Researchers from the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of Seville have studied the archaeological evidence of prehistoric societies in the Neolithic Period in the Iberian Peninsula from the perspective of gender and show in a new paper that gender differences first appeared which meant male domination in later periods of history. They analysed two groups of indicators: life conditions and demographic aspects; and funerary practices. In the first group, they studied factors like the sexual ratio (proportion of men to women), diet, genetic data, movement, the most…
A survey commissioned by the European Commission Directorate-General for Trade found that among purchaser of products termed "sustainable", including beverages, furniture, clothing, games and printed materials, the food sector stood out, showing the highest growth of sustainable product sales in the last five years at over 18 percent. Retailers reported that 98 percent of food retailers reported increased sales of sustainable products over the past five years versus an average of 85% across all categories, nearly as many expected sales to increase in the next five years. Nielson carried…
A gigantic meteorite, as much as one kilometer wide, struck off the coast of Scotland and left a crater 15 to 20 kilometers in size. Luckily, that happened 1.2 billion years old and was only even discovered in 2008 near Ullapool, NW Scotland but now its precise location is no longer a mystery. In a paper published today in Journal of the Geological Society, a team led by Dr Ken Amor from the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University, show how they have identified the crater location buried beneath both water and younger rocks in the Minch Basin. The material excavated…
An extraordinarily well-preserved Late Bronze Age settlement in Cambridgeshire, in the East of England, has been called 'Britain's Pompeii' or the 'Pompeii of the Fens' but is more accurately the Must Farm quarry. Thanks to corporate funding from Forterra Building Products Ltd, the quarry got a major excavation and there is now a definitive timeframe to Must Farm's occupation and destruction. It lasted just one year before being consumed in a catastrophic fire. Must Farm is located within the silts of a slow-flowing freshwater river, with stilted structures built to elevate the…
A new blood test that will reduce the need for a liver biopsy in the management of paediatric Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) could be ready within five years, finds international paediatric liver registry collaboration early results presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in Glasgow.(1) Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease affects around one in 10 children (2) and is the most common paediatric liver disorder.(3) It can progress to advanced scarring (cirrhosis), liver failure, and liver cancer. Despite…
Dark matter is abundant in the universe, and even though we can't detect it is by far the most common form of matter, making up about 85 percent of the universe's total. It hides in plain sight so we don't know what it's made of but we can infer it by its gravitational pull on known matter. Theorized weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs, have been among the ideas for what comprises dark matter, but they haven't shown up where scientists had expected them. It may be time to look beyond popular notions with a lot of funding, such as big projects like Europe's CERN, and use lots of…
Using a genetic database of modern grapevines, researchers were able to test and compare 28 archaeological seeds from French sites dating back to the Iron Age, Roman era, and medieval period. They discovered one, Savagnin Blanc (not to be confused with Sauvignon Blanc) grape was genetically identical to a seed excavated from a medieval site in Orléans in central France. That means the variety has grown for at least 900 years as cuttings from just one ancestral plant. Savagnin Blanc, from the Jura region of France, is thought to have been popular in the past but is primarily consumed…
The sea and beaches on the Tarragona coast contain plastic similar to those in a big city like Barcelona but it's not water bottles or food containers. It's instead 57 percent clothing fibers from washing machines. You just can't see it. What they presented was microscopic plastic waste that cannot be seen by the naked eye but which some believed could have an impact on human health in higher quantities. In a series of studies initiated in 2018, they analysed samples of sea water, marine sediment and sand from Tarragona beaches to determine the presence of plastics and their possible…
Chloropicrin was first synthesized in 1848 by Scottish chemist John Stenhouse but only became an agricultural tool in 1920, when it was used to cure tomato "soil sickness." After that success it was used to restore pineapple productivity in Hawaii and to address soil fungal problems in California. It became popular as a fungicide, herbicide, insecticide, and nematicide. In 1940, chloropicrin was first used on potato as a wireworm suppressant and then in 1965 for verticillium. Farmers stopped using it on potatoes after that, because environmentalists claimed chloropicrin "sterilized soil…
 To predict the fate of species, ecologists use computer models that consider individual species in isolation but reality does not work that way. Species are part of a giant network of mutual dependencies: For example, plants need insects to disperse their pollen and, in turn, insects depend on plants for food. These types of mutually beneficial interactions have been very important in generating the diversity of life on Earth. But the interaction also has a negative knock-on effect when the extinction of one species causes other species that are dependent on it to also die out, an effect…
After exposing more than 70 million grain amaranth seeds to a soil-based herbicide, researchers were not able to find a single herbicide-resistant mutant, according to a report in the journal Weed Science. The findings suggest that the mutation rate in amaranth is very low, and that low-level herbicide application contributes little - if anything - to the onset of new mutations conferring resistance, researchers say. Any major stress that does not kill a plant can contribute to genetic mutations in its seeds and pollen, said University of Illinois crop sciences professor Patrick Tranel, who…
Stretching the day beyond what nature provides has provided numerous cultural benefits for humans but a new study has linked nighttime illumination caused by people to decreased amphibian reproduction. The authors of a recent experiment exposed wood frogs to a control and two anthropogenic light conditions: intensified daytime illuminance and artificial light at night. They found that both the intensified daytime illuminance treatments and the light at night treatment decreased hatching success in tadpoles. Tadpoles that were reared in the light at night treatment were larger, less…
Many African higher education institutions are under tremendous pressure to produce innovative research to solve local problems. They are encouraged to produce their country’s next generation of innovators. Scholarly journals and the popular press call on these institutions to drive their nation’s development. Yet most of them are underfunded and tasked with enormous teaching loads. External donors and their priorities, rather than local demand or need, tend to drive institutions to mimic the work of the developed world. Evidence suggests that these approaches are not effective for deeper…
A team of scholars from Mainz University Medical Center and Goethe University Frankfurt used an experiment to create what they believe is a harmful effect on bees using neonicotinoids in field-relevant concentrations. The effect, they believe, is to reduce the concentration of acetylcholine, a signaling molecule relevant for the development of the honeybee larvae, in the royal jelly/larval food secreted by nurse bees. At higher doses, neonicotinoids also damaged the microchannels of the royal jelly gland in which acetylcholine is produced. Comparable to neonicotinoids, it stimulates the…
More kids in Germany are getting prescriptions for psychotropic drugs than ever before, according to the results of a new study. On the basis of nationwide statutory health insurance data, the authors analyzed prescribing rates and rates of new prescriptions, as well as the groups of doctors who issued the initial prescriptions for psychotropic drugs in 5 million children and adolescents. Herbal or homeopathic medicines were not included. The prevalence of psychotropic drug use rose from 19.6 per 1000 children and adolescents in 2004 to 27.1/1000 in 2012. Notable increases were seen for…
Imagine you’re sitting at an important job interview. You’re suitably dressed and have taken the time to do your hair and apply some makeup. You’re smiling, answering questions, and attempting to appear competent, and, obviously, hireable. The panel, made up of men and women, aren’t giving anything away. What do you think might be influencing their perceptions of you? Though there is the old adage that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, makeup is one way in which they may be judging you. It’s not just about whether someone simply likes or dislikes your makeup – it can be change the…
The European Journal of Psychotraumatology has mandated sex and gender data for all papers before they will be published. Editor-in-Chief Miranda Olff and Shirin Heidari, a member of the European Association of Science Editors’ Gender Policy Committee, drafted the new guidelines they believe will have significant implications for the collective understanding of sex and gender-based differences in mental health research, and eventually impact treatment plans – both in terms of medication prescribed and psychotherapeutic approaches taken. Every article published in EJPT must now: disclose the…
American social psychologists and partisan science journalists talk so much about how they are superior to conservatives it is almost like they believe American conservatives are a separate species.  And they may be, because conservatives seem to be much happier than liberals. A new paper analyzed conservatives in Europe and found they are less polarized - but like everyone else life satisfaction depends on the overall political climate they live in and on social belonging. Conservatives and liberals alike want diversity, as long as they are in the overwhelming majority. Dr. Olga Stavrova…
Researchers have shown that circadian oscillations in the influx of immune cells into the damaged tissue play a crucial role in exacerbating the effects of an acute heart attack in the early morning hours. The extent of the inflammatory reaction triggered by an acute heart attack, and of the resulting damage to the heart muscle, varies depending on the time of day at which the infarct occurs. In a new study, researchers led by Sabine Steffens, Professor of Clinical Pathobiochemistry in the Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention (IPEK) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich…
Previous research has suggested that certain contraceptive methods may increase women's susceptibility to HIV. A randomised trial of more than 7,800 African women found that a type of contraceptive injection (intramuscular depot medroxyprogesterone acetate - DMPA-IM) posed no substantially increased risk of HIV acquisition when compared with a copper intrauterine device (IUD) and a levonorgestrel (LNG) implant. The results of this first ever randomised trial in the area, published in The Lancet, counter 30 years of epidemiology research suggesting a potential association between some…