Old cooking solutions could bring new benefits in Ethiopia

Cooking on open fires can waste fuel and produce smoke dangerous to human health—especially if the stove is located indoors. So, in the 1980s, Ethiopia rolled out two improved cooking stove designs: the Mirt made of cement and the Gonzie that could be made of local clays. Both offered similar benefits, requiring less fuel and […]

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The promise and pitfalls of using AI to diagnose mental illness

Smart algorithms could soon help doctors diagnose neurological diseases like autism and schizophrenia. But will such tests be accurate in Africa? Sarah Wild reports. No single human can monitor the brain’s 86 billion neurons in real time, let alone the electrical impulses they send to each other. Even a team of people working 24 hours […]

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Scientists fight drug-resistant fungal infections with light

A group of scientists hailing from India, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa are using light to fight drug-resistant infections. Their work, published this month in Scientific African, is part of a global dash to come up with new antimicrobial therapies. Antimicrobial resistance means that some of the relatively routine complaints that we successfully treat with […]

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Understanding how tsetse flies smell their prey could save lives

Scientists are examining how tsetse flies, which transmit deadly sleeping sickness in humans and nagana its animal counterpart in Africa, located their prey using their sense of smell, raising hope for better ways to control the deadly pest. Before the 18th century, sleeping sickness, or Human African trypanosomiasis was a manageable threat on the Africa […]

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Embedding traditional birth attendants in clinics and hospitals in Ghana could save mothers

Despite government efforts to boost access to maternal health services in Ghana, many women still choose to go to traditional birth attendants, rather than midwives, nurses, or doctors. The University for Development Studies’ Leander Allou tells Sarah Wild about his research into the birth practices of women in a remote district of Ghana and what […]

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Ancient herbal remedy rallies a global science collaboration

Nigella sativa goes by many names: black cumin, black caraway, Roman coriander. But one name in particular caught the interest of Aminu Imam, a neuroscientist at the University of Ilorin in Nigeria. Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is claimed to have dubbed it “Habbatus sauda” and “a cure for all disease except death.” Purveyors of […]

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Baobab cookies: A tasty way to fight malnutrition in Africa?

The use of baobab pulp in pastry is an innovation.” The iconic African baobab could soon be used to fight malnutrition on the continent in the form of rice cookies. New research, published this month in Scientific African, has found that pulp from the baobab, also known as Adansonia digitata, when added to rice cookies […]

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Fufu for modern times

This new method will encourage customers to patronage fufu outside home especially when prepared by commercial food vendors. If you’re from West Africa, chances are you have strong opinions about how your fufu should look and taste. The much-loved springy porridge made by pounding starchy foods like cassava and plantain together is a regional mainstay, […]

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Could cooler cigarettes lessen harm to lungs?

Cooler” cigarettes could reduce the damage to smokers’ lungs, according to new research published in Scientific African this month. Tobacco consumption kills up to 7 million people annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Although smoking affects every organ in the body, it has been conclusively linked to lung cancer. The United States’ Center […]

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