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Tag: Africa

Ancient footprints in Saudi Arabia help researchers track human migrations out of Africa

Ancient footprints in Saudi Arabia help researchers track human migrations out of Africa

Science
Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Paleontologists have discovered a diverse assemblage of 120,000-year-old human and animal footprints in an ancient lake deposit in Saudi Arabia's Nefud Desert, offering new insights into the trajectories of human migrations out of Africa, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances. A mounting body of evidence, compiled and published over the last two decades, has upended early theories that humans migrated out of Africa in one or two giant waves. Advertisement "As more and more fossils are discovered, it seems that humans repeatedly dispersed out of Africa and did so much earlier than previously thought," study co-author Mathew John Stewart told UPI in an email. "Precisely when, how often and under what conditions remain open questions," said S...
The Latest: Africa in talks on virus vaccine trials

The Latest: Africa in talks on virus vaccine trials

Health
JOHANNESBURG — Africa’s top public health official says the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been in talks with nine vaccine manufacturers about potential coronavirus vaccine clinical trials on the continent.John Nkengasong says the talks include the Oxford University group that’s developing a vaccine with drug company AstraZeneca and already has a clinical trial in South Africa.The African Union’s 54 member states want to secure more than 10 late-stage COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in Africa. They’re motivated by memories of watching millions die while years passed before affordable drugs or vaccines for diseases reached the continent of 1.3 billion people.Health experts say COVID-19 vaccine trials must include Africans to make sure any effective vaccine can be rol
Tropical Storm Vicky forms off Africa; expected to be ‘short-lived’

Tropical Storm Vicky forms off Africa; expected to be ‘short-lived’

World
Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Vicky in the Atlantic Ocean has grown stronger than expected, forecasters said early Tuesday while maintaining that the system is to weaken over the next few days. In a 2 a.m. CVT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said Vicky was located 455 miles west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. It had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving northwest at 7 mph. Advertisement Vicky, which had previously been known as tropical depression 21, is the 20th tropical storm of the 2020 season and set a new early record for a "V" named storm. It was formed off the western coastline of Africa and strengthened into a tropical storm on Monday. The NHC said it expects Vicky to dissipate by mid-week. "Weakening is forecast due to strong upper-level winds during t...
The Latest: Africa reports sharp decline in new infections

The Latest: Africa reports sharp decline in new infections

Health
JOHANNESBURG — Africa’s top public health official says the continent has seen a 20% decrease in confirmed coronavirus cases in the past week, but he warns that “we shouldn’t go home celebrating that our pandemic is over.”John Nkengasong with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells reporters that testing and other efforts to contain the virus are largely working, but just one or two cases could reignite infections.He says 23 of Africa’s 54 countries have reported a sustained decrease in new confirmed cases in the past couple of weeks.The African continent has reported more than 1.2 million confirmed cases, roughly half in South Africa. More than 11 million tests for the virus have been conducted across the continent of 1.3 billion people, and Nkengasong says the new goa
American crocodiles left Africa more than 5 million years ago, skull analysis suggests

American crocodiles left Africa more than 5 million years ago, skull analysis suggests

Science
July 23 (UPI) -- Novel bone structures found on the skull of Crocodylus checchiai, an extinct African crocodile species, suggest American crocodiles originated in Africa, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports. Over the last few years, molecular biologists have shown that the four crocodile species found in the Americas are close relatives of the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus. Advertisement Researchers say that Crocodylus checchiai rests somewhere between the Nile crocodile and American crocodiles on the evolutionary tree -- meaning the American crocodiles made their way across the Atlantic more than 5 million years ago. "Some of these morphological features had been hypothesized on the basis of a few fragmented skulls, but it is the first time th...