... environmental conditions trigger high levels, reproduction is high but longevity drops. Environmental factors also control the age of menarche. In african countries with chronic food shortages, girls experience menarche much later than in the U.S., where rich diets trigger early menarche. Food scarcity i...

Elephant-size loopholes sustain Thai ivory trade

...ess its policy for controlling its local ivory markets as currently it is not implementing international requirements to the ongoing detriment of both african and Asian Elephant populations," said Milliken. "Since 2004, the Thai government has only reported two ivory seizure cases totaling 1.2 tonnes of r...

Humans related to orangutans, not chimps, says new Pitt, Buffalo Museum of Science study

...ed teeth. They labeled chimpanzees and gorillas as african apes and wrote in Biogeography that although they are a sister group of dental hominoids, "the african apes are not only less closely related to humans t...ee relationship. They write that in the absence of african ape fossils more than 500,000 years old, a series ...

U of Minnesota-led study finds that hunters are depleting lion and cougar populations

...pulations because male black bears do not routinely kill infants of other males. Lion and cougar populations have suffered the greatest decline in african countries and U.S. states where sport hunting has been most intense over the past 25 years, the researchers found. Leopards were not as affected as li...
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