Some accuse companies buying up land in Africa of dispossessing native farmers and using up scarce resources. But the Rei do Agro farm tries to be a good neighbor in Mozambique while banking on soybean profits.
Reporting in Nature,Nature Methods, and several PLoS publications, researchers with the Human Microbiome Project write that they have cataloged the genetic identity of many microbes that populate the human body. Computational biologist Curtis Huttenhower discusses the multidisciplinary effort.
A moray eel, a flock of geese and a shrunken head are just a few of the things found in and around Her Deepness' office. Earle, an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic, has desks all over the country. A few months ago we stopped by her Oakland home-base for the next installment in our Desktop Diaries series.
Reporting in Nature, an international team of scientists say they've visualized the structure of a protective protein coat that surrounds many bacteria, down to the scale of a single atom. Structural microbiologist Han Remaut, co-author of the study, discusses potential applications of the research.
Mitt Romney referred to morning after-pills as 'abortive pills.' The FDA-approved label on Plan B indicates it may prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's uterus. Dr. Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at Karolinska Institute, discusses the growing scientific evidence to the contrary.
In No Time to Lose: A Life In Pursuit of Deadly Viruses, microbiologist Peter Piot writes of the years he spent in the jungles of central Africa investigating mysterious viral diseases like Ebola and HIV, and recalls the bureaucratic struggles of leading UNAIDS.
Reporting in Science, researchers write that a red disk painted in Spain's El Castillo cave is at least 40,800 years old--making it the oldest known European cave art. Archaeologist Alistair Pike discusses how his team dated the disk, and whether Neanderthals could have painted it.
A better way to represent data could turn numbers into features. Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, talks about why people are better at recognizing faces than staring at statistics, and if merging the two could make data accessible to everyone.
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