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Studying DNA of ancient humans from Morocco reveals ancestral surprises

Thu, 15 Mar 18 00:12:20 -0700

After sequencing DNA in bone matter of several 15,000-year-old humans from North Africa, a region critical for understanding human history but one in which it has been challenging to connect genetic dots, researchers report a notable lack of relatedness to ancient Europeans, in their specimens - a finding that rules out hypotheses of gene flow from southern Europe into northern Africa at a particular time.

Cell-sized mold makes gelatin gels (jelly) 10 times stiffer

Thu, 15 Mar 18 00:14:20 -0700

Micro-sized gels are indispensable for biomedical, cosmetic, and food materials, warranting importance of controlling mechanical properties of a single microgel for application usages. Here it was shown that space sizes for gelation change mechanical properties of gelatin gels. Detailed analysis in the microgel structure revealed that changes in secondary structures of gelatin protein induced the increase of elasticity. These findings shed light on the ability of space-size as a controller of mechanical properties of gels.

Elevated lead in private wells could pose health risks
Since the Flint Water Crisis in Michigan, concern in the US over lead in drinking water has increased. Information about water from private wells has been limited because such wells are exempt from the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act, the 1986 Lead Ban and the 2011 Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act. Now, researchers report a case study in ACS' journal Environmental Science