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

Concept: Morocco


Culex pipiens L. is the most widespread mosquito vector in temperate regions including North Africa. Cx. pipiens has two recognized forms or biotypes; pipiens and molestus are morphologically indistinguishable with distinct behavior and physiology that may influence their vectorial status. In our study, we prospected for the different forms of Cx. pipiens in Morocco.

Concepts: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Tunisia, Nonanal, Algeria, Morocco, Western Sahara


European lactose tolerance genotype (LCT -13910 C>T, rs4988234) has been positively associated to body mass indexes (BMI) in a meta-analysis of 31,720 individuals of northern and central European descent. A strong association of lactase persistence (LP) with BMI and obesity has also been traced in a Spanish Mediterranean population. The aim of this study was to analyze a potential association of LP compared to lactase non-persistence (LNP) with BMI in inhabitants of the Canary Islands of Spain using Mendelian randomization.

Concepts: European Union, Canary Islands, Spanish language, Spain, Lactose intolerance, Lactase, Spanish people, Morocco


It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) must leave their home to collect water, putting them at risk for a variety of negative health outcomes. There is little research, however, quantifying who is most affected by long water collection times.

Concepts: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Sahara, Black people, Malawi, Southern Africa, Morocco


While Phoenician culture and trade networks had a significant impact on Western civilizations, we know little about the Phoenicians themselves. In 1994, a Punic burial crypt was discovered on Byrsa Hill, near the entry to the National Museum of Carthage in Tunisia. Inside this crypt were the remains of a young man along with a range of burial goods, all dating to the late 6th century BCE. Here we describe the complete mitochondrial genome recovered from the Young Man of Byrsa and identify that he carried a rare European haplogroup, likely linking his maternal ancestry to Phoenician influenced locations somewhere on the North Mediterranean coast, the islands of the Mediterranean or the Iberian Peninsula. This result not only provides the first direct ancient DNA evidence of a Phoenician individual but the earliest evidence of a European mitochondrial haplogroup, U5b2c1, in North Africa.

Concepts: Mediterranean Sea, Iberian Peninsula, Spain, Tunisia, Morocco, Ancient Rome, Carthage, Phoenicia


Human migration north through Africa is contentious. This paper uses a novel palaeohydrological and hydraulic modelling approach to test the hypothesis that under wetter climates c.100,000 years ago major river systems ran north across the Sahara to the Mediterranean, creating viable migration routes. We confirm that three of these now buried palaeo river systems could have been active at the key time of human migration across the Sahara. Unexpectedly, it is the most western of these three rivers, the Irharhar river, that represents the most likely route for human migration. The Irharhar river flows directly south to north, uniquely linking the mountain areas experiencing monsoon climates at these times to temperate Mediterranean environments where food and resources would have been abundant. The findings have major implications for our understanding of how humans migrated north through Africa, for the first time providing a quantitative perspective on the probabilities that these routes were viable for human habitation at these times.

Concepts: Africa, Sahara, Climate, Human migration, Monsoon, Algeria, Morocco, Libya


In sub-Saharan Africa, dozens of major “development corridors” have been proposed or are being created to increase agricultural production [1-4], mineral exports [5-7], and economic integration. The corridors involve large-scale expansion of infrastructure such as roads, railroads, pipelines, and port facilities and will open up extensive areas of land to new environmental pressures [1, 4, 8]. We assessed the potential environmental impacts of 33 planned or existing corridors that, if completed, would total over 53,000 km in length and crisscross much of the African continent. We mapped each corridor and estimated human occupancy (using the distribution of persistent night-lights) and environmental values (endangered and endemic vertebrates, plant diversity, critical habitats, carbon storage, and climate-regulation services) inside a 50-km-wide band overlaid onto each corridor. We also assessed the potential for each corridor to facilitate increases in agricultural production. The corridors varied considerably in their environmental values, and many were only sparsely populated. Because of marginal soils or climates, some corridors appear to have only modest agricultural potential. Collectively, the corridors would bisect over 400 existing protected areas and could degrade a further ∼1,800 by promoting habitat disruption near or inside the reserves. We conclude that many of the development corridors will promote serious and largely irreversible environmental changes and should proceed only if rigorous mitigation and protection measures can be employed. Some planned corridors with high environmental values and limited agricultural benefits should possibly be cancelled altogether. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Concepts: Human, Malaria, Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Sahara, Morocco, African people


The large-scale emigration of physicians from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to high-income nations is a serious development concern. Our objective was to determine current emigration trends of SSA physicians found in the physician workforce of the United States.

Concepts: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, United States, Southern Africa, Latin America, Morocco, Gabon


To estimate the present value of current and future funding needed for HIV treatment and prevention in 9 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries that account for 70% of HIV burden in Africa under different scenarios of intervention scale-up. To analyse the gaps between current expenditures and funding obligation, and discuss the policy implications of future financing needs.

Concepts: AIDS, Time, Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Sahara, Southern Africa, Morocco


Over decades it has been unclear how individual migratory songbirds cross large ecological barriers such as seas or deserts. By deploying light-level geolocators on four songbird species weighing only about 12 g, we found that these otherwise mainly nocturnal migrants seem to regularly extend their nocturnal flights into the day when crossing the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea. The proportion of the proposed diurnally flying birds gradually declined over the day with similar landing patterns in autumn and spring. The prolonged flights were slightly more frequent in spring than in autumn, suggesting tighter migratory schedules when returning to breeding sites. Often we found several patterns for barrier crossing for the same individual in autumn compared to the spring journey. As only a small proportion of the birds flew strictly during the night and even some individuals might have flown non-stop, we suggest that prolonged endurance flights are not an exception even in small migratory species. We emphasise an individual’s ability to perform both diurnal and nocturnal migration when facing the challenge of crossing a large ecological barrier to successfully complete a migratory journey.

Concepts: Sahara, Mediterranean Sea, Bird, Tunisia, Songbird, Algeria, Morocco, Libya


Salvia officinalis (Common sage, Culinary sage) is an aromatic plant that is frequently used as a spice in Mediterranean cookery and in the food industry and as a traditional medicine for the treatment of several infectious diseases. The essential oils were obtained by two different methods [hydrodistillation (HD) and microwave (Mw)] from the aerial part of S. officinalis L. growing wild in Ourika - Marrakech in Morocco. Ourika is a large zone of the Atlas Mountains which is considered as a large reserve of Flora, especially medicinal and aromatic plants. The obtained oils were analysed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and compared with that of Tunisia. Thirty-six compounds were identified from the Mw-extracted oil which accounted for 97.32% of the total oil composition. However, 33 compounds obtained by HD representing 98.67%. The major components were trans-thujone (14.10% and 29.84%), 1,8-cineole (5.10% and 16.82%), camphor (4.99% and 9.14%), viridiflorol (16.42% and 9.92%), β-caryophyllene (19.83% and 5.20%) and α-humulene (13.54% and 4.02%). Antibacterial, allelopathic (% germination in lettuce seeds and inhibited root growth obtained after treatment with S. officinalis oils) and antioxidant (IC(50) values 22 mg/mL) activities were studied.

Concepts: Plant, Essential oil, Oil, Oils, Morocco, Salvia officinalis, Salvia, Salvia fruticosa