From 5,000 to 11,000 years ago, what is now the Sahara Desert had 10X the rainfall it does today and was home to hunter-gatherers who lived in the region's savannahs and wooded grasslands. By analyzing marine sediments, rainfall patterns in the Sahara during that 'Green Sahara' period have been pinpointed.
Elderly women who sit more than 10 hours a day have accelerated biological aging, according to an epidemiology paper. They have older cells? 

It's the increasingly popular shorter telomeres hypothesis. Telomeres are tiny caps found on the ends of DNA strands, like the plastic tips of shoelaces, that protect chromosomes from deterioration. It has been found that they progressively shorten with age, just one of the reasons why we are considered to be biologically programmed to die. 
Many viruses face a choice after they have infected their hosts: to replicate quickly, killing the cell in the process, or to become dormant and lie in wait. HIV, herpes, and a number of other human viruses behave this way and, in fact, even the viruses that attack bacteria – phages – face similar decisions when invading a cell.

What causes a virus to choose dormancy over immediate gratification? Prof. Rotem Sorek and his group in the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Molecular Genetics have now discovered that, during infection, viruses secrete small molecules into their environment that other viruses can pick up and “read.” In this way, they can actually coordinate their attack, turning simple messages into a fairly sophisticated strategy.

Lovely Lisa Long Leg and Heil Hitler Screaming Nazi once again visit the Stupid Donald Trump Follower’s office in the mathematics department:

Lovely Liberal Lisa: Heil Trump!

Stupid Donald Trump Follower: Well, that’s better than what we had before, but I am still not convinced such does anybody any favors.

As some of you may know, I've become deeply concerned, and indeed appalled by the large numbers of fake doomsday news stories, because I am so often contacted by people who get very scared and sometimes suicidal as a result of reading these stories. Fourteen tabloids and other papers have published this story so far, and none of them mention that it originates from a site known to publish fake news. The story is that the world is going to end because of two snowy days in Salento in Southern Italy, which they say is a prophetic sign of an imminent massive supervolcano eruption. I think it is a particularly striking case of doomsday news based on chinese whispers starting off from a fake story.

If you are against the exploitation of Blacks, stop mislabeling, or do not stuff humans into dual categories at all. Look at each individual in her own right.
I am happy to report, with this rather unconventional blog posting, that I am getting married on January 12. My companion is Kalliopi Petrou, a lyrical singer. There will be no huge party involved in the event, as Kalliopi and I have lived together for some time already and the ceremony will be minimalistic. None the less, we do give importance to this common decision, so much so that I thought it would be a good thing to broadcast in public - here.

Alternative Title:
“Inevitable ‘Society of Walls’ versus the True Legacy of Donald Trump: Dear Donald, please reform Academia!

Confusion and misinformation are so intense in our time that even my readers, though at the right end of the IQ Bell curve, ask: How could deeply and widely knowledgeable scientists support Donald Trump in spite of his mentioning autism when criticizing vaccination procedures and doubting the “global warming consensus”?
Two days ago, before returning from Israel, my fiancee Kalliopi and I had a very nice dinner in a kosher restaurant near Rehovot in the company of Eilam Gross, Zohar Komargodski, and Zohar's wife Olga. 
The name of Eilam should be familiar to regulars of this blog as he wrote a couple of guest posts here, in similar occasions (in the first case it was a few before the Higgs discovery was announced, when the signal was intriguing but not yet decisive; and in the second case it was about the 750 GeV resonance, which unfortunately did not concretize into a discovery). As for Zohar, he is a brilliant theorist working in applications of quantum field theory. He is young but already won several awards, among them the prestigious New Horizons in Physics prize.