Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Iran


The Armenians are a culturally isolated population who historically inhabited a region in the Near East bounded by the Mediterranean and Black seas and the Caucasus, but remain under-represented in genetic studies and have a complex history including a major geographic displacement during World War I. Here, we analyse genome-wide variation in 173 Armenians and compare them with 78 other worldwide populations. We find that Armenians form a distinctive cluster linking the Near East, Europe, and the Caucasus. We show that Armenian diversity can be explained by several mixtures of Eurasian populations that occurred between ~3000 and ~2000 bce, a period characterized by major population migrations after the domestication of the horse, appearance of chariots, and the rise of advanced civilizations in the Near East. However, genetic signals of population mixture cease after ~1200 bce when Bronze Age civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean world suddenly and violently collapsed. Armenians have since remained isolated and genetic structure within the population developed ~500 years ago when Armenia was divided between the Ottomans and the Safavid Empire in Iran. Finally, we show that Armenians have higher genetic affinity to Neolithic Europeans than other present-day Near Easterners, and that 29% of Armenian ancestry may originate from an ancestral population that is best represented by Neolithic Europeans.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 21 October 2015; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2015.206.

Concepts: Europe, Asia, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Ottoman Empire


Accurate information about the prevalence and types of tobacco use is essential to deliver effective public health policy. We aimed to study the prevalence and modes of tobacco consumption in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly focusing on the use of Midwakh (Arabic traditional pipe).

Concepts: Tobacco, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, Iran, Arab people


Arid central Asia (ACA) is one of the most arid regions in the mid-latitudes and one of the main potential dust sources for the northern hemisphere. The lack of in situ early Pleistocene loess/dust records from ACA hinders our comprehensive understanding of the spatio-temporal record of aeolian loess accumulation and long term climatic changes in Asia as a whole. Here, we report the results of sedimentological, chronological and climatic studies of early Pleistocene loess-palaeosol sequences (LPS) from the northeastern Iranian Golestan Province (NIGP) in the western part of ACA. Our results reveal that: 1) Accumulation of loess on the NIGP commenced at ~2.4-1.8 Ma, making it the oldest loess known so far in western ACA; 2) the climate during the early Pleistocene in the NIGP was semi-arid, but wetter, warmer, and less windy than during the late Pleistocene and present interglacial; 3) orbital-scale palaeoclimatic changes in ACA during the early Pleistoceneare in-phase with those of monsoonal Asia, a relationship which was probably related to the growth and decay of northern hemisphere ice sheets.

Concepts: Time, Climate, Asia, Iran, Steppe, Northern Hemisphere, Central Asia, Iranian languages


Very little is known about prevalence of common cardiovascular risk factors in Central Asia. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of arterial hypertension, and factors associated with these indices in a population sample of Astana, the new capital city of Kazakhstan.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Iran, Turkey, Central Asia, Eurasia, Kazakhstan, Astana


Anthropological studies based on the highly polymorphic gene, human leukocyte antigen (HLA), provide useful information for bone marrow donor registry, forensic medicine, disease association studies, as well as infertility treatment, designing peptide vaccines against tumors, and infectious or autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study was to determine HLA-A and HLA-B allele frequencies in 100 unrelated Lak/lᴂk/individuals from Lorestan province of Iran. Finally, we compared the results with that previously described in Iranian population. Commercial HLA-Type kits from BAG (Lich, Germany) company were used for determination of the HLA-A and HLA-B allele frequencies in genomic DNA, based on polymerase chain reaction with sequence specific primer (PCR-SSP) assay. The differences between the populations in distribution of HLA-A and HLA-B alleles were estimated by chi-squared test with Yate’s correction. The most frequent HLA-A alleles were *24 (20%), *02 (18%), *03 (12%) and *11 (10%), and the most frequent HLA-B alleles were *35 (24%), *51 (16%), *18 (6%) and *38 (6%) in Lak population. HLA-A*66 (1%), *74(1%) and HLA-B*48 (1%), *55(1%) were the least observed frequencies in Lak population. Our results based on HLA-A and HLA-B allele frequencies showed that Lak population possesses the previously reported general features of Iranians but still with unique.

Concepts: Immune system, DNA, Gene, Genetics, Polymerase chain reaction, Human leukocyte antigen, Iran, Iranian peoples


Nations are accumulating cyber resources in the form of stockpiles of zero-day exploits as well as other novel methods of engaging in future cyber conflict against selected targets. This paper analyzes the optimal timing for the use of such cyber resources. A simple mathematical model is offered to clarify how the timing of such a choice can depend on the stakes involved in the present situation, as well as the characteristics of the resource for exploitation. The model deals with the question of when the resource should be used given that its use today may well prevent it from being available for use later. The analysis provides concepts, theory, applications, and distinctions to promote the understanding strategy aspects of cyber conflict. Case studies include the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear program, the Iranian cyber attack on the energy firm Saudi Aramco, the persistent cyber espionage carried out by the Chinese military, and an analogous case of economic coercion by China in a dispute with Japan. The effects of the rapidly expanding market for zero-day exploits are also analyzed. The goal of the paper is to promote the understanding of this domain of cyber conflict to mitigate the harm it can do, and harness the capabilities it can provide.

Concepts: Economics, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Cyberspace, Saudi Aramco, Cyber spying, Nuclear program of Iran


Kaldar Cave is a key archaeological site that provides evidence of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in Iran. Excavations at the site in 2014-2015 led to the discovery of cultural remains generally associated with anatomically modern humans (AMHs) and evidence of a probable Neanderthal-made industry in the basal layers. Attempts have been made to establish a chronology for the site. These include four thermoluminescence (TL) dates for Layer 4, ranging from 23,100 ± 3300 to 29,400 ± 2300 BP, and three AMS radiocarbon dates from charcoal samples belonging to the lower part of the same layer, yielding ages of 38,650-36,750 cal BP, 44,200-42,350 cal BP, and 54,400-46,050 cal BP (all at the 95.4% confidence level). Kaldar Cave is the first well-stratified Late Palaeolithic locality to be excavated in the Zagros which is one of the earliest sites with cultural materials attributed to early AMHs in western Asia. It also offers an opportunity to study the technological differences between the Mousterian and the first Upper Palaeolithic lithic technologies as well as the human behaviour in the region. In this study, we present a detailed description of the newly excavated stratigraphy, quantified results from the lithic assemblages, preliminary faunal remains analyses, geochronologic data, taphonomic aspects, and an interpretation of the regional paleoenvironment.

Concepts: Human, Iran, Neanderthal, Human evolution, Pleistocene, Stone Age, Archaeology, Prehistory


Asthma is common and can be exacerbated by air pollution and stress. Unconventional natural gas development (UNGD) has community and environmental impacts. In Pennsylvania, UNGD began in 2005, and by 2012, 6253 wells had been drilled. There are no prior studies of UNGD and objective respiratory outcomes.

Concepts: Natural gas, Iran, Environmentalism, Shale gas, Barnett Shale, Shale, Delaware River


Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is endemic in Eurasian countries such as, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. CCHF virus is spread by the Hyalomma tick, which is found mainly on cattle and sheep. Muslim countries, in which these animals are sacrificed during Eid-Al-Adha, are among the countries where CCHF is endemic, and it has been observed that CCHF is associated with practices surrounding the Eid-ad-Adha festival. The dates for Eid-Al-Adha drift 10 days earlier in each year according to Georgian calendar. In previous years Eid-al-Adha occurred in autumn-winter months however in the next 10-15 years it will be take place in the summer months when CCHF is more prevalent. This may lead to a rise in the number of cases due to increased dissemination of CCHF virus with uncontrolled animal movements in and between countries. This consensus report focuses on the variable practices regarding animal handling in different regions and possible preventative measures to reduce the incidence of CCHF. Environmental hygiene and personal protection are essential parts of prevention. There is a need for international collaborative preparedness and response plans for prevention and management of CCHF during Eid-Al-Adha in countries where the disease is prevalent.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Prevalence, Islam, Iran, Viral hemorrhagic fever, Pakistan, Preventive medicine


Sixty percent of Internet users report using the Internet to look for health information. Social media sites are emerging as a potential source for online health information. However, little is known about how people use social media for such purposes.

Concepts: Website, Iran, Internet, Health informatics, History of the Internet, Twitter, Social media, Podcast