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Concept: Near East


The Near East Fertile Crescent is well recognized as a primary center of barley origin, diversity, and domestication. A large number of wild barleys have been collected from the Tibetan Plateau, which is characterized by an extreme environment. We used genome-wide diversity array technology markers to analyze the genotypic division between wild barley from the Near East and Tibet. Our results confirmed the existence of Tibetan wild barley and suggested that the split between the wild barleys in the Near East and those in Tibet occurred around 2.76 million years ago (Mya). To test the concept of polyphyletic domestication of barley, we characterized a set of worldwide cultivated barley. Some Chinese hulless and six-rowed barleys showed a close relationship with Tibetan wild barley but showed no common ancestor with other cultivated barley. Our data support the concept of polyphyletic domestication of cultivated barley and indicate that the Tibetan Plateau and its vicinity is one of the centers of domestication of cultivated barley. The current results may be highly significant in exploring the elite germplasm for barley breeding, especially against cold and drought stresses.

Concepts: Agriculture, Barley, Fertile Crescent, Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet, Central Asia, Near East, Tibetan Plateau


Celiac disease (CD) may have a variety of different presentations. This study has aimed to explore the prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) and non-GI symptoms in patients with CD according to data collected in Italy and Romania (Europe) and Iran (Middle East).  

Concepts: Disease, Middle East, Europe, Asia, Islam, Turkey, Arabic language, Near East


The Levant is a region in the Near East with an impressive record of continuous human existence and major cultural developments since the Paleolithic period. Genetic and archeological studies present solid evidence placing the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula as the first stepping-stone outside Africa. There is, however, little understanding of demographic changes in the Middle East, particularly the Levant, after the first Out-of-Africa expansion and how the Levantine peoples relate genetically to each other and to their neighbors. In this study we analyze more than 500,000 genome-wide SNPs in 1,341 new samples from the Levant and compare them to samples from 48 populations worldwide. Our results show recent genetic stratifications in the Levant are driven by the religious affiliations of the populations within the region. Cultural changes within the last two millennia appear to have facilitated/maintained admixture between culturally similar populations from the Levant, Arabian Peninsula, and Africa. The same cultural changes seem to have resulted in genetic isolation of other groups by limiting admixture with culturally different neighboring populations. Consequently, Levant populations today fall into two main groups: one sharing more genetic characteristics with modern-day Europeans and Central Asians, and the other with closer genetic affinities to other Middle Easterners and Africans. Finally, we identify a putative Levantine ancestral component that diverged from other Middle Easterners ∼23,700-15,500 years ago during the last glacial period, and diverged from Europeans ∼15,900-9,100 years ago between the last glacial warming and the start of the Neolithic.

Concepts: Arabian Peninsula, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, Islam, Western Asia, Jordan, Near East, Levant


A novel coronavirus that has emerged in the Middle East and that has been associated with several human deaths was shown to cause a similar disease in macaques, thus approximating Koch’s postulates.

Concepts: North Africa, Middle East, Primate, Asia, Jordan, Arabic language, Near East, Far East


Stigma is a fundamental barrier to individuals seeking out mental health treatment in the Middle East. The impact of stigma may be amplified if the engagement in and utilization of mental health services for psychosis further stigmatizes individuals and their families. One hundred four Jordanians (N = 104) participated in an experimental vignette survey examining stigma perceptions and social exclusion related to adolescents with psychosis, with the vignettes varying in sex of the youth and whether their family had sought mental health services. The results found that seeking treatment did not add to perceived stigma, and both the male and female adolescents receiving mental health treatment were viewed as significantly more likely to be helped than those not in treatment (p < 0.001). Therefore, receiving mental health treatment did not further stigmatize these Arab youth with psychosis. In addition, seeking out and engaging adolescents and their family in mental health treatment were positively perceived and may help to improve the youth's prognosis and outcomes.

Concepts: Sex, Middle East, Asia, Iran, Jordan, Arabic language, Near East, Social stigma


As a result of the huge economic and environmental destruction from oil spills, studies have been directed at improving and deploying natural sorbents which are not only the least expensive but also the safest means of spill control. This research reviews the limitations and environmental impact of existing cleanup methods. It also justifies the need for concerted research effort on oil spill control using natural and sustainable technology concepts. The article proposes future guidelines for the development of a sustainable cleanup technology. Finally, guidelines for the development of a new technology for the Middle East are proposed, which is the use of an abundant resource-date palm fibers-for such techniques.

Concepts: Petroleum, Natural environment, Middle East, Asia, Environmental science, Exxon Valdez oil spill, Oil spill, Near East


The importance of countries to support their own national pharmacovigilance cannot be understated. While adverse drug reaction (ADR) data from other countries is helpful in making medication safety decisions, information may not be relevant or applicable to domestic populations.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Middle East, Adverse drug reaction, Asia, Islam, Iran, Arabic language, Near East


The frequency of paediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (POMS) and the precise risk of secondary progression of disease are largely unknown in the Middle East. This cross-sectional cohort study assessed the risk and examined prognostic factors for time to onset of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) in a cohort of POMS patients.

Concepts: Multiple sclerosis, Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Middle East, Asia, Western Asia, Kuwait, Near East


We report genome-wide ancient DNA from 44 ancient Near Easterners ranging in time between ~12,000 and 1,400 BCE, from Natufian hunter-gatherers to Bronze Age farmers. We show that the earliest populations of the Near East derived around half their ancestry from a ‘Basal Eurasian’ lineage that had little if any Neanderthal admixture and that separated from other non-African lineages before their separation from each other. The first farmers of the southern Levant (Israel and Jordan) and Zagros Mountains (Iran) were strongly genetically differentiated, and each descended from local hunter-gatherers. By the time of the Bronze Age, these two populations and Anatolian-related farmers had mixed with each other and with the hunter-gatherers of Europe to drastically reduce genetic differentiation. The impact of the Near Eastern farmers extended beyond the Near East: farmers related to those of Anatolia spread westward into Europe; farmers related to those of the Levant spread southward into East Africa; farmers related to those from Iran spread northward into the Eurasian steppe; and people related to both the early farmers of Iran and to the pastoralists of the Eurasian steppe spread eastward into South Asia.

Concepts: Middle East, Asia, Western Asia, Fertile Crescent, Iraq, Near East, Levant, Mesopotamia


Diabetes is a major health care burden in the Middle East region. Social networking tools can contribute to the management of diabetes with improved educational and care outcomes using these popular tools in the region.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Middle East, Asia, Iran, Arabic language, Near East, Far East