Culture

A genetic analysis of people from Papua New Guinea (PNG) reveals a sharp genetic divide between those residing in the highlands and lowlands, beginning 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. The divide emerged around the same time that people began cultivating plants on the island, suggesting that population structure was affected by the transition into a Neolithic lifestyle. Due to the fact that Papua New Guinea was a likely stepping stone for human migration from Asia to Australia, the population structure is of great interest from both a population genetic and archaeological perspective.

The first large-scale genetic study of people in Papua New Guinea has shown that different groups within the country are genetically highly different from each other. Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their colleagues at the University of Oxford and the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research reveal that the people there have remained genetically independent from Europe and Asia for most of the last 50,000 years, and that people from the country's isolated highlands region have been completely independent even until the present day.

'Mysterious' ancient creature was definitely an animal, research confirms

It lived well over 550 million years ago, is known only through fossils and has variously been described as looking a bit like a jellyfish, a worm, a fungus and lichen. But was the 'mysterious' Dickinsonia an animal, or was it something else?

UCLA physicists have pioneered a method for creating a unique new molecule that could eventually have applications in medicine, food science and other fields. Their research, which also shows how chemical reactions can be studied on a microscopic scale using tools of physics, is reported in the journal Science.

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but the mold on it could make you sick.

Rhiannon Wallace, a PhD candidate at UBC Okanagan's campus, has developed a way to stop, or at least control, blue mold--a pathogen that can rot an apple to its core. Wallace's research has determined that bacteria, originally isolated from cold Saskatchewan soils, may be the answer to preventing mold growth and apple rot while the fruit is in storage or transport.

Researchers have studied the brain activity of young binge-drinking college students in Spain, and found distinctive changes in brain activity, which may indicate delayed brain development and be an early sign of brain damage.

For many students, college involves a lot of socializing at parties and at bars, and alcohol is a common factor in these social environments. Excessive alcohol use, in the form of binge drinking, is extremely common among college students, and one study has estimated that as many as one third of young North Americans and Europeans binge drink.

(Philadelphia, PA) - Almost a century ago, scientists discovered that cutting calorie intake could dramatically extend lifespan in certain animal species. Despite numerous studies since, however, researchers have been unable to explain precisely why. Now, investigators at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) have broken past that barrier.

Proposals to repeal or replace the federal Affordable Care Act would likely increase the demand for service in the Veterans Affairs medical system, while also increasing the number of veterans who have no insurance coverage at all, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

Under legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, health coverage losses among nonelderly veterans would be concentrated among older, low-income and less-healthy veterans, according to the study.

Despite the pervasive use of the Internet in everyday life, most Americans report they never use it to find religious or spiritual content, and most never use it to share religious views, according to the Baylor Religion Survey.

That holds true regardless of religious tradition, said Baylor University sociologists, who recently presented the latest survey findings at the Religion Newswriters Association's annual conference.

Spending on entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid consumes some two-thirds of all federal spending, but new research from the University of Notre Dame shows that information technology investments in health care lead to significant spending reductions -- potentially in the billions of dollars.