New research has identified the first genetic evidence of Africans having lived amongst "indigenous" British people for centuries. Their descendants, living across the UK today, were unaware of their black ancestry.

The University of Leicester study, funded by the Wellcome Trust and published today in the journal European Journal of Human Genetics, found that one third of men with a rare Yorkshire surname carry a rare Y chromosome type previously found only amongst people of West African origin.

The researchers, led by Professor Mark Jobling, of the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester, first spotted the rare Y chromosome type, known as hgA1, in one individual, Mr. X. This happened whilst PhD student Ms.

From The Society For Neuroscience

WASHINGTON, DC January 23, 2007 - A new study on rats has identified a part of the brain's cortex that controls learned but not innate fear responses.

The results suggest that hyperactivity in a region of the prefrontal cortex might contribute to disorders of learned fear in humans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders, say authors Kevin A. Corcoran, PhD, and Gregory Quirk, PhD, of the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico.

Contact: Jennifer Fitzenberger
jfitzen@uci.edu
949-824-3969
University of California - Irvine
Learning slows physical progression of Alzheimer's disease
Study suggests keeping brain active may have significant therapeutic value

Irvine, Calif. -- Learning appears to slow the development of two brain lesions that are the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, scientists at UC Irvine have discovered.

Can network interference be used to expand and enhance communication for wireless devices such as cell phones, computers and personal digital assistants?

Daniela Tuninetti, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, explained that this seemingly illogical concept is not all that strange if you take a closer look at what is going on. She has received a five-year, $400,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award to establish a theoretical foundation for putting this idea into use through a concept called collaborative communications.

"Interference due to other communications devices is not just noise," Tuninetti said.

Investigators at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine describe the basis for developing a biological interface that could link a patient's nervous system to a thought-driven artificial limb. Their conceptual framework - which brings together years of spinal-cord injury research - is published in the January issue of Neurosurgery.

"We're at a junction now of developing a new approach for a brain-machine interface," says senior author Douglas H. Smith, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at Penn. "The nervous system will certainly rebel if you place hard or sharp electrodes into it to record signals.

Bergmann`s rule is one of the most studied and controversial “ecogeographical” patterns, and refers to the increasing body size of organisms towards higher latitudes.

Although it has been studied since the mid 19th Century, it is not until now that new statistical techniques have made it possible to disentangle the underlying influences of evolutionary history and ecology.

In a new study in the journal Ecography, an inter¬national team of researchers have analyzed Bergmann`s rule in European carnivore mammals. Their approch allows them to, for the first time, partition body mass variation into historical and ecological components.

The origins and earliest branches of primate evolution are clearer and more ancient by 10 million years than previous studies estimated, according to a study featured on the cover of the Jan. 23 print edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The paper by researchers at Yale, the University of Winnipeg, Stony Brook University, and led by University of Florida paleontologist Jonathan Bloch reconstructs the base of the primate family tree by comparing skeletal and fossil specimens representing more than 85 modern and extinct species.

A University of Florida-led study has determined that Titanis walleri, a prehistoric 7-foot-tall flightless “terror bird,” arrived in North America from South America long before a land bridge connected the two continents.

UF paleontologist Bruce MacFadden said his team used an established geochemical technique that analyzes rare earth elements in a new application to revise the ages of terror bird fossils in Texas and Florida, the only places in North America where the species has been found.

Despite the icy cold and darkness, beneath the frozen surface of the sea in Antarctica thrives a rich and complex array of plants and animals. But what will happen to all those creatures if global warming reduces the ice-cover, as is predicted for coming decades?

UNSW marine ecologists Dr Emma Johnston and Graeme Clark have been working with the Australian Antarctic Division to survey marine communities along the striking coast of Wilkes Land, east Antarctica.


The stark beauty of Antarctica's ice hides a wealth of marine life. Copyright Graeme Clark UNSW.

Fats hidden in thousands of foods can harm a woman’s chance of having a baby, scientists said yesterday.
 
They can increase the risk of fertility problems by 70 per cent or more. Eating as little as one doughnut or a portion of chips a day can have a damaging effect. The scientists behind the study advised women who want to have a baby to avoid the fats, known as trans fats.
 
They are used in thousands of processed foods, from chocolate to pies, as well as take-away meals. They have no nutritional value but are included simply to extend the shelf life of food.