Ancient DNA data fills in thousands of years of human prehistory in Africa

By sequencing the ancient genomes of 15 individuals from different parts of Africa, researchers reporting in the journal Cell on Sept. 21 have reconstructed the prehistory of humans on the continent, going back thousands of years. The findings shed light on which human populations lived in eastern and southern Africa between 8,000 and 1,000 years ago, the researchers say.

Birds’ migration genes are conditioned by geography

The genetic make-up of a willow warbler determines where it will migrate when winter comes. Studies of willow warblers in Sweden, Finland and the Baltic States show that “migration genes” differ -- depending on where the birds breed in the summer. The willow warblers that breed in southern Sweden migrate to West Africa, while those in northern Sweden, Finland and the Baltic States fly to southern or eastern Africa.

Promoting Parasites: Researchers’ quest to identify freshwater fish parasites in Japan

Scientists have identified a new species of parasite infecting an invasive freshwater fish on the subtropical island of Okinawa, Japan. The results are part of a project to find parasites that have arrived in Japan with their non-native hosts and understand the role of parasites in natural ecosystems.  Tracking parasites can be one scientific method to monitor ecosystem health and attempt to conserve biodiversity.

New way to open insects’ exoskeletons for study

Insects are tough animals to study. One reason is their armor-like coating, called an exoskeleton, which protects their organs. Researchers have discovered a technique to open the exoskeleton in order to study living organs and cells.

Renaissance for artisanal mortar

To adapt mortar to new building materials and industrial methods, the content in walls and plaster changed during the 20th century. The change meant that knowledge of historical materials and methods for producing mortar were lost. New research reveals that historical binding agents and mortar can be produced and used in present-day plaster restorations.

Trophy hunting of lions can conserve the species, report suggests

Trophy hunters can play an important role in lion conservation, researchers have shown. These findings may surprise the public, but most lion conservationists think trophy hunting could play a key role in conserving this species because lions need large areas to thrive, and managing this land is expensive. The new work shows land under long-term management for trophy hunting can help fill this shortfall.

Gut bacteria may turn common nutrient into clot-enhancing compound

Gut bacteria can produce a clot-enhancing compound when people eat a nutrient found in a variety of foods including meat, eggs and milk, according to new research.

Certain strains of bacteria associated with diabetic wounds that do not heal

Whether a wound -- such as a diabetic foot ulcer -- heals or progresses to a worse outcome, including infection or even amputation, may depend on the microbiome within that wound.

Research in worms provides a model to study how the human microbiome influences disease

The human microbiome appears to play a significant role in health and disease, but the mechanisms of how it does so is not well understood. Researchers have used the nematode C. elegans to decipher how specific bacterial signals influence a host, whether the host is a worm or a human. It reveals for the first time how bacterial genes modify worm biology, with implications for future study of the human microbiome.

Detecting volcanic eruptions

A case study of an eruption of Calbuco in Chile was used to evaluate data delivered by infrasound sensors.

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UK warns against all but essential Sri Lanka travel

The UK advises against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka, where the bombings death toll is revised down by about 100.

Huawei row: ‘Inquiry to be held’ into National Security Council leak

A formal inquiry will be held into leak from National Security Council meeting, the BBC is told.

Macron announces ‘fairer, more humane’ reforms in response to yellow vests

France's president responds to five months of weekly protests against economic inequality.