Understanding Lassa virus – Dr Matthew Boisen, Zalgen Labs
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Eggs are marvellous – they contain all the sustenance needed to make a young bird within their protective shell, and when destined for the plate, they are nutritious and delicious. For many of us, cracking open an egg for breakfast to discover two yolks in the pan is a pleasant surprise. However, if eggs are nature’s miracle of packaging, then double-yolked eggs must be nature’s mistake – a mistake that still holds many mysteries. To answer some persisting questions, Dr Attila Salamon and Dr John Kent of University College Dublin examined our collective knowledge on double-yolked eggs in a recent review.
Professor Manoj Sharma | The Multi-theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change: Understanding Meditation, or ‘Dhyana’
The multi-theory model – or ‘MTM’ – of health behavior change provides a theoretical framework for understanding and promoting health behaviors. Professor Manoj Sharma from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has now applied this model to understand the factors that lead people to take up meditation – or ‘dhyana’ – and to maintain this health-related behavior over time. His findings confirm the utility of the MTM in informing behavior change interventions and open up important avenues for future research.
Dr Julia Gresky | A Missed Opportunity: Reports of Ancient Rare Diseases in the Paleopathological Literature
Dr Julia Gresky of the German Archaeological Institute and her colleagues examined the frequency and content of accounts of ancient rare diseases in the paleopathological literature. By studying published records over the past 45 years, the researchers provide a long-term perspective on the reporting of rare diseases in archaeological contexts. Despite methodological advancements, their work shows that there is much still to be achieved in this fascinating but understudied field.
Future food security is one of the key global challenges facing society. Climate change presents significant threats to our ability to produce staple food crops – particularly in regions already vulnerable to droughts. Dr Kahiu Ngugi and his research team from the University of Nairobi and other institutions in Kenya investigated numerous varieties of sorghum – one of the world’s most important cereal crops. Their aim was to find new genes that would allow the crop to withstand both drought and a common parasitic weed.
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