Tag Archives: sub-saharan africa

IBM Brings Watson to Africa

$100M “Project Lucy” Initiative Heralds New Era of Data-Driven Development

LAGOS and NAIROBI – 06 Feb 2014: IBM has launched a 10-year initiative to bring Watson and other cognitive systems to Africa in a bid to fuel development and spur business opportunities across the world’s fastest growing continent. Dubbed “Project Lucy” after the earliest known human ancestor, IBM will invest US$100 million in the initiative, giving scientists and partners access to the world’s most advanced cognitive computing technologies. (more…)

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Yale Researchers Identify Salt as a Trigger of Autoimmune Diseases

For the past few decades, health officials have been reporting increases in the incidence of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Now researchers at Yale Medical School, Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute have identified a prime suspect in the mystery — dietary salt.

In the March 6 issue of the journal Nature, Yale researchers showed that salt can induce and worsen pathogenic immune system responses in mice and that the response is regulated by genes already implicated in a variety of autoimmune diseases. (more…)

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Breast Cancer DNA Mutator Found

Masonic Cancer Center researchers discover a virus-fighting enzyme

It’s well known that sunlight and chemical carcinogens can mutate DNA, and that mutations are essential for cancer to develop.

One big mystery was what causes the thousands of mutations evident in most breast cancers.

Now researcher Reuben Harris, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, and his colleagues have found evidence that one of our own proteins is a major source of these mutations. The researchers have just published evidence implicating the protein—an enzyme called APOBEC3B—in the international journal Nature. (more…)

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Kofi Annan to students: ‘It’s your world now’

Former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan predicted during a campus visit that the civil war in Syria will become even more tragic before the international community takes action to help resolve the conflict, but said he is optimistic about the political and economic prospects for Africa in the years ahead. (more…)

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Internet Use Promotes Democracy Best in Countries That Are Already Partially Free

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Although use of the internet has been credited with helping spur democratic revolutions in the Arab world and elsewhere, a new multinational study suggests the internet is most likely to play a role only in specific situations.

Researchers at Ohio State University found that the internet spurs pro-democratic attitudes most in countries that already have introduced some reforms in that direction. (more…)

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Africa’s Female Students Are Fighters and Survivors

The education of girls in developing countries is lagging by at least 30 years in comparison to the education of girls in developed countries. This is particularly true in sub-Saharan Africa, where only a minority of women get a university education. Why does this disparity still exist today?

Valèse Mapto Kengne obtained her diploma last spring from the Université de Montréal Faculty of Education where she devoted her thesis to answering that very question. “I wanted to know the truth behind the numbers. Why do some girls drop out? And contrarily, what drives the others to persevere? (more…)

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New NASA Map Reveals Tropical Forest Carbon Storage

PASADENA, Calif. – A NASA-led research team has used a variety of NASA satellite data to create the most precise map ever produced depicting the amount and location of carbon stored in Earth’s tropical forests. The data are expected to provide a baseline for ongoing carbon monitoring and research and serve as a useful resource for managing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

The new map, created from ground- and space-based data, shows, for the first time, the distribution of carbon stored in forests across more than 75 tropical countries. Most of that carbon is stored in the extensive forests of Latin America. (more…)

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