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A new approach used to analyze genetic data to learn more about the history of populations says it can describe in detail events in recent history, over the past 2,000 years, more accurately than in the subjective texts used by people in the humanities. The computer scientists behind it demonstrate their method in two populations, the Ashkenazi Jews and the Masai people of Kenya, who represent two kinds of histories and relationships with neighboring populations - one remained isolated from surrounding groups and one had frequent cross-migration with nearby villages.  

Scientists have reaffirmed that pollinator services of large agriculture fields can be enhanced with a simple cost-effective measure - the creation of small patches of native plants within fruit orchards.

While the origins of modern behavior will never be known, new discovery about  technological advancement among our ancestors in southern Africa some 70,000 years ago, has taken a step closer to firmly establishing Africa, and especially South Africa, as a primary hub for the early development of our behavior.

A new research paper is the first detailed summary of the time periods a group of international researchers have been studying in South Africa: namely the Still Bay techno-traditions (c. 75 000 – 70 000 years) and the Howiesons Poort techno-tradition (c. 65 000 – 60 000 years).

Scientists trying to investigate mechanisms at work in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases have a new tool. A transgenic variety of zebrafish, which is transparent in the early stages of its life, called the "MitoFish" enables them to see how brain diseases disturb the transport of mitochondria, the power plants of the cell -  within individual neurons of living animals.

Economics messes everything up.  Just about the time we figure out a new way to make all boats rise, the boats don't play along.

So it goes with the Mediterranean diet, which went from food fad to inclusion in the UNESCO Olympus of the World heritage list and saw lots and lots of research grant money dumped into extolling its virtues, as kind of a cure-all for obesity.  And people listened.

Chemists have been using
the SPring-8 synchrotron at the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute
to get a detailed look at enzymes that could help power the green economy. 

One option for powering clean, environment friendly vehicles is to run them on hydrogen fuel rather than carbon-based fuels. Cheap catalysts to prepare hydrogen gas (H2) are a necessity if this future "hydrogen economy" is to become a reality.

Current man-made catalysts are based on platinum, a rare and precious metal. However, living cells contain enzymes called hydrogenases, based on the abundant metals nickel and iron, which can do the same job. Chemists are very interested in figuring out how these natural catalysts work and trying to mimic them.