Tag Archives: Kenya

Migrating wildebeests, raging hippos, and robotic boats on Kenya’s Mara River

Above: Amanda Subalusky and Chris Dutton of the Yale Mara Project describe their research on the impact of wildebeests and hippos on rivers within Kenya’s renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve. (more…)

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Africa’s poison ‘apple’ provides common ground for saving elephants, raising livestock

While African wildlife often run afoul of ranchers and pastoralists securing food and water resources for their animals, the interests of fauna and farmer might finally be unified by the “Sodom apple,” a toxic invasive plant that has overrun vast swaths of East African savanna and pastureland.

Should the ominous reference to the smitten biblical city be unclear, the Sodom apple, or Solanum campylacanthum, is a wicked plant. Not a true apple, this relative of the eggplant smothers native grasses with its thorny stalks, while its striking yellow fruit provides a deadly temptation to sheep and cattle. (more…)

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IBM Study Identifies How African Businesses Can Overcome the Technology Adoption Gap

Research reveals common challenges preventing IT progress in Africa recommends steps to overcome technology roadblocks

Nairobi, Kenya – 27 Jan 2014: IBM IBM today announced the results of a new study entitled ‘Setting the pace in Africa: How IT leaders deliver on the potential of emerging technologies’, which found that while nearly 87 percent of African IT leaders rank new technologies such as analytics, cloud, mobile and social media as being critical to business success, only 53% are pushing forward with adoption. (more…)

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International Research Team Close Human Evolution Gap with Discovery of 1.4 Million-Year-Old Fossil Human Hand Bone

University of Missouri researcher part of team that found the bone in Kenya

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Humans have a distinctive hand anatomy that allows them to make and use tools. Apes and other nonhuman primates do not have these distinctive anatomical features in their hands, and the point in time at which these features first appeared in human evolution is unknown. Now, a University of Missouri researcher and her international team of colleagues have found a new hand bone from a human ancestor who roamed the earth in East Africa approximately 1.42 million years ago. They suspect the bone belonged to the early human species, Homo erectus. The discovery of this bone is the earliest evidence of a modern human-like hand, indicating that this anatomical feature existed more than half a million years earlier than previously known. (more…)

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Bacteria may allow animals to send quick, voluminous messages

Twitter clips human thoughts to a mere 140 characters. Animals’ scent posts may be equally as short, relatively speaking, yet they convey an encyclopedia of information about the animals that left them.

In the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a Michigan State University researcher shows that the detailed scent posts of hyenas are, in part, products of symbiotic bacteria, microbes that have a mutually beneficial relationship with their hosts. (more…)

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Green Revolution 2: Apps for Farmers

Doing paperwork has proven to be unsustainable but also entirely cumbersome in recent years given the multiplication of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. From Australia to America, Canada to Kenya, a paradigm shift towards cloud computing is being felt in the world and this could only expedite the clamor for less paper consumption.

Tradespersons have progressively depended on cloud-based applications to manage invoicing, bookkeeping and other jobs instead of filling their dashboards with unnecessary clutter. In particular, most farmers have looked and used the Cloud for a chance to turn a profit and save the earth all at the same time. (more…)

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Catching Black Holes on the Fly

NASA’s black-hole-hunter spacecraft, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has “bagged” its first 10 supermassive black holes. The mission, which has a mast the length of a school bus, is the first telescope capable of focusing the highest-energy X-ray light into detailed pictures.

The new black-hole finds are the first of hundreds expected from the mission over the next two years. These gargantuan structures — black holes surrounded by thick disks of gas — lie at the hearts of distant galaxies between 0.3 and 11.4 billion light-years from Earth. (more…)

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Black Hole Naps amidst Stellar Chaos

Nearly a decade ago, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory caught signs of what appeared to be a black hole snacking on gas at the middle of the nearby Sculptor galaxy. Now, NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), which sees higher-energy X-ray light, has taken a peek and found the black hole asleep.

“Our results imply that the black hole went dormant in the past 10 years,” said Bret Lehmer of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. “Periodic observations with both Chandra and NuSTAR should tell us unambiguously if the black hole wakes up again. If this happens in the next few years, we hope to be watching.” Lehmer is lead author of a new study detailing the findings in the Astrophysical Journal. (more…)

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